May 24, 2024

Vinicius Junior’s three goals in the first half of Real Madrid’s 4-1 thumping of 10-man Barcelona in the Riyadh final helped the team storm to Spanish Super Cup success, Within the first ten minutes, the Brazilian twice took advantage of Barcelona’s careless high line to put Real Madrid ahead 2-0. Shortly after the break, Robert Lewandowski cut the lead in half.

But in the 39th minute, when Ronald Araujo had brought him down in the area, Vinicius scored his hat-trick from the spot, and Rodrygo sealed the lopsided victory after the break.

Araujo’s dismissal in the 71st minute for a second foul on Vinicius made for an even worse evening for Barcelona in the Saudi capital.

Real continued their recent dominance over their rivals when they defeated Atletico Madrid 5-3 after extra time in the semi-final on Wednesday, despite trailing 3-2 with five minutes remaining, At the midway point of the La Liga season, Carlo Ancelotti’s team leads Barcelona by seven points after winning the October El Clasico match.

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Barcelona had a chance to strike back in this most recent match, but Xavi’s choice to play a dangerous high defensive line backfired miserably, as Real Madrid took the lead after just seven minutes.

With a brilliant pass that split the defense, Jude Bellingham—who at the final whistle celebrated winning his first trophy with Real—let Vinicius go around Inaki Pena and slot into an empty net.

Once more, Real and Vinicius took advantage of the abundance of space left behind when the 23-year-old glided in to convert a cross from Rodrygo.

Ferran Torres’ snap shot struck the bar, and both he and Lewandowski pushed Andriy Lunin into crucial stops to keep Real two ahead. Barcelona recovered well from the double blow.

After 33 minutes, Lewandowski’s powerful volley from the area’s edge pulled Barcelona back into the game, but the Catalans were the ones who engineered their own demise a few minutes later.

When Araujo put his arm over Vinicius’ neck and he went down, the Barcelona defender was booked and given a penalty, At the break, Vinicius extended Real Madrid’s lead to two goals once more with a flawless 12-yard shot.

Joao Felix, Fermin Lopez, and Lamine Yamal were brought in by Xavi in a triple change shortly after the hour mark, but it did not have the desired effect as Real Madrid took a bigger lead in the 64th minute.

Vinicius was involved once more as Jules Kounde tamely cut out his bad cross, right into Rodrygo’s path. Rodrygo then drilled past Pena from inside the area.

As Araujo failed to clear the ball and instead took down Vinicius, things got worse for Barcelona. The Uruguayan had to hobble off the field for a second bookable offense.

With the job done, Ancelotti was allowed to substitute Vinicius and Bellingham in the last minutes, and focus quickly shifted to Wednesday’s Copa del Rey matchup against Atletico.

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