Julen Lopetegui saw his Real Madrid side lose the UEFA Super Cup in his first game in charge, Atletico Madrid winning 4-2 in Tallinn.
Saul Niguez scored a sensational volley to help earn Atletico Madrid a 4-2 UEFA Super Cup triumph in extra time against city rivals Real Madrid.
Diego Costa’s wonderful goal after 49 seconds, the fastest goal in Super Cup history, got Atletico off to a flyer in Tallinn on Wednesday.
But Karim Benzema headed in Gareth Bale’s brilliant cross and Sergio Ramos converted a penalty awarded for a Juanfran handball to turn the tie around for Julen Lopetegui in his first game in charge of Madrid.
Despite Diego Simeone serving a touchline ban Atleti showed their fighting spirit to come from behind themselves, Costa scoring from close range before Saul’s stunning strike in the 98th minute settled a gripping contest.
The brilliant Costa then combined with Vitolo to set up Koke for a drilled fourth that gave Atletico bragging rights over their rivals as well as the first European title of the season.
Atleti took the lead in the first minute of a thrilling clash, Costa rampaging away from Ramos and Raphael Varane to slam home past Keylor Navas after chasing down his own flick-on from Diego Godin’s long ball.
Marco Asensio was close to equalising with a flicked finish from a Marcelo left-wing cross, but Jan Oblak made an excellent save.
Madrid equalised in the 27th minute, though, Bale delivering a wonderful deep cross from the right wing that Benzema nodded past Oblak.
With France forward Antoine Griezmann in muted form, Atletico gradually lost control of the contest and Madrid took the lead from the penalty spot after Juanfran handled in the area.
Ramos sent Oblak the wrong way from the penalty spot, scoring in the Super Cup for the second time and seemingly putting Madrid on course to win the trophy for the third year in a row.
But Marcelo’s mistake on the touchline allowed Juanfran and Angel Correa to combine and set up Costa to slam home an equaliser in the 79th minute.
And when substitute Thomas Partey stood up a cross from the left, Saul was on hand to lash a vicious volley into Navas’ top-left corner to regain the lead for Atletico, with Koke’s fine first-time finish in the 104th minute wrapping up the scoring.
What does it mean: Atleti on track for title challenge
Atletico’s key player Griezmann appears undercooked after firing France to glory at the World Cup, with the forward failing to record any touches in the Madrid box during his 57 minutes.
But victory for Atleti showed they are not as reliant on their talisman as previously. Thomas Lemar thrilled on his competitive debut, while goalscorers Koke and Saul were excellent in midfield. It is a second Super Cup for Simeone’s side and a second LaLiga title could follow.
It hardly needs to be said that Madrid missed Cristiano Ronaldo. He is irreplaceable. But they must try.
Pat on the back: Saul stars again on European stage
Saul has a handy habit of scoring superb goals – he netted an outstanding solo effort in the Champions League against Bayern Munich two years ago – and he was at it again.
The technique to volley in a Thomas cross was astonishing and the fight drifted out of Madrid after Atletico retook the lead in extra time.