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Real Madrid continue to prove that they are the comeback kings of the football world when they fell 2-3 down against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night at the Spanish Super Cup semi-final before eventually winning 5-3.

Los Blancos needed extra time to beat Atletico Madrid at the King Saud University Stadium, also known as Al-Awwal Park in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Atletico's Mario Hermoso scored an early goal in the sixth minute before Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger scored a header to draw level at the 20-minute mark. Dani Carvajal found Ferland Mendy, who flicked in Real Madrid's second goal just before the half-hour mark.

However, Antoine Griezmann had an answer and scored a club record 174th goal for Atletico to bring the scoreline back to a 2-2 stalemate.

Rudiger then made a mistake and put Los Colchoneros ahead 2-3 with an own goal in the second half. Atletico had to hold on for just twelve minutes to seal the victory, but Carvajal managed to force extra time with an equaliser in the 85th minute.

Then, Stefan Savic botched a clearance to score an own goal, giving Real Madrid the 4-3 lead. Brahim Diaz sealed the deal with a long-range strike to an open goal after Atletico keeper Jan Oblak went forward in injury time to try to help his team attack. His move backfired after his goal was left unattended and a fast-charging Brahim managed to shoot on target from 40 yards away. Real Madrid won 5-3, and have booked a place for Sunday's final.

Carlo Ancelotti is pleased with his team's performance

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti hosted his usual post-match press conference after the semi-final victory against Atletico Madrid and was visibly pleased with the outcome, no matter how dramatic. He admitted that their city rivals had more energy in the first half, allowing them to gain the lead.

However, a "remontada" could never be ruled out when playing against a club like Real Madrid, and this is something that Atletico have seen time and time again.

Speaking about the closing stages of the game, Ancelotti said: "Atleti lacked energy. It was a spectacular game because I think we had more energy in the second half. Atleti are a very strong opponent."

He added that their strategy was to press high, and that the substitutes made a huge difference in pulling off the comeback. "I am happy with the substitutes, we took off Rodrygo, Vinicius and Valverde and we did well. Brahim, Ceballos, Joselu and Arda all brought a lot," he shared.

The Italian added that he has gained a lot of confidence thanks to what he is seeing from his bench. He emphasised once again that the level of motivation of each player is a big factor in winning matches against tough opponents. It has to be pointed out that due to an extensive injury list this season, Real Madrid has had to rotate extensively.

Players have been forced to play out of position and youngsters have been pulled from Castilla to help out the first team. "It gives a coach confidence to see everyone is motivated. You can only win this type of games in this way," he said.

The gruelling match schedule has made a toll on footballers across all of Europe's top leagues, but even more so for clubs like Real Madrid who are qualified for nearly all the local and regional competitions. However, the manager was happy by the energy output of his players despite the overwhelming number of matches that they have had to play.

Carvajal named "Man of the Match"

Real Madrid may have made it to the final, but they are not overlooking the fact that three goals were conceded against Atletico. Ancelotti admitted that improvement is needed on the club's defensive side. He pointed out that some goals should have been prevented, but conceded that Griezmann scored an absolute scorcher that was difficult to keep out.

Nevertheless, captain Dani Carvajal truly stepped up to the plate on Wednesday, not only scoring a goal but also providing two assists. A defender by trade, he was also able to make massive contributions in the attack.

Goalkeeper Kepa, meanwhile, received a vote of confidence from the manager. He said: "In the first two goals, he couldn't do anything, and in the third, Morata's jump got in the way." However, it was not immediately clear if Kepa will still be standing between the sticks for the final. Ancelotti gave a cryptic response when quizzed about his choice for the upcoming match: "For the final, let's see, it will be Kepa or Lunin."

The highly experienced manager shared that he had to keep his emotions in check during the match, and added that intense encounters like this one are not enjoyable for the coach. However, he credited the "Real Madrid DNA" for his players' ability to keep pushing in the face of defeat.

"It's pure Real Madrid DNA. It should be a good lesson for the young ones – this team never gives up. You can lose, but never give up."

Real Madrid will now focus on the final, which will be played on Sunday against either Barcelona or Osasuna, who will play the other semi-final on Thursday.