Barça progress without Leo Messi but with Ter Stegen
I have to admit being a fan of this 'Rubiales format' Supercopa and I like it being staged in Andalucía during the winter, despite it being a less lucrative location compared to Saudi Arabia. Andalucía is an ideal region as it offers a series of high quality venues as we're seeing with both men's and women's Super Cup competitions being staged at the same time. The women's competition is being played exclusively in Almería with Atlético-Levante the finalists who will battle for the cup next Saturday. Holding both Super Cup's at the same time I feel does not take away from the women's competition but helps boost its attention with the week seeing a celebration of the best in Spanish football.
Ter Stegen the hero
Córdoba was the host venue for a wonderful first semi-final with a packed stadium and Leo Messi on the pitch being the only missing ingredients. Barça and Real Sociedad offered a fine spectacle that went all the way to extra time and the contest was ultimately resolved from the penalty spot. Ter Stegen stopped the first kicks from the Basque side with misses from Barça's De Jong and Griezmann adding to the emotion. Barça's Riqui Puig bagged the winning spot kick after coming on for the Catalan side in extra time in a night where the hero for Barça was undoubtedly German stopper Ter Stegen.
It was a cruel blow for the men from San Sebastian who played so well and were thwarted on a number of occasions during the game by Ter Stegen. The German became the protagonist as the penalty kicks loomed with his constant movement pre-kick managed to sufficiently distract all three Real Sociedad penalty takers with first three missed. Even the always reliable Oyarzabal who had bagged his last 15 strikes from the spot with his unique manner of despatching the ball was distracted and saw the German stopper guess correctly and save the effort. Real Sociedad were excellent losers but now head home and will be forced to watch Real Madrid vs. Athletic in the second semi-final from their living rooms. Let's see if the second game delivers as much as Wednesday's clash.
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