Barcelona join Real Madrid in the final after a long duel against Betis

FC Barcelona qualified for the Spanish Super Cup final, after beating Betis Sevilla on penalties…

FC Barcelona qualified for the Spanish Super Cup final, after beating Betis Sevilla on penalties (2-2, 2-4 tab.) at the King-Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.

After Real Madrid’s victory on Wednesday evening against Valencia, FC Barcelona pocketed the last qualifying ticket for the Spanish Super Cup final by beating Betis Sevilla (2-2, 2-4 tab.) this Thursday, at the stadium King Fahd International in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The first period was full of twists and turns. For most of the start, Barça dominated their opponents by installing high pressure which prevented the Andalusians from reviving and building. Xavi’s players thought they opened the scoring in the wake of Pedri who perfectly resumed stealing a brushed cross on the right of Raphinha but the latter was finally flagged offside (24th) by the VAR.

If Betis struggled to create real opportunities, the Barcelona defense often made mistakes, like its two bad passes from Sergi Roberto (21st) then Jules Koundé (22nd). The Sevillians were also disgusted on several occasions by a great Marc-André ter Stegen, author of three parades over the period (32nd, 44th, 45th). On a service from Pedri, Ousmane Dembélé made fun of Aitor Ruibal on the left side by eliminating him with a quick dribble before serving Robert Lewandowski who scored in two stages (40th, 0-1).

In the second half, both teams took time to relaunch their offensive machine. Fouls and tactical changes brought the pace of the game down. There were far fewer clear cut opportunities on both sides. On a superb collective action, Rodri served Luiz Henrique at the entrance to the surface who feinted then shifted Nabil Fekir. The French then placed a perfect strike to equalize (77th). Barça thought it would regain the upper hand thanks to Robert Lewandowski (81st) but Ferran Torres was finally flagged offside at the start of the action: second goal disallowed for the Catalans and heading for extra time.

From the start of extra time, Ansu Fati scored a classy goal. The young Barcelona striker volleyed, in first intention, a ball badly cleared from the head by the Betis defense after a free kick centered by Barcelona on the right side, close to the corner post (93rd). And again on a formidable collective game, Loren Moron equalized with a madjer after a one-two played concluded by a powerful deflected strike from Luiz Henrique (101st). Mexican Andrés Guardado was sent off for two yellow cards, guilty of two close fouls shortly after entering (118th). Juanmi and William Carvalho stumbled on Ter Stegen during the penalty shootout, while all the Catalans made their attempt.

The Blaugranas will therefore face their historical rivals Real Madrid on Sunday evening for a Clasico which promises to be spectacular in the final of the competition, organized in Saudi Arabia.

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