Real Madrid won Spanish Supercopa… is La Liga next?

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11:24 AM ETGabriele MarcottiSenior Writer, ESPN FC Missed any of the action around Europe this weekend? Have no fear: Gab Marcotti is here to catch you up with all the talking points in the latest Monday Musings.Jump to: Real win Supercopa | Spurs fall flat vs. Liverpool | Juve hang on vs. Roma | Putting Aguero’s goals in context | Mata stands out for Man United | Barca’s awful week | Baby steps for Arteta | Inter lucky vs. Atalanta | PSG vs. Monaco thriller | Hudson-Odoi returns to action | Ibra gives Milan a boost | Are Lazio legit?Real survive Atleti challenge to win SupercopaThe Spanish Supercopa final saw Atletico Madrid shed whatever Diego Simeone 2.0 pretensions they may have had this season to turn in the sort of retro performance that harked back to the early days of their enigmatic coach. They sat deep, they were gritty, they were tough and they blunted a Real Madrid side already short of attacking oomph (Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard were all out), who then proceeded to add a midfielder and leave the fresh legs of Vinicius and Rodrygo on the bench.- Toe Poke: The most cynical players in soccer
– Marsden: Valverde, Ramos decisive as Real beat rivalsTo be fair to Atletico, it’s not as if Simeone set out to simply destroy — he did bring on Vitolo for Hector Herrera before the hour mark — it’s just that it’s a DNA thing, especially in finals. As for Zinedine Zidane, hindsight suggests a pacy alternative in the front three might have made sense, especially with Luka Jovic up front, but, heck, it’s a final and you end up deferring to the man who has now won nine of nine.It was close, though. Real didn’t create much and when they did, Jan Oblak showed just why he’s so special. Atleti hit the post and, in the dying minutes of extra time, had that Alvaro Morata breakaway that ended with a most cynical of open-field take-downs by Federico Valverde. Ugly? Sure. Necessary? Yup. Dirty? Not really: he didn’t set out to injure. It was what you used to call a “professional foul” and most would have done the same with a trophy on the line. To his credit, the Uruguayan midfielder took it on the chin.In the end, Real Madrid outlasted Atletico on penalties to win their first trophy of the season. They remain an unknown quantity, with Zidane mixing and matching personnel and formations. But they’re top of the league, they’ll be a different team when the front men return and, above all, they very obviously know how to win.Tottenham fall flat vs. Liverpoolplay1:44Steve Nicol says Liverpool’s attack needs to pick up even as the Reds continue to dominate the Premier League.When I saw Tottenham’s lineup against Liverpool on Saturday evening, I told myself: “Hey, maybe Mourinho has something up his sleeve!”In Christian Eriksen and Harry Winks he had two excellent passers in the middle of the park (Eric Dier was rooted to the bench), Serge Aurier was free to ramp down the flank and there were two quick strikers with a knack for finding space. I imagined possession, control, balls in behind, breaking the press. Instead, they hardly saw the ball, relying on long passes and falling victim to Liverpool’s vicious press, supercharged by the fact that most of Jurgen Klopp’s had not played in nine days.- Ogden: Liverpool show Spurs how far they have to go
– Liverpool ratings: Firmino the leader as Reds keep winning
– Klopp: Points record ‘doesn’t feel special’Yes, Mourinho has a zillion mitigating factors he can cite, from injuries to contractual snafus, but it was still surprising to see a game-plan fall this flat. The fact that they created the odd opportunity at the other end — Son Heung-Min’s miss was particularly egregious — doesn’t change any of this. If he’s going to build something, it won’t happen for a while. He doesn’t have the tools and, for now anyway, doesn’t appear to have the interest either.As for Liverpool, the 1-0 win means they’ve taken 61 of a possible 63 points this season and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know by now that no club in Europe’s Big Five leagues has ever done better. Chuck whatever superlatives you like at Klopp and his crew, for they deserve them all.My colleague Dale Johnson published the Premier League table without VAR — it’s not just about adding and deducting goals, but about running simulations based on an algorithm to determine the outcome of games. Whether you love or h

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