Athletic will look to defend their Supercopa de Espana crown when they face Real Madrid in the final in Riyadh this evening.
They beat Barcelona 3-2 in the final last year, and after producing a late comeback to get the better of Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals earlier this week, Athletic will be in confident mood against Real.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side booked their place in the final with an extra-time victory over Barcelona, Federico Valverde the hero as he netted the winner, and they lifted the trophy the last time the competition was concluded in Saudi Arabia.
Real have lost just one of their last 19 matches in all competitions, and the La Liga leaders are very much favourites to beat Athletic tonight. They also have the added boost of two wins already against Athletic this season.
Follow all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below...
Athletic Club vs Real Madrid latest news
PENALTY SAVED! Courtois denies Garcia
RED CARD! Militao sent-off for handball
GOAL! Benzema doubles lead from the spot
GOAL! Modric puts Real in front from the edge of the box
21:03 , Matt Verri
Real Madrid lifted the first piece of silverware on offer to them this season after beating Athletic Club 2-0 in the Supercopa de Espana final.
Luka Modric put his side in front in the first-half, before Karim Benzema doubled the advantage after the break from the penalty spot with his 24th goal of the season.
Eder Militao was sent-off late on for a handball, but Thibaut Courtois saved Raul Garcia’s penalty to put an end to Athletic’s hopes of mounting a late comeback.
Modric the man of the match...
20:38 , Matt Verri
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 16, 2022
20:26 , Matt Verri
Real Madrid have their first piece of silverware in the season, and the first of Carlo Ancelotti’s second-spell.
Luca Modrid and Karim Benzema with the goals in a 2-0 win, as Courtois’ late penalty save prevented any late drama.
Real much the better side, and they have the trophy to show for it.
20:25 , Matt Verri
90+3 mins: Valverde has it in his own corner, brings out the backheel to keep possession and ease the pressure.
Aside from that handball from Militao, it’s been a really professional performance from Real.
20:22 , Matt Verri
90 mins: Vazquez off, Fernandez on for the last few minutes.
Athletic know their chance has gone. Had that penalty gone in, we were set for a grandstand finish.
As it is, these four minutes of stoppage time will likely be a procession for Real.
20:20 , Matt Verri
Well that might be the hopes of a comeback over.
Raul Garcia sees his penalty saved by Courtois! Straight down the middle, Courtois dives to his right but sticks a leg out and it’s saved.
Huge moment, probably a match-winning one.
20:18 , Matt Verri
Well, well, well. AND A RED CARD!
Militao has been sent-off. What an incredible few minutes we have left now.
20:18 , Matt Verri
86 mins: Ancelotti just trying to see this match out now. Marcelo on to replace Vinicius.
The left-back has 18 trophies to his name as a Real player, and he’s about five minutes away from making it 19.
Yuri stands a lovely ball up, Garcia throws himself at it and it deflects off Militao and over the bar. It’s handball too... VAR check!
20:16 , Matt Verri
84 mins: Pressure certainly building and there’s a bit of chaos in the Real box.
Nico Williams digs out a nice cross, and Militao blasts it against Serrana and it bounces back at goal, but Courtois is alert to claim the ball.
20:14 , Matt Verri
82 mins: Starting to become a bit shoot-on-sight from Athletic.
Serrana cuts inside and lets fly from distance, straight at Courtois. Real have hardly had a touch in the last five minutes, but that wouldn’t bother them too much.
20:12 , Matt Verri
80 mins: Martinez lining up a free-kick, 25 yards out. Perfect angle for the left-footer.
Not a perfect effort though, straight into the wall. Time really starting to run out for Athletic.
20:09 , Matt Verri
78 mins: Garcia into the book for Athletic, after a needless foul on Vinicius.
Challenge was bad enough, but then made sure he would be shown the yellow by bending down and giving Vinicius a few choice words too.
20:08 , Matt Verri
76 mins: Corner Athletic, which is taken short by Muniain.
Eventually it’s whipped into the box towards the far post, and it’s a great delivery. Garcia and Yuri both go up for it, and probably get in each other’s way as it’s headed into the side-netting.
20:06 , Matt Verri
75 mins: Lovely flick from Vazquez to send the ball through to Benzema, and he turns back to keep possession.
Casemiro, Kroos and Modric are not the three midfielders you want to be playing if you’re chasing a game, they don’t look like they’ll ever lose the ball.
20:04 , Matt Verri
72 mins: Good from Nico Williams, runs onto a ball down the line. Cuts inside and tries to poke it into the box, but Real double up on him and crowd the forward out.
Hopeful ball then swung in from Athletic, and it drifts harmlessly out for a goal-kick.
20:02 , Matt Verri
70 mins: One goal and Athletic will be right back in this.
Unfortunately for them, it’s not looking too likely. They look good up until they get to within 30 yards of the goal, and then they look short of options.
Muniain getting on the ball, can’t find the killer pass yet.
19:59 , Matt Verri
67 mins: Martinez puts Simon under a fair bit of pressure as he floats a backpass to his goalkeeper. Benzema following in with interest, but it’s a perfect first touch from Simon to get things back under control.
Real not showing much urgency going forward, content to just keep possession.
19:56 , Matt Verri
64 mins: First change of the night from Carlo Ancelotti. Rodrygo off, Valverde on.
Valverde was the hero against Barcelona in the semi-final. Real don’t need him to net a winner tonight as it stands, they’ll be happy enough if he just helps keep things solid.
19:54 , Matt Verri
63 mins: Nico Williams scuffs an effort back across goal, and it falls to his teammate Garcia at the near post. He can’t quite direct it at goal though, from six-yards out.
Athletic certainly putting more pressure on, but they’re leaving themselves open at the back.
19:53 , Matt Verri
61 mins: Game incredibly stretched all of a sudden. Nico Williams drives inside, but Casemiro does what Casemiro does and mops up the danger.
Real try to break, but Rodrygo’s pass is loose and Athletic are straight back on the attack.
19:50 , Matt Verri
58 mins: Militao not convincing at all as he tries to let the ball run through to Courtois, but he just about gets it back to the goalkeeper as he loses his balance.
Williams not far off from being clean through there.
19:48 , Matt Verri
56 mins: Rodrygo with another run at Balenziaga, this time the ball in is a loose one and Athletic can get it clear.
Marcelino preparing to make a couple of changes. He’s going to have to go for it now.
19:45 , Matt Verri
54 mins: Alvarez will consider himself really unlucky with that decision, not much he could have done about it.
There’s nothing he can do about it now though, Athletic have to get their focus back. Muniain lets fly from well over 30 yards out, and it’s miles over the bar.
GOAL! Athletic Club 0-2 Real Madrid | Karim Benzema 52'
19:44 , Matt Verri
BENZEMA FIRES HOME FROM THE SPOT!
Has the Frenchman put the game beyond Athletic? Goalkeeper goes the right way, but it’s hammered into the corner from Benzema.
Huge task ahead now for Athletic.
PENALTY REAL MADRID!
19:43 , Matt Verri
51 mins: And the referee points to the spot!
Benzema fluffed his shot completely, bounced up and hit an arm. Harsh decision, and manager Marcelino is booked for his complaints.
19:42 , Matt Verri
50 mins: Benzema’s shot is blocked by a hand, and it bounces out for a goal-kick. This could be a real problem for Athletic.
Referee is going to look at the pitchside monitor. This normally only ends one way...
19:40 , Matt Verri
48 mins: Real have started the second half well, knocking the ball around with real confidence.
Ball whipped in towards Benzema who makes a good run to the near post, but the cross sails over his head.
19:37 , Matt Verri
46 mins: Barely ten seconds played and Vinicius is already in behind, before sending a shot over the bar.
That would explain why he was in so much space - well offside.
19:36 , Matt Verri
We will indeed be seeing Nico Williams, he’s on at the break for Athletic Club. Can he be the hero once again?
Back underway in Riyadh.
19:31 , Matt Verri
Athletic came from behind to beat Atletico Madrid in their semi-final, so they won’t be panicking yet.
Have looked relatively solid at the back, just about finding a it more of a clinical touch when they do get numbers forward.
Imagine Nico Williams will once again be called on from the bench, if it stays like this.
19:25 , Matt Verri
First-half stats reflect Real’s dominance.
60% of possession, 11 shots with three on target. Four shots for Athletic, but none on target as they’ve failed to make the most of any chances on the counter.
19:19 , Matt Verri
Athletic Club 0-1 Real Madrid
Real go into the break ahead, thanks to Luka Modric’s lovely finish late in the half. They’ve controlled possession for much of the half, but haven’t been fully at their best.
Still good enough though, against an Athletic side that have not clicked into gear at all so far.
19:17 , Matt Verri
45 mins: That was better. Balenziaga puts a good ball into the box, Sancet lets it run and the ball very nearly falls for Williams in the box.
Sancet then works the ball onto his right foot and sends a great curling effort at goal. Not far away at all from the far corner.
One minute added on.
19:15 , Matt Verri
43 mins: Athletic are going to have to markedly improve now. Offered very little going forward so far.
They’d be pretty happy to just go into the break one behind and then regroup, considering how this match has gone so far.
19:13 , Matt Verri
41 mins: Rodrygo has probably been the best player on the pitch, and he’s off on another dangerous run.
Plays it back to Modric again, who considers another shot but plays it wide to Vazquez. His cross is deflected behind for a corner.
Out to Modric on the edge of the box, who can’t get enough of the ball at the moment. Over the bar this time.
GOAL! Athletic Club 0-1 Real Madrid | Luka Modric 38’
19:10 , Matt Verri
REAL TAKE THE LEAD IN THE SUPERCOPA!
Luka Modric with the goal, and it’s a lovely strike. Rodrygo is so direct as he runs at the defence, and he then lays it off for Modric on the edge of the box.
He curls it beautifully beyond Simon and into the corner. Great finish.
19:08 , Matt Verri
36 mins: Sancet not happy as Casemiro challenges him. Nothing wrong with that though, must have just been a slightly awkward landing.
Athletic seeing more of the ball as the half goes on, but they’ve struggled to create anything so far.
19:06 , Matt Verri
34 mins: Rodrygo catches Muniain, and Athletic have a free-kick in a very promising position. Good angle for a right-footer to whip something into the box.
Muniain takes it himself... Benzema heads it out from his own six-yard box, and wins the free-kick as he does.
19:03 , Matt Verri
31 mins: Williams shows good strength on the halfway line to hold the ball up, and wins the foul as Militao is too aggressive.
De Marcos plays a nice ball inside and Williams briefly has space on the edge of the box. Touch is really heavy though, and the chance goes.
19:01 , Matt Verri
29 mins: Casemiro loops a header at goal from the corner, Simon is cautious and tips it over.
Second corner eventually comes out to Vinicius who can have his first run of the night, and it’s brilliant. Completely beats Balenziaga, doesn’t make the most of it though as the ball in is a poor one.
18:59 , Matt Verri
27 mins: Kroos with another corner, and it runs all the way through to Modric. He clips it back into the box, but headed away.
Berenguer and Williams fly up the pitch for Athletic as they try and break... quickly halted. Casemiro then bursts forward and shoots from a really tight angle, Simon turns it behind.
18:58 , Matt Verri
26 mins: De Marcos gets forward on the right and it’s a nice ball wide to him.
Control is decent, but he panics as Mendy comes out to close him and down and the cross is straight out of play. Athletic need to be a bit more patient when they do find themselves up the pitch.
18:56 , Matt Verri
24 mins: Mendy tries to flick his way through the Athletic defence, after Vinicius sells him a bit short with the pass.
Kroos then makes the foul to stop any counter, with Real having committed plenty of bodies forward.
18:54 , Matt Verri
22 mins: Real’s turn to try their luck from a corner, as Rodrygo’s attempted pull-back is cleared behind.
Kroos with a decent ball in, bounces around in the box before it’s eventually smashed up the pitch.
18:53 , Matt Verri
20 mins: Heavy pass forces Berenguer wide and Alaba is across to see it out for a goal-kick.
Not a huge amount of action in the first 20 minutes, but Kroos and Modric have looked as tidy as ever controlling things in midfield.
18:51 , Matt Verri
18 mins: Kroos pings it out to Rodrygo on the right and it’s a lovely touch from the Brazilian to bring it down.
Benzema holds back on the edge of the box and it’s played to him... whipped effort just wide of the far post.
18:48 , Matt Verri
16 mins: Corner for Athletic, chance for them to test out the Madrid defence.
Muniain takes it and it’s deep towards the back post. Header is looped back across goal, but no pace on it and it trickles out for a goal-kick.
18:46 , Matt Verri
14 mins: Everything going down Real’s right, Vazquez staying as wide as he can and he’s getting space.
Ball is whipped in towards Benzema, but too much on the cross and it’s chested back to Simon.
18:44 , Matt Verri
12 mins: Athletic starting to grow into the game and offer a threat going forward.
Sancet tries to bulldoze his way through the defence, but the ball doesn’t quite drop for him in the box and Real get it clear.
18:43 , Matt Verri
11 mins: Vasquez has plenty of room on the right wing, but nobody in the box for Real. Plays it back to Benzema instead, and he combines really nice with Rodrygo but the ball out wide is then heavy. Kroos has a shot charged down.
Athletic straight on the break and Williams is adamant they should have a penalty for handball. Nothing given.
18:41 , Matt Verri
8 mins: Rodrygo has made a nice start on his return to the starting lineup.
Drives into the box and works it onto his right foot, Balenziaga gets back and poked it away just as Rodrygo was lining up the shot.
18:39 , Matt Verri
7 mins: Real give it away for what feels like the first time, and Athletic rush things and quickly play it over the top towards Williams. Alaba cuts it out though.
Benzema looks to find some space going forward, but it runs out for a goal-kick. Crowd getting very excited every time the Frenchman gets on the ball.
18:37 , Matt Verri
5 mins: Athletic push right up this time as Real play it out from the back, and Modric has to be alert in his own box before whipping it out to Vasquez.
All Real in terms of possession in the opening five minutes, they look really comfortable on the ball.
18:36 , Matt Verri
3 mins: Lovely move from Real, very nearly completely open Athletic up.
Modric wide to Vasquez, who plays a nice reverse pass back to Casemiro. He lays it off to Rodrygo who gets a shot away, but it’s blocked in the box.
18:34 , Matt Verri
2 mins: Vinicius sends a long backpass towards Courtois, not a great ball at all and the goalkeeper has to head it away to stop it going out for a corner.
Athletic happy to sit in a solid shape and let Real have it in defence in the early stages. Won’t want to let Kroos and Modric have that much time though.
18:32 , Matt Verri
We are underway in Riyadh!
First silverware of the season for the Spanish clubs up for grabs. Madrid without a trophy in 18 months... they really need to put an end to that run.
18:30 , Matt Verri
Teams are out, making the long walk across the track and then onto the pitch. And they then walk past a couple of huge flags and all the way over to the other side of the pitch.
Won’t be any players not fully warmed up after that.
18:26 , Matt Verri
Here we go then, almost time to get this final up and running.
Players are in the tunnel and will soon be making the walk out onto the pitch. Plenty of goals and drama in the semi-finals... let’s hope for more of the same this evening.
18:19 , Matt Verri
Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema tore Barcelona apart on the counter-attack in the semi-final.
They’ve been been in brilliant form this campaign, and if Athletic give the Real duo space this evening, they could be in real trouble.
For Athletic, Inaki Williams starts up front, and his brother Nico, who scored the winner against Atletico Madrid to send his side through to the final, is on the bench.
18:10 , Matt Verri
20 minutes to go until kick-off in Riyadh.
Athletic looking to lift the trophy for a second year in a row, while Real will hope to continue their impressive season so far by securing some early silverware.
Not long now...
Warm-ups well underway...
18:05 , Matt Verri
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) January 16, 2022
— Athletic Club (@Athletic_en) January 16, 2022
Stadium filling up...
17:57 , Matt Verri
Ancelotti: Real team is flexible
17:45 , Matt Verri
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has said his team will have to play a different game than they did to Barcelona, but is confident that they have the ability to do so.
“Our approach will change because it will be a different game,” Ancelotti said.
“The strength of this team is not having a single identity, because there are a lot of different sides to football - possession, set pieces, counterattacking, long balls.
“You have to be smart in football, and being able to do that and adapt is a skill, not a weakness.”
Rich history between the two sides....
17:39 , Matt Verri
Athletic Club vs Real Madrid is the second-most played fixture in Spanish football history, beaten only be El Clasico.
But not since 1958 have Athletic and Real faced each other in a cup final. The Basque club came out on top in the Copa del Rey final, winning 2-0.
Not sure that’s going to have much of an impact on what happens tonight though...
Stage is set in Riyadh...
17:30 , Matt Verri
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) January 16, 2022
Athletic Club lineup
17:18 , Matt Verri
Starting XI: Simon, De Marcos, Yeray, Martinez, Balenziaga, Berenguer, Garcia, Zarraga, Muniain, Sancet, Williams
Subs: Agirrezabala, Petxarroman, Vesga, Vivian, Lekue, Yuri, Capa, Garcia, Nolaskoain, Williams, Serrano
How Athletic made it through to the final...
17:16 , Matt Verri
Athletic Club had to come from behind to beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the semi-finals earlier this week.
Unai Simon’s own goal just after the hour mark put his side under real pressure to get back into the match, and they were up to the task with Yeray Alvarez equalising with 13 minutes remaining.
Nico Williams came off the bench to score four minutes later and put Athletic in front, and they held on to secure victory. Jose Gimenez was sent off for Atletico, as the referee dished out the cards in a chaotic period of addd time.
How Real made it through to the final...
17:05 , Matt Verri
Federico Valverde scored an extra-time winner as Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-2 to reach the final of the Spanish Super Cup in an El Clasico thriller.
Vinicius Junior scored the opening goal of the match, before Luuk de Jong levelled for Barcelona as the sides went into the break level.
Karim Benzema’s strike was then cancelled out by Ansu Fati as the match went beyond 90 minutes, and it was Real who found the winner in extra-time as Valverde put the finishing touch on a devastating counter-attack.
Real are in the building...
16:58 , Matt Verri
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) January 16, 2022
On their way...
16:47 , Matt Verri
— Athletic Club (@Athletic_en) January 16, 2022
16:40 , Matt Verri
Real are unsurprisingly the favourites to come out on top, but the two matches between the sides so far this season have been tight affairs.
Ancelotti’s side won 1-0 at home and then snuck a 2-1 victory away from home against Athletic, so it’s reasonable to expect another tight encounter with the class eventually telling.
Real Madrid to win, 2-1.
16:33 , Matt Verri
So Alaba passes a late fitness test and start for Real, that’s a big boost for them. Vasquez in for Carvajal, who misses out after testing positive for Covid-19.
Rodrygo nets the nod to start alongside Vinicius and Benzema in what looks an exciting front-line. Also plenty for Ancelotti to turn to on the bench if needed... Isco, Jovic, and Hazard to name just a few.
Real Madrid lineup
16:24 , Matt Verri
Starting XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Rodrygo, Vinicius, Benzema
Subs: Lunin, Fuidias, Nacho, Hazard, Marcelo, Valverde, Jovic, Ceballos, Isco, Camavinga
Athletic Club team news
16:20 , Matt Verri
Athletic are expected to be without Unai Nunez, Unai Vencedor, Ander Capa and Asier Villalibre for the final.
Nico Williams came off the bench in the semi-final to net an 81st-minute winner and that may be enough to earn up a start up front, potentially alongside brother Inaki.
How to watch Athletic Club vs Real Madrid
16:12 , Matt Verri
TV channel: The game will be broadcast on BT Sport 3. Coverage begins at 6pm GMT, with kick-off 30 minutes later.
Live stream: BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch the game through the BT Sport app or website.
16:02 , Matt Verri
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Athletic Club vs Real Madrid in the Supercopa final.
Atletico Madrid and Barcelona were knocked out in the semi-finals earlier this week, leaving us with Athletic and Real to battle it out in Saudi Arabia.
Athletic lifted the trophy last season, but Real go into the match as clear favourites and with just one loss in their last 19 matches in all competitions.
We’ll have all the latest updates and team news ahead of kick-off, which comes at 6:30pm GMT at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.