Fede Valverde scored the winner in extra-time after Vinicius Jr scored the opener before Luuk de Jong equalized and Karim Benzema's goal was canceled out by Ansu Fati.
Real Madrid edged past Barcelona in a five-goal thriller in Riyadh on Wednesday. A 98th minute goal from Fede Valverde won an entertaining Classico in extra-time to put Real Madrid in Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup final. Real Madrid striker Vinicius Jr opened the scoring before Luuk de Jong equalized for Xavi’s side. After the break, Karim Benzema’s goal was canceled out by Ansu Fati to send the game to extra time. It was Carlo Acelotti’s side that found the winner in the extra-time as Valverede finished off a devastating counter attack.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) January 12, 2022
Meanwhile the Spanish Super Cup is played in Saudi Arabia as part of a deal worth GBP 25 million a year until 2029. Barcelona midfielder Pedri made his return after a long injury lay off while new signing Ferran Torres made his Barcelona debut. Torres was substituted at half-time as he was playing for the first time since October.
It was an evenly-contested match although Real Madrid looked the more threatening side going forward as Benzema and Vinicius caused all sorts of problems to the Barca defense. Vinicius had Real Madrid’s first shot and he gave a torrid time to 38-year-old right-back Dani Alves. Vinicius raced clear and teed-up Marco Asensio who curled his left foot shot over the top.
Torres was booked on 20 minutes for pulling back Dani Carvajal. Five minutes before the half-hour mark, Vinicius and Benzema combined to score the opener. The Frenchman stole the ball from Sergio Busquets in the midfield and quickly fed it to Vinicius who slotted the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen and into the net from inside the box.
In response Luuk de Jong tested Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois twice. Ousmane Dembele was in the mood as he won the ball from Luka Modric before firing over the bar. He then sent a cross to Torres at the back post but the Spanish forward didn’t catch right and sent it wide.
In the 41st minute, Barcelona equalized. Alves sent a long cross-field ball into the area and when Luuk de Jong headed it wide, Dembele managed to deliver a low cross from the left. Eder Militao cleared straight at Luuk de Jong and the ball cannoned in off the Dutchman at the near post. The 31-year-old striker has now scored three of Barcelona’s last five goals.
Benzema hit the woodwork in the second half before making the score 2-1 in the 72nd minute. Ferland Mendy raced past Alves before delivering the cut back for Benzema whose initial attempt was brilliantly saved by Ter Stegen. But the ball ran to Carvajal and when the Barcelona keeper got a foot to his cross, Benzema turned in the rebound.
Barcelona leveled the score in the 83rd minute. Substitute Ansu Fati got on the end of a brilliant cross from Jordi Alba and headed home past Courtois to take the game to extra-time. Eight minutes into extra time, Barcelona were caught on the counter. Casemiro released Rodrygo on the right whose cross was slotted home by Valverde to make the score 3-2.
Courtois made two fine saves as Barcelona looked to respond again but there was no third come back as Madrid go through to the final where they will meet either Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao.