Player ratings as Riqui Puig scores a winning penalty
Barcelona advance to the Supercopa de Espana final after beating Real Sociedad 3-2 on penalties, following a 1-1 stalemate, at Nuevo Arcangel on Wednesday night.
Real Socieded started best as they had several scoring chances in the top 20, including a one-on-one Aleksander Isak saved brilliantly by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
However, with just under half an hour, Barcelona recovered and started to see the lion’s share of the ball. Martin Braithwaite failed to convert two half chances, before finding Antoine Griezmann who deliciously prepared Frenkie de Jong to return home from close up.
The second half started much brighter than the first and, five minutes after the restart, De Jong dealt with a cross from Mikel Oyarzabal in the area, for which the referee awarded a penalty. Oyarzabal stepped up and calmly converted ahead of Ter Stegen.
Ter Stegen was put into action just four minutes after the start of the first overtime period, forced to a spectacular save by Piledriver Andoni Gorosabel. The Blaugrana then saw opportunities for Dembele and Griezmann to go begging either side of the extra break, thanks to crucial saves from Merino. Real Sociedad’s Adnan Januzaj was then brilliantly pushed back by Ter Stegen, before seeing his 30-yard free-kick miraculously flipped over the post by the German keeper in the final five minutes, resulting in the game being penalized.
After Ter Stegen saved Real Sociedad’s first two penalties, it was ultimately substitute Riqui Puig who converted the winning penalty to secure his side’s place in the Supercopa final.
Now to the odds.
Marc-André ter Stegen (GK) – 9/10 – As usual, Ter Stegen made some crucial first-class saves and some heroics in the shootout saving two of Sociedad’s five penalties. The German was exceptional during the night.
Oscar Mingueza (RB) – 6/10 – He’s been beaten for pace on more than one occasion, but has faced a tough opponent well, making four tackles to the right-back.
Ronald Araujo (CB) – 7/10 – I had some great recoveries in the first half, keeping Isak at bay. He kept his back line safe overall, making four clearances and regaining possession twice.
Clément Lenglet (CB) – 6/10 – Didn’t do much in a defensive sense, but came out well with the ball and found the players with ease, ending the game with 96% passing accuracy.
Jordi Alba (LB) – 6/10 – He found himself on the ball fairly consistently, but couldn’t seem to do much with it, only making three crosses in the game.
Sergio Busquets (DM) – 8/10 – Another subtly solid performance from the Barca legend.
Frenkie de Jong (CM) – 6/10 – I did well to convert a not-so-easy six-meter head in 39 minutes. It didn’t go so well after the break, however, unnecessarily giving the opposition a penalty kick in the 50th minute and missing a golden chance right after. He also missed Barca’s first penalty kick in the shootout.
Pedri (CM) – 7/10 – Usually makes an impact on games, but maybe missed Lionel Messi’s presence in front of him.
Ousmane Dembele (RW) – 6/10 – Continues to show his quality in bursts, and was not fortunate enough not to record an assist, making three key passes, but also sometimes proved a waste.
Antoine Griezmann (ST) – 8/10 – The Frenchman got his second assist in two games as he improved De Jong perfectly. I found it difficult to take on the role of Messi and have the same impact – obviously – but did a pretty solid job with his ball distribution, making a few key passes.
Martin Braithwaite (LW) – 6/10 – The Dane had very little serve throughout the 90s, but was extremely successful in finding Griezmann in preparation for the opener. Other than that, I struggled to get into the game.
Trincao (LW) – 5/10 – Had the longest time on the field of all substitutes and made the smallest contribution. During his 42 minutes on the pitch, the Portuguese winger had 13 successful passes – and that’s it.
Riqui Puig (CM) – 7/10 – As usual, the Spaniard looked brilliant after his introduction. He finished extra time with 92% passing accuracy before scoring the winning penalty in the shootout – a special moment for the youngster.
Miralem Pjanic (CM) – 6/10
Junior Firpo (RB) – 6/10