Eighteen years after losing out to Betis in their maiden final, Osasuna’s dream day got off to a nightmare start, as Los Blancos’ vast big-game experience told inside just two minutes, with Vinicius Junior easily ghosting past Jon Moncayola and Ruben Pena before teeing up Rodrygo, whose finish deflected off Juan Cruz and past Sergio Herrera.
Even so, Los Rojillos refused to fade away, and got some dangerous crosses into the box, although Thibaut Courtois comfortably denied headers from Aridane Hernández, Ante Budimir and Ez Abde.
As widely expected by all in attendance at a nearly 60,000-strong Estadio de La Cartuja, Vinícius clearly wasn’t satisfied with just an assist.
And the Brazilian’s efforts almost paid dividends once more when he again found Rodrygo, who stopped the ball for Karim Benzema, but Herrera got down brilliantly to maintain Osasuna’s hopes of bringing major silverware to El Sadar for the first time in the club’s 102-year existence.
Even with Jagoba Arrasate’s side battling for every ball, Real came close to a second on several occasions either side of the interval, with an audacious David Alaba free-kick crashing against the crossbar and Vinícius’ effort curling agonisingly wide.
But after a surprisingly dominant start to the second half from Osasuna, it was suddenly all-square near the hour mark, when Lucas Torro hit an absolute beauty of a strike to score an unforgettable first goal of the season.
Osasuna continued to fearlessly push against their imperious opposition, but suffered heartbreak in the 70th minute when García failed to convincingly clear his lines, and Toni Kroos’ shot was deflected into Rodrygo’s path for the Brazilian to ruthlessly finish again.
To their credit, Osasuna fought on valiantly, though Real still carved out the better chances as the end neared, with Alaba coming close via an audacious effort that landed on top of the net and Antonio Rüdiger heading over.
An Osasuna side this determined would always get one more opportunity to equalise, but a sensational block from Dani Carvajal denied Kike Barja when it arrived, as Real earned a first CDR trophy since 2014, adding to the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup they have already collected this term.
While Real’s attention now turns to defending their European crown in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, Los Rojillos remain without a major trophy – though there will be plenty of lessons learned against a true master of cup football.