Barcelona are inching closer to a record 15th Spanish Super Cup title after a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Osasuna in Riyadh. Two second-half goals kept their winning streak alive, now four games strong across all competitions.
Things kicked off in a whirlwind fashion in the Saudi capital, with the competition’s most decorated team facing off against a determined Osasuna side hungry for their first major trophy. Chances flew at both ends early on, with Frenkie de Jong setting Ferran Torres free, but the Spaniard skied his effort. At the other end, Jesús Areso’s curling shot just missed the target. Barça midfielder İlkay Gündoğan tried to take control, sending Robert Lewandowski through on the left, but Sergio Herrera made a sharp save.
The Gündoğan-Lewandowski partnership clicked again, but the Polish captain couldn’t quite test Herrera with his header from the German’s cross. Ante Budimir hadn’t scored against Barcelona in his last seven games, but came agonizingly close after latching onto Areso’s pass, only to be denied by Iñaki Peña. Both teams went into the break level, with Xavi forced to replace the injured Raphinha with Lamine Yamal.
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The Spanish champions finally broke the deadlock from a familiar source. Just before the hour mark, Lewandowski pounced on Gündoğan’s pass, raced past the defense, and coolly slotted the ball past Herrera for his 11th goal of the season across all competitions. VAR checked a potential foul by Andreas Christensen in the build-up, but it was deemed minimal, and Lewandowski’s strike stood. Herrera then kept Barça at bay with a stunning save on João Félix’s effort. Osasuna struggled to create clear-cut chances, although Budimir did manage to slice through the Barça defense and force a save from Peña.
Lamine Yamal added some extra shine to the scoreline in stoppage time with a left-footed shot that squirmed past Herrera, a chance brilliantly engineered by Félix. This was the first time Barcelona had won by more than a single goal since their 5-0 thrashing of Royal Antwerp in the Champions League group stage back in September. Xavi’s men now eagerly await a mouthwatering clash against Real Madrid in Sunday’s final.
Man of the Match: İlkay Gündoğan (Barcelona)