(Jordi Blanco) – Between Ter Stegen and Riqui Puig, Barcelona qualified for the final of the Spanish Super Cup after a heart attack night decided in the penalty shootout 2-3 and after finishing the 120 minutes with a draw.
An intense game, with mistakes and successes, without Messi but with nerves and that could fall from either side … Sentencing in an epic way in a penalty shoot-out that Barça had not played since the 1998 Cup final, when they won the title against Mallorca also in the final round by 5-4.
Ter Stegen saved Bautista’s first shot but De Jong then smashed his on the post; the German goal repeated deflecting Oyarzabal’s launch and Barça advanced with Dembélé’s goal that fooled Remiro. On the third pitch, William José collided with the post and Pjanic made it 2-0, escaping even though Merino gave life to Real marking the fourth … And throwing Griezmann into the clouds. Januzaj tied in the last Basque pitch to give the final responsibility to Riqui Puig, who did not fail to pass Barça to the final after a night to remember.
Burdened by the high pressure from Real Sociedad, which prevented the ball being calmly taken from behind, Koeman’s team had a hard time coming into play and suffered a first quarter of an hour from heart attack. Portu crossed too much a shot at eleven minutes and shortly after Ter Stegen took a shot from point-blank from Isak in an electric counter by the Basques, who did not take a secondary role in the game at all.
Little by little, however, Barça took the rhythm of the game, led by De Jong, stretched by Pedri and Dembélé’s career, taking among them the role of the absent Messi to make Barça the protagonist, although it was not until the 25 minutes, through Braithwaite, who finished between sticks.
The dominance, however, gave him a prize near the break, with a center from Griezmann topped off with his head, in an acrobatic position, by De Jong who relieved the nerves and led to the dressing rooms with Barça in advantage and the suspicion that once broken the tie could face the second half with greater calm.
But nothing was as expected. It barely took five minutes for Real Sociedad to draw, thanks to the penalty committed by De Jong (he deflected a center with his hand) that Oyarzabal converted and from then on the game was a kind of anarchy, back and forth with Real and Barça without be able to impose your scheme.
The Barça team dominated more but Real knew how to defend itself with order and patience, looking for quick cons that gave Araújo the opportunity to shine, intense in the cut and fast in the race, to avoid scares to Ter Stegen and leading the game to an extension. Barça’s first since the 2016 Cup final (when they defeated Sevilla 2-0), in which it was understood that the pace would increase with refreshment players.
William José and Zaldua refreshed the Basques while with Pjanic and Riqui Koeman wanted to give more prominence to midfield (Trincao had already entered through Braithwaite) … And it was Zaldua the first to warn, with a howitzer that Ter Stegen saved in an electric start.
The fatigue began to be noticed in the involuntary mistakes of the players and in that scenario the Real seemed to feel more comfortable, although Dembélé had the goal in his boots, with a cut and shot that Remiro saved to give way to a final quarter of an hour heart attack.
Remiro took a shot from Griezmann and the counter was close to immediately sentencing the Basque team, which was crossed over and over again by the imperial Araújo, ultimately making it to Januzaj Ter Stegen before the stick did. to a direct free kick taken by the Belgian player himself …
And so the penalty shoot-out was reached, just as in the women’s semifinal that the Barça team had played hours before, and lost with 3 errors, against Atlético de Madrid. Koeman’s team, however, was more successful and achieved an epic and worked victory as he could not imagine.