Atlético set up an all-Madrid final in the Supercopa de Espana after coming from behind to defeat Barcelona on Thursday evening.
Atlético’s defence was surprisingly porous early on, with both Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann having to be denied by fantastic saves from Jan Oblak.
Despite Barça’s early dominance, it would be Diego Simeone’s side who would open the scoring just 20 seconds after the restart. Some good buildup allowed Koke to break free and slot the ball past a hapless Neto.
Their lead only lasted five minutes though, with Luis Suarez manoeuvring the ball to ?Messi who levelled up the scores with an unstoppable right-footed drive.
La Pulga thought he had got his and Barcelona’s second on the hour mark, slotting the ball effortlessly past Oblak but it was ruled out for handball after a VAR check.
Key Talking Point
?Barcelona – like they have done so many times before against Atlético – completely dominated possession.
Valverde has to go. State of the Barcelona defence is unacceptable. Reliant totally on messi scoring more than the other team. Shambles.
— Haroldinho (@Haroldiinho_) January 9, 2020
However, this counted for nothing in the end with Barça being undone by their defensive frailties – particularly in the centre of the park.
Atlético did not even look that threatening this evening and the fact that they managed to net three goals is a depressing indictment as to how Ernesto Valverde’s backline is performing currently.
Starting XI: Neto (7); Roberto (7), Pique (5), Umtiti (4), Alba (5); Vidal (7), Busquets (6), De Jong (6); Messi (8*), Suarez (6), Griezmann (7)
Substitutes: Rakitic (6), Fati (N/A)
Arturo Vidal showed his worth with an industrious midfield display, but of course, Lionel Messi was the star of the show for Barcelona.
He cruelly had a second goal ruled out by VAR and was at the centre of everything his side did – yet again.
Messi has just scored his first goal of 2020. He’s now scored for @FCBarcelona in 132 consecutive seasons….roughly.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 9, 2020
Key Talking Point
?As expected, Atlético spent the first half content to sit in a low block, soaking up Barcelona pressure and looking to hit them on the break.
It was not a vintage Diego Simeone performance however, with the defence struggling to hold back the Barça frontline and thus having to be bailed out on a few occasions by the imperious Oblak.
After somehow forcing their way in front thirty seconds after half time, normal service was resumed with Atléti’s defence being penetrated far too easily.
Somehow though, thanks mainly to Barcelona’s shoddy defending and partly due to Los Rojiblancos never-say-die attitude, they managed to rally a remarkable comeback and progress to the final.
Starting XI: Oblak (9*), Trippier (6), Savic (6), Felipe (5), Lodi (6); Correa (7), Herrera (6), Thomas (6), Saúl (6); Félix (6), Morata (7)
Substitutes: Koke (7), Vitolo (6), Llorente (6)
?Jan Oblak’s highlights in this game will feature a string of saves that few goalkeepers in world football are capable of making.
Imperious in the Atlético goal, the Slovenian was the sole reason that his side remained in the game in the first half and the fact that Griezmann nodded in the rebound after he had miraculously kept out Suarez’s header proved there is no justice in the world.
Atletico truly would be a relegation fighting club without Oblak, no cap
— N (@asensiones) January 9, 2020
If Oblak is the superman, then Messi is his kryptonite?
— ÓLÀ….. ??? (@Unclegold1) January 9, 2020
Both teams face a lengthy wait for their next fixture due to there being no La Liga games this weekend.
Barcelona are next in action against Granada on January 19 while Atléti travel to Eibar one day earlier.