Frustrated Barcelona Knocked Out Of Spanish Super Cup
Atletico Madrid came from behind in Saudi Arabia to beat Barcelona in a five-goal thriller in Saudi Arabias King Abdullah Stadium. Diego Simeone's side were looking beaten against the Spanish champions with 10 minutes left, but quick-fire goals from Alvaro Morata and Angel Correa turned the tables to the Madrid side. The 3-2 win over Barca was Atletico's first win over Barcelona since April 2016. After this shock upset, Atletico are set to face their Madrid Rivals Real on Sunday.
Barcelona started well, dominating the young Atletico side. Oblak came to his team's rescue on various occasions with superb saves to deny Luis Suarez and Griezmann, keeping Atletico in the tie. The score remained goalless at half-time as Barca's second choice keeper Neto wasn't required to make any tough saves.
Simeone made a change at the break, with Captain Koke subbed on replacing Hector Herrera. Just 30 seconds into the second half, Barcelona's defence was left in tatters as Joao Felix found Correa, who teed up newly introduced Koke to put the Madrid side one up. Just five minutes later, Barca skipper Messi found the net for his side, levelling the scores with just under 40 minutes left to play. The Argentinian weaved his way into some space and despite being closed down, fired home for the Catalan Giants.
Just minutes later, Barca had a goal disallowed by VAR for a handball against Messi, who scored a superb goal which ultimately counted for nothing. Barca continued to push and they finally got the break through that they needed in the 61st minute, just 2 minutes after VAR ruled out their goal. Despite Oblak's effort in denying Suarez's header, ex-team-mate Griezmann was on hand to head home the goal that put Barcelona in the lead.
In the 71st minute, VAR disallowed another Barca goal with just 17 minutes to go. Gerard Pique saw a header ruled out as teammate Arturo Vidal was offside. This proved crucial to the Atletico comeback. With 10 minutes left, Neto (Barcelona Goalie) rushed out and brought down Correa inside the penalty area, giving ATL a penalty. Former Chelsea striker Morata made no mistake from 12 yards, as he slotted home a perfectly placed pen to make it 2-2.
With Barcelona on the ropes, their defence toppled and Valverde watched his side go behind for the second time in the tie, as Correa found the net in the 86th minute. The Argentinian took full advantage to fire past Neto.
The game finished 3-2 meaning the two finalists for the Spanish Super Cup being Atletico Madrid and their rivals Real Madrid, setting up a Madrid derby in the final. The Barcelona players are still firmly behind their managers back, saying Valverde's future at Barcelona is not under any threat. However, this is another case of typical Barcelona, being unable to see their side through the match.