Real Madrid lift fifth UEFA Super Cup
Karim Benzema continued his Ballon d’Or pursuit with a 324th goal for European champions Real Madrid as they beat Eintracht Frankfurt to lift the Uefa Super Cup in Helsinki.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who beat Liverpool to win the Champions League in May, took the lead when David Alaba tapped into an empty net, with Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp stranded following Casemiro’s header back across goal.
Benzema doubled the Spanish giants’ lead after the break with a first-time finish from Vinicius Jr’s cross to move second on Real’s all-time goalscoring list, overtaking Raul and behind only Cristiano Ronaldo who has 450 goals.
Frankfurt, making their Super Cup debut, had moments of their own – the best when Daichi Kamada was sent through early on, but the Europa League winners looked second best once Real hit their stride.
Benzema is coming off the most prolific season in his career, scoring 44 times in 46 games for Real Madrid to help his side win a Champions League and La Liga double – and he looks set to continue that form.
The 34-year-old, who captained Real in the Super Cup final, said this week former team-mate Ronaldo “helped me on and off the pitch”, but admitted he was able to adapt his game and score more goals once the Portugal star left.
After his goal on Wednesday, Benzema is second only to Ronaldo as Real’s all-time leading scorer and staring at individual accolades as well as team prizes, becoming the frontrunner to win the Ballon d’Or in October.
Ancelotti named the same XI that started the Champions League final and there was a swagger to Real’s play that comes with being crowned European champions for the 14th time – and now adding a fifth Super Cup to their trophy cabinet.
Frankfurt, meanwhile, earned a place in the continent’s top-tier competition with their Europa League penalty shootout success over Rangers.
This meeting was their first against Real Madrid since a 7-3 defeat in the 1960 European Cup final and will give the Bundesliga side a gauge of what is to come. (BBC)