Athletic Club took the first national title of the season in Spanish football after beating Barcelona 2-3 in the final of the Spanish Super Cup in La Cartuja.
Chronicle – Sunday, January 17
Barcelona 2-3 Athletic Club (After extra time)
Athletic Club won its 3rd Spanish Super Cup with a stellar performance by Iñaki Williams, author of an assist and a goal. The first part of the match was highly contested, although it was Athletic who carried the weight of the match and dominated during several parts of it. Despite this, the ‘7’ azulgrana ahead of his team five minutes before the break with a left-footed shot from the front of the small area after a combination of Messi and Jordi Alba. It seemed that those of Koeman would go to rest with the advantage, but the 1-0 did not last long on the scoreboard. Williams found De Marcos with a pass behind Jordi Alba and the Basque winger beat Ter Stegen to restore equality in the light.
Griezmann was once again decisive in a very close second half. The Frenchman, who was always in the right place at the right time, appeared in the heart of the area to score his second goal of the final. Marcelino’s men, however, again sold their skin dearly and in 90 ‘they tied the game through Asier Villalibre, who beat Ter Stegen with suspense to force the extension.
If in the first half he had given the pass to De Marcos, in the first half of extra time Williams dressed as a hero by scoring a spectacular goal from the edge. The goal was decisive and enough for the Basque team to return, as in 2015-2016, to prevail in the Super Cup against Barcelona.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Dest (Mingueza, 46 ‘), Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; de Jong, Busquets (Puig, 96 ‘), Pedri (Pjanić, 88’); Dembélé (Braithwaite, 88 ‘), Messi, Griezmann
Athletic Club: Unai Simón; Capa (Berenguer, 81 ‘), Yeray, I. Martínez (Núñez, 94’), Balenziaga (Lekue, 83 ‘); De Marcos, Dani García, Unai Vencedor (Vesga, 80 ‘), Muniain; Raúl García (Villalibre, 83 ‘), Williams (Morcillo, 106’)
Chronicle – Thursday, January 14
Real Madrid – Athletic 1-2
Athletic came out without complexes from the start and soon took the lead in the 17th minute when Raúl García scored the 0-1 with a cross shot that Courtois could not stop. The goal gave Marcelino García Toral’s team peace of mind while Real Madrid was not capable of creating danger over Unai Simón’s goal. And things got even more twisted for the reigning champion of the tournament, when Raúl García took advantage of a maximum penalty to put land in the middle on the scoreboard before the break.
In the second half, Zidane’s team went all out and was able to close the gap in the 62nd minute with a shot from Marco Asensio that crashed into the post. Then again Asensio brushed the goal but the crossbar repelled his powerful shot from the edge. In the 73rd minute, Madrid found their reward for their insistence with a goal from Benzema. Subsequently, Athletic was able to sentence through Asier Villalibre, but he found the figure of Courtois. Finally, the rojiblanco team withstood the onslaught of the whites and will fight on Sunday for its third winch in the competition.
Chronicle – Wednesday, January 13
Real Sociedad 1-1 Barcelona (2-3 on penalties)
Real Sociedad started very well, pressing and stealing high against a Barcelona without air to advance lines. The Donostiarras warned with two heads before Ter Stegen came out to cover Isak’s shot on a clear occasion. It was the 20th minute and the match belonged to Real. However, and in the absence of Messi, Dembélé assumed the role of protagonist and began to create danger, which stunned Real and allowed the Catalans to move the ball judiciously. Thus came De Jong’s goal, with a good cross from Griezmann and a maneuver by the Dutchman as a true striker.
He was the protagonist of De Jong again in the second act, although for very different reasons. He committed a one-handed penalty inside the area and allowed Oyarzabal to put the tables from eleven meters. The score was equalized and the game was equalized, which walked with few incidents towards extra time, where Remiro, Ter Stegen, and the wood on a Januzaj free-kick held the score. In the end the penalties smiled at Barça, which will be in the grand final on Sunday.