Barcelona beat Pellegrini’s Betis and qualify for the Spanish Super Cup final: they will compete against Real Madrid

The Spanish Super Cup is dominated by goalkeepers. Belgian Thibaut Courtois supported Real Madrid against Valencia and German Marc-Andre Ter Stegen responded with another great performance, saving two penalties in the shoot-out against Betis (2-4) after a two-goal draw to give to Saudi Arabia its first classic in a final .

Xavi Hérnández said in advance that the key to the game would be who had the most ball and these indications were noticed in the first half hour of the game, in which Barcelona dominated the ball and stole easily against a time-consuming Betis to engage on the field of King Fahd Stadium.

Of course, he warned of the problems that the Barça team would later have in defense, which did not realize that they had reached the Spanish Super Cup being the team with the fewest goals scored in the internal competition, with 6 goals conceded, of the big five championships.

A weak pass past France’s Jules Kounde came close to being exploited by compatriot Nabil Fekir, but Uruguayan Ronald Araujo was quick to snatch the ball from behind when Fekir had already passed Germany’s Marc-André Ter Stegen.

Barça reacted quickly, a minute later, and took the lead on the scoreboard in the 23rd minute, but the goal didn’t end up reflected on the light. The Spanish Pedri’s goal was disallowed for a millimeter offside by the Brazilian Raphinha, author of the pass, indicated after the intervention of the semi-automatic offside technology, released in a Spanish competition in this Super Cup.

Xavi’s people celebrated and their concentration seemed to stay there. The Argentinian German Pezzella, with a header at the near post after a corner – a strategic move looked for in every corner kick by Pellegrini’s men as an opening to create danger – and a low cross at the far post, in which only the Spaniard Sergi Roberto managed to snatch the goal from his compatriot Rodri Sánchez, who beat him easily during the match, they showed Betis were alive in the semi-finals, until Lewandowski appeared in the 40th minute.

The Pole, sanctioned in Liga Santander with three games, returned, after completing the first, with desire, albeit inaccurate. Even for his goal he needed two shots and thus culminated a gallop by the French Ousmane Dembélé provoked by a magnificent maneuver of deception when Pedri released the ball, which, with a movement of the body and raising his head, overturned all the pressure in the Betis ball going to the opposite side where he would put the ball to Dembélé.

Pellegrini’s men wanted to demonstrate once again that they know how to react to blows, but, like the Belgian Thibaut Courtois did on Wednesday, Ter Stegen seemed to thwart, in the 45th minute, a Rodri shot at the near post and another hard one from the Brazilian Luiz Henrique.

Barça lives on the razor’s edge, unable to control the game as in the first half hour. For this Xavi turned to Busquets, a surprise substitute in which, coming off in the 63rd minute, he added his 700th official match with the Barça shirt.

A break in which the coach was booed, in contrast to the affection he has received since his arrival in Saudi Arabia, where he played and directed matches with the Qatari Al Sadd, removing Dembélé from the field, the most active until then and the most loved by local fans.

Without him on the pitch, the spark in Barça’s attack went out and in the face of uncertainty, in an open game but without great opportunities, the magic changed sides and Fekir took the lead, supported by an electric Luiz Henrique in front and strong-willed behind .

A cut from the second inside the area, which carries three defenders away, leads to an equalizer in the 77th minute from Fekir, who shoots hard and hard at the near post inside the area. This time Ter Stegen did not appear, but in favor of Betis it took four minutes for history to repeat itself.

Another Barcelona goal disallowed, this time against Lewandowski due to an earlier offside by Ferran Torres. Soon after, the Verdiblancos had another chance to score from Juan Miranda’s boots, after another quality play from Fekir, but, like 24 hours ago, the Rey Fahd stadium saw an extension.

Ansu Fati could not avoid it in the second minute of extra time, as his shot from outside after a run into space was stopped by Claudio Bravo, but already in extra time he made himself visible, in a special match for him, as he was against Betis on November 7, 2020 when his injury ordeal began, which despite these physical problems has not lost its star.

He scored in the 93rd minute with a left-footed volley, a cross at the far post, which seemed to decide extra time in favor of Barça, but Betis once again did not give up, like Loren himself, who was the only one who he equalized the goal again.

The attacker hadn’t played since last August 20, without being on Pellegrini’s list for the Europa League, in the 13th minute of the championship… and he invented a back-heel, with his back into the small area, for the 2 -2 and continues to repeat the Real Madrid-Valencia script, even the other semifinal decided on penalties.

And, again, with a great protagonist goalkeeper. This Thursday it was the turn of a Ter Stegen who saved two penalties, Juanmi and William Carvalho, to make, together with Pedri’s final conversion, that Saudi Arabia have their long-awaited classic in the Spanish Super Cup final.

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