Real Madrid advanced to the Spanish Super Cup final beating Barcelona 3-2 in the El Clasico. Goals from Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema, and Fede Valverde saw Los Blancos win the game in Riyadh. Luuk de Jong, and Ansu Fati scored for Barcelona, the latter coming back from injury after 2 months. He, and Pedri played their first game under Xavi. Ferran Torres also started the game for Barcelona. It was a moral victory for Barcelona in the Clasico. The fans can be rest assured that the club is coming back to its roots.
FC Barcelona started out with Dembele, Luuk de Jong, and Ferran Torres upfront. Gavi, Frenkie de Jong, and Sergio started in the middle of the park. Dani Alves and Alba were on the wings with Pique and Araujo in central defence. Pedri, Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres, and Memphis Depay, all played for Barcelona. In addition, Gavi, Nico, Abde, and Ferran Jutglà also played for the Catalans.
Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior have scored more goals between them, than the whole Barcelona team. The Catalans played a very high line, dominating possession of the ball. Real Madrid sat back, and countered Barca on multiple occasions. One of the counter attacks worked as Vinicius Junior opened the scoring. The player ran towards the defence and finished it from his right foot.
Real Madrid continued to attack Barcelona on the counter. But Barcelona started to show some character. The team tried to find Luuk de Jong in the box to head the ball into the net. There were two chances but Courtis came out on top. The Catalans eventually equalised with Luuk de Jong parrying the ball into the net, hitting the post on the way.
Second half brought in a better Barcelona performance, showing more class and creating more chances. But the high line that they were playing was getting exposed every time Real Madrid got the ball. Benzema and Vinicius kept being a threat on the left side of the. Ansu Fati, and Nico Gonzales came on for Barcelona. Ansu Fati was not much involved in the game. But the number 10 headed the ball into the net from a corner.
The game went into extra time, and Ferran Jutglà came on. Rodrigo and Eduardo Camavinga came on for Real Madrid. Fede Valverde came on as well. The Uruguayan scored the winner in the first half of extra time. Barcelona created many chances, but could not score. Araujo underwent surgery 4 days ago. Frenkie de Jong is back from injury. Pedri has not played for 4 months. Ferran has not played for 4 months. Ansu has not played for two months.
What Did The Managers Say
Barcelona Manager Xavi: “This Barça can compete with any team now. I think we were better than Madrid. I am sad and angry. We have to be more responsible with the ball, especially in attack. We controlled the game. In the first minutes, we were bad but then we improved. We took a lot of risks but that’s the way this competition works.”
“We leave from here with our heads high. Ferran, Ansu and Pedri are very important for us but they lack rhythm. There was no difference between us and Madrid. We have to believe in ourselves. When we see where we came from and where we are currently, we can be happy. The match was within our reach. We deserved to win. I am proud of the team.”
“Luuk is a part of the team. He performs well and if he continues like this, he will have minutes. We already know what Ansu Fati can do, he can make a difference. We deserved to reach the finals. We played against the most brilliant team in Spain, who played their cards well by relying on rebounds.”
Real Madrid Manager Carlo Ancelotti: “With Fede in midfield, we have a very quick access to the opponent’s half. He scored a fantastic goal. Counter-attack is our best weapon thanks to our midfielders and the players who play forward. I told Pique they should have stopped the game when Vinicius was down, but he said they NEVER do it. Good to know (laughs).”
“We will recover Alaba for the final. Xavi thinks Barcelona dominated the game? No. It was equal and we deserved the win. It was a funny game and we enjoyed it. We always knew it would be difficult. We’re angry and upset. We controlled a Real Madrid team that sat behind in their own box.”
“Dani Carvajal is a very very important player for this squad, in all his aspects.Luka Modrić is immense. He has amazing qualities, the rivals can’t press him. It’s true we lose something when Luka is not on the pitch but Valverde scored our goal so it went well for us. Counter-attack is our best weapon thanks to our midfielders and the players who play in the attack.”
A Word From The Players
Pedri: “I am physically fit now. I suffered a little bit from Covid but I’m fine now. It is a tough loss because we played an excellent match. The fans should be proud of us after today’s match. We are Barça and we want to win everything. We will learn from today’s loss and come back stronger. We showed that we can compete.”
Ronald Araujo: “It is a tough result but we are proud of the work we did today. We are happy with the game we played. I think we are ready now to compete with any team.”
Pique: “It was a fun match for the fans. We competed very well but did not qualify. Not the result we aspire to, but we competed. Very proud of the team. By playing this way we can compete again to win titles. It hurts to lose against Madrid, but we played very well and threatened them with a lot of chances. The only negative today is not winning. They beat us with rebounds.”
Karim Benzema “We deserved the win. The games against Barcelona are always interesting and difficult. Real Madrid is the greatest club in the world. If this was the best El Clásico? I can’t say it but there has been a lot of anxiety and tension because we played 120′. The game was very tough.”
Casemiro: “Our plan in the 2nd half was to give them the ball and hurt them with the counter-attack. Physically I’m fine, all the players are feeling great. I’m in my best moment. We won because we played as a team. We defended, we attacked all together. All the players have been amazing. First of all, congratulations to Fede for his goal.”
Valverde: “I left with having entered and they just scored, they are things to correct, there was little left for the end, I think we could have won it there. We did well, happy for the team, for the victory and for the goal. They are still Barcelona, they are a great team, with great players. They keep showing that they want to win. They have created occasions. It was strong, the trip, it takes many hours. But we are professional players and I congratulate the team for their dedication. As a team, coaching staff and ourselves, we are going to correct mistakes. I think Vini left it to Karim, but I arrived and the good thing is that I put it in.”