Barcelona 2-3 Real Madrid: Federico Valverde strikes winner in extra-time to settle El Clasico thriller

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  • Karim Benzema
    Karim Benzema
    French association football player
  • Federico Valverde
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 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Federico Valverde scored an extra-time winner as Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-2 to reach the final of the Spanish Super Cup in an El Clasico thriller.

Vinicius Junior scored the opening goal of the match, before Luuk de Jong levelled for Barcelona as the sides went into the break level.

Karim Benzema’s strike was then cancelled out by Ansu Fati as the match went beyond 90 minutes, and it was Real who found the winner in extra-time as Valverde put the finishing touch on a devastating counter.

The Spanish Super Cup is being played in Saudi Arabia again, as part of a deal reportedly worth £25million a year until 2029.

Defending champions Athletic Bilbao face Atletico Madrid in the other semi-final, with the winner to face Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Ferran Torres made his Barcelona debut after being signed from Man City. Torres and young midfielder Pedri arrived in Saudi Arabia later than their teammates because they tested positive for the coronavirus. Torres was substituted at half-time, as he played for the first time since October.

The match was largely even throughout, though Real looked the more dangerous team a Vinicius and Benzema caused Barcelona real problems on the counter.

The duo gave Real the lead in the 25th minute after Benzema stole the ball from Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets and fed Vinicius, who beat goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen from inside the box.

Barcelona equalised with a fortuitous goal near the end of the half. Real defender Eder Militao tried to clear a ball from inside the area but his shot bounced off Barcelona striker De Jong, then off the post before going over the line.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Benzema hit the woodwork in the second-half, but he was not to be denied again just couple of minutes later as he put Real ahead from close range. Ter Stegen failed to deal with a cross from Dani Carvajal, and the Frenchman was on hand to score from the rebound.

Ansu Fati levelled the match again in the 83rd minutes with a header off a brilliant cross from Jordi Alba, as the match went into extra-time.

Valverde scored the winner after a fast break from Real, converting a cross by Rodrygo from the right flank with Barcelona outnumbered as they got caught on the counter.

There was to be no third equaliser for Xavi’s side, as Real held on to seal their place in the Super Cup final.

Additional reporting by AP.

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