Atletico Madrid came from behind against Barcelona to secure a spot in the Spanish Super Cup final.
The all-Madrid affair — Real Madrid booked their seat in a 3-1 win over Valencia yesterday — will take place at King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Angel Correa’s 86th minute game-winning goal capped off a dramatic comeback by Diego Simeone’s side.
After a scoreless first half, Atletico’s Koke opened the scoring in the 46th minute. But Barca responded quickly. Lionel Messi scored five minutes later — his second goal was disallowed by VAR — followed by Antoine Griezmann, who netted his first-ever strike against his former team in the 62nd minute.
Barcelona appeared to be back in control but Atletico stuck in and rode out their luck.
After VAR ruled out Gerard Pique’s goal in the 75th minute, Álvaro Morata equalized on a penalty in the 81st just before Correa sealed the deal with just a few minutes before the final whistle.
“The goals against us were surprising. It seemed like we had the game under control,” admitted Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde after the match.
Barcelona bottle it again
Atletico’s last three wins against Barcelona have knocked the Catalan side out of a competition, including the 2014 Champions League, the 2016 Champions League, and tonight in the Supercopa de España.
Barca’s defeat puts more pressure on Valverde who’s already lost trust with the Camp Nou faithful for bottling it in back to back years in the Champions League against Roma and Liverpool, respectively.
Speculation has been mounting all season about his potential replacement including Ronald Koeman, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, Pep Guardiola, and the most recent candidate to be linked with the position, Thierry Henry.
As former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger noted after Barcelona’s tie against Espanyol last weekend, “Barcelona play like a team in crisis. The game is too slow, there is no dynamic and in the last 30 meters it’s too individual.”
Barcelona still sit in first place in La Liga table on points but can’t afford to throw away yet another trophy. How much long will Valverde last? Let us know on Twitter.