Real Madrid earned their first piece of silverware for 18 months on Sunday night, as they beat Athletic Club 2-0 in the Supercopa final.
Their 12th Supercopa title was secured by goals from Luka Modric and Karim Benzema either side of half time, and never really looked in doubt as they showcased their superior attacking threat all evening.
In what was a fairly open yet tentative beginning to proceedings, it was Carlo Ancelotti's side that carved out the better opportunities. Benzema and the Brazilian trio of Rodrygo, Eder Militao and Casemiro all provided moments of excitement for Real Madrid, before their first-half ascendancy eventually paid dividends after 38 minutes.
The deadlock-breaking opportunity was created by the direct running of Rodrygo, who'd been a thorn in Bilbao's side throughout the opening period. Collecting Modric's pass and surging down the right flank, the young winger had the presence of mind to cut back to the Croatian maestro, who clinically swept the ball into Unai Simon's top corner.
Real's control of the match did not cease after the interval, as Ancelotti's side were awarded a penalty within five minutes of the restart. The referee pretty harshly overturned his original decision to give nothing, following a review of Yeray Alvarez's handball from Benzema's goal-bound shot.
The decision was contentious but once Benzema stepped up to take the spot kick, the outcome was anything but. The Frenchman emphatically struck the ball into Simon's side-netting, doubling his side's lead.
Marcelino's men subsequently loosened their shackles and pressed hard in search of a route back into the game. Enjoying a period of domination towards the latter stages, Bilbao were awarded a penalty of their own in the 85th minute when Militao unintentionally blocked Raul Garcia's headed effort on the line with his hand.
Following the Brazilian centre-back's dismissal, Garcia stepped up to take it but was denied by a sensational stop from Thibaut Courtois, who prevented what would have been a nervy ending to the match and secured the 2-0 win.
Putting a triumphant end to the competition taking place in Saudi Arabia, Ancelotti's side will now return to Spain to face Elche in the Copa del Rey,
Real Madrid player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Thibaut Courtois (GK) - 8/10 - Characteristically commanding in his box and produced a brilliant penalty save to keep a clean sheet.
Lucas Vazquez (RB) - 6/10 - Got upfield to good effect at times, linking nicely with teammates, although couldn't produce anything meaningful.
Eder Militao (CB) - 5/10 - Was largely excellent throughout, but was mightily unlucky to handle the ball on his own goal-line and subsequently see red. Would have had a much higher rating without that sour ending to his game.
David Alaba (CB) - 7/10 - Was sat on his behind by a stunning bit of skill from Inaki Williams in the opening seconds but was very solid thereafter, making a few crucial interventions to cover his colleagues.
Ferland Mendy (LB) - 6/10 - Pretty secure on the back foot but, as in the semi-final, was underwhelming going forward.
Casemiro (DM) - 7/10 - Plugged gaps and cleaned up well in front of the back four, while also helping to keep things ticking over in possession.
Luka Modric (CM) - 9/10 - Just oozes class. Popped up all over the field and seemed to freeze time as he produced moments of effortless quality both defensively and offensively - most notably his stunning finish to break the deadlock (among many others).
Toni Kroos (CM) - 7/10 - Sprayed passes around typically smoothly and was a picture of composure throughout.
Rodrygo (RW) - 8/10 - Grew into the game as time progressed and carried a constant threat to the opposition. Did well to lay the ball on a plate for his side's opener before strangely being brought off around the hour-mark.
Karim Benzema (ST) - 8/10 - Drifted around menacingly and built play with typical fluidity. Not too much service in the area but deserved his goal.
Vinicius Jr (LW) - 5/10 - Nowhere near his electric best, bizarrely looking very much off the pace when it came to clutch moments.
Federico Valverde (RW) - 6/10 - Injected the physicality and tenacity that allowed Los Blancos to see the result to safety.
Marcelo (LB) - N/A
Nacho Fernandez (CB) - N/A