Barcelona are through to the 2024 Spanish Super Cup Final thanks to a hard-fought 2-0 win against Osasuna on Thurwday’s semi-final at the Al-Awwal Park in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Blaugrana were given a tough fight by an Osasuna side that always knows how to cause Barça problems, but the Catalans found a way to score two goals in the second half to earn the victory and set up El Clásico for the title on Sunday.
Barça made a strong start to the game and could have taken the lead in the first 10 minutes, with Andreas Christensen forcing an excellent save out of Sergio Herrera and Ferran Torres just barely missing the target with a shot from outside the box. Barça created plenty of problems early with their high pressing, and constantly caught Osasuna’s defenders in bad positions.
But as time went on the side from Pamplona began dropping further and further back and settled into a 5-3-2 formation designed to close spaces in the final third and not allow the Blaugrana easy passing lanes in attack. Their plan worked and Barça stopped creating danger, mostly resorting to sideways passing that barely troubled the Osasuna backline. Robert Lewandowski missed a wide-open header after a corner taken by Ilkay Gündogan, but that was Barça’s only good chance in the last half-hour of the period.
The Catalans also lost another player to injury as Raphinha was forced to leave just before halftime with a hamstring issue, but his replacement Lamine Yamal nearly created the opening goal with a gorgeous pass into the box to find Lewandowski in great position to score, but Herrera made another good save to keep the score intact.
At halftime Barça had the ball but didn’t quite know what to do with it, and Osasuna comfortably accomplished their first half objective of still being in the game ahead of the final period.
The second half started with more of the same as Barça had the ball but were slow with their passing and movement and struggled to find spaces inside a tight Osasuna defense. But right at the hour mark came the breakthrough: Gündogan played a sensational through ball to find Lewandowski inside the box, and the Pole fired the ball into the bottom corner to put the Catalans in front.
João Félix and Pedri came on right after the goal looking to give the Barça attack more creativity and spark, and Félix nearly doubled the lead with one of his first few touches and a shot that required a brilliant save from Herrera. But that was the only moment of danger from the Blaugrana, and Osasuna began opening up in search of an equalizer as we reached the final 15 minutes.
Osasuna managed to reach the last five minutes without conceding a second, so they threw the kitchen’s sink at Barça looking for the equalizer. They made attacking substitutions and sent cross after cross into the box looking to create a chance, and they pressed Barça high trying to get the ball back and continue attacking.
Osasuna couldn’t create a real chance and left spaces in behind to be exploited, and Barça did it to perfection to seal the win: João Félix went on a sensational solo run through the left side and found Lamine Yamal all alone inside the box, and the youngster finished the counter-attack with an excellent finish to double the Blaugrana lead and book a spot in the title match.
The final whistle came shortly after to confirm Barça’s victory, and now they’ll face their biggest rivals for the Supercopa title for the second year in a row. What a game that should be.
Barcelona: Peña; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde; Roberto (Pedri 61’), Gündogan, De Jong; Raphinha (Yamal 42’), Lewandowski, Ferran (Félix 61’)
Goals: Lewandowski (59’), Yamal (90+3’)
Osasuna: Herrera; Areso, García, Catena, Cruz (Barja 85’), Peña (Mojica 78’); Aimar, Muñoz (Moncayola 69’), Gómez (García 85’); Arnáiz (García 69’), Budimir