Real Madrid stormed the Spanish Super Cup final after beating archrivals Barcelona 3-2 in extra time in an entertaining semi-final match played at the King Fahd Stadium, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday night.
Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema and Federico Valverde got the goals for Real Madrid, with Luuk de Jong and Ansu Fati scoring for Xavi Hernandez’s side.
After a quiet start with no real action in front of any goal, the match jolted to life midway through the first half when Real Madrid took the lead.
Vinicius Junior collected a Karim Benzema pass and without hesitation fired an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.
Luuk de Jong then came close to equalizing on the half-hour mark when he rose above Madrid’s defence and headed a precise cross towards the middle of the goal. His effort, however, was blocked by Thibaut Courtois, who pulled off a comfortable save.
De Jong tested Courtois again two minutes later, this time with a better header but the Belgian was equal to the task.
Barcelona however pulled level in the 41st minute as the ball fell to de Jong after a goal melee, and the striker unleashed a weak shot, but precise enough, which went in off the bottom of the left post for a 1-1 score going into the break.
Barcelona came close twice in the opening five minutes of the second half, but Pedri and De Jong saw their efforts go wide and over the bar respectively.
Real Madrid then turned up the gear and came close to adding a second in the 69th minute when Benzema unleashed a ferocious shot, but it cannoned off the post as Barcelona survived.
He almost beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen a minute later, but the goalie made a world-class stop to deny him.
The Frenchman finally put Real Madrid in front in the 71st minute, tapping into an empty net from close range.
With seven minutes to go through, substitute Ansu Fati pulled Barcelona level when he converted a Jordi Alba ball, and it forced the match into extra time.
Federico Valverde then scored the winner in extra time from a Rodrygo ball as Madrid won to book a place in the finals, where they will face the winner between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.