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Barcelona beats Osasuna and will play Real Madrid for 2nd straight year in Spanish Super Cup final



Barcelona beats Osasuna and will play Real Madrid for 2nd straight year in Spanish Super Cup final
Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh (AP) — For the second consecutive year, the victor of the Spanish Super Cup will be determined by the “clasico.”

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Barcelona’s 2-0 victory over Osasuna on Thursday secured a rematch between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Saudi Arabian Super Cup.

The Catalan team, without Lionel Messi and under coach Xavi Hernández, won the title for the first time last season thanks to goals from Robert Lewandowski and Lamine Yamal.

Madrid defeated rival Atletico Madrid 5-3 in extra time on Wednesday to advance to the Sunday final. In October, it defeated Barcelona 2-1 in the Spanish league to win the first “clasico” of the season.

Barcelona won the trophy last season after defeating Real Madrid 3-1. The Catalan team was under pressure to provide a strong performance following a run of poor ones, so another victory this year would be helpful. At the midway point of the competition, it is seven points behind Girona and Madrid, the leaders of the Spanish league.

Since a 5-0 thumping of Antwerp in the Champions League group stage in September, Barcelona has not won by more than one goal in 20 games. Its lone other victory of the season, coming in the Spanish league in August against Cadiz, came by two goals or more.

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong stated, “We’ve been improving.” “We played better in the second half, but the first half wasn’t that great. It’s always a great game to play versus Madrid. There will be a contest between two elite teams. We’ll be prepared.

Although Barcelona controlled early on, few teams had many opportunities in the first half. After the break, it maintained its lead and took the lead in the 59th minute on a low shot from Lewandowski following an assist from Ilkay Gündogan. Three minutes into stoppage time, Yamal clinched the win from inside the area following a strong run by João Félix.

Xavi made two substitutions in the second half to introduce Pedri and Félix, which gave Barcelona a lift. An injury had occurred shortly before halftime, and Yamal had taken Raphinha’s place.

Osasuna is among the top defensive clubs, so we knew we would have difficulty, Xavi stated. The players who were substituted in for us performed admirably. We are happy, even though we realize there is still much to be improved. There isn’t a clear favorite for the championship game, but maybe we can repeat our success from the previous year.

Osasuna claimed that Lewandowski’s goal was set up by a foul.

David García, the captain of Osasuna, declared, “It was a clear foul.” The same teams are consistently called for these fouls. Regretfully, we were expecting more. We must express regret to our supporters.

Osasuna, which hasn’t placed lower than 11th in the Spanish league since making a comeback to the top flight in 2019, made an effort to gain ground at the end but was unable to generate many meaningful opportunities.

Approximately 600 Osasuna supporters traveled from Spain to witness the match, creating a vibrant atmosphere in the Riyadh stadium. For Wednesday’s semifinal, neither a sizable fan base traveled to support Barcelona nor Madrid or Atletico.

The Super Cup’s new “Final Four” format debuted in Saudi Arabia in 2020 in the first of a lucrative multi-year arrangement for the clubs and the Spanish soccer association.

As the victor of the Spanish league the previous year, Barcelona made it to the Super Cup. Last season, Osasuna advanced to the Copa del Rey final but was defeated by Madrid.

The audio recordings obtained during video reviews between officials are being made available following games for the first time in a Spanish competition, the Super Cup. The process will carry on during league games in Spain.




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