Real Madrid have won their first piece of silverware of the season, beating Sevilla 2-0 in Cardiff to lift the European Super Cup.
Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti handed debuts to Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez, but it was the ever reliable Cristiano Ronaldo who secured the trophy, scoring a goal either side of half time to set Madrid on their way in their quest for six trophies this season.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the 10-times Champions League winners though, as Sevilla asked a few questions of Los Blancos, particularly in the opening stages at the Cardiff City Stadium. Unai Emery set his team up defensively bearing in mind the Madrid attacking quartet, which cost 300 million euros to assemble, contained the so-called BBC as well as the top scorer from this year’s World Cup.
But Sevilla looked to break on the counter and Denis Suarez gave the Los Blancos defence plenty to think about.
Madrid grew into the game slowly, and Gareth Bale started to show his hometown crowd why they should be excited to see him return to his city. He blistering pace and long range efforts were just a sign of things to come.
On the half hour mark, the Welshman broke down the left and sent in a beautifully weighted cross for Ronaldo to tap home from close range despite coming under press from the Sevilla keeper.
Madrid doubled their lead three minutes after the break when Benzema sent Ronaldo free in the area. The Portuguese forward did what he knows best and drilled an effort home past the helpless Beto in the Sevilla goal.
Sevilla would have to come out of their shell in the second period, but that left gaps open for Madrid to explore. Bale caused havoc down the right hand side all evening, while Toni Kross looked assured in his midfield role, showing off his range of passing. Rodriguez could have extended the lead even further but his rifling effort was tipped around the post by Beto.
In the end, Madrid took their foot off the gas, content to pick up another trophy and look forward to bigger challenges ahead.