This is Real Madrid: No Madrid fan could ask for a better start to 2024 than this.

No Madrid fan could ask for a better start to 2024 than this.

3 games, 3 competitions, 3 wins – one final to play. Perhaps, this last win was the best of all, a classic Real Madrid ‘not giving up’ game and yet another remontada to keep on proving that 90 minutes against Real Madrid are very long, but 120 minutes are even longer.

In a crazy night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – crazy in all the meaning of the word, Real Madrid overcame Atletico Madrid 5-3 after Extra-Time, to reach the first final of the season. On Sunday, Real Madrid waits the winner of Barcelona – Osasuna in the first final of the season.

In an action packed night, almost everything happened – even things that were not completely related to the game, as Toni Kroos’ being booed by the home fans, but we will come to that.

After a positive start from Real Madrid inside the first 5 minutes, it was Atletico Madrid who scored with their first chance of the match through a header from Real Madrid’s ex, Mario Hermoso. Knowing Atletico Madrid, being behind would seem as an almost impossible task to overcome – but not tonight for Real Madrid, as they completed a ‘remontada’ twice in the night.

It was the defenders night in this game as Antonio Rüdiger equalized in the 20th minute after a great cross from Luka Modrić – and 9 minutes later Dani Carvajal assisted the unusual scorer, Ferland Mendy – who finished like a striker to put Real Madrid ahead, 2-1.

It took a wonder goal from Griezmann to make it 2-2, which would also be the HT result.

The second half was much more calmer and had less intensity from both sides, and it would only take a massive blunder from Kepa Arrizabalaga in the 78th minute to see a goal again, as Real Madrid went behind again in what at the moment seemed as an impossible task to overcome.

Kepa’s performance tonight caused a lot of controversy between Real Madrid fans, but we will come to that as well.

To continue the defenders show and show Real Madrid’s undying spirit, Dani Carvajal took care with a very well placed finish in the 85th minutes after Viní Jr’s shot was saved and Jude Bellingham’s shot was cleared off the line. This goal, sent the game to Extra-Time.

The ET, was totally Real Madrid – as Ancelotti’s squad dominated the whole 30 minutes, with the substitutions making the difference as the second fraction was decisive for Real Madrid to win the game.

It was another Carvajal cross that came clutch in a big ‘remontada’, as Joselu headed it in for his 10th goal of the season in all competitions. Just when the game looked over, Oblak who was trying heroics for Atleti was caught in the counter by a super fast Brahim Diaz, that scored the fifth goal of the match.

 

This is Real Madrid: No Madrid fan could ask for a better start to 2024 than this.