The Colombian, who came on at the break for an injured Cristiano Ronaldo, looked to have given Los Blancos a narrow lead going into Friday’s second leg, but Garcia made the most of a mistake by Iker Casillas to snatch a draw for Diego Simeone’s side.
Real dominated much of the game, with Atletico sitting deep and soaking up pressure before hitting on the counter. But without Diego Costa Atleti lacked a physical presence in attack, even with new signing Mario Mandzukic as the lone striker.
Carlo Ancelotti brought on Angel Di Maria for a second half cameo, with the Argentine’s future at the Bernabeu still uncertain as suitors Paris Saint Germain and Manchester United circle.
The tie is finely poised ahead of Friday’s game at the Vicente Calderon, although Ronaldo is a doubt for the match as the severity of his back injury is assessed.
Real Madrid goalscorer James Rodriguez (AFP)
17’ ATLETI BREAKAWAY – What a chance for Atletico! A mistake from Ramos allows Saul through on goal, but his right footed shot lacks the power needed to find the net and Casillas gets down well to make a comfortable save.
45’ RONALDO OFF - Ronaldo is injured. The Portuguese winger has been withdrawn at the break.
48’ BALE CHANCE – Big chance for Bale! The Welshman takes a cross from Carvajal in his stride and fires a shot at goal from just inside the box but Moya is equal to the effort and beats it away with both hands.
70’ REAL OPPORTUNITY – Double chance for Real Madrid! This time Bale blasts it at goal, with Moya making the save. But the rebound falls to Kroos six yards out, yet the German fires over the bar on the bounce!
82’ JAMES OPENER – The new Galactico scores the opener! A scramble involving Benzema sees the ball fall back to Rodriguez, who squeezes the ball into the net.
88’ GARCIA EQUALISER – What a big goal! Garcia gets a flick to a Gabi set piece to find the far corner of the Real Madrid net. Huge equaliser ahead of the second leg.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Raul Garcia (C) celebrates after scoring during the Spanish Super Copa first leg match …
Where does James Rodriguez fit into the Real line-up? The Colombian was impressive when he replaced an injured Ronaldo at the break, scoring on his home debut, but the question still remains: when Real are at full strength where does Rodriguez fit in? It might be the case that he doesn’t. If that is the case, substitutes don’t come much stronger.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid): Real assistant manager Paul Clement said after the German’s performance against Sevilla in the European Super Cup that he hadn’t seen a better debut from a player before. Kroos picked up where he left off, and controlled the contest against Atletico. €30 million for such an accomplished central operator is looking like a snip now.
Real Madrid: Casillas 5, Marcelo 6, Ramos 6, Pepe 7, Carvajal 6, Modric 6, Alonso 6, Kroos 8, Ronaldo 5, Benzema 6, Bale 7. Subs: Rodriguez 7, Di Maria 7.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Real Madrid
- James Rodriguez
- Atletico Madrid
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Iker Casillas
- Raul Garcia