Barcelona and Real Betis played out a thriller in their Supercopa de España semifinal tie. Sensational goals, a red card, VAR decisions and penalties provided all the drama a cup tie should have.
In the end, Barcelona narrowly escaped Real Betis in a penalty shootout. The 2-2 scoreline after 120 minutes led to Barcelona winning the spot kicks, 4-2
Now, Barcelona takes on Real Madrid in the first Clásico of the season. That game is Jan. 15 from King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Despite Barcelona’s talent, Betis forced a back-and-forth game. For the beginning portion of the game, Barcelona dominated possession, as it often does. The reward for holding the ball was putting it in the net. Pedri plucked the ball into the net past former Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. However, upon video review, Raphinha had, literally speaking, a toe offside in the buildup to the play. As a result, the game remained scoreless.
However, Ousmane Dembele did well to set up Robert Lewandowski before the break. The striker, who is currently suspended from LaLiga play, got his own rebound to break the deadlock.
Then, in the second half, Real Betis came out the far better of the two sides. Manuel Pellegrini’s side found an equalizer in the 77th minute. Luiz Henrique passed on to a waiting Nabil Fekir, who slotted home past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Extra time fireworks
Both sides scored sumptuous goals in the second half. Ansu Fati scored a volley from 16 yards out to the far post to give Barcelona the edge again.
Then, just after the century mark, Loren Moron scored a backheel goal to pull Betis level again. Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who played a hero role for much of the game, was dumbfounded by Loren’s attempt.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen the hero for Barcelona against Betis in Supercopa
If one goal made ter Stegen look silly in the 120 minutes, the German goalkeeper recaptured the headlines in the spot kicks. Barcelona’s shot-stopped made two saves on Betis’s third and fourth kicks. For Barcelona, conversions from Lewandowski, Franck Kessié, Ansu Fati and Pedri were enough as Barcelona won the penalty shootout, 4-2.
Barcelona’s reward is a game against its most bitter rivals. Real Madrid, like Barcelona only escaped with a win on penalties against Valencia in its semifinal fixture. The two are the top of the table in Spain, even if this has no implication for that competition.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Marca
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