Atletico Stun Barcelona To Set Up All-Madrid Super Cup Final
Atletico Madrid stunned Barcelona with an incredible late comeback to win 3-2 in the second semifinal of the Spanish Super Cup competition played on Thursday night.
Angel Correa scored the winning goal with four minutes remaining, this coming after Alvaro Morata had pulled them level from the spot on the 82nd minute.
The match jolted into life in the second-half following a rather drab first period, with Koke giving the Madrid side the lead seconds after the restart, before Messi and Antoine Griezmann’s goals swung the tie in Barca’s favor once again.
Valverde’s men controlled the first with attack after attack, and should have been three or four up by halftime were it not for Jan Oblak’s brilliance.
Despite their dominance from the first minute, the Blaugrana had to wait until the 22nd minute to get any clear shot at goal.
The lively Messi ran onto a ball inside the box and smashed it towards the bottom left corner and for a moment seemed to be going in, but Jan Oblak produced a wonderful save to push the ball around the post.
The Blaugrana sustained the pressure but Hector Herrera almost gave Atleti a surprise lead when his freekick that was going in via the bottom left corner was expertly kept out by Neto.
Antoine Griezmann got a chance just before the halftime whistle after darting into the penalty area to latch on to a pass, and he unleashed a shot in the direction of the left post but once again, Oblak was alert and denied him with a fine save.
Atletico, however, shocked Valverde’s men immediately after the break, taking the lead on the 46th minute through Koke.
Barcelona, however, pulled level five minutes later through star man Lionel Messi, who scored his 31st goal against the Madrid side.
The Argentine pounced on a loose ball inside the box and beat the goalkeeper with a shot inside the left post to make it 1:1 on the 51st minute.
Messi then thought he had given his side the lead on the hour-mark, but his well-taken goal from just inside the box was ruled out after a VAR check due to a handball in the build-up.
It, however, did not take long for Barcelona to take the lead once again, this time Antoine Griezmann nodding in a rebound from inside the six-yard box following Oblak’s initial save from a Suarez strike.
Barcelona went for the kill on the 66th minute, but Suarez’s promising strike to the bottom corner was nicely saved by Oblak once again.
With 15 minutes to go, Arturo Vidal found some space to feed Gerard Pique who tapped in into an empty net, but it was once again ruled out after another VAR check due to offside.
Barcelona were made to pay on the 81st minute when Neto performed a sliding tackle and caught his opponent’s legs, and the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty.
Alvaro Morata stepped up to expertly burry it to level matters and set a tense finale to the match.
It did not take long for another goal in the match, and it was Atletico once again who stunned Barcelona on the 84th minute.
Angel Correa received a great pass from Morata just after the center line and raced through the middle to powerfully release a shot that Neto was unable to keep out despite his best efforts.
There were chances for both sides in the last minutes of the match, but Diego Simeone’s men held on to win the match and set a final with their City rivals Real Madrid.