Player ratings as Barca win Supercopa de Espana
Goals from Gavi, Robert Lewandowski and Pedri earned Barcelona a surprisingly comfortable Clasico win in the Supercopa de Espana final on Sunday.
Barcelona ran Real Madrid ragged throughout the clash in the King Fahd International Stadium, with young guns Pedri and Gavi inspiring their team to the victory.
Barca were the much better team in the opening exchanges, creating the first two real openings of the game. The first would fall to Ronald Araujo, who ghosted in at the back post unmarked from a Pedri set piece, but was just unable to slide far enough to tap the ball into the next from inside the six yard box. And the second would come courtesy of Robert Lewandowski, who forced Thibaut Courtois into a great save with his shot from just outside the penalty area.
Those two chances seemed to wake Real Madrid up a bit, and the Champions League holders would soon go up the other end of the park and create a great chance of their own. Ferland Mendy proved to be the architect of the opportunity with the full-back hitting the byline before looping a cross into the path of Karim Benzema at the far post. The French star, however, could only head his subsequent effort wide of the post.
Benzema was made to rue that miss in the 33rd minute when Gavi gave La Blaugrana a 1-0 lead. The goal came after Sergio Busquets took the ball off Eduardo Camavinga in his own defensive third, before playing the ball into the feel of Lewandowski on the edge of the box. Instead of shooting however, Lewa opted to drill a pass cleverly into the path of Gavi on the left of the penalty are who, after controlling, drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Los Blancos were at sixes and sevens thereafter in the first half, and were deservedly two goals down by the time the half-time whistle blew. This time Gavi would turn provider for Lewa, squaring the ball to the unmarked striker inside the penalty area – a chance Lewa obviously took.
Barca continued to threaten at the start of the second 45, with Ousmane Dembele spurning a brilliant opportunity to make his side’s lead unassailable. After some lung-bursting running from Alejandro Balde on the left flank, the young full-back curled the ball brilliantly into Dembele inside the penalty area. The French forward controlled the ball well but saw his effort on goal smothered by Courtois in the Real Madrid goal.
The lack of energy and pace in Real Madrid’s game meant that, largely, despite being two goals behind Carlo Ancelotti’s men rarely threatened the opposition backline.
Xavi’s men would deservedly make it 3-0 in the 70th minute following a quick counter attack led by Gavi. The mercurial 18-yard-old charged into the box before drilling the ball across goal and into the stride of Pedri, who made no mistake with his finish.
Real Madrid would end up getting a goal back deep in stoppage time through Benzema, who fired home at the second time of asking after a save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
GK – Thibaut Courtois – 7/10 – Made a few great saves throughout.
RB – Dani Carvajal – 3/10 – Simply couldn’t keep up with Balde or Gavi.
CB – Eder Militao – 3/10 – Put simply: he struggled.
CB – Antonio Rudiger – 2/10 – Ran ragged by Lewandowski all evening. Really poor performance.
LB – Ferland Mendy – 5/10 – Created Real Madrid’s only chance of the game. Well done…we guess.
CM – Luka Modric -4/10 – Looked tired in midfield. He was chasing shadows for most of the game.
CM – Eduardo Camavinga – 3/10 – Dispossessed in the lead up to the opener. Not at the races and subbed off at half-time.
CM – Toni Kroos – 3/10 – Looked so slow in comparison to Barca’s young energetic midfield.
RW – Federico Valverde – 4/10 – Nowhere near his usual standard.
ST – Karim Benzema – 6/10 – He didn’t look fully ready for this calibre of game after a lengthy injury lay-off. Managed to score very late on.
LW – Vinicius Junior – 5/10 – Similar to the performances he put in at the World Cup. No that’s not a compliment.
SUB – Rodrygo – 5/10.
SUB – Dani Ceballos – N/A.
SUB – Marco Asensio – N/A.
SUB – Nacho Fernandez – N/A.
GK – Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 6/10 – He had literally nothing to do.
RB – Jules Kounde – 7/10 – Dealt with Vinicius Junior well.
CB – Ronald Araujo – 7/10 – Nearly scored in the first half and kept Benzema extremely quiet.
CB – Andreas Christensen – 6/10 – A pretty easy evening at the office for the ex-Chelsea man.
LB – Alejandro Balde – 7/10 – So dynamic with his running and so precise with his passing. Serious player.
CM – Pedri – 8/10 – His energy and quality running with the ball caused Real Madrid’s midfield a whole host of problems. Got himself a goal too.
CM – Sergio Busquets – 7/10 – Rolled back the years to lead Barca’s midfield press.
CM – Frenkie de Jong – 7/10 – Looks reborn in recent months. Another standout performance.
RW – Ousmane Dembele – 6/10 – Slightly wasteful but always looked a threat.
ST – Robert Lewandowski – 8/10 – Real Madrid’s centre-backs really struggled to contain him. Bagged a goal and an assist in the first half.
LW – Gavi – 9/10 – Scored a lovely goal and set up two others. He’s a ridiculously good footballer.
SUB – Raphinha – N/A.
SUB – Franck Kessie – N/A.
SUB – Sergi Roberto – N/A.
SUB – Ansu Fati – N/A.
SUB – Eric Garcia – N/A.