A brace from Cristiano Ronaldo gave Real Madrid a 2-0 victory over Sevilla in an all Spanish UEFA Super Cup encounter at The Cardiff City Stadium.
Ronaldo opened the scoreline through a tap in after half an hour, from a superb floated cross from Gareth Bale, before drilling a left footed effort into the top corner after 49 minutes to settle it.
The showpiece, which is UEFA’s curtain raiser ahead of the forthcoming season, was built up as a homecoming for Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, who grew up within the City.
Standing in Madrid’s way, were Sevilla, who won Europe’s second tier competition, with the Andalucian side winning the Europa League in Turin against Benfica on penalty kicks in May.
Team news wise, and Real gave debuts to summer signings James Rodriguez, who started up front alongside Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema, and German international centre midfielder Toni Kroos. Sevilla started with a much changed side from their European triumph, with Dennis Suarez leading the line, Alberto Moreno was not involved ahead of a proposed move to Liverpool.
Iker Casillas was chosen ahead of recent signing Keylor Navas in goal for Madrid.
The game started with Madrid going all gun’s blazing, with Ronaldo seeing his effort from 25 yards swallowed into the grasp of Sevilla keeper Beto.
Madrid’s next chance was that of a Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick, Ronaldo was hauled to the Cardiff turf, before picking himself up and seeing his dipping free kick just nestle onto the roof of the net. Two minutes later, Bale jinked inside and drilled an effort which was deflected just wide of the far post.
Real were constantly hounding the Sevilla goal, with the Andalucian club withstanding the pressure just about, and Beto had to be at his best to keep out Gareth Bale after 17 minutes.
£63 million signing James Rodriguez floated a superb cross to the feet of Bale, who streched and connected with the ball with his right foot, with the Welsh winger diverting the ball right into the path of the advancing Beto, who clawed away superbly.
After 19 minutes, Sevilla had their first real chance, with Dennis Suarez seeing his effort beat away by Casillas from a rather tight angle.
Sevilla were coming into the game ever so slightly, but after half an hour, Madrid opened the scoring on a summer’s evening in Cardiff, through the brilliant Cristiano Ronaldo.
It was the home town boy Bale who would be involved in the move. Bale collected Ronaldo’s pin-point ball across the pitch, before galloping over the halfway line and pinging the ball into the path of Ronaldo from 45 yards, with Ronaldo tapping home to apply the finish at the back post to give Madrid a lead.
Six minutes later, Sevilla may have found an equaliser but for Casillas. James Rodriguez lost the ball in the area before striker Bacca nudged an effort towards goal from close range which was well kept out by the Spanish international keeper.
Following the Sevilla effort it turned out to be a quiet end to the half, with Madrid keen to see out the opening half with a lead.
A minute after the break Sevilla forward Bacca saw his effort superbly blocked by Sergio Ramos.
But after 49 minutes, Real had their second goal, through Cristiano Ronaldo, who found his second goal of the game.
Ronaldo latched onto a through ball from Karim Benzema, with Ronaldo dragging the ball away from his defender and rasping a left footed drive into the top corner past Beto, who may feel he could have done better.
On the hour, Bale saw his free-kick from 30 yards blocked well by the wall.
Up the other end, Sevilla bought Iago Aspas on, and he failed to connect properly with a cross from the right, as Madrid looked to close out the fixture.
Benzema saw his low driven effort well saved by Beto, before James Rodriguez was denied a debut goal after seeing his shot from a tight angle well beaten away by the left hand of the shot stopper.
Jose Antonio Reyes was thrown on in a last gasp attempt to salvage the game, and he saw his effort beat away by Casillas.
Sevilla did huff and puff in the final ten minutes or so towards the end, winning a series of corner kicks, with Bacca and Krychowiak both seeing efforts sail just wide of the post on a frustrating evening for the Europa League holders.
Bale then went on a surging run with three minutes to go, but he was denied at the last by a combination of defender Coke, and keeper Beto.
All in all, a confident performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s, as they go on the hunt for more Domestic and European trophies.
By Ben Reardon