Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid: Winners and Losers from Spanish Super Cup
Atletico Madrid won the Spanish Super Cup on Friday with a 1-0 win over Real Madrid at the Vicente Calderon.
Mario Mandzukic was responsible for the lone goal, as he put a shot past Iker Casillas in the second minute after an early bombardment on the Real Madrid net.
After 88 minutes of strong play with a lead behind them, Atleti won the competition on a 2-1 aggregate following a draw at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.
Other than Mandzukic, there were plenty of players that stood out for good and bad reasons in the tense rivalry clash.
Continue reading on for the list of the biggest winners and losers from the Spanish Super Cup second leg.
Winner: Mario Mandzukic
It may take a while for us to judge whether Mandzukic can carry the load up front in place of Diego Costa, but he did get off to a good start in front of the home crowd.
Mandzukic broke through the defense to poke home the second-minute goal that ended up being the only one of the second leg.
The Croatian forward may not carry the same skill set as Costa, but he did show Friday that he is capable of scoring in big games, which is something he will have to do on a regular basis this season.
Loser: Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo was left out of the starting 11 by manager Carlo Ancelotti, but he was inserted into the fold at the start of the second half.
During the final 45 minutes of the match, Ronaldo was ineffective for Los Blancos as the search for the equalizer continued.
Ronaldo's best chance of the game came in the 69th minute, but his free-kick was blasted right into the wall instead of challenging Miguel Moya in the Atletico net.
Winner: Raul Garcia
Raul Garcia was unlucky not to score in the match, as he provided a constant threat in the box throughout the entire 90 minutes.
Garcia's best chance came right before half-time on a header that soared above the goal after he fought off Fabio Coentrao.
Four minutes into the second half, Garcia forced Iker Casillas into a leaping save that pushed the ball on to the underside of the crossbar.
Although his shots did not fall into the back of the net, Garcia kept the Real Madrid defense honest all match long.
Winner: James Rodriguez
The only player who rivaled the consistent attacking threat of Garcia in the first half was James Rodriguez.
The Colombian cut apart the Atleti defense on a few occasions to produce chances from all sides of the pitch.
Unfortunately for the electric playmaker, his role was diminished in the second half following the entrance of Ronaldo. The two stars will have to learn to play together effectively for Real Madrid to reach their potential.
He eventually left the match in the 65th minute, but without his play in the first half, Los Blancos could have lost by a few goals.
Losers: Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale
After going down by a goal early, Real Madrid needed a strong showing from the players up front to put an equalizer past Moya.
Despite the efforts of Rodriguez, he could not light a spark under Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, who were ineffective for the entire match.
Bale was able to spring to life late in the match, but that burst came too late, while Benzema did next to nothing up front all night.
Winner/Loser: Diego Simeone
It was a day full of mixed emotions for Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, who was sent to the stands after 26 minutes.
Simeone was irate with the decision by the fourth official not to let Juanfran back on the pitch, and after the defender was allowed back on, the manager was banished from the dugout.
Despite not being on the sideline, Simeone was pushing his team to victory from the first row of the stands.
After plenty of nervous moments standing in front of some lucky fans, Simeone was able to come down and celebrate the title with his side.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
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