Vinicius Junior's hat-trick powers Real Madrid to Spanish Super victory over Barcelona
In a spectacular showdown in Riyadh, Vinicius Junior's first-half hat-trick propelled Real Madrid to a resounding 4-1 victory over 10-man Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final.
Vinicius Junior secured a hat-trick, propelling Real Madrid to a commanding 4-1 victory over a 10-man Barcelona in the Riyadh final and clinching the Spanish Super Cup. The Brazilian exploited Barcelona's vulnerable high defensive line twice in the first 10 minutes, establishing a 2-0 lead before Robert Lewandowski narrowed the gap just after the half-hour mark.
In the 39th minute, Vinicius completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot, drawing a foul from Ronald Araujo. Rodrygo sealed the one-sided win after halftime. Adding to Barcelona's woes, Araujo was sent off in the 71st minute for another foul on Vinicius.
Real Madrid, coming off a dramatic 5-3 extra-time victory against Atletico Madrid in the semi-final, continued their recent dominance over Barcelona. They are currently seven points ahead in LaLiga, having also won October's El Clasico.
Barcelona, under Xavi's management, attempted to employ a high defensive line but suffered a setback as Vinicius capitalized on the strategy within the first seven minutes. Jude Bellingham's brilliant pass set up Vinicius for the opening goal, and the Brazilian scored again from Rodrygo's cross.
Despite Barcelona's attempts to respond, with Ferran Torres hitting the crossbar and Lewandowski testing Real's goalkeeper, the team struggled defensively. Lewandowski's impressive volley brought them back into contention, but Araujo's foul on Vinicius led to a penalty, allowing the Brazilian to re-establish Real's two-goal lead at halftime.
Xavi's triple substitution after the hour mark failed to make the desired impact, and Real extended their lead in the 64th minute through Rodrygo, who capitalized on Vinicius's wayward cross. Araujo's second bookable offense further soured Barcelona's night, and Ancelotti withdrew Vinicius and Bellingham in the closing stages with their focus shifting to the upcoming Copa del Rey clash against Atletico on Wednesday.