Barcelona lost 3-2 to Atletico Madrid on Thursday in a dramatic, entertaining game in the Spanish Super Cup which means Diego Simeone’s side secure a place in Sunday’s final against Real Madrid. Barca came from behind to lead 2-1 and should have had more but found Jan Oblak in inspired form, allowing Alvaro Morata and Angel Correa to snatch the win.
Not a great deal happened in the first half although Barca were the better team. Arturo Vidal hit a shot wide, Oblak made a good save from Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique was booked for wiping out Renan Lodi.
The best chance of the half fell to Antoine Griezmann just before the break. Luis Suarez played the Frenchman through on goal with just Oblak to beat, but the former Atletico man saw his effort blocked by the goalkeeper.
Otherwise the first half was most notable for Ernesto Valverde being roundly booed by supporters in the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium whenever his face flashed up on the big screens around the ground.
Koke came on at half-time and put Atletico ahead straight from kick-off. Correa slipped the midfielder in behind Sergi Roberto, and he calmly slotted past Neto.
Atletico’s lead did not last long as Messi equalised five minutes later. The Barcelona captain battled past Stefan Savic and Koke on the edge of the box and then thumped a low shot past Oblak.
Messi thought he had put Barca ahead on the hour after controlling the ball beautifully and curling it past Oblak only to see it disallowed by VAR for handball.
Yet Barca kept on attacking and scored again when Griezmann headed home after Oblak had blocked a thunderous Suarez header.
VAR then chalked another Barcelona goal off after a clever free-kick. Messi knocked the ball to Arturo Vidal to lunge and lay off to Gerard Pique. The defender tapped home from close range, but it was disallowed for offside by Vidal.
Atletico equalised from the penalty spot after Neto brought down Correa. Morata sent Neto the wrong way to make it 2-2 with nine minutes of normal time remaining. Diego Simeone’s side then wanted another spot-kick for a handball by Gerard Pique but VAR said no.
It didn’t really matter though because Barca’s defence had gone to pieces and conceded again when Correa raced through and shot at Neto. The goalkeeper got two hands to the ball but it looped over him and bounced into the goal despite Ivan Rakitic’s attempts to hook it clear.
Barcelona: Neto; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets (Rakitic), De Jong (Ansu), Vidal; Messi, Suárez, Griezmann.
Bench: Inaki Pena, Semedo, Lenglet, Rakitic, Junior Firpo, Carles Perez, Ansu Fati
Goals: Messi (51’), Griezmann (62’)
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Savic, Renan Lodi (Vitolo); Correa, Thomas, Herrera (Koke) (Llorente), Saul; Joao Felix, Morata.
Goals: Koke (46’), Morata (81’), Correa (86’)