Atlético Madrid stun Barcelona to head into Spanish Super Cup final
Barcelona vs Atlético Madrid, Spanish Super Cup semi-final
Thank you for joining us tonight and we'll be back on Sunday for the final between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. The Derbi in Jeddah.
Phew! What a second half that was. Barcelona came out on the back of a fairly convincing 45 and could not have envisaged going a goal down inside 22 seconds. They very quickly fixed that, thanks to the right boot of Messi, and then always looked like the team that would go onto win. That wasn't to be, though.
Whether due to a little complacency or not, gaps started to appear in the blaugrana backline, and the Leti forwards were more than happy to run into them. Correa was the main threat, winning a penalty and then scoring, both from almost identical runs. And from that lead, Simeone's side were able to hold out for the final few minutes.
Atlético Madrid beat Barcelona at the tenth time of asking and their reward is to play local rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final 2020.
Peep, peep, peeeeeep! It's all over.
CHANCE | Messi gets on the ball again, this time deeper. He lofts it into the area and Piqué (moved up to striker) is the one to head towards goal. Just over.
Messi down the right, jinks in and out, finds space and lifts a cross to the back post... it's way, way too long.
Four minutes to be added. Time for Messi?
What a run from Llorente. The Barça players struggle to keep with him, only Neto keeping their goal intact with a strong arm.
As it stands, the two 'invited' teams (i.e. not the league or cup winners) are going into the final
Barça change | Fati on for De Jong
Gooooaaaalllll!!! Correa breaks into the same open space as before and this time shoots. Neto gets some part of his body in the way but the ball loops up and bounces into the net.
The cross from Morata is deflected, albeit slightly, by Piqué's hand, which he appears to move in the direction of the ball. The ref reviews and...says NO PENALTY! Strange.
It's another penalty shout for Atlético!!
Penalty | Correa bursts through a gaping hole in the Barça defence and Neto comes out and brings him down. Morata to take
Atlético have just started to turn up some pressure here. An offside brings a promising chance to an end. Could they turn the momentum?
Vidal booked | Unsurprising really, another firm challenge
From the resulting free-kick Barcelona have the ball in the net again. A beautifully crafted move: Messi's delivery over the defensive line, met with a stretched leg by Vidal who knocks it across the goal for Piqué to tap home.
VAR is quickly involved, though, and Vidal was adjudged (correctly) to be offside.
Llorente booked | what a way to start.
Atlético change | Llorente on for Koke
Stoppage in play here as Vidal gets some time to recover from a knock that was all his own doing. Messi's lay-off to him was short and instead of accepting that he was never going to beat Koke to it, he flew in with a dangerous follow through.
He looks fine to continue.
Atlético change | Vitolo on for Lodi
SAVE | Oblak is having a busy time of things. Suárez latches onto a slide pass on the right side of the area, spins and hits it sweetly first time. The keeper drops a firm hand low and blocks the effort.
Atleti need to watch out or this game could be out of reach very soon.
Felipe booked | Tough, frustration-fuelled challenge gets the reaction it deserved.
Well, that was all a bit crazy. As some of the Barça players were still feeling hard-done by after the Messi disallowed goal, Suárez met a cross to the back post with a thumping header that was excellently saved by Oblak.
...unfortunately for him it dropped perfectly for the incoming Frenchman who headed home from a couple of yards.
Gooooaaaaalll!!! Griezmann turns those VAR frowns upside down
The ref has been called across to check his monitor for a potential handball from Messi as he controlled the ball before placing it home beautifully... GOAL DISALLOWED
Foul given away by Suárez as he stands underneath Oblak who is coming to claim a high cross. That Uruguayan must be a pain to play against.
SAVE | Griezmann skips around Savic neatly and again finds himself in the inside left channel and Oblak to beat. This time the Frenchman goes for a cheeky lob rather than power, but a lofted hand parries the ball down.
The boys in blaugrana want to ride this wave and Messi again gets a decent shot away at goal, this time from just outside the area. Oblak is behind it well and gathers after a small spil.
A ball across the edge of the area from Vidal is initially met by Suárez, but his Argentine teammate takes over, wriggles free of two defenders and swipes the ball home with his right boot. Oblak stood no chance with that.
Barça immediately look to respond, building up the play around the Atleti area.
Following the celebrations, Koke's next invovlement is to give away a free-kick.
Koke had been introduced in place of Herrera at the break, and what an introduction. In the first move of the second 45, Félix played the ball into the feet of Correa who then laid it off to Koke in the centre of the area.
The Spaniard's connection wasn't pure but it was enough to sneak inside the left-hand upright.
OK, it's time to get the second half going...
An interesting first half where the early press from Simeone's side suggested they were there to remind Barça of their problems away from the Camp Nou - winning only four of their 10 games in the league on their travels. This didn't last, however.
As Messi and co. got more of the ball, Atleti were pushed further back into their half, only occasionally getting the chance to break in the other direction. Oblak was called into action on a number of occasions, and is the main reason that there have been no goals thus far.
Savic booked for Atlético
Suárez booked for Barcelona
The whistle blows for half-time. But that is not the end of the action as there is a bit of a disagreement between Félix and Suárez. Savic then comes flying in to aid his young teammate and the whole kerfuffle ends with two bookings.
Atlético get a chance to escape the pressure. Félix almost sprints clear of the tracking midfielder, but then feeds Saúl whose cross fails. Correa then has a chance but it comes to nothing. That should be that.
There will be two minutes time added on.
Suárez almost gets free but a defending leg stops him. Then Griezmann throws in a ball which is just as effectively cleared. Possession for Barça up to nearly 75%.
CHANCE | Griezmann is fed in behind the Atlético defence and only has Oblak to beat. What am I saying 'only'? It's Oblak-topus...and the keeper wins yet another dual.
The game had a decent balance to it in the early stages but the last 20 minutes or so has seen a shift towards the current Liga leaders. Atleti have been forced back and now look to hit on the break when they get possession.
Partey booked | A couple of corners go Barça's way and fouling from Thomas before one of them was taken ends with the ref popping his name in the book.
Pique booked | Lodi skips away from the veteren defender at pace and is clattered by the Barça man, who then claims innocence. No doubt a card was the right call.
Messi cuts in from the left and tries that trademark curler into the far corner. His sights are clearly not set just yet.
Very good work from Félix in his own half creates a counter attack for the rojiblancos. Morata is played in on the left, he sends it across field with the overlapping Trippier getting a chance to whip in a cross to those joining.
The Englishman fluffs his lines.
Nothing came of the corner directly but Barça get a couple more opportunities to deliver crosses into the crowded Atleti area. A solid defensive unit keeps them at bay.
It's a corner to Barça after their number 10 jinks into the inside right channel under pressure and fails to cross. This live-feeder is not convinced it should have been a corner but Messi will take it anyway.
SAVE x2 | Oblak is called into action twice in quick succession on either side of his goal. The second, a strike from Suárez, didn't look like much initially but the replay showed just how good the hand reaction was from the Slovenian.
Maybe we just take his shot-stopping for granted.
De Jong flies into a challenge - could have seen yellow on another day.
Another foul, this time from Saúl, has stopped play - along with some futile claims from Messi that there had been a handball in the Atleti area - as the game loses its opening flow.
After a little more possession for the blaugrana side, a ball is played in towards Oblak, who comes out to punch under pressure from Luis Suárez. A bottom 'nudge' into the keeper is enough to hurt and keep him down for a short while, the ref agreeing it was a foul.
Pause in play | Correa gets caught in a Neto-Umtiti sandwich as he challenges in vain for a high ball. Treatment needed but he should be fine to continue.
Alba is again encouraged to join in the Barça attack and his pass finds Messi on the left of Oblak's six-yard area. A little shuffle of his mercurial feet suggests trouble may be coming Atleti's way but the defenders stroll away from him as they notice a raised flag for an earlier offside.
First Morata gets down the left and fails to get his cross past the covering defender. Then Felix has a chance to cut the ball back from the byline but completely misses the ball as his momentum took him over it.
Vidal tries his luck now as the both sides aim to get on the scoresheet early. The shot is wide of the target.
From that last turnover in possession, Atleti then release Morata down their right. The cross is a couple of centimetres from reaching its target. Things opening up nicely here.
Partey then collects and let's fly from distance. Powerful, on target, but straight into Neto's arms.
A bit of tooing and froing from both sides is then opened up by a sprint down the left wing from Jordi Alba. He choses to cut the ball into the centre rather than taking it deeper into the Atleti third and any potential danger passes.
Trippier's delivery is good but the first head to the ball is in the Barça colours, and a full clearance is completed.
More pressure from the Madrid side sees an unnecessary corner given away by Umtiti.
Barça get things going and are immediately under pressure from several red and white shirts. A sign of things to come?
And we're off!
The teams are on the pitch, the coin has been tossed, the executives are in their comfy seats...
Atlético president Enrique Cerezo has just been speaking and has said his side has two problems: "the referee and VAR".
Let's see how that conspiracy theory pans out...
Right, the teams are in the tunnel and we're almost set to get this semi-final underway.
Jose Luis Gonzalez is the man in charge of proceedings this evening. He oversaw the 0-0 draw between the two big Madrid sides back in September and dishes out about five yellow cards per game on average.
The Atleti coach spoke about the time needed to adjust for young players like João Félix, but even with no win against tonight's opponents in nine attempts, he was in confident mood.
"We know the rival's virtues, as they have always had them.
"We go into the game with good momentum, with things to improve. Playing against the best in the world makes you stronger because you have to be alert from the start and the team grows and improves."
Back to tonight's opponents. Barça coach Valverde will be determined to lift this trophy on Sunday evening but has raised some concerns over the new format.
"Football we’re involved with is an industry, he said ahead of this match. "The search for sources of income is why we’re here"
Regarding the new format, with two 'invited' teams: "I think it was fine as it was".
Los Blancos await
For those of you that missed what went down here last night, Real Madrid delivered a very professional performance to see off the Copa del Rey holders, Valencia.
Here's how their players were rated.
Did you know that this is not the first time that Atlético have played in the King Abdullah Sports City? Back in 2016 they helped Ittihad Club celebrate their 90th anniversary.
No surprises then that the two managers have gone for strong line-ups - injury losses accepted - and many eyes will be on the attacking pairings of both sides.
Barça's tantalising 'MSG' trident of Messi, Suárez and Griezmann had been expected to sprinkle a special sauce onto the Liga champions this season, but the addition of the French striker has been far from the missing ingredient.
Atlético's frontline woes have been even more acute, worrying to an extreme, in fact. They may sit in third position in the table but that is down to their defensive solidity. Out of the top 13 teams in the Spanish top flight, only Athletic Bilbao have scored fewer than Diego Simeone's outfit, 22 in 19 games.
João Félix and Álvaro Morata have a chance to show they can deliver tonight.
Atlético starting XI
Oblak, Trippier, Felipe, Savić, Lodi, Herrera, Thomas, Saúl, Correa, João Félix, Morata
Barcelona starting XI
Neto, S. Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba, Vidal, Busquets, De Jong, Messi, Suárez, Griezmann
Team news is in...
Barça's home and away
Barcelona have been deemed the home side for this fixture and Atlético the away side. 'Why is that important?' I hear you ask.
Well, despite playing this game 4,033 km away from the Camp Nou, Ernesto Valverde may be trying his best to convince his players they're at home, given their away record this season. More on that coming up.
If you're uncertain of the exact time of kick-off in your region, here's a handy guide to help you. There you'll also find some complementary services - archaic ideas like viewing actual footage on a television or tablet - to have alongside our feed.
Hello and good evening. Thank you for joining me for the second semi-final of the new-style Spanish Super Cup, with Barcelona and Atlético Madrid facing off at the King Abdullah Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Kick-off is set for 20:00 CET but I'll be bringing you all the related news as we build up to the match, including confirmed team line-ups as they're announced.