Real Madrid won the first El Clasico of 2022, beating rival Barcelona 3-2 in extra time on Wednesday in the semifinals of the Supercopa de España.
It was Federico Valverde’s goal in the 98th minute that gave Los Blancos the win in Saudi Arabia, sending them into Sunday’s final, where they will play either Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team entered the day as the favorites, and they managed to put themselves in the lead twice, only to blow their leads, including conceding the 2-2 equalizer with seven minutes to go on a fine finish by Ansu Fati.
Barca started off the extra sessions sharper, but Real made Barca pay for their mistakes time and time again to earn the victory over their fiercest rivals. Here’s Valverde’s winning goal and the wonderful dummy from Vinicius Junior.
The win puts Real back in the final for the first time since 2019-20 when they beat Atletico in penalties.
While it wasn’t great for Barca, there was some encouraging signs in attack. With new signing Ferran Torres in and Memphis Depay out (he came on later in the game) of the starting XI, Xavi’s team managed to pull off 20 shots and 54 percent possession.
that’s six El Clasicos without a win for Barcelona, but brighter days are ahead, especially if they continue to make savvy investments, given the financial constraints.
Real also didn’t make Luka Modric or Viniciius Junior go the full 120, saving them a bit for the final, though Vinicius did go 110 minutes.