The Croatian striker split the Real defence to fire past Iker Casillas and net the quickest goal in Super Copa history just 81 seconds into the game, with the first silverware of the Spanish season heading to the Vicente Calderon. The performance went some way to answering questions over Atleti’s title credentials this season, with so many key figures leaving the club over the summer. New signing Mandzukic was a handful for the Real defence all night, with Antoine Griezmann also impressing in his first home start as an Atleti player. But it was Raul Garcia who caught the eye most, with the attacker coming within a crossbar’s width of scoring an outstanding second goal after the break. Angel Di Maria and Sami Khedira were both left out of Real’s matchday squad, with speculation linking them with moves away from the Bernabeu. However, James Rodriguez was handed a start in attack alongside Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale. Cristiano Ronaldo was left out of the starting lineup but played the second half, largely failing to impose himself o the contest with the winger clearly struggling through injury. And Los Blancos ended the game with ten men following the stoppage time dismissal of Luka Modric.
2’ GOAL – What a start for Atletico! Garcia wins a flick on to send Mandzukic through on goal, who finishes on the bounce past Casillas!
25’ BALE CHANCE - Oh what a chance for Bale! Carvajal picks out the run of the Welsh winger, who breaks in behind the Atletico defence, but his shot is saved Moya, who did just enough to prevent if from crossing the line.
36’ JAMES HEADER - Right on cue, Rodriguez passes up a good opportunity. The cross comes into the box from the right side, but the Colombian directs his header wide of the target from about six yards. Should have done better.
39’ SKEWED SHOT - Great chance for Real Madrid! Bale takes a wonderful touch to move the ball away from Godin on the edge of the box, but the Welsh winger skews his shot wide of the target. He probably should have scored.
45’ SHOULD HAVE SCORED - Massive opportunity for the home side! Garcia loses Coentrao from a corner kick and meets the delivery inside the six yard box, but somehow he manages to power his header over the bar.
46’ JAMES CLOSE – Inches wide of the post for Rodriguez! The Colombian turns really well on the edge of the box and shoots towards goal, but his effort flashes just wide of the target. Moya was worried about that!
50’ CROSSBAR – Off the bar! Garcia gets a deft flick onto Koke's freekick on the edge of the box, sending the ball spinning towards goal. But it smashes off the underside of the bar and onto the turf, where Casillas makes a save to deny Mandzukic!
58’ PAST THE POST - Just past the post! The ball is played back to Garcia just inside the penalty area, who wraps his foot around a shot. But the ball flashes just past the post, with Casillas scrambling to get across in time.
72’ KOKE EFFORT - Fantastic effort by Koke! He takes control of a pass in behind the Real midfield, and cuts across his shot from 20 yards. The shot swerves and dips, deceiving Casillas, but flies just over the bar.
73’ GRIEZMANN CHANCE - Glorious chance for Griezmann! Marcelo is slack on the ball, allowing Griezmann to sprint through on goal down the right side, but he doesn't quite get enough purchase on his shot and the ball dribbles wide.
91’ MODRIC OFF – Modric is sent off for a second bookable offence.
Simeone has already stated that Atletico are aiming for third place this season, implying that they can’t compete with the financial might of Barca and Real. But Atleti have spent very wisely having lost Thibaut Courtois, Filipe Luis and Diego Costa over the summer, with Mandzukic and Antoine Griezmann impressing. Both players showed Atletico will be contenders again this season.
The evolution of Garcia under Simeone has been fascinating. Originally used as a wide player, the 28-year-old is now most effective as something of a second striker, where he brings relentless energy and intensity behind the central striker. Real Madrid couldn’t deal with him and was unfortunate not to find the net.
Atletico Madrid – Moya 6, Siqueria 6, Godin 7, Miranda 7, Juanfran 6, Tiago 8, Gabi 6, Koke 6, Griezmann 7, Garcia 9, Mandzukic 8. Subs – Jimenez 5.
Real Madrid – Casillas 6, Coentrao 5, Ramos 6, Varane 6, Carvajal 7, Kroos 5, Alonso 5, Modric 5, James 7, Benzema 5, Bale 6. Subs – Ronaldo 5, Isco 6, Marcelo 5.