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Diego Costa, Saul star as Atletico Madrid down rivals Real Madrid in UEFA Super Cup

Craig Burley explains how the absences of Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to embolden Atletico Madrid in their UEFA Super Cup triumph.

Atletico Madrid finally got the monkey off their back as they defeated local rivals Real Madrid 4-2 in the European Super Cup in Tallinn on Wednesday night to start the season with a trophy and perhaps give a glimpse of a changing of the guard in the Spanish capital.

Diego Costa's double, coupled with Saul Niguez's stunner and Koke's composed fourth gave Los Rojiblancos a deserved victory.

While it might not make up for the heartache suffered in Lisbon and Milan in years gone by, it could well be the most significant step the club had taken in recent years.

Positives

Costa's brilliant individual display aside, the way the side never rolled over and fought tooth and nail to come back into the game late on before finding the strength to win was something else.

Negatives

Hard to pick anything out of that. Perhaps it could have been more than the four, if you were being uber critical.

Manager rating out of 10

8 -- While not on the sidelines, Diego Simeone lived every kick of that game. He also got "his" tactics spot on. Exciting times ahead.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Jan Oblak, 6 -- Wonderful save to deny Marco Asensio early on. Could he have done better with Karim Benzema's goal? Perhaps, but he has earned the benefit of the doubt.

DF Juanfran, 7 -- Solid, if unspectacular all night. Had his hands full with the pace of Asensio and Gareth Bale, and was unlucky to be penalised for handball for the Madrid penalty.

DF Stefan Savic, 8 -- A crunching tackle on Bale set the tone early on and he repaid the faith in his surprise selection with a dominant display.

DF Diego Godin, 8 -- The new skipper looked the part, winning almost everything in the air. His name was cheered to the rafters by the Atleti faithful and he is leading the club into an exciting era.

DF Lucas Hernandez, 7 -- Do we now stop saying he is not a full-back? Is every inch a top-drawer left-back and looks to have nailed that position down ahead of Filipe Luis.

MF Rodri, 8 -- Wore the departed Gabi's No. 14 jersey and put in a display the former captain would have been proud of. Recycled possession well and offered great protection to the back four in a stellar debut.

MF Saul Niguez, 8 -- Invoked memories of his 2015 overhead kick against Madrid when he smashed home a stunning volley to make it 3-2. Dominated the middle of the park.

Diego Costa netted twice for Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, including the fastest ever in a UEFA Super Cup.
Diego Costa scored Atletico's first two goals, including the fastest Super Cup goal after 49 seconds.

MF Koke, 8 -- Took his goal so well and was indefatigable up against the likes of Toni Kroos and Casemiro. Did not allow them to settle.

MF Thomas Lemar 7 -- A very promising debut from the Frenchman, who looks to have adapted to Simeone's system well. Unable to stretch his legs too much on the attack, he showed neat touches and worked tirelessly in a defensive sense.

FW Antoine Griezmann, 6 -- Given just under an hour, which was expected given his World Cup exploits. Linked well with Costa but his final ball was just that little bit wayward.

FW Diego Costa, 9 -- Vintage Costa. Covered every blade of grass and picked a fight with just about every Real player, in addition to netting twice and being involved in the other two. His first goal was pure genius while the second was a poacher's finish.

Substitutes

FW Angel Correa, 9 -- His introduction helped change the game. Set up Costa's second and caused all sorts of bother to the Madrid defence during his cameo.

MF Vitolo, N/R -- Great pass to find Koke for his goal. Poor touch denied him his own strike later on.

MF Thomas Partey, N/R -- Came on as an auxiliary striker and might have scored had he not lost his footing when clean through at the end of the first half of extra time.

DF Jose Maria Gimenez, N/R -- On to see out the final 10 minutes.

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