It was yet another disappointing match for Ernesto Valverde and Barcelona as they lost the Spanish Super Cup semi-final fixture to rivals Atletico Madrid. While Deigo Someone and his men are now looking forward to facing archrivals Real Madrid in the final of a tournament that being played in Saudi Arabia.
Barcelona, who have won the tournament for a record 13 times, fielded a very strong team for the semi-final fixture.
With stalwarts, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antonie Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong all started for the Catalans. With Ivan Rakitic and Clement Lenglet dropping out for Samuel Umtiti and Arturo Vidal.
For Diego Simeone, it was only one change, Stefan Savic, starting in place of injured Jose Gimenez. Alvaro Morata and Joao Felix started at the top for Atletico Madrid. With influential Joke starting on the bench.
It was a rather uneventful first-half with no goals from either side. Though Antonie Griezmann had a golden chance in the 40th minute when he went one on one with Jan Oblak two the Frenchman couldn’t convert it.
While the first-half never really got going, it only took 20 seconds for Atletico Madrid to open the scoring. With substitute Koke drawing the first blood.
Barcelona got level with a goal from Lionel Messi. The Argentine decided to show some of his trickery as he somehow managed to score with two Atletico defenders pressing him.
Messi thought he has scored in the 61st minute only for the goal to be disallowed by VAR. Gerard Pique too had his gaol disallowed on the 74th minute. Though Griezmann gave the La Liga champions the lead in the very next minute against his former team.
Barcelona were leading until the 80th minute as Ernesto Valverde‘s men look set for the final. Though Atletico had different ideas with Alvaro Morata and Angel Correa scoring two goals in the last 10 minutes to win the match.
Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona manager
“We coaches always work with the idea of giving it our all to each match,
“We know how soccer is and that there is a permanent instability in teams when you are not getting good results or when you lose. Now that we have lost I suppose people will talk about it, but I remain focused on my job.”
Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid manager
“I think we must live it with calmness, that we qualified for the final. It is important for the supporters, it is important for the club, it is important for the players,
“It was a very tough game against one of the best teams in the world. They are the best when it comes to possession, and to attack with it.”