In a extremely entertaining affair on the King Abdullah Sports activities Metropolis Stadium in Jeddah, FC Barcelona have been overwhelmed 2-Three by Atletico Madrid within the Spanish Tremendous Cup semi ultimate. Right here’s what we realized from the tie.
Ernesto Valverde went with the strongest XI doable
Marc Andre Ter Stegen out injured, Neto began between the sticks as anticipated with the one actual speaking level throughout the line-up Valverde’s desire for Arturo Vidal over Ivan Rakitic.
The Croat ineffective on Saturday towards Espanyol, the choice was maybe a reward for his Chilean substitute placing Barça 1-2 forward within the derby and altering the course of the sport after half time.
The gang had positively come out for Lionel Messi
And to see each groups maybe, however positively the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, whose each contact was cheered from the outset. In an identical vein, Saul turned public enemy primary when hacking him down across the 20 minute mark.
A Vidal shot dragged broad was the Blaugrana’s finest likelihood of the opening 10 minutes
Their solely effort over the talked about time interval, the truth is. Sergi Roberto knocking the ball again properly into his path, the double-Copa America winner couldn’t hit the goal however the transfer was encouraging on the entire.
Barça dropped off after that, however then, as is usually the case, perked up when Messi had been fouled and determined to take issues into his personal arms. Making him indignant is seldom suggested…
Gerard Pique needed to take one for the workforce
It was all Barça from 20-30 minutes in, but Atleti boasted a counter attacking risk by their full backs. This resulted in Pique having to take a yellow for the trigger, when left with no different choice than to wipe out Brazil worldwide Renan Lodi.
Antoine Griezmann was nicely up for this one
Some extent to show towards his outdated membership, the Frenchman was like a canine in warmth switching from left to proper and occupying the center to get his new employers’ strikes off the bottom.
Performed by on purpose by Luis Suarez with 5 minutes to spare till the half, he nearly scored FCB’s opener for the eighth time in 2019/2020 however couldn’t beat Jan Oblak from a decent angle.
Suarez was booked after the half time whistle
Concerned in a brouhaha with Stefan Savic earlier than each groups headed down the tunnel, El Pistolero additionally pushed round younger Joao Felix through the confusion. At all times often known as the confrontational kind, it was nonetheless out of character for the veteran who was proven a yellow card by the referee as a warning to chill down.
It’s uncommon for Valverde’s males to enter the interval scoreless but spectacular
However right here we have been. Had this been on the Camp Nou, even the sometimes hard-to-please paying public there may need been enthused by what they’d seen. A Blaugrana facet that was superior with two makes an attempt on track and 5 photographs total was unfortunate to not be a purpose up.
Barcelona got here out for the second half slouchy, and paid for it
Substitute Koke placing Atleti 0-1 up along with his first contact 21 seconds after approaching, the again line was sloppy in permitting Felix and Angel Correa play it round them with ease.
Detractors scoffed that they knew Barça’s constructive begin was too good to be true.
Messi had the right response
Changing along with his proper foot, Messi glided spherical Savic to seek out area and marked his 31st purpose towards the Rojiblanco on 51 minutes to place his workforce proper again in it. Recreation on…
We had tuned into one other episode of The Lionel Messi Present
Choosing the ball up on the sting of the realm and bouncing it over a hapless Saul, Messi made one of many world’s biggest ‘keepers in Oblak look pedestrian when sliding it into the underside left nook for a 2-1 scoreline.
The spectators weren’t blissful in any way when VAR dominated it out, nonetheless, and again to 1-1 we went.
On the following transfer, Barça edged forward anyway
Jordi Alba choosing Luis Suarez out with a peach of a cross on the again publish, Oblak did nicely to dam Suarez’s bullet header however may solely knock it into Griezmann’s path for the quantity 17 to attain his first ever towards Atleti in Catalan colors.
VAR once more denied Barça
Messi sensing Vidal’s run into the field with a useless ball from distance, the latter discovered Pique along with his good diagonal faucet however the purpose was once more dominated out by the slightest of margins.
Neto caught a leg out to journey Vitolo
And, whereas fortunate to not obtain a crimson, gave away a penalty. Alvaro Morata made no mistake from the spot and despatched the Brazilian the improper option to degree the rating.
Atleti have been nearly awarded two penalties in the identical quantity of minutes
Gerard Pique dealt with Morata’s move again acros the field however neither the ref nor VAR deemed it worthy of a second successive spot kick. If awarded and capitalized upon, it might have put Atleti into the ultimate.
Atleti didn’t want such assist, as issues turned out
Pique meekly heading right into a sort out with Morata across the midway line, the previous Spain worldwide dinked Correa by to cost at Neto and put the 2014 La Liga champions 2-Three to the great.
We won’t see a Clasico Tremendous Cup ultimate
Nor will Barcelona begin 2020 with silverware. Going dwelling feeling exhausting completed to by VAR, Ernesto Valverde’s wounded troops should get again on the horse towards Granada on January 19 and hold their top-of-the-table lead above each Madrid outfits and Sevilla.
His state of affairs post-match was described as ‘very delicate’ by these supposedly within the know, with an announcement by the board probably made as quickly as Monday.