A Real Madrid more lethal prevailed in the extra time by 2-3 thanks to the goals of Vinícius Júnior, Karim Benzema and ‘Fede’ Valverde to a Barcelona which confirmed his growth in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup, in which the goals of Luuk de Jong and Ansu Fati at the King Fadh International Stadium in Riyadh were of no use to him.
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The white forcefulness in the offensive facet was too much for a Barça that did not exist until half an hour of play to later complete the remaining 90 minutes that confirmed in a first level challenge that the arrival of Xavi Hernández to the bench has changed his face.
Real Madrid took control of the danger as soon as the game began with fluid transitions that had Marco Asensio and Vinícius Júnior as finalists.
Barça, on the other hand, did not manage to disturb Thibaut Courtois until the 18th minute, when Dani Alves encountered a white wall when shooting from the front. Real Madrid’s reply was lethal.
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Another quick counterattack, this one led by Karim Benzema, connected with the feet of Vinícius Junior, who won the race against Ronald Araujo before defining bypass against Ter Stegen.
It was the 24th minute and the events of the match were cheering the crowd at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, mostly Madridistas. The chants in favor of the white team were a keynote and in the equator of the first half the fans dared with the first wave that went around the stadium.
But, despite the clear white dominance on the pitch and in the stands, Barcelona overcame the blow and already had two chances to draw around half an hour through headshots by a reborn Luuk de Jong that ended in the hands of Thibaut Courtois.
It was an omen. When he died in the first half, the Dutchman scored for the third consecutive game thanks to his instinct to set foot before a rebound from Eder Militao inside the area, thus achieving a draw that at that time did not reflect the merits made by the two teams. .
Great game, back and forth
Hours before the match, there was a lot of optimism in the Barcelona expedition, although some authorized voices from the top admitted that perhaps the game had arrived two weeks earlier than appropriate because many players were just returning from important injuries.
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One of them was Ferran Torres, with whom Xavi Hernández tried to strike a mental blow at the beginning by daring to start with him even though he had not played a game since October 10. But the experiment did not go well for him and the coach replaced the Valencian with Ez Abde at half-time, at which point Pedro González ‘Pedri’ reappeared to replace a limping Frenkie de Jong. Carlo Ancelotti, for his part, encountered a last-minute setback with the muscular injury of David Alaba, a scorer in the Camp Nou league classic, who did not even make the call.
His place was taken by Nacho in a defense that also had the return of Dani Carvajal on the right side. Precisely, Pedri had the opportunity to turn the scoreboard with a shot from the edge that touched the right post of Courtois’ goal in the first interesting play of the second half.
Barça had become a very different one from the first half, unleashing Madrid, and shortly after Dembélé did not sing the goal for a sigh. The good news for the Catalans continued with the reappearance of Ansu Fati, who had not played since he was injured on November 6, to play the last 25 minutes of regulation time, in which he would again be decisive.
But first a superlative Benzema appeared. In 69, he hit a shot on the post and, in 72, he was attentive inside the area to make it 1-2 after a rebound by Ter Stegen to Carvajal’s center. And again Barcelona grew after a goal against.
Ansu Fati, who has a gift in front of the goal that not even serious injuries have usurped him, returned equality with a header from Jordi Alba with seven minutes to go, enough time for Dembélé to have a hand in hand with Courtois , who became great against the French and sent the semifinal to extra time.
Barça appeared in overtime, growing 2-2, feeling that for the first time in a long time they were not inferior to a first-rate rival. But that was not enough to prevent Real Madrid from getting back ahead on the scoreboard with another transition that ended ‘Fede’ Valverde in the 98th minute with the calm of a veteran.
Xavi Hernández’s men continued not to give up and had a triple chance to beat Courtois at minute 100. Sergio Busquets, Dembélé and Pedri remained at the gates of the long-awaited draw.
Also Ansu Fati with an agonizing Chilean attempt. Rodrygo was not right for him either
Real Madrid, although he did not need to seal his classification to the final.
2 – Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Dani Alves (Nico González, min. 78), Araujo, Piqué, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Gavi (Memphis, min. 78), Frenkie de Jong (Pedri, min. 46); Ferran Torres (Ez Abde, min. 46; Jutglà, min. 110), Dembélé and Luuk de Jong (Ansu Fati, min. 66).
3 Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal (Lucas Vázquez, min. 91), Militao, Nacho, Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric (Valverde, min. 82); Asensio (Rodrygo, min. 68), Vinícius (Camavinga, min. 110) and Benzema.
Goals: 0-1: Vinícius Junior, min.24; 1-1: Luuk de Jong, min.42; 1-2: Karim Benzema, min.72. 2-2: Ansu Fati, min.83. 2-3: ‘Fede’ Valverde, min.98.
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