Spanish Super Cup 2002/2003

The Spanish Supercup is played over two legs at the start of the regular season between the league champions and the cup winners.

First leg - 18 August 2002

Deportivo 3 - Valencia 0

Deportivo: Molina; Scaloni, César (Andrade 71'), Naybet, Romero; Mauro Silva, Sergio; Víctor, Valerón (Djalminha 79'), Fran (Duscher 68'); Makaay. 4-2-3-1.
Valencia: Cañizares; Curro Torres, Ayala, Pellegrino, Carboni; Marchena (Juan Sánchez 74'), De los Santos (Baraja 46'); Bufete (Carew 46'), Aimar, Vicente; Angulo. 4-2-3-1.

1-0. 12. Valerón. Ran on to long pass from Scaloni and shot under Cañizares.
2-0. 21. Víctor. Tap in after Cañizares blocked shot from Makaay.
3-0. 31. Naybet. Slid ball into net after Makaay rounded keeper on breakaway.

The domestic season kicked off officially today with the first leg of the Spanish super-cup, which is played each year between the league champions (this year Valencia) and the cup-winners (Deportivo).

Both sides were already below full strength due to injuries, with Diego Tristán, Donato, Djorovic and Manuel Pablo missing from Irureta's squad and Kily González, Salva, Albelda, Mista and Djukic all out for the visitors. Depor's new signing Toro Acuña was also unavailable as he has to serve a five match ban dating from the end of last season, although he was registered for this competition which will count for the first two of those.

With only a minute on the clock Valencia broke free, and Naybet was forced to clear off the line from Rufete. That was the last time though that Molina's goal was threatened, and a few minutes later Makaay hit the foot of the post with a clever free kick. In their next attack Scaloni sent a long pass into the Valencia half, and Juan Carlos Valerón headed the ball down to run past two defenders and drill a low shot past Cañizares.

After that it was all Depor, and it was only a matter of time before they scored again, Valerón sending Fran off down the left wing for him to cross in to Makaay. The Dutch striker saw his shot tipped away by Cañizares, but Víctor was there to poke the ball home from close range before the Valencia keeper could recover.

Then with just over half an hour gone Valerón sent Makaay away on a long run, and the number seven rounded Cañizares and sent a shot goalwards. The ball appeared to be going just wide, but there was Naybet charging up from his own half to slide the ball into the net. The Valencia players crowded round referee Mejuto González claiming offside, but the goal was allowed to stand.

The introduction of Carew and particularly Baraja at half time steadied the ship for the visitors, although Cañizares had to save from Makaay immediately after the break. Angulo missed Valencia's best chance of the game later in the half, but there were no more goals, and Depor now take a comfortable lead into the second leg at Mestalla next Sunday.

The match ended with tension from both sides, and Mejuto had to book Víctor and Baraja as they faced off to each other. Then with the players leaving the field, Cañizares was felled by an object thrown from the crowd. It was a silly ending to a good game, and if the level of football shown here continues this year, we are in for another entertaining season.

Second leg - 25 August 2002

Valencia 0 - Deportivo 1

Valencia: Cañizares; Curro Torres, Ayala, Pellegrino, Fabio Aurelio; Marchena (Rufete 46'), Baraja; Angulo, Aimar (Juan Sánchez 72'), Vicente (Carboni 67'); Salva. 4-2-3-1.
Deportivo: Molina; Scaloni, César, Naybet, Romero; Mauro Silva, Sergio; Víctor, Valerón (Duscher 69'), Fran (Capdevila 67'); Makaay (Pandiani 80'). 4-2-3-1.

0-1. 92. Víctor. Chipped Cañizares after Scaloni put him through.

Cup winners Deportivo La Coruña took the first trophy of the season after beating league champions Valencia 4-0 on aggregate. The match was a bad-tempered affair, with tension high after Valencia keeper Cañizares was felled by an object thrown from the crowd at the end of the first leg in Coruña. The incident is under investigation by the disciplinary committee, but Deportivo's statements that he had exaggerated the injury riled the crowd even more.

The aggressive atmosphere in the Mestalla stadium affected the players, and within three minutes the home side were down to ten men after referee Iturralde González sent off Ayala for elbowing Depor striker Makaay in the face.

Cañizares prevented his side from falling further behind with first class saves from Makaay and Víctor in the first half, but otherwise Valencia held their own and could have taken the lead themselves if Salva had done better when alone in front of Molina.

The visitors slowed the pace down though in the second half, and after Cañizares saved again from Makaay and Molina punched a long shot from Vicente over the bar, there were few other scoring chances.

Tempers flared again when Aimar headed the ball out of Molina's hands, and Iturralde did well to calm the players down without having to take further action. Then just when it looked as if the game was going to be scoreless, Scaloni slipped the ball through for Víctor to beat the offside trap and chip Cañizares. It was the final nail in the coffin, and gave Deportivo the trophy for the third time in their history.

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