Sunday, February 5, 2023

Barcelona will face Madrid in the Super Cup final

RIYADH ( Associated Press) — Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved two penalties and Pedri converted the decider as Barcelona won a 4-2 shootout win over Betis on Thursday to book a ticket to the Spanish Super Cup final against arch-rivals Real Madrid. .

The Merengue team had also beaten Valencia on penalties in the second semi-final the day before. Thibaut Courtois made a decisive save.

Now Ter Stegen makes the difference for us. I am very happy with this and today it is icing on the cake. He saved two fantastic penalties”, highlighted Barca coach Xavi.

The deciding match will take place on Sunday at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh.

Barcelona converted all four of their shootout penalties. Ter Stegen saved shots from Juanmi and Willian Carvalho to seal the victory for the Catalan club.

“The match against Betis was extremely difficult, especially the second half,” Ter Stegen admitted. He said, ‘They had a lot of possession and it was very difficult for us. I’m very happy with the win, it’s about getting to the final and we are there.”

Regular time ended in a 1–1 draw. Robert Lewandowski scored for Barcelona in the first half and Nabil Fekir equalized at the end.

Extra time ended 2–2, after a goal from Ansu Fati for Barca and a goal from Loren Moron for Betik.

In the 11-leg series, Fati, Lewandowski and Frank Casey impressed for Barca. Morón and Willian converted for Jose Betis.

It will be the first time that Barcelona and Madrid, Spanish football’s biggest powers, have met in a Super Cup final since the competition was changed and moved to Saudi Arabia in 2020.

“A very good game”, anticipated Ter Stegen. “Everyone here wants to see that game and we are happy to play and win.”

Madrid would like to match Barcelona’s tally of 13 Super Cups for the most in history. The Blaugrana team will try to get their first trophy in this series since 2018.

Betis, led by Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, were seeking to reach their first Super Cup final since 2005, when they lost to Barcelona.

“We were better in the second half and in the final moments. He scored a great goal, but the fact of being twice at a loss makes us value the match more”, commented Pellegrini. ‘We had the balance a bit more loaded and should have won one. It was tied. , which seems fair to me, and in the end it was decided by penalty.

The Super Cup was played only between the La Liga champion and the Copa del Rey winner. The runners-up of each of these competitions are added to the new edition, and the tournament has moved to Saudi Arabia through a lucrative agreement with the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

Madrid won their first Clásico of the season in October after beating Barcelona 3–1 at the Santiago Bernabéu.

In Thursday’s semi-final, Lewandowski scored his first goal since the World Cup in the 40th minute following on from Ousmane Dembele’s pass. He scored in December in the game that saw Poland lose 3–1 to France and exit the World Cup at the Round of 16.

However, he had not netted for Barcelona since October in a 1–0 win over Valencia in La Liga.

Betis equalized on 77 when Fekir beat Ter Stegen with a low shot.

Fati scored at the start of extra time with a volley from inside the area. Morrone re-established parity about 10 minutes later, with a heel shot from the mouth of the goal.

Betis played out the final minutes of extra time with 10 men. Mexican Andrés Guardado picked up a second yellow card and a red card for a hard foul.

Nation World News Desk
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