Barcelona sneaked into the grand final of the Spanish Super Cup this Wednesday after beating Real Sociedad in an exciting first semifinal decided on penalties after 120 minutes of play. His rival will emerge today Thursday from the winner between Real Madrid and Athletic.
Preview – Thursday, January 14
Real Madrid – Athletic, La Rosaleda, 21:00 HEC
At the La Rosaleda Stadium in Malaga, also in southern Spain, the current League champion and also the current Spanish Super Cup champion, Real Madrid, will face Athletic. Zinédine Zidane’s team had a very difficult start to the season where they had to make it to the second round of the Champions League (they will face Atalanta) on the last day, but since December the team has grown, achieving outstanding victories (among them a 3-1 against Athletic) against Sevilla and Atlético. In fact, he has nine games between all competitions without losing (seven wins and two draws). Long-term injured Rodrygo, Carvajal and Luka Jović are the only footballers currently unavailable for Zidane.
For its part, Athletic has not managed to straighten the course throughout the season and this cost Asier Garitano his position, who was dismissed on January 3 after winning 1-0 at Elche. His replacement is Marcelino García Toral, who made his debut on the Athletic bench last week with a 1-3 loss to Barça. Curiously, Marcelino could not play the 2020 Super Cup with Valencia (with which he won the last final of the Copa del Rey disputed so far) since he had been fired months before. Despite the sporting problems, Athletic, in the process of renovation with several young people, and with the titular goalkeeper of the Spanish team Unai Simón, Iñigo Martínez, Álex Berenguer, Iker Muniain or Iñaki Williams, is a dangerous rival for Real Madrid.
Chronicle – Wednesday, January 13
Real Sociedad 1-1 Barcelona (2-3 on penalties)
Real Sociedad started very well, pressing and stealing high against a Barcelona without air to advance lines. The Donostiarras warned with two heads before Ter Stegen came out to cover Isak’s shot on a clear occasion. It was the 20th minute and the game belonged to Real. However, and in the absence of Messi, Dembélé assumed the role of protagonist and began to create danger, which stunned Real and allowed the Catalans to move the ball judiciously. Thus came De Jong’s goal, with a good cross from Griezmann and a maneuver from the Dutchman as a true battering ram.
He was the protagonist of De Jong again in the second act, although for very different reasons. He committed a one-handed penalty inside the area and allowed Oyarzabal to put the tables from eleven meters. The score was equalized and the game was equalized, which walked with few incidents towards extra time, where Remiro, Ter Stegen, and the wood on a Januzaj free-kick held the score. In the end, the penalties smiled at Barça, which will be in the grand final on Sunday.
Sunday 17 January, 21:00 CET
Barcelona / Real Madrid – Athletic