The Supercopa de Espana final is all set for a blockbuster clash with El Clasico. Defending champions Real Madrid take on record title holder Barcelona at the King Fahd Stadium, Riyadh. Xavi will be looking to win his first title as Barcelona’s coach.
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Penalty shoot out drama in Semi-finals
Both Madrid and Barca had to fight hard to reach the finals. In the first semi-final between Real Madrid and Valencia, Benzema scored first from the spot giving a first half lead for Madrid. Valencia levelled it right at the start of second half thanks to Samuel Lino. Gattuso’s men were not going down without a fight and they didn’t let Madrid walk away with the tie. The game went to penalties and at the end of first 4 spot kicks Madrid players converted all their chances and Eray Comert had missed his chance. The score was 4-3 and Jose Gaya stepped to take the decisive penalty that will keep Valencia alive but failed to convert. Ancelotti’s side made it to finals with a 4-3 win in penalty shoot-out.
Barcelona took on Real Betis in the second semi-final. Robert Lewandowski scored the opener for Barca in the first half. Fekir scored an equaliser at the 77th minute to take the game to extra time. Ansu Fati scored to give Barcelona the lead again at 93rd minute. Betis equalised for the second time in the game to draw level and took the game to penalty shoot-out. Barcelona and Betis scored their first two attempts. The next two attempts saw Barcelona score and Ter Stegan save Betis’ attempt which handed over a win for Xavi’s men. Barcelona progressed to finals with a 4-2 win in penalty shoot-out and set up a clash with their arch-rivals.
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El Clasico final preview and kick-off
The 39th edition of Supercopa de Espana is gearing up for its final at Riyadh. 12 times winner and defending champions Real Madrid will face competition’s successful team and 13 times winner Barcelona. This is the 4th edition of the revamped Super Cup in 4 team format and third event at Saudi Arabia. Key players of both the sides are available for the finals and a closely contested game is on cards. Ancelotti’s Madrid will be looking to add a second title after winning UEFA Super Cup at the beginning of the season. Balon d’or winner Benzema will lead the team in the high voltage clash. “What happened at the World Cup is in the past. The most important thing is tomorrow’s game,” Benzema said on Saturday’s press conference.
Barcelona’s last title came during the 2020/21 season when Ronald Koeman’s side won the Copa del Rey and the club would be looking to put an end to their trophy drought. Xavi has been provided with the players he had asked for and the board will be expecting Xavi to deliver some success in domestic competitions this season.
“We have to win this final,” Xavi said. “When I was a player I felt the same pressure as now because we are Barça and that never changes. I can see a strong Real Madrid side and they have a psychological advantage as they have more experience in finals. We have to show our ambition and our desire, at last, to win a trophy.”
The final is scheduled to kick-off at 10pm local time (12.30 am IST). In India, there are no official broadcast or streaming partner for the clasico.