Real Madrid 'must improve in all areas,' says Julen Lopetegui


Life without Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid has started with a whimper, as the reigning Champions League winners suffered a 4-2 extra-time defeat to Atletico Madrid last night in the UEFA Super Cup.

Full-back Marcelo squandered an excellent chance to score the victor for Real with an overhead kick in the final seconds of normal time as back-to-back Champions League winners Real were looking to become the first side to win three Super Cups in successive seasons.

Saul Niguez and Koke then struck in the first half of extra-time as Atletico finally get revenge on Real in Europe after losing the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals and being knocked out of the competition by their neighbours in 2015 and 2017.

The UEFA Super Cup was the second official trophy available this season after the Spanish Super Cup.

We have often seen Spurs wilt when monster transfer fees are offered, so Real could well twist Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy's arm when trying to sign Eriksen if they offer the right price for the Dane.

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Before kick-off all eyes were on Bale, who has been earmarked by the Bernabéu hierarchy as Ronaldo's natural successor.

Are we witnessing the dying light of the Real Madrid supernova?

But Real Madrid came battling back, and held the lead with 15 minutes to go thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos.

Lopetegui is the first Real Madrid manager to concede four or more goals in his first competitive game in charge since Michael Keeping against Celta Vigo in February 1948. Costa answered with another goal in the 79th minute to level the match. All five goals were scored in cup competitions.