Real Madrid knock Copa del Rey holders Valencia out of the Spanish Super Cup
Valencia vs Real Madrid: Spanish Super Cup semi-final
Thank you for joining us for the first semi-final of the new-look Spanish Super Cup. We hope to see you again for the next one, as we bring you all the action live from Barcelona against Atlético on Thursday evening.
Zinedine Zidane will be delighted with that performance from his team, thoroughly dominating their opponents for the vast majority of the game.
Goals from midfield were the answer as Kroos, Isco and Modric made the game safe before a soft consolation penalty was handed to Parejo as the final whistle approached.
Sunday's final will now be either a Clásico or the Derbi.
The final whistle blows and Madrid progress to the final, knocking out the Copa del Rey holders.
VAR does indeed get involved in that handball incident. The ref trotts over, checks the TV monitor, and points to the spot.
That would never have been given had the result been in doubt.
Free-kick from the right curled into the area but it is headed away. Another chance to cross proves more dangerous but Courtois gathers the weak effort. Did the ball in clip Ramos' arm???
Casemiro into the book for a clear foul on Sobrino. Chance for Valencia to nick a consolation goal...
Mariano, desperate for a goal, tries to do it all alone on the right side of the area, finally getting a shot away but it finds the side netting.
Madrid change | Mariano (the unused) comes on for Jovic (the unconvincing)
Valencia change | Sobrino on for Coquelin
Parejo delivers well again from the corner but, as with most crosses tonight, the defence is better equipped to deal with it.
James first involvement is to give the ball away with a loose pass, one that sets Valencia away, only stopped by a Kroos foul. That then leads to a decent effort at goal which Courtois does well to push away.
James Rodríguez gets a chance to prove himself with the pressure off. Modric makes way.
PING | Maxi Gómez collects on the edge of the Madrid area, turns sharply, and sets off a rocket. It's straight at Courtois who stands strong to block.
CLOSE | The corner is flicked on delicately at the front post and Ferran almost meets it at the back. Pressure from Carvajal enough to prevent an effort at goal.
Cheryshev is freed down the left channel and hits a first-time cross which is blocked for a corner.
Madrid change | Marcelo coming on for Mendy (and the crowd gives a huge cheer)
Valencia change | Cheryshev on for Gameiro
Madrid players having fun out there. Ramos pushes forward to get a piece of the action, and then Isco tries to dribble through a crowd of white and black inside the area. More personnel changes coming up...
Modric shows what the outside of the boot is used for. Facing up against the defender, and with an option of playing the ball back to Jovic across goal, he instead slices a curl onto the ball and turns away to celebrate as it nestles inside the far post.
CHANCE | Another tidy move from Madrid. Kroos drives a low pass forward into Modric who controls deftly with two minders in close proximity. The Croatian looks up and lays off to Valverde and his sweet strike flies just wide of the post.
Brilliant from Isco! Picking the ball up in his own half, the little magician drifts forward, skipping past tackles and bouncing off defenders. As he approaches the 18-yard box he weighs up the options and decides to strike goalwards. Just over.
Maxi Gómez on for Kondogbia in Celades' first change.
Casemiro lifts a floated ball over the Valencia defence to the back post where Kroos is steaming in. It's just out of reach of the German.
Jovic has been close to getting on the end of a couple of balls this half but needs to move better. Is it a lack of confidence or possibly missing true match sharpness? There's no real excuse, but I'd suggest the fans stay patient.
You can take the boy out of Brazil, but he's still Brazilian. Casemiro may be a holding midfielder for much of his time but he's just clipped a clearance away with his heel facing his own goal, and perfectly into his teammate's path for a counter.
Valverde is the one sprinting clear and the move ends with a wild shot from Kroos. More chances like that likely to appear as Valencia push on.
Valencia get the initial chance to find an opening but Ramos thwarts that with a crunching clearance. Madrid then head forward with purpose but the move comes to nothing.
We are go...
OK, the teams are back out. Let's see what Los Che can do to get back into this.
It will be interesting to see if Madrid continue with their crossing tactic into the second half. They did look dangerous getting down the outside channels but more so when keeping the play tight, as with the goal.
As I stated during the half, that was a very composed period of play from Zidane's side and Celades will need to change things up if his side are to reach the final. The few chances they've had have been snuffed out with relative ease.
Two very different goals in that half
And that's that. Nothing much else to report as the teams head back to the changing rooms for words of advice from the managers.
We'll have an extra minute to play till the break
CHANCE | And what a chance that was for Jovic!
Isco's flicked header from the corner comes back off the post, and the Serbian is there to knock it home. Somehow his stretched shot is saved by already-grounded Jaume's leg.
Carvajal feeds Valverde, who cuts it back neatly to the supporting Modric in the area. The Croatian's first-time strike is blocked but Isco is waiting nearby to volley home.
Madrid are dominating this half and the score is a fair enough reflection of that.
Valencia being pressed back into their final third by a well-organised green unit, often leading to a clearance that is gratefully collected. Very professional approach from Madrid.
More crosses continue to come in from wide areas by Madrid players - I'll check at half-time just how many. The delivery has been good but none are being won so Zidane may want to look at alternative approaches.
Free-kick out on the right will allow Kroos to feed the mass of heads filling the Valencia area (assuming he doesn't go direct again!)...
...the cross is good but cleared away and then a soft foul kills the threat.
CHANCE | Gameiro is the player with the final shot which flies well over Courtois' crossbar, but Valencia have been slowly growing into this game since the goal.
Limp appeal from a few Valenca voices for a penalty as Casemiro goes into the back of Soler. Not enough contact, in my view.
The first real action in front of Courtois as Valencia's Parejo gets a decent cross into the area. Madrid's defenders fill the space and win the key headers.
With Jaume still surely pondering his error, Valverde has a cheeky hit in his direction from near the half-way line. Dealt with fine, though.
Very nice defending there from Ramos, dispossessing the breaking Coquelin as though he was a school boy trialling with the grown-ups.
It was a great strike, and quick thinking, from the German but even once the keeper had realised what was happening, he had time to keep that out but fluffed his punch. Madrid not complaining.
Gooooaaaallll!! Toni Kroos scores directly from the corner, catching out Jaume who was sorting out his defence.
Another cross, from Isco this time, towards the head of Jovic, but the Serbian is beaten to it by the defender. Corner.
There appears to be a concerted effort from Zidane's side to push the play wide, creating opportunities to cross into the danger area. Other than the earlier Varane chance, every one has been cleared with relative ease.
Controlled build-up from the 'away' team in green, Los Che tracking them well but unable to get the ball back. It finds its way out right to Carvajal who whips a cross in, which is blocked.
Valverde now gets in on the action, hitting a powerful effort from distance. His range finder will need a little tweaking, as the ball flies wide of the left post.
Pretty much all Madrid in these early stages.
CLOSE | What a chance for Varane who meets a delicious cross from the left with his head. It's too near the keeper who blocks well.
First effort | Isco feeds Casemiro and the Brazilian hits it from distance. High, high over Domenech's bar.
Valencia eventually get a few passes strung together but it doesn't last long. Mendy steals the ball off Ferran and it is worked into the feet if Isco who is dropping deep to collect.
Real Madrid in their green shirts get an early period of possession for the opening minute, plently of touches across the back. A long pass forward is then intercepted but the clearance is back with the capital club.
And we're off!
Our referee tonight is 43-year old Spaniard, Roberto Diaz Perez Del Palomar. He'll be supported by the assistants running the line as well as the bodies in the VAR box.
Teams in the tunnel
It's nearly time to get the action underway. There appears to be a significant amount of empty seats, but plenty very excited faces too...
Here's how Valencia's recent run has looked
In case you missed the news, goal-line technology will be used tonight, incredibly something new to Spanish football.
Valencia on a roll
Unbeaten in seven, Los Che are targeting an extra piece of silverware to go with the Copa del Rey currently displayed in the Mestalla cabinet. They are without a number of players, with Rodrigo likely to be the most missed,
Alberto Celades is looking to Parejo and Ferran to be a continued threat from midfield.
Jovic leads the line
So, with Zinedine Zidane getting his team-sheet out first, let's consider what his thoughts are on the starting XI.
Much has been made of the big-money signing from the summer, Luka Jovic, his lack of goals, and international bust-ups. More would have been had others, especially Benzema, not been getting the job done without him. Tonight he's given the chance to show what he can do.
The Serbian will be hoping for plenty of support from those behind him, especially Isco and Rodrygo. The talented young Brazilian has given some signs to what he can do, notably when Benzema is out. Eyes will be on him again.
Valencia starting XI | Jaume, Wass, Garay, Paulista, Gayà, Parejo, Kondogbia, Coquelin, Soler, Gameiro, Ferran
Real Madrid starting XI | Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy, Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos, Isco, Rodrygo, Jovic
We have some team news for you...
Valencia and Real Madrid get the action underway tonight with kick-off at 20:00 CET. You can find out how that time relates to your zone by checking out our handy guide here.
Tonight sees the first ever semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup, a competition that has been formed out of the usual match between the LaLiga and Copa del Rey champions. The new format sees four teams take part - Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Valencia - with the winners of each semi-final playing off for the trophy.
Hello and a very warm welcome to you wherever you are on the globe as we get ready to witness an historic event. OK, so it may not be the equivalent to the tearing down of the Berlin wall, nor is it comparable to Gutenberg's invention of the printing press, but still...