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Real Betis vs Barcelona summary: score, goals, highlights | Spanish Super Cup 2023

Barcelona defeat Real Betis on penalties and will face Real Madrid in the final of the Spanish Super Cup 2023.

Real Betis vs Barcelona: as it happened

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Betis were great, but thanks to Marc-André ter Stegen's penalty heroics, Barcelona edged out Los Verdiblancos and now have the chance to lift the first trophy of Xavi's tenure as boss.

Barça will face holders and arch rivals Real Madrid in Sunday's final, in the first Clásico of the season.

Be sure to join us for live-text coverage of that clash, which kicks off at at King Fahd International Stadium at 2pm ET/11am PT.

Thanks for joining!

William Allen

"We’ve shown once more that we have a super team"

Real Betis have just posted this message on their official Twitter account:

We’re not going to win the Super Cup, but we’ve shown once more that we have a super team.”

They're a right good side, it must be said. Barça, as the old cliché goes, know they've been in a game.

Ter Stegen

Ter Stegen saves William Carvalho's penalty during the shoot-out.

(Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

William Allen

16th Super Cup Clásico clash in store

Sunday’s Clásico will be the 16th game that Barcelona and Real Madrid have played in the Spanish Super Cup, Mister Chip notes.

So far, Madrid have won nine, Barça have won four and there have been two draws (the Super Cup used to be played over two legs).

Xavi: "Ter Stegen's a match-winning goalkeeper"

Xavi has spoken to Movistar - and doesn’t seem all that taken with his team’s performance today.

Couldn't kill game when in control:

“The first half we were in total control, and if we’d scored the second goal it would have changed the game […]. We made life difficult for ourselves against a very good side.”

Loren goal for Betis:

“I don’t know how the ball went in, it’s an incredible bacljeel.”

Sloppy in possession:

“We gave the ball away needlessly too many times […]. We’re struggling to kill games off.”

Ter Stegen:

“He’s a match-winning goalkeeper. I’m delighted with the way he’s performed since I’ve been here.”

Clash with Real Madrid:

“I always want to play against the best and beat the best, and I think Madrid are one of the best teams.”

William Allen

Barcelona's players celebrate after Pedri's winning penalty.

(Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

William Allen

We’re gutted. But the players and the fans can feel proud of the fight that we showed. We’re pleased with how we played.

Betis defender Juan Miranda, speaking to Movistar

Ter Stegen: "A really difficult game"

Fresh from saving two penalties, Barça hero Marc-André ter Stegen has spoken to Movistar on Spanish TV:

Fine Betis performance:

"It was a really difficult game, particularly in the second half. Betis had a lot of the ball and made life really difficult for us. I’m really happy with the win."

Clásico in the final:

“It’ll be a really special game. Everybody wants to see those games. We’re delighted to play in them, and really want to win them.”

William Allen

Barça end Betis' Super Cup hopes again

Real Betis really could hardly have done more to make the final, but they go home and Barcelona move on to the trophy decider. The Blaugrana will have the chance to win the Spanish Super Cup for the first time since its expansion to a four-team format.

For Betis, their second appearance in the Super Cup has ended just as their first did, with defeat to Barça.

Other than the opening 20 minutes or so, Manuel Pellegrini's men went toe-to-toe with the Catalans, in a semi-final that gave us not one, but two memorable goals. Ansu Fati's volley was an utter peach, as was Loren Morón's backheeled leveller just minutes later.

So, a Clásico it is in the final.

William Allen
Ter Stegen

Barça goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen celebrates after saving a penalty in the shoot-out in Riyadh.

(Photo: Fayez NURELDINE / AFP)

William Allen

Pedri scores! Betis 2-4 Barça - the Blaugrana win the shootout!

Pedri, with Barcelona's fourth penalty, rolls his kick past Bravo and into the corner, and the Catalans have won it!

​​​​​​​They're through to Sunday's final, where they'll face Real Madrid in a Clásico!


William Carvalho misses! Betis 2-3 Barça

All the pressure is now on Carvalho... whose penalty is saved!

If Barça score their next penalty, they're into the final.

William Allen

Ansu Fati scores! Betis 2-3 Barça

Ansu Fati steps up with the chance to give Barça the lead... and does! He sends Bravo the wrong way.

Juanmi misses! Betis 2-2 Barça

Juanmi will take Betis' third penalty... and it's saved! He hits it too close to Ter Stegen, who beats it out.

William Allen

Kessié scores! Betis 2-2 Barça

Kessié produces a very odd run-up, including about a million baby steps... and beats Bravo! Just.

Morón scores! Betis 2-1 Barça

Fresh from scoring a sublime goal, Loren Morón takes next for Betis.

He runs up... and utterly wallops it into the net!

Lewandowski scores! Betis 1-1 Barça

For Barcelona, it'll be Lewandowski up first. He includes a very pronounced paradinha in his run-up, before firing into the corner! Again the keeper goes the wrong way.

Willian José scores! Betis 1-0 Barça

So it'll be Willian José who takes first for Betis... and he sends Ter Stegen the wrong way! Lovely penalty.

Betis to take first

William Carvalho and Sergio Busquets have just done the coin toss, and it was the Betis man who won it. He has, unsurprisingly, chosen to shoot first. The stats do say, after all, that the team that takes the opening penalty tends to come out on top.

William Allen

Barcelona launch one final attack, but Ansu Fati's ball into the box is too high for Araújo... and Del Cerro Grande brings extra time to an end. Like Madrid vs Valencia yesterday, this semi-final is going to be settled from the spot!

William Allen

One minute of time added on.

William Allen

Guardado is off! He's already been booked once when he goes in very late on Kessié, and Del Cerro Grande has no hesitation in brandishing a second yellow. Betis are down to 10 men.


Now Guardado has the chance to whip a corner in from the right, but Juanmi is penalised for a shove.

At the other end, Ferran rolls a low ball into the Betis box towards Ansu Fati's run to the penalty spot. He tries to emulate Loren with a backheel into the corner, but he can't get enough on it. Bravo gets down to gather without too much difficulty.

William Allen

Guardado lifts a free-kick into the Barça box towards Pezzella. He tries to nod it back across goal, but can only loop it up into the air, and Barcelona get it clear.

Five minutes from spot-kicks.

William Allen

Guardado is booked for bringing down Pedri.

Barça's contrasting defensive records

As Pedro Martín notes, Barcelona have now conceded six in 16 in LaLiga this season, and 17 in eight in all other competitions. Such a contrast.


There are a lot of players out there who look very, very tired.

William Allen

Sabaly does very well to turn and slip the ball right to Morón, who has Willian José peeling off towards the back post. Morón tries to find him, but wildly overhits his cross. It flies behind for a goal-kick.

William Allen

Luiz Henrique touches it left to Miranda, who has space to advance towards the byline. He clearly wants to try and win a corner off Koundé, but the ball squirms from his control and he succeeds only in knocking it out of play himself. He yells in frustration.

William Allen
Loren Morón

Loren Morón (right) celebrates his equaliser for Betis.

(Photo: REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri)

William Allen

Peeeep! Into the final quarter of an hour we go.


Peeep peeep peeep! HT in ET.

Penalties starting to appear on the horizon...


There's a shooting chance for Kessié, but he hits his strike straight at Bravo. It was struck powerfully enough from the edge of the box, but he couldn't trouble the Betis keeper.

William Allen

Three minutes of time added on at the end of the first period.

William Allen

Luiz Henrique has been terrific tonight.

What a first half we've had in extra time.


Goal! Real Betis 2-2 Barcelona - Morón

Betis are level - and, like Ansu Fati minutes before him, Loren Morón has scored a sublime goal!


Ansu Fati leads a Barça break, but is bundled over by Guardado.

Alonso delivers the free-kick into the Betis box, but after a spot of pinball inside the area, the Andalusians get it clear. 

Up the other end they go, and...

William Allen
Ansu Fati goal for Barça

Ansu Fati scores Barcelona's second goal with a wonderful volley.

(Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

William Allen

Xavi reacts to that Ansu Fati goal by withdrawing Gavi and replacing him with Franck Kessié.


Goal! Real Betis 1-2 Barcelona - Ansu Fati

It's a beaut.

​​​​​​​Alonso drifts over the free-kick from the right, and it's headed clear to the edge of the box, where Ansu Fati is waiting. He meets the dropping ball with a volley that arrows across Bravo and right into the far corner, almost grazing the post on its way in!

Barça back in front.


Miranda is shown a yellow card for a tough old challenge on Gavi. "That's an orange-card offence," says commentator Carlos Martínez on Spanish TV.

Peeeep! We're back underway.

Betis are making a change ahead of the additional half hour, and it's Fekir who's coming off. He was starting to look a touch knackered, it's fair to say.

The wonderfully named Loren Morón is on in his stead.

Barça's VAR woes at Super Cup

Well, there's a stat, courtesy of Mister Chip. Every goal disallowed by VAR in the history of the Spanish Super Cup has been scored by Barcelona. Two this year, one in 2021 and two in 2020.


Peeep peeep peeeep! Into extra time we go


One last chance for Betis... and Fekir is not at all far away from a ridiculous goal! He's really been in the mood today. The ball is laid back to him at the top of the box, and he caresses a curling, looping chip just over Ter Stegen's bar.

At the other end, Ferran lays the ball across goal to the back post, where Pezzella somehow manages to turn the ball away from Ansu Fati and over the bar... but the flag was up. Wouldn't have counted anyway.

William Allen

Back come Barça, in search of a late winner - and Ansu Fati gets a very decent chance to snatch one. He carries it a good distance down the left, before advancing into the Betis box. From an angle, he tries to send a shot high into Bravo's net, but the keeper parries! 

William Allen

Araújo carries the ball forward and slips it to Ferran on the edge of the box, but he's dispossessed. 

Betis break, and finally work it to Fekir 20 yards from goal. He backheels it into the path of Willian José... whose shot is high, wide and very, very handsome.

William Allen

There'll be six minutes of time added on at King Fahd International Stadium.

William Allen

Just under five minutes to go in Riyadh. Can anyone find a winner?​​​​​​​

William Allen

Betis bring Guardado on for Guido, and Ansu Fati is on for Barcelona in place of Raphinha.

The earlier changes that I had yet to tell you about, meanwhile, saw Marcos Alonso and Andreas Christensen come on for Barça, with Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba making way. And for Betis, Youssouf Sabaly came on for Ruibal.


Having survived that scare, Betis carve out a chance to take the lead - but Ter Stegen saves once more!

Fekir, who has had a terrific second half, produces a lovely piece of play on the right, before squaring it to the penalty spot. Barça try to scramble it clear, but can only scramble it into the direction of Miranda who's arriving at pace. He fizzes a strike towards Ter Stegen's near post, but the keeper beats it out!

William Allen

Lewandowski goal disallowed!

Before I tell you about those substitutions, let me tell you about a disallowed goal for Barcelona.

Betis have been level for about 60 seconds when Ferran bursts into the box and lays it back to Lewandowski, who thumps it into the corner past Bravo.

It's a clinical finish, but it's for nought. One VAR check later, the goal has been chalked off because Ferran received the ball in an offside position.


Are we in for another spot of extra time... and possibly penalties?

There were a few substitutions right after that Fekir goal. Bear with me one moment... 

William Allen

Goal! Real Betis 1-1 Barcelona - Fekir

With just over 10 minutes left, ​​​​​​​Betis are level! At the top of the box, Luiz Henrique produces a neat change of feet to lay it right to Fekir - albeit in slightly scuffed fashion - and the Frenchman fires a first-time shot low, past Ter Stegen, and into the bottom corner!


At one end, Raphinha leads a Barcelona break but, with Ferran waiting in the middle, takes an age to square the ball. By the time he does, the chance is lost.

At the other...

William Allen

Raphinha is booked after catching Miranda in the face as they went for an aerial ball.

A moment later, space opens up for Fekir to shoot from just outside the Barcelona box, but he blazes the ball well over! It was a decent-ish chance for the Frenchman.


We've really had very little goalmouth action in the second half.

Guido promptly takes a shot from 25 yards out, but it's an utter trundler. Easy for Ter Stegen.

William Allen

Landmark Barcelona appearance for Busquets

Busquets is on for his 700th appearance in all competitions for Barcelona, by the way. Decent enough effort, s'pose.


Luiz Henrique is booked for giving the referee a little bit too much lip. He felt he'd been fouled by Busquets, but Del Cerro Grande didn't agree.


Betis make a change, replacing Iglesias with Willian José.


Oh, that's a promising attack spurned by Betis. Los Verdiblancos get Miranda running into space on the left, with men waiting in the box. He dinks the ball over Roberto's foot and tries to advance into the area... but his dink takes him out of play.

William Allen

The game has been stopped for a couple of minutes, after a nasty clash of heads involving Araújo and Guido. Both need a heavy dabbing with the magic sponge, but both look like they'll be OK to continue.


Barcelona make a double change, introducing Sergio Busquets and Ferran Torres for De Jong and Dembélé.


Dembélé goes close! Raphinha leads a Barça break across the halfway line, before slipping it left to the Frenchman. He twists and turns before firing at goal - but can only find the side-netting.

William Allen

Sergi Roberto is the first Barça player to go into Carlos del Cerro Grande's book, after a crunching tackle on Rodri.


Pedri so nearly releases Dembélé in behind the Betis defence. A loose ball falls to the young Spaniard in the midfield, and he looks up to see Dembélé in acres of space in between the Betis centre-backs. Pedri immediately sends a low, first-time ball up towards the Frenchman, but Bravo is quickly off his line to deal with the danger.

William Allen

That's bright play by Luiz Henrique. He bursts away from Pedri, before burning past Koundé and into the box. The defender does well to get back and turn the Brazilian's square ball behind. The corner, unfortunately for Betis, comes to nought.

William Allen
De Jong

Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong grabs the jersey of Betis' Luiz Henrique.

(Photo: Fayez NURELDINE / AFP)

William Allen

Lewy ends three-game scoreless streak

Opta note that Lewandowski's goal today was his first in four games for Barça. He last found the net for the Blaugrana in a 1-0 LaLiga win over Valencia at the end of October.


Betis get their first chance to put Barça to the test when they win a free-kick in the left-hand channel, in a nice position for Fekir to clip the ball into the mixer. Clip it into the mixer he does, but Koundé heads away - and the flag was up for offside.

William Allen

Fekir receives the game's first yellow card after a robust challenge on De Jong.


Lewandowski really is very far from his best self today. Barça work it left to Alba, who rolls a ball into the Betis box, where the Pole is all alone. You'd put your house, and every other worldly possession, on the striker finding the net, but he completely misses his kick!

He was offside, it turns out, but still. 

William Allen

In the Betis engine room, Pellegrini has replaced Sergio Canales with William Carvalho.

Peeeep! The teams are back out at King Fahd International Stadium, and we're underway.

There's a half-time change to tell you about.

22nd defeat to Barça for Pellegrini?

Spanish journalist Pedro Martin, who's also an absolute stats specialist, notes that Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini has suffered 21 defeats to Barcelona in his coaching career so far. He's lost to Barça more than any other club.

A Pole apart

Spanish football stats guru Mister Chip confirms that Lewandowski is the first Polish player to score a goal in the Spanish Super Cup.

The closest of offside calls

This was the margin by which Raphinha was deemed to have been offside in the build-up to that Pedri disallowed goal. Tight.

Lewandowski scores

Robert Lewandowski (right) beats Betis goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to give Barcelona the lead in the Saudi capital.

(Photo: Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

William Allen

Peeep peeep peeeep! That's half time. Lewandowski's goal is the difference thus far.

It was all Barcelona for the first 15 to 20 minutes or so, but once Betis found their feet they began to create plenty of chances themselves. Barça chiefly have Ter Stegen to thank that the Andalusians didn't take any of those opportunities.

Lewandowski has looked a little off it - he badly scuffed a nice lay-off from Dembélé, for example - but, as things stand, the Pole's 19th goal in all competitions this season is sending Barça into Sunday's final.


Two minutes of time added on in Riyadh.

William Allen

Two fine stops by Ter Stegen! First, he beats out a low drive by Rodri from the left, before Betis work it to Luiz Henrique at the top of the box. He gets plenty of welly behind his drive, but again Ter Stegen saves!

Betis have done enough to be level by this point.

William Allen

Oh, that's a waste from Roberto. Alba whips a ball into the box from left to right, and finds his fellow full-back in acres of space. If his first touch is good, he's got a great chance to shoot. His first touch isn't good.

William Allen

Barcelona immediately pin Betis back in search of a second.

Dembélé crosses from the left, but Los Verdiblancos clear, and Barça recycle it out to the right. Roberto feeds it up to Lewandowski, but the flag is up. The striker had dropped into space to receive the ball from an offside position.

William Allen

Goal! Real Betis 0-1 Barcelona - Lewandowski

It's fine build-up play by Dembélé, who skins Ruibal and heads towards the Betis box. With Lewandowski peeling off into space on the right-hand side of the area, the Frenchman lays it into the Pole's path.

Lewandowski's first shot is blocked by Luiz Felipe, but the ball bounces back up into the striker's path - and he fires past Bravo and into the net!

​​​​​​​Barça lead, just when Betis had been enjoying their best spell so far.

Iglesias Betis Koundé Barça

Betis striker Borja Iglesias looks to hold off Barcelona defender Jules Koundé.

(Photo: Fayez NURELDINE / AFP)

William Allen

Betis are coming right back into this now, and again go close to grabbing an opener!

Luis Henrique takes on Jordi Alba, scampers towards the byline and lays the ball across the face of goal. It runs to the back post to into the path of Rodri, who can't quite turn it goalwards! It ends up in the side-netting.

William Allen
Pedri disallowed goal

Pedri pokes the ball home from Raphinha's cross - but the goal was disallowed for offside against the Brazilian.

(Photo: Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

William Allen

Blimey, Betis are so close to taking the lead!

Fekir delivers the corner towards the near post, where Pezzella gets his head to it. He nods it downwards from six yards out, but Ter Stegen manages to scramble it away! 

William Allen

Betis are definitely starting to create a bit more now. Ruibal scampers along the byline and cuts it back to Canales at the top of the box. Canales hits it first-time towards Ter Stegen's left-hand corner, but his strike is deflected just wide. Corner to Betis.

William Allen

Once more, Barça work it out wide to Dembélé. He skips past Ruibal, reaches the byline and squares it, but a stretching Pezzella gets a firm boot to it to get it away.

William Allen

Pedri goal disallowed for offside!

Having begun to let Betis back into the game in the last couple of minutes, Barcelona think they've responded by taking the lead - but the goal is ruled out by the closest of offside calls!

Receiving the ball on the right, Raphinha lifts it into the Betis box, where Pedri toes it into the net from the edge of the six-yard box. However, the Brazilian was just, just off when the ball was played to him on the wing.


Betis are looking much more dangerous now - with a big helping hand from Koundé, admittedly. He plays a woefully undercooked backpass straight to Fekir, who rounds the onrushing Ter Stegen. Araújo has bounded back to tackle Fekir and shoulders him over just inside the box... but Carlos del Cerro Grande says no penalty!

A minute earlier, Luiz Henrique had tried to barrel his way into the box, almost causing Roberto to turn the ball past Ter Stegen into his own net. The keeper was quick to boot clear.

William Allen

Fekir does very well to win the ball back some 15 yards outside of the Barça box, and finally Betis have a chance to get their opponents on something approaching the back foot.

Fekir plays it to Rodri, who tries to fizz a dead-straight through ball into Iglesias' run into the area... but he gets far too much on his pass. It runs out for a goal kick.

William Allen

My my, Barça are finding Lewandowski in the Betis box almost at will. Again Dembélé squares for the striker, who hits it first time - but completely scuffs it. He doesn't look sharp today.

A minute later, Raphinha clips a ball in from the right that Lewandowski gets his head to, but he can only glance it into the body of his marker.

William Allen

Koundé looks to lift a high ball into space for Alba to attack on the left. Ruibal shepherds the ball, and Alba out of play. Having crossed the byline, both continue to engage in a good old bout of mutual grappling, the kind that sometimes gets ugly. It doesn't on this occasion, however. All smiles.

Betis have hardly been out of their half.

William Allen

Again Barça work it to Raphinha in a position to create danger on the right. He finds his way to the Betis byline, before cutting it back to Lewandowski on the penalty spot. He has his back to goal, so the only option he feels he has is to try a backheel - which doesn't come off.

A minute later, Dembélé races forward on the left and finds Lewandowski in a similar position, but the Pole is crowded out.

Barça very much on top in these opening 10 minutes.

William Allen

Barça win a corner, which Raphinha will deliver. The Brazilian whips it in with pace into the six-yard box, where Bravo bounds off his line to punch clear. The Chilean takes a bit of a whack off Araújo, who rises to challenge him for the ball, but after a brief pause play resumes. Bravo seemed to hurt his arm.

William Allen

At the other end, Barça play it to De Jong in space to slip it left to Dembélé, who has peeled off into a dangerous position on the corner of the box. De Jong's pass is overhit, though, and the chance is lost.

William Allen

There's the first attacking moment from Betis - and what a goal that would have been. Receiving the ball in the midfield, Luiz Henrique spots Ter Stegen off his line, and tries to catch the German out with a lofted effort from way out. However, although the idea was right, the execution wasn't. 

William Allen

Back come Barça - and Raphinha almost, almost, slips Lewandowski in behind the Betis defence. The Brazilian's outside-of-the-boot pass looks like it's going to curl right into the path of the Pole on the penalty spot, but Ruibal just manages to get a toe to the ball. Betis clear.

William Allen

It's all Barcelona ball in the opening couple of minutes. First, the Catalans work it out right to Raphinha, who heads forward and into crossing space. He bends a low delivery into the Betis box, but it's too close to Bravo, who grabs hold.

William Allen

Peeeeeep! We're underway.

Out come the teams!

Betis and Barcelona emerge from the tunnel in Riyadh, where, it must be said, there are quite a few empty seats. Not a smashing look. 

To avoid clashing with Betis' colours, Barça are sporting the unusual combination of their home shirt with red shorts and red socks. Betis are wearing a rather lovely, Ajax-style shirt, with dark shorts and socks.

William Allen

The starting line-ups: a reminder

The teams are just about to take to the field at King Fahd International Stadium. With just under five minutes to go until Carlos del Cerro Grande gets this semi-final away, here's a final look at the teams:

Real Betis: Bravo, Ruibal, Pezzella, Luiz Felipe, Miranda, Guido, Canales, Luiz Henrique, Rodri, Fekir, Iglesias.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Koundé, Araújo, Alba, De Jong, Pedri, Gavi, Raphinha, Lewandowski, Dembélé.

William Allen

The H2H form guide

This is Betis and Barcelona’s first meeting this season - they’re yet to play in LaLiga. 

In 2021/22, they took a victory apiece from their two clashes in the Spanish top flight, with both teams winning away. Juanmi’s late goal gave Betis a 1-0 win at the Camp Nou in December 2021, before a stoppage-time effort by Jordi Alba earned Barça revenge in Seville in May.

If we stretch our view back beyond last term, however, Betis and Barça’s head-to-head record looks rather less even. Since early 2019, indeed, the Catalans have won six of the sides’ seven clashes, including five in a row before that Betis triumph in Barcelona.

William Allen
Ruibal Betis

Kick-off fast approaching!

The warm-ups are well underway at King Fahd Stadium, where we have about 15 minutes to go until kick-off.

(Photo: REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri)

William Allen

Del Cerro Grande to take charge of semi-final

Tonight’s match referee, by the way, will be Carlos del Cerro Grande, who oversees a Spanish Super Cup match for the first time since the tournament’s expansion.

Del Cerro Grande’s only previous Super Cup assignment was in 2018 - the last time Barcelona lifted the trophy. 

The 46-year-old took charge in the Moroccan city Tangiers, as goals by Gerard Piqué and Ousmane Dembélé gave Barça a 2-1 victory over Sevilla. 

Betis vs Barcelona: times, how to watch on TV, stream online, Spanish Super Cup 2023


Betis vs Barcelona: times, how to watch on TV, stream online, Spanish Super Cup 2023

If you'd like to know where you can watch today's Super Cup semi-final on TV or online, might I suggest you take a look at my colleague Fidel Rubio's guide on how to tune in

William Allen
Barça fans

Barcelona fans hold up a club flag ahead of kick-off at King Fahd International Stadium.

(Photo: REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri)

William Allen

Betis boss on Moreno exit: "A big loss"

Pellegrini also gave his thoughts on Álex Moreno move to Aston Villa, admitting that Betis will struggle to fill the void left by the full-back.

It’s a big loss for us," the 69-year-old said. "He brings us so much in attack and in defence, and is in really great form. He won’t be easy to replace.”

William Allen

Pellegrini: "Barcelona are always favourites"

In his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, Real Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini said the two sides' brand of football should contribute to a watchable spectacle at King Fahd Stadium

“Hopefully it’s a great game" Pellegrini said. "We’re two teams who focus more on creating than destroying, so hopefully it’s a good one - and we win!”

He added: “Barcelona are always favourites because of how strong they are, but we don’t feel like we’ve come here just to make up the numbers.

"We’re here to perform as well as we can and make the most of the quality our players have.”

(Photo: REUTERS/Mohammed Benmansour)

William Allen

Xavi: "We're really up for it"

And this is what Xavi had to say when asked how important the Spanish Super Cup is to a club like Barça:

It’s important to us, of course. And we’re really up for it. I think we come into it in good form and we’ll try to show good character out there. We want to stay in this tournament until Sunday and win the final.”

William Allen
Xavi press conference

More from Barça boss Xavi

Let's take a look at another couple of pre-match quotes from Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernández.

Here he is on the threat posed by Real Betis:

They like to have the ball. Guys like Sergio Canales and Nabil Fekir are also looking to get the team playing. Technically, they’re very strong. We’ll find it difficult to get the ball off them. And their central midfielders are very strong, Guido Rodríguez and William Carvalho.

"Betis find the going a lot tougher without the ball, so we’ll try to keep them from having it.”


William Allen

Milestone-seeking Busquets among subs

Given that he starts on the bench today, Barça club captain Sergio Busquets will have to wait - for now - too make his 700th appearance for the Catalans.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Xavi said of his fellow World Cup winner: “He’s so important. He’s a crucial figure in the dressing room, a role model when it comes to professionalism and hard work.

"And in terms of his on-pitch influence, he provides the team with balance. You can tell whether he’s out there or not.

"Busquets will remain the yardstick when he leaves - we’ll be asking ourselves whether his replacement plays like him or not.”


William Allen

Moreno swaps Betis for Villa

Álex Moreno's absence from the Betis team is an enforced one, in view of the fact that he no longer plays for the club. After three and a half years in Seville, the left-back joined Premier League side Aston Villa yesterday.

Four changes for Barça; five for Betis

Barça boss Xavi makes four changes to the team that beat Atlético at the weekend, bringing Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba, Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski back into the team.

Lewandowski is currently serving a three-match ban in LaLiga, but is free to lead the line in the Super Cup.

Alejandro Balde, Andreas Christensen, Sergio Busquets and Ansu Fati all drop to the bench.

For Betis, there are five changes. Claudio Bravo, Luiz Felipe, Juan Miranda, Guido Rodríguez and Rodri all come into the side, replacing Rui Silva, Edgar González, Álex Moreno, William Carvalho and Andrés Guardado.

William Allen

Barcelona team news

The Barça XI has just dropped too. Xavi has gone with: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Koundé, Araújo, Alba, De Jong, Pedri, Gavi, Raphinha, Lewandowski, Dembélé.

Betis team news

Betis' starting line-up has been announced! It is: Bravo, Ruibal, Pezzella, Luiz Felipe, Miranda, Guido, Canales, Luiz Henrique, Rodri, Fekir, Iglesias.

Betis to face Osasuna next in Copa

In case you missed it, incidentally, Betis and Barcelona both learned the identity of their next Copa del Rey opponents on Friday.

In the last-16 draw at RFEF HQ, the holders were given a tie against fellow top-flight side Osasuna, while Barça were pitted a against giant-killers Ceuta, who are the one remaining third-tier team in the competition.

Check out the Copa del Rey last-16 draw in full.

William Allen

Betis and Barcelona form guide

Real Betis and Barcelona both head into the Super Cup with 100% records so far in 2023

Betis, who sit fourth in LaLiga, beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in the Spanish top flight at the weekend, having continued their Copa del Rey defence with a 4-1 thumping of fourth-division Ibiza Islas Pitiusas seven days ago.

Barça, meanwhile, took a three-point lead at the top of LaLiga with their 1-0 victory in Sunday’s heavyweight clash with Atlético Madrid

That win came four days after they were pushed all the way in the Copa by third-tier Intercity: Xavi’s men needed an extra-time goal by Ansu Fati to scrape a 4-3 victory over the minnows.

William Allen

Barça check in at the King Fahd

Barça's kit is also neatly laid out - I've checked, albeit not in person - and the club's social-media team have just posted these images of the team arriving at King Fahd Stadium, where we're just under 90 minutes away from kick-off.

Betis dressing room all set!

As you can see, the Betis kitmen have been busy doing their neat-folding magic all over Los Verdiblancos' dressing room. The captain's armband, by the way, features an image of Juan Miranda's winning penalty in the Copa del Rey final shootout against Valencia in April. Nice touch.

Betis beaten by Barça in previous Super Cup appearance

In Real Betis’ sole Super Cup appearance so far - when the trophy was still a two-team, home-and-away event - the Seville club faced… Barcelona

Having beaten Osasuna to the 2005 Copa del Rey, Betis took on a league-winning side led by an at-his-peak Ronaldinho - and actually won 2-1 at the Camp Nou.

However, that victory in Catalonia came after a first leg in which Barça had swept to a 3-0 triumph at the Estadio Benito Villamarín.

Ludovic Giuly, Samuel Eto’o and Ronaldinho got the goals in the Andalusian capital - and they were all beauts in their own way. 

The first two were scored after utterly filthy passes from Ronaldinho and Xavi. The third, a free-kick by the Brazilian, was a ludicrously good ping from distance.

Barcelona's 27th Super Cup, Betis' second

Helped, of course, by the fact that more clubs now qualify for the tournament, Barcelona have been absolute Super Cup regulars in recent years. Indeed, the Catalans were last absent from the event in 2014.

Real Betis, on the other hand, have very little Super Cup experience. While Barça have been involved in a total of 26 Super Cups, Andalusians have just one prior appearance to their name, in 2005, and have never lifted the trophy.

Los Verdiblancos qualified as Copa del Rey winners 17 years ago, and that’s also how they booked their berth in this season’s Super Cup.

William Allen

Barcelona yet to win Super Cup since expansion

Anyway, getting back to today's game in the Saudi capital: Barcelona begin their quest to win the 14th Spanish Super Cup in their history - and their first since the tournament was revamped.

The Blaugrana, who qualified for this year's event by finishing second in LaLiga last season, last lifted the trophy in 2018, the final time it was a two-team affair

In the four-team Super Cup, Barça have been knocked out in the semi-finals twice - including a last-four defeat to Real Madrid 12 months ago - and were runners-up to Athletic Club in 2021.

William Allen

Madrid the first trophy holder into final since Super Cup revamp

Incidentally, Madrid are the very first LaLiga or Copa del Rey holder to progress to the Spanish Super Cup final since the trophy was expanded to its current four-team format in 2019/20. That really is quite a stat.

Real Madrid Courtois

Madrid in final after squeezing past Valencia

As I say, Madrid await in the trophy decider this weekend. Los Blancos are through to their second straight Super Cup final after edging past Valencia on penalties yesterday, following a 1-1 draw at King Fahd Stadium.

Eray Cömert and José Gayà both missed their kicks for Los Che as Madrid prevailed 4-3 from the spot.

Check out how it happened, courtesy of my colleague Roddy Cons. 

(Photo: Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

William Allen

Real Betis vs Barcelona: welcome

Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to our live coverage of the second semi-final in the 2023 Spanish Super Cup, as Real Betis and Barcelona do battle for a spot in Sunday’s final against holders Real Madrid.

Kick-off in Riyadh is at 2pm ET, some two hours or so away. All being well, team news should be with us by about 1pm.

William Allen

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