Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Match Review of the Super Cup Final, FC BARCELONA VS ATHLETIC CLUB. Barca were the favorites to win the title The team had all the momentum. They were winning games. Messi was in form. Everything was going right for the Blaugranas. However, the tables turned against Athletic Bilbao. The match went to extra time and eventually, Athletic Club outclassed the Barca boys to win the Super Cup trophy.
Here is the Match Review of the game discussing the first half, second half, and extra time of the game individually.
FC BARCELONA VS ATHLETIC CLUB MATCH REVIEW
The game had a very slow start to it. None of the teams were looking like they wanted to win badly. FC Barcelona looked sluggish and the players did not seem to be in the mood. The gameplay from both sides did not look as if they were playing a final. There was no venom, no intensity, and nothing energy overall. It was after the 20th-minute marker that the Blaugranas decided to take some serious actions. FC Barcelona showed a good show of possession-based football. However, the team was not really testing the opposition goalkeeper.
FC Barcelona scored the first goal of the game. It was Antoine Griezmann who opened the scoring for his team. It was Jordi Alba who crossed the ball to Lionel Messi. Messi wanted to put the ball away in the far corner. However, the Argentinean completely missed his shot and the ball was left open for Griezmann to put away. This was a huge moment for the team as well as the fans. Sadly, the joy was short-lived as Athletic scored their leveler minutes after going down. Oscar De Marcos scored the goal for Athletic.
It was a defensive error from Jordi Alba who allowed De Marcos to be free and unmarked. Therefore, he was able to easily convert the cross from Inaki Williams. The game slowed once again. Barcelona dominated with the possession. However, failed to do anything significant with it. The first half ended in despair. Ronald Koemann and his men were not on the happier side when both teams went inside the tunnel. The Blaugranas knew they had to do something when they come out again. On the other hand, Athletic looked much more confident and relieved as the whistle blew.
Ronald Koemann made a change at halftime. He replaced Sergino Dest with Oscar Mingueza. However, Athletic Club was able to startle FC Barcelona early on in the Second Half. Raul Garcia scored a goal for Athletic Club. However, his goal was ruled as offside by VAR. Therefore, the Catalans took a sigh of relief. Still, the FC Barcelona gameplay lacked a lot of intensity. The players seemed lazy and no one was pushing to go for the goal.
Antoine Griezmann scored the second goal for FC Barcelona. This was Griezmann’s second goal for the game. This was also probably Griezmann’s best performance of the season. The French number 9 had a total impact on the game and was clearly the man of the final. Sergio Busquests, De Jong, and Araujo were also other best performers on the pitch. Everything from these players was spot on and was pure perfection. They looked as if they badly wanted to win the trophy.
The 90th minute was approaching and the fans thought that the trophy is soon going to be theirs. However, Lenglet committed a foul near the box. Athletic won a freekick and Asier Villalibre scored the equalizer for Athletic.
Athletic was playing in full mood and energy as the second half ended and players went inside to prepare for extra time.
The entire FC Barcelona unit was stunned as they thought that the trophy was theirs. However, a small mistake allowed Vilalibre to keep Athletic hopes alive. The players went outside for the extra time. Martin Braithwaite replaced Dembele. Athletic Club looked more dominant and was playing with full zeal. Inaki Williams scored the third goal for his team. He took a shot from the edge of the box which went inside the goal through the top corner.
Inaki scored a golazo to take his team to glory. It was a wonderful effort from the Athletic Club’s striker and his goal also meant that it was curtains for FC Barcelona. Ronald Koemann and his men tried a lot to stay in the game somehow. However, nothing was going their way anymore. Athletic started playing dirty. Their players kept on wasting time by uselessly appealing for fouls. Furthermore, FC Barcelona was losing hope as well.
Puig also came in during the end moments of his game. He had an instant impact and injected life into the FC Barcelona midfield. Therefore, the debate about Koemann not playing Puig regularly still continues. Miralem Pjanic and Trincao also came in later. However, they were not very effective. This specifically applies to Trincao who now has a major drop in form.
The game ended for Barcelona with 10 men only as Lionel Messi was sent off. Messi deliberately hit Villalibre and the referee decided to send him off after checking it on the VAR.
Athletic Bilbao won the Super Cup. It was a surely frustrating outing for the Bluagranas. However, the La Liga title race and hunt for the CL trophy is on. Therefore, Ronald Koemann and his men must keep their heads up and move further.