The Saudi classic has been an ode to football. A party of madness that Real Madrid won thanks to a goal from ‘little bird’ Valderde in the first half of extra time. Vinicius and Karim Benzema scored both goals for the Whites in regulation time, while for FC Barcelona they were scored by Luuk De Jong and Ansu Fati.
“A classic is a classic.” That is the phrase that Carlos Martínez has not stopped repeating during the broadcast of this Madrid Barça and the truth is that he is not lacking in reason. What happened this Wednesday in Saudi Arabia has been a full-fledged Madrid-Barça.
This improved version of Barça with respect to the one shown throughout the season is not enough to beat Ancelotti’s men but it will surely give them a push to grow and get rid of the bad streak they are in.
If there were a phrase that adequately qualifies the first part lived in the Riad, it would be the already famous one intoned by the Formula 1 journalist Antonio Lobato: “If they blink they miss it”. Carlo Ancelotti’s team began the match by asserting its status as a favorite, leading the way with dangerous occasions in the race and setting a dizzying pace with a Luka Modric that would delight, once again, with a decalogue of good football. For its part, the Blaugrana team, true to its style, would endure the combination of white blows looking for possession and trying to stop the fleeting transitions of the ball between the three Madrid midfielders.
The whites would seek incessant counters during the first 45 minutes with long balls to Vinicius or Benzema, the latter who would do numerous times of ‘9 buoy’, rReceiving balls with his back to the goal and turning them into good passes that would release the Blaugrana pressure.
And it is that after a few frantic minutes between both teams with ‘give and take’, a failure of Sergio Busquets, who would fall asleep with the ball at his feet, would allow a long ball whose receiver, Vinicius Jr would control, would face the goal of Ter Stegen Y it would pierce the Barça net thus putting Madrid ahead on the scoreboard.
However, this first round of the Spanish Super Cup would be a great example of one of the maxims of football: “Whoever forgives ends up losing”. Barça, far from being daunted by the white goal, would follow their roadmap confident that they would reap fruit, despite the numerous occasions that Ancelotti’s men enjoyed to put in the ground with their rivals. So it was. When the players were already looking at the locker room mouth, in a rebound play, an erratic clearance by Militao would bounce off the ‘9’ of barça, Luuk De Jon, entering the arc defended by Thibaut Courtois.
The second part would start differently. Xavi’s men would come out with one more gear than the whites with two changes. The culé coach would give way to Pedri, who had come from overcoming the coronavirus, for Frenkie De Jong and Abde for Ferrán Torres. Despite the blaugrana pushes lasted 10 minutes. After these, the waters calmed down and Real Madrid, looking for ‘Vini’ managed to wake up and return to the meeting.
The game was very open although Real Madrid gave the first scare around the 65th minute thanks to a brilliant control by Modric, who would enable Karim Benzema on the right wing. This gives up on Rodrygo Goes, who had just entered, to return it to the French and after a ‘chotis’ between Benzema and Ronald Araujo in the culé area, the Gaul threw a left foot that crashed into the wood. A staggering blow to Xavi Hernández’s team would put him on the ropes.
Immediately after that direct white, the second Madrid goal would arrive. Mendy broke Dani Alves, the French defender puts her back to Benzema, who looks for the long stick and comes across a huge hand of Ter Stegen. The ball stays dead in the area, it falls to Carvajal who picks up the rejection, puts it back for Benzema who pushes it into the net as the canons dictate. Barcelona would need a goal again to have a chance of playing in the final again.
The combined culé doomed to play it would risk looking for the tables. A draw that would come when these, already desperate, besieging the white wall they put a great center that, with Militao asleep, wins the space Ansu Fati and the kid heads to the net to put the tie on the scoreboard. A great classic that was being lived.
The goal of the new ’10’ of Barça would not give tranquility to the party, but the opposite, it would encourage both teams to look for the third. A task that would not be carried out and the party would go to extra time.
The remaining 30 minutes would be a carbon copy of the regulatory 90. Both teams came out plugged despite accumulated fatigue and energetically trying to find that goal with a final flavor.
Xavi Hernández’s players would come out to bite with incisive attacks on the Real Madrid area, but that bite would play a trick on the Blaugrana, leaving large spaces between the lines that the whites would punish.
Rodrygo threw a desmaque to receive a ball into the space of Casemiro, he enters the area, puts it in the middle, vinicius lets her pass knowing that Valverde came from behind to beat Ter Stegen. This goal, five minutes from the end of the first part of extra time, would give way to the second 15 extra minutes.
A second half that was based on a Barça turned on the attack trying to force penalties that would give it an ‘extra’ life in this semifinal. Intentonas who were loaded with heart and little football so they were not very fruitful for Xavi and they ended up crowning Real Madrid as the winner of this classic.
Source: Vozpópuli by www.vozpopuli.com.
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