Barcelona set up a Spanish Supercopa final against either Athletic Club or Real Madrid with a penalty shootout win over Real Sociedad in a semi final tie that went the distance.
Lionel Messi was rested by Ronald Koeman for the match, with Martin Braithwaite selected in the Argentine’s place. Real Sociedad were also missing David Silva after picking up a minor muscle injury.
Despite the absence of Messi, Barca took the lead after 39 minutes when Antoine Griezmann clipped a cross into the six yard box for Frenkie de Jong to power home a header, lifting the Dutchman’s tally to three goals and two assists in his last nine appearances.
La Real, however, restored parity just six minutes into the second half, with Mikel Oyarzabal converting from 12 yards out after the Basque side were awarded a penalty kick for a handball by De Jong.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a number of important saves to prevent Real Sociedad from taking the lead in extra time, with substitute Adnan Januzaj denied a stunning solo goal and a freekick that struck the post in the final few minutes.
Ter Stegen was the hero for Barca in the shootout as the German saved two penalties with Riqui Puig scoring the spot kick that sends his side to Sevilla for Sunday’s Spanish Supercopa final.
TALKING POINT - De Jong thriving in Rakitic role for Barcelona
Until recently, De Jong was widely spoken about in terms of his unfulfilled potential at the Camp Nou. Now, though, the Dutchman appears to have found his place and purpose in this Barcelona team, with Koeman deploying him in a more advanced role in recent weeks. This has paid dividends. De Jong now has three goals and two assists in his last nine appearances and is performing the role Ivan Rakitic performed so effectively for Barca over a number of seasons. This is the player Barcelona thought they were getting two years ago. He was unfortunate to concede a second half penalty.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Marc-Ander Ter Stegen
Barcelona probably wouldn’t even have made it to a shootout had it not been for the performance of their German goalkeeper, with Ter Stegen pulling off a number of astonishing saves over the course of the 120 minutes. He then made two saves in the shootout to give Barcelona an advantage that ultimately proved unassailable. Oyarzabal and De Jong also played well, but Ter Stegen was the standout performer here.
Ricard Puig of Barcelona celebrates after scoring the fifth and wining penalty in the shootout during the Supercopa de Espana Semi Final match between Real Sociedad and FC Barcelona at Estadio Nuevo Arcangel
Image credit: Getty Images
Real Sociedad - Remiro 7, Gorosabel 5, Zubeldia 6, Le Normand 8, Monreal 7, Guevara 6, Merino 6, Guridi 5, Portu 6, Isak 6, Oyarzabal 8. Subs - Zaldua 5, Zubimendi 5, Januzaj 8, Jose 5, Bautista 3, Barrenetxea 3.
Barcelona - Ter Stegen 9, Mingueza 5, Araujo 7, Lenglet 5, Alba 5, Busquets 7, De Jong 8, Pedri 6, Dembele 6, Braithwaite 5, Griezmann 6. Subs - Pjanic 5, Firpo 5, Trincao 5, Puig 6.
40’ GOAL! Real Sociedad 0-1 Barcelona: There's the breakthrough and it's Barcelona who have opened the scoring! Braithwaite gets Griezmann to the byline with a pass, the Frenchman clips a cross to the near post and De Jong is there to power home a header from close range!
50’ PENALTY KICK TO REAL SOCIEDAD! The referee spots a handball from De Jong and points to the spot. VAR confirms it!
51’ GOAL! Real Sociedad 1-1 Barcelona: Oyarzabal steps up to the penalty spot and finds the back of the net to restore parity in this Spanish Super Cup semi final! The Spain international sent Ter Stegen the wrong way from 12 yards out. His record from the spot is fantastic!
118’ Januzaj strikes the post! That's the closest the Belgian has come to finding the back of the net! This time Januzaj strikes the woodwork with a wonderful freekick that beats Ter Stegen, but not the post!
SHOOTOUT - Ter Stegen saves two as Real Sociedad miss their first three penalty kicks. A miss from Griezmann puts some pressure on Barca, but Puig converts his effort to send his side into the final!
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Barcelona had conceded first in each of their last four Supercopa matches before tonight.
Antoine Griezmann now has five assists for Barcelona this season, more than his assists tally for all of last season (three).