Barcelona’s impressive display was not enough to take them through the Spanish Super Cup semi-final as an extra time goal saw Real Madrid edged past the Catalan giant at King Fahd International Stadium, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday night.
The first half saw both teams at loggerheads for the first 20 minutes. The tide, however, changed in the 25th minute when Karim Benzema cut Barcelona’s defense wide open with a through ball which met Vinicius Junior who neatly put the ball beyond the reach of Barcelona’s goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
Following the opener, Real Madrid seemed to have derived power as they pressed high at Barcelona’s end. Xavi Hernandez’ men had to soak in the pressure while launching counter attacks intermittently. The Blaugrana came close to an equalizer in the 30th minute after Luuk De Jong’s header went on target, but a quick interception by Madrid’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois denied the striker.
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The equalizer for Barcelona later came towards the end of the first half following a poor clearance from Madrid’s Eder Militao. The ball landed on the waiting feet of Luuk De Jong who lashed it back into the net.
As the second half commenced, the drama continued. Madrid kept the pressure high and were close to nailing Barcelona. But Karim Benzema’s 69th minute effort was denied by the goalpost. The Frenchman, however, found another chance three minutes after. He made no mistake this time as he put Madrid into lead following a weak clearance from Barcelona defenders.
It seemed over for Barcelona as the game progressed into the last ten minutes. Their hope, however, reignited after a Jordi Alba’s corner kick met super sub Ansu Fati who headed the ball past Thibaut Courtois. The youngster’s saw the match extended into another 30 minutes extra time.
Both teams were in desperate search for a winning goal as the extra time commenced. However, it was Real Madrid who broke the tie following Fredrico Valverde’s perfect finish in the 98th minute. The midfielder who replaced Luka Modric had capitalized on Rodrygo’s cross, which was enough to push Real Madrid into the final.