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UEFA Supercup in a quick check: Eintracht lives through a nasty Champions League lesson

The Champions League winner is too strong for Eintracht Frankfurt. The Europa League champion tries hard against Real Madrid, but deserves to lose in the UEFA Supercup. In order to survive in the European premier class, the Bundesliga club must draw the right conclusions from this evening.

What’s up with the duel between Frankfurt and Real Madrid?

If Ferenc Puskás hadn’t signed 62 years ago, the sports community Eintracht Frankfurt and Real Madrid Club de Fútbol would have met for the first time this Wednesday evening in Helsinki. Fortunately, however, the exceptional footballer, who emigrated to Spain from Hungary, was willing, at least so it is said, to sign a written apology – in order to make the final in the European Cup of Champions in May 1960 possible. The German Football Association had actually banned its teams from playing Puskás after doping allegations against the German world champion team from 1954 were made in Hungary.

But as it was, Frankfurt and Madrid were able to play off the best club in Europe at the time. Eintracht scored three times, Alfredo di Stéfano too, Puskás four more and Real seven times in total. The competition’s highest-scoring final to date, watched by 135,000 fans at Glasgow’s Hampden Park, also the record that still stands. In 2022, almost 100,000 fewer people will fit into the stadium in Helsinki, so a football festival is probably not to be expected. But extra time or even penalties. Six of the most recent seven UEFA Super Cups have taken 120 minutes (at least) to determine a winner.

The people of Frankfurt have experience in this. In the Europa League final, Kevin Trapp saved Rangers’ fourth penalty, but Rafael Borré with the decisive goal ensured Hesse’s happiness that continues to this day. The final against Real Madrid, with 14 titles record winner of the Champions League that has become the Champions League, is therefore a classic bonus game for Eintracht. A win against Los Blancos would be the next highlight of an outstanding journey through European football, a defeat just a side note because the Supercup experience is much bigger than the result that August evening at the Olympic Stadium in the Finnish capital.

teams and goals

Madrid: Courtois – Carvajal, Eder Militao, Alaba, Mendy (Rudiger 85) – Modric (Rodrygo 67), Casemiro, Kroos (Tchouameni 85) – Fede Valverde (Camavinga 76), Benzema, Vinicius Junior (Ceballos 85). – Trainer: Ancelotti
Frankfurt: Trapp – Toure (70th Alario), Tuta, Ndicka – Knauff, Sow, Rode (58th Götze), Lenz – Kamada, Lindstrom (58th Muani) – Borre. – Trainer: glazier
Referee: Michael Oliver (England)
Gates: 1-0 Alaba (37′), 2-0 Benzema (65′)
Viewers: 31,500
Yellow cards: – Alario

in feature film

Before kick-off: The first surprise comes when the teams enter the field. As Eintracht captain, Sebastian Rode is allowed to carry the Europa League trophy onto the pitch. After the – to put it mildly – remarkable scenes at the reception in Frankfurt, it would not have been surprising if Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann had sneaked in here to grab the trophy. But maybe he was too busy preparing to defend himself against the corruption charges after he failed to accept his vote out of office by the Frankfurt City Council.

14 minutes: Daichi Kamada misses the big chance to continue his heroic story on the big stage. Last year’s five-time Europa League goalscorer failed to complete a great pass from Rafael Borré to open the scoring from a inside left position. But this Thibaut Courtois should also be quite as a goalkeeper, as Jurgen Klopp stated quite clearly after the Champions League final.

17 minutes: Tuta does what a defender has to do. Karim Benzema pushes the ball to Vinicius Junior, whose degree then overcomes Kevin Trapp – but Tuta throws himself in between and clears just under a meter from the line.

1-0 Madrid.

(Photo: IMAGO/Jan Huebner)

37 minutes, GOOOOOR FOR REAL MADRID: Vinicius Junior scored the decisive goal in the Champions League final and he’s also a key part of the Madrid lead that comes from a powerful transition moment. On the center line he plays a one-two with Benzema and goes on the journey, pulls in from the left wing, Trapp steers his finish around the post. Toni Kroos’ corner is not defended by the SBU. Benzema heads to the right of the goal, Casemiro heads back from there to the middle, where David Alaba has no trouble inserting the lead.

halftime: Frankfurt does that pretty well quite often, only really losing order once. Because the team is on the other side, which not only provokes such moments but also punishes them, Eintracht is down after 45 minutes. Nice gesture by the way from coach Oliver Glasner, to line up the final heroes from Seville together. Christopher Lenz is the only one to replace Filip Kostić, who is on his way to Turin.

55 minutes: Trapp just gets his foot in between and prevents the two-goal deficit. A cross from Ferland Mendy finds Vinicius Junior, who pulls from the turn. The shot is deflected and Trapp clears in dire need.

61 minutes: Eintracht falters, this time Trapp is powerless, but saves the crossbar. Casemiro makes a save from a central position, and the ball bounces off the crossbar (have you ever heard that word outside of football?).

64 minutes: Ansgar Knauff! Finds a clear path into the penalty area from the right and then to the goal. However, his finish is too weak to seriously challenge Courtois.

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2-0 Madrid.

(Photo: IMAGO/Newspix24)

65 minutes, GOOOAAAL FOR REAL MADRID: Real switched again quickly, again via Vinicius Junior – and again the ball landed in the Frankfurt goal shortly afterwards. The Eintracht defense is overplayed on the left wing, Vinicius Junior lays flat in the middle, where Benzema not only has space but also time. His shot, which is not particularly well placed, seems to surprise Trapp. At least he no longer succeeds in preventing the presumed preliminary decision.

80 minutes: Frankfurt tries again, but it will never be really dangerous. Substitute Randal Kolo Muani dribbles promisingly, but ultimately unsuccessfully. Real defends itself against the efforts of Eintracht sovereign.

final whistle: Danger no longer arises, Real brings this Supercup to a sovereign end. It is the Madrilenians’ fifth title, joining FC Barcelona and AC Milan as record winners in this competition.

What was good?

Real Madrid. The royal game is not as spectacularly aggressive as that of Liverpool FC, not as impressive as that of Manchester City, not as offensively powerful as the approaches that FC Bayern showed against Frankfurt. But defensively, the Champions League winner is just gross, and that’s meant with appreciation. In the Champions League final, Thibaut Courtois was insurmountable, against Eintracht he keeps everything for sure. The positive disgusting feeling can best be seen in Casemiro, whose intensity stands out in direct duels and whose toughness in duels seems to impress opponents again and again, even at this highest European level.

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Casemiro was subsequently awarded Player of the Match.

(Photo: IMAGO/Jan Huebner)

The whole team carries this Casemiro-likeness, which never seems to get out of their calm. Toni Kroos wins his (roughly estimated) hundredth title with Real, Luka Modrić remains Luka Modrić and this time it’s David Alaba who punishes the opponent’s first big mistake directly. There are not many great chances that Carlo Ancelotti’s team creates, but the 2-0 also leads to a moment in which the speed of thought and action is too high for Frankfurt.

Vinicius Junior stands out offensively, his dribbling strength always opens up options for the Madrilenians. With both hits, it is his runs that decisively favor success. And then there is Karim Benzema, who scored his 324th competitive goal for Real in Helsinki, only Cristiano Ronaldo (450) is ahead of him in this statistic. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Frenchman could soon call himself a world footballer.

What wasn’t so good?

For the first time in the club’s history, Eintracht Frankfurt will compete in the Champions League this season. The defending champions are of course the hardest possible yardstick, but the Bundesliga side have a lot of work to do if they are to progress beyond the group stage. That is also logical, after all, the Europa League victory of the SBU is still a sensation three months later and the Supercup participation is the reward for an outstanding year.

But in the duel with Real Madrid on this August evening in Helsinki it becomes clear that central defense is not yet good enough for the highest shelf and offensively a lot depends on who is presented as the successor to Filip Kostić and how Mario Götze is a creative head can contribute to the attack effort. A classic final player is missing, but substitute Kolo Muani at least hints that he can open up space for his teammates with dribbling. The fact that Kevin Trapp doesn’t look good when he concedes the second goal favors the 0:2, but changes the overall impression of the 90 minutes only a little.

That’s what the people involved say

Sebastian Rode (Captain of Eintracht Frankfurt): “You want to win the title in a game like that. It wasn’t enough, but it was a better performance than against Bayern. Against the Champions League winners you just have to take advantage of the few chances you have. We have them the crucial things not used.”

Oliver Glasner (Eintracht Frankfurt coach): “It’s a shame, but I’m very proud. We made it very difficult for Real and had a huge chance at 0-0. It’s a shame that we fell behind again after a corner. But we did I tried everything up to the last second and played forward. That’s why I’m very positive about the future.”

Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid coach): “We didn’t play a spectacular game, but it was solid. We knew that they could be dangerous in transition. We just had to be efficient and we did it.”

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