FC Barcelona, who remained in eight games unbeaten, moved to Real Sociedad for the semi-final of the Supercopa de Espana. A Barca who had to do without Lionel Messi, uncertain before the meeting due to muscle pain and who had preferred not to take any risk to keep a chance to play a hypothetical final. Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé and Martin Braithwaite made up the Blaugrana’s attack line. For his part, Imanol Alguacil set up his traditional 4-3-3 led by the offensive trio Oyarzabal-Portu-Isak. The Spanish coach was hoping to regain his football at a time when his side have won just one of their last 11 games.
At home, Robin Le Normand’s teammates got off to a good start. With a consistent pressing led by Merino, they managed to hinder the raises of Busquets in particular. In the first quarter of an hour, the chances were on the side of Real Sociedad. Portu did not go far from worrying Ter Stegen after a loss of ball from Griezmann (10th) just like Le Normand on a corner a few minutes later (12th). Isak very in leg on the front of the attack also could not beat the German goalkeeper face-to-face (16th). It was not until half an hour of play to see the Barcelona finally show themselves. The few differences were made by Ousmane Dembélé, very active, who tried a lot, but who also had a lot of waste in his game. In the 35th minute of play, the French had already lost 14 balls. But ultimately, it was another World Champion who was decisive. After a good movement, Griezmann served perfectly Frenkie De Jong, who placed a nice header (0-1, 38 ‘).
Dembélé tried a lot
Not dejected after the opener, Real Sociedad returned in the second half with the desire to quickly get back into the game. And the hand of De Jong who offered a penalty and therefore a goal for Oyarzabal helped (1-1, 47th). The Dutchman did not go far, in stride, to catch up after a sublime fake strike that opened Remiro’s goal for him. But the former Ajax was narrowly caught by the excellent return of Gorosabel. One of the duels of the match undoubtedly took place on the left lane. Nacho Monreal always contained Dembélé’s offensives, even trying to take the best attack on Mingueza. The former Dortmund striker still touched a lot of the ball trying to provoke his opponent in the evening (14 dribbles attempted, four times more than the second best dribbler of the Pedri team).
But on the Barcelona side, there was hardly anything to eat. Physically marked, Ronald Koeman’s men were less precise in the passes, less sharp. The two teams gradually declined in intensity and failed to gain the upper hand. Extra time was needed to decide between them. If the new entrant Zaldua already saw himself giving the advantage to his own (93rd) with an overpowering strike, Ter Stegen did not hear it that way. Another entrant, Januzaj, also created a few chances by overtaking Lenglet several times. But also and above all by depositing a marvelous free kick pushed back by the German keeper on the post (117th). The match inevitably ended on penalties. But Ter Stegen, still him, always him, was impassive this Wednesday. He repelled two of the three attempts of the Basque players (the third ended on the post.) And allowed Riqui Puig to offer victory to the Blaugranas (3-2). Griezmann could have given the victory to his team in this session, but his penalty did not find the frame. No consequence for him since Barca file in the final of the Supercopa de Espana and will know his opponent this Thursday after the other half between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.
*The article has been translated based on the content of Foot Mercato : Info Transferts Football – Actu Foot Transfert by www.footmercato.net. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!