It’s taken them 120 minutes and a penalty shootout but Barcelona are now in the final of the Supercup, where they still await their rival. Tonight, Real Madrid will face Athletic Club for that second spot and the Catalans should soon find out the name of the team they’ll face come Sunday.
Needless to say, the papers are over the moon this morning. Mundo Deportivo say the Blaugrana are heading to the final after an imposing shootout against La Real.
It has to be noted that this was a Barcelona without Lionel Messi, who was on the sidelines following a slight injury in the game against Granada. This makes the victory that much more impressive as other players, namely their German wall, stepped up when the squad needed them the most.
SPORT are, in fact, all over Marc-André ter Stegen, calling him a hero after yesterday’s display. And rightly so.
After all, it was his performance that sent Barcelona into the final as Ter Stegen made crucial saves to ensure the Catalans are victorious. He even stopped Mikel Oyarzabal’s shot, which was the first penalty the young star has missed in his entire career.
But the fight isn’t over just yet. There’s one more game left to be played and just like yesterday evening, it will be a tough affair against a really strong opponent.
Ronald Araujo speaks following win against Rayo Vallecano in the Copa del Rey
There is so much that can be said in praise of Ronald Araujo, who is coming up as Barcelona’s talisman in defence. Saving his team in any and all games, Araujo has come up clutch on several occasions. The team looks a lot more secure with him at the back, and proof of the same is Barcelona’s record with him in the team.
Barcelona have played 13 games with Araujo in the league, and have lost none of them. Additionally, he has also helped win both Copa del Rey games this season, but came up short against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League – his only shortcoming this season. The Uruguayan spoke following the win against Rayo Vallecano in the post-game press conference.
He was asked about how the team fared, and the comeback win away from home, to which he replied, “It was a difficult game. We should have finished it off earlier, but the important thing is that we’ve qualified to the next round and we are happy about that.”
The win was far from comfortable, though, and Araujo spoke about how Barça helped alter the result of the game despite being pegged behind: “They started to play higher in defence we took advantage of that. Luckily we won and we are in the next round, which was the objective. We want to fight for this Copa del Rey, which is very important to us.”
This game brings the end of the innumerable away games Barcelona played on the trot, and will now finally come back to the Camp Nou this weekend to face Athletic Bilbao in the last game of the month. Araujo acknowledged how important this away win was, saying, “It was mandatory for us to win away from home, we needed it.”
Levante, Villarreal, Real Betis, Sevilla, and Almeria have all qualified for the quarter-finals along with Barcelona. Granada and Athletic Bilbao will face off against CDA Navalcarnero and CD Alcoyano respectively to determine the last two members of this eight-team knockout.