Madrid “Barcelona easily defeated Osasuna to secure a spot in the Spanish Super Cup final against Real Madrid.”

Estimated read time 5 min read

Xavi Hernández had previously stated that one goal would suffice, but in the end, it took two goals. A goal from Robert Lewandowski and another from Lamine Yamal in the 92nd minute secured a win for Barcelona by more than one goal, a feat that had not been achieved in 21 consecutive matches – the longest streak in the club’s history. This victory propelled them to the final of the Spanish Super Cup, where they will face Real Madrid on Sunday night in Saudi Arabia, just like they did last year. “It may have been a while, but what matters is that we won,” said midfielder Frenkie de Jong after the match.

In contrast, Osasuna’s opponents will return to Spain. While this competition may not hold much significance for most, it held great importance for a club that has yet to win a trophy. They face a journey of 5,000km, with plenty of time to reflect on a missed opportunity. Some players, such as David García, believed that their chance was taken away from them due to a “clear foul” by Andreas Christensen on José Arnaiz leading up to Lewandowski’s goal. However, replays showed that there was minimal contact. García stated, “We deserved more, but it was not meant to be.”

Barcelona experienced a cautious sense of contentment as they celebrated. Xavi emphasized that a win is a win, especially in a semi-final, despite the seemingly insignificant margin of victory. The team’s recent struggles have been represented by their winning streak, making this result a slight improvement. De Jong described their performance as “serious” which shows progress. There is also optimism with the return of Pedri from injury, as the coach believes he adds clarity to their gameplay.

Xavi stated that it was a challenging start. The team improved in the second half, but it wasn’t until additional time, with Osasuna fighting for a tie, that the second goal was scored and the win was secured.

During the initial half, Barcelona held possession of the ball at around 70%. However, despite their control, the ball constantly moved from one side to the other without making much progress as they faced difficulty in breaking through a defensive line of five players. The open spaces that Xavi’s team hoped for were not present and even when they seemed to have a chance to advance, Raphinha was fouled by Alejandro Catena.

Ilkay Gündogan attempted to surprise Sergio Herrera with a free-kick, while Christensen’s volley was saved and Ferran Torres missed the target. Sergi Roberto also had a missed chance. Lewandowski had better opportunities, but he has been less reliable lately, only scoring once in the last six league games. However, he would eventually come through with the decisive moment in the second half.

Robert Lewandowski scores Barcelona’s first goal against Osasuna

Roberto passed the ball to the Pole, but he was unable to curve his shot past the goalie’s hand. He also tried to jump over everyone in the six-yard box, but ended up heading the ball wide. Just before the end of the first half, Yamal made a smart pass to him, but García quickly moved in to block his attempt.

Osasuna had managed to limit their opponent’s attacks, but also had some threatening moments. One of these was when Arnaiz took a shot that missed the goal, and another was when Jesús Areso’s shot was deflected and almost went in. When Ante Budimir made a quick turn, the ball went between Ronald Araújo’s legs, and Iñaki Peña had to react quickly to block the strike from the Osasuna player with his strong left arm. Peña later saved a free-kick from Rubén Peña. Budimir also assisted Arnaiz with a brilliant pass, but this time Araújo was able to block the shot.

During the game, Lewandowski had another opportunity to score just before the hour mark. This time, he confidently received a clever pass from Gündogan and skillfully placed a disguised shot into the corner next to the post. When he scored, he dropped to his knees and spread his arms out in celebration, possibly feeling a sense of justification. Osasuna’s players were upset and called for a foul, but even Xavi admitted that if he had seen the play in real time, he would not have blown the whistle.

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Barcelona has frequently given up the initial goal this season and had to make a comeback. However, in this game, they finally scored the goal they were aiming for and had the match they desired in theory. João Félix and Pedri were brought in to strengthen the team. João Félix displayed impressive control, serving as a reminder of how much he has been missed, while Pedri quickly forced a skilled save from Herrera.

Not that this was comfortable: Osasuna weren’t giving up. Budimir was denied by Peña then couldn’t quite complete a neat combination with Raúl García in the area. Christensen, superb throughout, had to intercept a Kike Barja cross looking for Budimir and Jon Moncayola had a volley blocked. A gorgeous move from Aimar Oroz and Rubén García teed up Raúl García but his shot flew high. Xavi glanced nervously at the scoreboard.

With only three minutes remaining, the score was still close with a one point lead. However, in a turn of events not seen since September, Félix passed to Yamal who expertly sidefooted Barcelona into the final, despite Osasuna’s relentless efforts.


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