Real Madrid have advanced to the final of this year’s Spanish Super cup after beating arch-rivals FC Barcelona 3-2 in extra-time.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have Ernesto Valverde’s 98th-minute winner to thank having seen their two leads established by Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema cancelled out by Luuk De Jong and Ansu Fati respectively.
Madrid raced into the lead courtesy of in-form winger Vinicius Junior teed up by a Karim Benzema who had taken advantage of Dani Alves and Ronald Araujo high positioning before making the pass. Brazilian Vinicius then fired past goalie Ter-Stegen at his near post.
Barcelona came alive having conceded that opener and they immediately searched for an equalizer.
After a couple of missed chances, Barca finally found an equalizer through Dutchman Luuk De Jong whose goal restored parity for the Blaugrana.
Madrid then went ahead again, and this time club topscorer this season Karim Benzema found the net. The Frenchman latched on to a Vinicius rebound palmed into his way by Ter-Stegen.
But the lead wouldn’t be the match winner as substitute Ansu Fati tied the game for Barca in seven minutes from regular time. The Spanish international escaped Militao’s marking to score from Jordi Alba’s cross.
Madrid took an extra-time lead through Federico Valverde who controlled and finished from close range after a brilliant combination from Casemiro, Rodygo and Vinicius.
All attempts to get a third equalizer were cooled by goalkeeper Courtois as he kept Barca’s attack under check.
Speaking after the game Madrid manager acknowledged the difficulty of the game saying Barca ‘played a good game’
“The match was hard, because it was even, with good players and two good teams. It was an entertaining game, but on the bench you suffer. It went well for us, but I have to be honest, Barcelona played a good game.” The former AC Milan and Chelsea boss said.
Also Barca captain Gerrard Pique labelled their not being able to qualify a shame.
“It was a very entertaining game for the spectators. I think we competed very well, but in the end we didn’t win and we didn’t qualify. It’s not the result we expected and it’s a shame.”
It was the second time Real Madrid has won five consecutive games against Barcelona in all competitions and the first since the time they won seven in a row between 1962 and 1965.
Real Madrid will now play either Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao in Sunday’s final.