Federico Valverde makes the most cynical tackle of all time... then wins Man of the Match award

Federico Valverde

There were around five and a half minutes left on the clock when Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata raced through on goal. The deadlock had yet to be broken after 115 minutes of action in the final of the Spanish Super Cup, but here was a golden opportunity for Atletico to land a killer blow against rivals Real Madrid.

A poor piece of control from Dani Carvajal in the middle of the pitch set up a three-versus-two in Atletico's favour. Saul Niguez immediately played a first-time ball to Morata, whose excellent first touch sent him clear of both Carvajal and Valverde, the two Madrid men furthest back.

Morata's next touch was also good, keeping the ball under control while also tempting Thibaut Courtois out of his goal. The former Chelsea striker then looked up to pick his spot... before crashing down to earth with a thud.

Valverde, unable to reach the ball having tried to catch up with the Atletico frontman, had decided that desperate times call for desperate measures. The midfielder lunged in from behind to bring down Morata, getting absolutely nowhere near the ball and not even bothering to protest his innocence.

Valverde was duly shown a red card, but that didn't feel like sufficient punisment for those of an Atleti persuasion. Diego Simeone's side failed to score from the free-kick and had little time to make the most of their numerical advantage, with extra time coming to an end soon after.

And so to penalties, which were inevitably won by Madrid: Saul and Thomas Partey both failed to convert for Los Colchoneros, and Zinedine Zidane's men ran out 4-1 winners on spot-kicks.

Salt was applied to Atletico's wounds shortly after their defeat was confirmed, with Valverde handed the Man of the Match award. 

"I apologise to Alvaro Morata," he said. "I know it's not good what I did, but I didn't have any other option." 

Foul is at 1:43

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