After overcoming Real Betis in a Spanish Super Cup penalty shootout semifinal, Barcelona advanced to their first final under Xavi Hernandez.
Robert Lewandowski gave the Catalans the lead in the first half, but Nabil Fekir drew even to send the match into overtime. Ansu Fati then gave Barça the lead with a fantastic strike, but Loren Moron soon tied the game, forcing penalties.
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Barcelona won the shootouts 4-2 and qualified to face archrival Real Madrid in the championship game on Sunday. Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who had already made numerous crucial stops throughout the game, came through in the crucial moments.
After the game, Xavi addressed to the media and expressed his joy at reaching the finals as well as his anticipation of winning his first championship as Barcelona manager. Here are some excerpts from his news conference in Riyadh following a deserved triumph.
Real Betis performed extremely well, but we could have reached a decision sooner. Happy to have made it to the final. We made too many ball turnovers. Matches still need to be terminated. In comparison to Atleti, we didn’t defend as well.
What did Xavi say after defeating Real Betis
I’m looking forward to the final. I want to compete with the best and triumph over the greatest. Real Madrid is among the finest, and the championship game will be fantastic.
At halftime, I was really pleased with the performance. Following that, Betis took control, and we suffered. We ought to have put an end to it in the first half.
“We must be honest with ourselves. Poor play in the second half is not the way to move forward. Two team members’ faces were seen. A fantastic first half, but after that, we fell short of expectations.
We had two objectives. Getting to the final was the first goal, which we accomplished. The second was to perform effectively and end the match quickly, which we failed to achieve.
Marcos Alonso would have been the sixth player to take a penalty, according to the commenter.
Regarding the problems the squad is having, we must learn how to end games. In the matches following the World Cup, it is what we are lacking. In the first half, we were not active without the ball.
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