Barcelona beat Osasuna 2-0 to set up Spanish Super Cup final with arch-rival Real Madrid




CNN
 — 

For the second straight year, the Spanish Super Cup final will feature an El Clásico.

Goals from Robert Lewandowski and Lamine Yamal gave Barcelona a 2-0 win over Osasuna on Thursday to advance to the final, where they will take on eternal rival Real Madrid.

The game – taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – remained goalless in the first half as Barça struggled to put chances away. A long-range strike from Ferran Torres whistled past the post inside the first 10 minutes before the usually clinical Lewandowski had his shot saved by Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera shortly after.

Though the Blaugrana was the favorite coming into the matchup, 2023 Copa del Rey runner-up Osasuna made sure to take the game to last year’s La Liga champion. Jesús Areso had an early sight of goal when his effort from inside the box flashed just wide, while Ante Budimir was denied by an onrushing Iñaki Peña.

Soccer Football - Spanish Super Cup - Semi Final - FC Barcelona v Osasuna - Al-Awwal Park, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - January 11, 2024
Osasuna's Ante Budimir in action with FC Barcelona's Inaki Pena and Ronald Araujo REUTERS/Juan Medina

Barça continued to have the better opportunities but failed to convert them. It appeared at one point that it just was not Lewandowski’s night, with the Polish striker missing a free header from a corner and having another effort blocked inside the box.

Both sides saw audacious long-range free kicks saved as the two teams entered half-time unable to break the deadlock.

However, Barcelona’s attack appeared to come alive in the second half and Lewandowski finally opened the scoring in 59th minute when he latched on to a through ball from İlkay Gündoğan and slotted past Herrera to give the Blaugrana the lead.

Barcelona's Polish forward #09 Robert Lewandowski shoots to score his team's first goal during the Spanish Super Cup semi-final football match between Barcelona and Osasuna at the Al-Awwal Park Stadium in Riyadh, on January 11, 2024. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP) (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Osasuna’s ventures forward became rarer after half-time and did not produce much to trouble Peña in the Barça net.

Barcelona were handed a boost by the return of midfielder Pedri from injury, who came off the bench just after the hour mark, but were dealt a blow when winger Raphinha was substituted after suffering a leg problem.

He was replaced by 16-year-old phenom Yamal, who became the youngest player ever to play in the Super Cup, per Barcelona.

The teenager put the game to bed late on, collecting a pass from João Félix and finishing inside the box to wrap things up inside added time.

Soccer Football - Spanish Super Cup - Semi Final - FC Barcelona v Osasuna - Al-Awwal Park, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - January 11, 2024
FC Barcelona's Lamine Yamal scores their second goal past Osasuna's Sergio Herrera REUTERS/Juan Medina

“We put in a serious performance and I am happy, it gives us morale and confidence ahead of the final against Real Madrid,” Barcelona manager Xavi said after the game. “It was not a brilliant performance, just a good one.”

Barça is now set to battle its Clásico adversary Real on Sunday, who defeated city rival Atlético Madrid 5-3 in a thrilling semifinal on Wednesday that required extra time to separate the two sides.



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