Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Madrid beats Barcelona for the 100th time, reaches the cup final

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia ( Associated Press) – Federico Valverde scored in extra time to prop up Real Madrid in a 3-2 win over Barcelona on Wednesday to secure a 100th victory over their rivals and a place in the final of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Barcelona equalized twice in regular time, but Valverde did not return after a close goal in eight minutes of extra time.

Defending Super Cup champions Athletic Bilbao will take on Spanish league champions Atletico Madrid in the second semi-final on Thursday.

The Spanish Super Cup is being played again in Saudi Arabia following the coronavirus pandemic after last year’s edition was moved back to Spain. The competition was moved to Saudi Arabia – and expanded from two to four teams in a “Final Four” format – as part of a deal reportedly worth 30 million euros ($34 million) a year until 2029. ) Of.

The changes drew criticism from human rights activists and complaints from fans who liked the contest remained in Spain. Among those complaining was athletic midfielder Raul García, who said there was “no point” in playing the game away from Spain this week.

It was Madrid’s fifth consecutive victory over Barcelona and their 100th victory in 248 competitive matches against an opponent. Barcelona has 96 victories.

It was mostly a similar match but Madrid looked to be a more dangerous team due to their counterattacks, led by Vinicius Junior and Benzema.

Both gave Madrid the lead in the 25th minute after Benzema stole the ball from Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets near the midfield line and fed Vinicius, who scored a run in the field, and with a shot to goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. brought to the top. Net.

Barcelona equalized with a provisional goal at the end of the half. Madrid defender Eder Militao tried to clear a ball from inside the area, but his shot bounced off Barcelona striker Luc de Jong and then went off the post before going over the line.

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