Atletico to face Real in Spanish Super Cup
JEDDAH – Atletico Madrid pulled off a stunning turnaround to beat Barcelona 3-2 in an enthralling Spanish Super Cup tie in Saudi Arabia and book their place in the final of the revamped football competition where they will face Real Madrid.
Argentine forward Angel Correa struck the decisive goal in the 86th minute to complete an unlikely late comeback for Atletico after Barca had dominated the second half and had two goals ruled out following VAR reviews.
Substitute Koke had put Atletico in front at the start of the second half but Lionel Messi levelled in the 51st minute. Messi soon put the ball in the net again but his second effort was ruled out for handball following a VAR review.
Former Atletico striker Griezmann did put Barca in front in the 65th while Gerard Pique thought he had extended their lead moments later but that goal was also ruled out after a VAR review, this time for a fractional offside against Arturo Vidal.
Atleti had spent most of the second half trying to stop waves of Barca attacks but got a lifeline when substitute Vitolo was tripped by goalkeeper Neto and striker Alvaro Morata equalised from the penalty spot in the 81st minute.
Stand-in keeper Neto was also at fault for the winning goal, failing to properly block Correa’s shot which bounced into the net to cap an incredible match.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos scored directly from a corner as his side booked their place in the final of the revamped Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia by outclassing Valencia 3-1 on Wednesday.
Isco and Luka Modric scored either side of halftime to put Zinedine Zidane’s side further at ease before Dani Parejo converted a consolation penalty for last year’s Copa del Rey winners in added time.
Sunday’s showpiece will be played at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium in Jeddah. (Reuters)