Real Madrid - Barcelona live online: Spanish Super Cup 2023 final | El Clásico score, stats and updates
Real Madrid - Barcelona: Spanish Super Cup, as it happened
Spanish Super Cup final: match report
Barcelona were crowned Spanish Super Cup champions after goals from Gavi, Robert Lewandowski and Pedri earned them a 3-1 win over bitter rivals Real Madrid in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Barcelona were dominant in every aspect of the game and took advantage of three mistakes by Real Madrid to score.
Manager Xavi Hernandez sprung a surprise as he shifted from his usual 4-3-3 system to play an extra man in midfield with only Lewandowski up front, while centre back Ronald Araujo was deployed at right back in order to try to slow down Real’s electrifying winger Vinicius Jr.
Vinicius was largely anonymous, while playing Gavi through the left-channel paid dividends as the youngster scored the opener and delivered two assists.
"We strengthened the midfield to look for taking over that area and Araujo was really good stopping Vinicius counters, we left them with no options and felt very comfortable," captain Sergio Busquets told Movistar Plus.
"We knew that it was an opportunity that we had to seize, we are going through a time of changes in the club and in the dressing room and this win will strengthen us to continue fighting for more titles."
Barcelona took the lead in the 33rd minute after Real defender Antonio Ruediger gave the ball away to Barca's Sergio Busquets, who began a move that ended with Gavi all alone inside the box to score with a precise left-foot strike.
Lewandowski extended the lead 12 minutes later on the counter when defender Dani Carvajal was caught out of position and left Gavi alone on the left wing. Frenkie de Jong saw his team mate ghost into the empty space behind Carvajal and delivered a superb ball through.
He sprinted through the left channel before putting it on a plate for the Polish striker, who tapped into the back of the empty net.
Real Madrid, who had no shots on target in the first half, spent most of the second in panic mode, trying to avoid a bigger defeat.
Yet, once again a costly mistake allowed Barcelona to score. Substitute Dani Ceballos lost the ball in midfield and Gavi sprinted forward and crossed for Pedri to fire point-black into the empty net.
Karim Benzema scored a consolation goal for Madrid in added time, striking home on the rebound after Marc-Andre ter Stegen denied his first attempt.
Many thanks for joining us tonight for the Spanish Super Cup.
A decent game in Riyadh that saw Xavi's side outclass a Real Madrid side that looked tired and jaded and void of creativity.
cheers and catch you all soon.
The goal that started Barcelona's road to Riyadh glory
Lewandowski feeds Gavi and the teenager slots cooly past Courtois in the Real Madrid.
If it hadn't been for the Belgian stopper, the Catalan side could have walked away with a 4/5 goal win.
FC Barcelona celebrate Riyadh win
Super Cup wins
FC Barcelona 14
Real Madrid 12
Deportivo and Athletic 3
Talk of 'fresh start for Barça'
Most of the fans at the King Fahd Stadium have stayed put to capture the moment as the Catalan side and backroom staff celebrate their win.
Sergio Busquets lifts the trophy as fireworks light up the night sky in Riyadh.
Are Barcelona back ?
FCB president Joan Laporta smiles alongside Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and am sure is thinking that his summer policy of pushing the 'economic levers' is starting to pay dividends.
This is also the first trophy for Laporta in his second tenure at the club as president.
The award ceremony is underway as Real Madrid's players receive their consolation medals from head of the Spanish FA Luis Rubiales.
How concerned should Real Madrid fans be with the return to action from the team post World Cup?
This question may have a clearer answer after Thursday night as they travel to Villarreal in the Copa del Rey. An exit in the cup on Thursday after the manner of tonight's defeat could have alarm bells ringing in the higher echelons at the club.
FC Barcelona: Champions
It really was a stunning display from the Catalan side who lead the LaLiga table by three points and who have now delivered the first (and certainly not the last) piece of silverware for Xavi Hernandez.
Madrid still have to head to Camp Nou in mid March for the second Clasico of the season.
Campeones, campeones sing the Barcelona players with long faces on the men in white.
Tiredness, age, lack of desire and hunger?
The fallout from this defeat will run and run with the manner of the loss set to be a source of major concern for Madrid fans.
Gavi is awarded Man of the Match
That's it ... Barcelona win
Madrid maintain their 'scoring in every game' run as the French striker needs two bites of the cherry.
Barcelona bench now celebrating as the club win their first title since the 2020-21 Copa del Rey win.
This will be their 14th Spanish Super Cup victory.
Three minutes of time to be added on as Benzema strikes straight at Ter Stegen.
Gavi and Pedri off
Sergi Roberto and Fati
Audacious from Lewandowski who sees Courtpis off his line and goes for a long range lob.
Araujo and De Jong off
Kessie and Garcia on
Madrid have really struggled to find any spark tonight and to drum out a cliche...it looks like Barcelona 'want it more'
Well inside the final ten minutes as Valverde is carded with frustration creeping into Madrid's play.
Barcelona great value for their 3-0 lead and Xavi poised to win his first silverware as FC Barcelona head coach.
Great strike from sub Rodrygo as Ter Stegen is forced to stretch to prevent a Madrid goal.
Barcelona are really cruising now and giving their fans a treat as they toy with the current European champions.
First time we've Asensio tonight and the player from Mallorca strikes with his favoured left peg but easy for Ter Stegen who gathers easily.
With his earlier goal, Gavi (18) has become the youngest scorer in Super Cup history
Real Madrid switch
On: Asensio and Nacho
Off: Carvajal and Kroos
Lewandowski and Gavi instrumental in the build up as the Catalan side add to their tally.
Pedri taps the ball into the net, but hang on.....VAR checking
Araujo carded for a shove on Vini Jr.
Just over 20 minutes to go and apart from the Benzema header in the first half, there has been nothing from Real Madrid in an attacking capacity.
Real Madrid change
We could talk about the rights/wrongs of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia and be here all night but at present there is absolutely zero atmosphere in the stadium and that, inevitably impacts on the general spectacle with no spark from the stands that a Clasico always needs.
An hour gone in Riyadh and Madrid are struggling to create any spark or threat with their build-up play too predictable.
Both teams warming up substitutes with the 60 minute mark very often that used by coaches to make tactical changes.
Araujo pushes Militao and Kroos finds Rudiger from the resulting free-kick. The German international heads well over and still Ter Stegen yet to be stretched.
Busquets feeds Lewandowski and the Polish striker is forced wide and again brings out a good save from Courtois.
Madrid seem to be happy to sit back and let Barcelona move the ball round with ease.
This could be a big week for Madrid should they slip up tonight ahead of that tricky away game to Villarreal.
Dembele streaks into the box and drives the ball goal bound but once again Courtois saves well to deny the French striker.
Real Madrid 43-57 Barcelona (57)
Barcelona still dominating possession with the classic pass-pass-pass style being carried out by Xavi.
One card per side now.
That should be a card and it is for Christensen as he grabs Rodrygo by the mid-rif.
Both these sides will be in Copa del Rey next midweek as Barcelona travel to face Ceuta (3rd tier side) with Madrid being handed a tougher draw as they travel east to face Villarreal.
Confirmation of the Madrid switch:
Camavinga off-Rodrygo on
Barcelona set to start the second half.
Rodrygo getting stripped with the Brazilian set to make an entrance
Barcelona good value for their lead at the break and to be honest it's been an underwhelming performance from Real Madrid.
Gavi and Lewandowski the goal heroes for the Catalan side and Ter Stegen has yet to be stretched by the Madrid strikers.
Carlo's men now 45' away from waving farewell to the sextuple that 'Los Blancos' fans have been dreaming about.
The whistle sounds and Barcelona head into the dressing room with a 2-0 lead in Riyadh.
We'll have one minute of added time.
Way too easy for Barcelona as Militao and Carvajal leave acres of space... Gavi breaks and threads the ball through to the Polish striker who taps into an empty net.
Both Vinicius and Dembele are delivering some fine mazy runs tonight ...unfortunately for both players, they are up against top class defenders.
Madrid yet to really test Ter Stegen it has to be said as we approach the final minute of the half.
Less than five minutes of the half remain as Madrid probe.
Barcelona looking solid in defense with the Catalan side having only shipped 6 goals in LaLiga this season... three did come against Madrid though !
Barcelona in the ascendancy now as Madrid look a little shell shocked.
Madrid were not that convincing in the semi-final against Valencia and came to Riyadh on the back of a LaLiga defeat away to Villarreal.
Barcelona have been the better side and few would begrudge the Catalan side of the lead.
Barcelona rob the ball and Lewandowski feeds Gavi and the man from Sevilla drives home
GOAL: Barcelona strike as Gavi drills the ball past Courtois.
Mendy pushes Dembele and the French defender is the first player to be carded this evening.
Vini Jr does well creating space and it takes three Barça men to steal the ball off the Brazilian.
Approaching the 30 minute mark and just the Lewandowski post effort to call a real goalscoing chance.
Barcelona dominated the first 20 minutes but Madrid very much back in the contest.
The German stopper racking up his 350th game in a Barcelona shirt.
Courtois marking his 200th game for Los Blancos.
Benzema breaks but the flag was up although Ter Stegen did well in clearing the danger.
Pedri is a joy to watch !
Seems to be more white clad Real Madrid fans at the stadium with the atmosphere a little flat at times and then builds as the Mexican Waves break out.
Very few empty seats it has to be said !
De Jong does well jinjing at the edge of the box and sees his shot blocked. The ball rebounds to Balde and once again the young defender lacks composure and drills the ball across the face of the Madrid goal.
Madrid go close as Benzema heads across the goal from a Mendy delivery and watches as his effort goes inches wide.
The side in white just starting to press a little more now.
Quite the stat.... Real Madrid have played 25 games this season.... Real Madrid have scored in all those 25 games !
Possession after 15'
Real Madrid 47-53 Barcelona (%)
Barcelona hit the woodwork as Courtois saves pushing the ball onto the post. Balde rushes the follow up and blazes over.
The Catalan side causing all the trouble now as the Polish striker looks to add to his 19 goals in 21 games for FCB.
Great work from Balde as he feeds Gavi who in turn finds Lewandowski and the Polis striker just heads over the bar.
First danger of the night for Courtois.
Vini Jr goes to ground after getting clipped by Araujo.
Still both teams feeling their way into the game with no side prepared to take any risks in a cautious opening ten or so.
The surface at the King Fahd is in immaculate condition and this very ground will also host Wednesday's Italian Super Cup as Inter face AC Milan.
The ground will also host Thursday's PSG friendly game against an Al Hilal-Al Nassr XI and many are anticipating a Messi-CR7 cameo.
Both sides easing their way into the game with the Catalan side shading things in terms of possession.
Looking forward to seeing the Araujo-Vini Jr battle tonight....
Decent noise levels inside the King Fahd Stadium and from a cursory look, seems to be few empty seats with the locals anxious to see El Clasico tonight.
Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea sound his whistle and off we go...
Super Cup team news
Both managers opting for a 4-3-3 formation as we're all set in Riyadh.
Protocol team pix out of the way....
Let's remind ourselves of the 22 players that will start the game tonight.
Fireworks greet both sides with a decent looking crowd inside the King Fahd stadium tonight.
Barcelona lead in the LaLiga standings and are seen as slight favourites by many bookmakers.
The teams are poised to take to the field as Xavi in his black anorak makes to the pitch. A chance from the man from Terrassa to claim his first silverware for FC Barcelona as a coach tonight.
Less than ten minutes to go in Riyadh as huge flags representing both clubs are held on the playing surface at the King Fahd Stadium.
It's fair to say that both teams laboured in their respective semi-final games and I'd anticipate tonight's clash to be decided by a single goal.
Team news, a reminder
Here's how both teams line up tonight with kick-off to the Super Cup final looming.
Piqué's role in the Saudi Super Cup
Gerard Piqué hasn’t had an especially great time of things of late but there is at least some good news for him coming from the Spanish Super Cup. Kosmos, a sports and entertainment company founded by the former Barcelona defender, helped the RFEF negotiate the contract to take the tournament to Saudi Arabia and earns a commission of €4 million per year as a result.
In June 2021, the Spanish Federation agreed a deal that could earn them between €240 million and €320 million to have Saudi Arabia host the tournament until 2029. The move drew criticism from almost all quarters, with Amnesty International scathing of the federation’s “collaboration in this ‘whitewashing’ of the image of the Saudi Arabia”, where it said there had been very little improvement in the “the systematic abuse of homosexuals and continued discrimination against women.”
”Athletic Club midfielder Raúl García, who played in the tournament in 2021 and 2022, said Spanish fans had been “forgotten”.
Ancelotti looking for 2/6
So what's this 'sextuple' we hearing people linking Real Madrid with this season?
'Los Blancos' could conceivably win six titles this season with the second of the six on the line tonight!
With August's win in Helsinki over Eintracht Frankfurt in the European Super Cup, Madrid embarked on the voyage to win all available titles this season.
A win tonight would secure title number 2 of the six.
Title number three will be played for in early February as Morocco hosts the FIFA Club World Cup. The draw was made on Friday for the seven participating sides and the main threat for the Spanish side comes from Libertadores winners Flamengo.
The Copa del Rey offers the next tilt at silverware as Madrid face a tricky test next Thursday (Round of 16) as they head back to face Villarreal with Setien's side recently recording a 2-1 LaLiga win over the side from the capital.
The Spanish league and Champions League offer the final two windows to the remaining titles with struggling Liverpool the UCL Round of 16 opponents with the first leg coming up in mid February.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona Spanish Super Cup 2023 final: How much money does the winner get?
The money behind the Spanish Super Cup
Apart from the glory in lifting the first silverware of the season.... the accountants at the winning team will be beaming come Sunday night...
Roddy Cons reveals all:
Riyadh set to steal limelight next week
Tonight's Spanish Super Cup is not the only high profile game that will dominate the global scene this week.
On Wednesday night, the city hosts the Italian Super Cup final as AC Milan face Inter.
On Thursday the King Fahd Stadium will open its doors as PSG face an All-Star XI from a combined Al Nassr and Al Hilal team with Cristiano Ronaldo expected to play.
The Portuguese will be the main draw over the weekend though as he is set to make his Al Nassr debut as the Saudi Pro League leaders face Ettifaq next Sunday.
Super Cup weather
It's been fresh in the Saudi capital over the past few days with many Spanish journos disappointed after expecting summer-esque temperatures with tonight's game to be staged in a mild 17C/63F.
With a 2% probability of precipitation, it's unlikely we'll have any rainfall during the contest.
Real Madrid XI
Ancelotti opts for a back four of Carvajal, Mendy, Rudiger and Militao with Vini Jr and Benzema to offer the attacking thrust for 'Los Blancos'
Fans starting to make their way into the stadium
With over an hour to go ahead of kick-off, the first few fans are taking their seats at the impressive King Fahd Stadium in the city of Riyadh.
Remember kick-off is at 2pm (ET) / 11am (PT).
For anyone wondering, the local kick-off time in Saudi Arabia is 22:00.
Team news: FCB XI
No major surprises from Xavi in his selection process for the final. Dembele and Lewandowski will lead the line for the Catalan side.
Who is the referee for the Real Madrid vs Barcelona game of the Spanish Super Cup 2023 final?
Who is Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea?
Our very own Andy Hall pieces together a profile on the Bilbao born match official.
Possible Real Madrid starting lineup
Defensive doubts for the Real Madrid seem to be the only issue for Carlo Ancelotti ahead of the final but this is how we see the Italian 'setting out his stall'
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Nacho; Camavinga, Kroos, Modric: Rodrygo; Benzema, Vinicius.
Possible FC Barcelona XI
As we await the official confirmed line-ups, this is how we anticipate the Catalan side to start tonight.
Ter Stegen; Araujo, Koundé, Christensen, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Gavi; Dembélé, Lewandowski.
Spanish FA hoping for full house
The Spanish FA are under pressure from many quarters over the hosting of the Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. This pressure becomes more accentuated when swatches of empty seats are beamed into households across the world with only 40,000 in attendance for the first semi-final between Real Madrid and Valencia with 38,000 given as the official attendance for the Barça-Betis game with empty seats in Thursday's game even more apparent.
The King Fahd Stadium has a capacity of 68,000 and the FA have got the final they want tonight and only time will tell if the locals respond in passing through the turnstiles.
All set in the locker rooms
All white for Real Madrid and Barcelona too in their iconic azulgrana (the way it should be) for tonight's Super Cup clash as the clock ticks towards kick-off.
Ancelotti: “The sextuple couldn’t be further from my thoughts”
The Italian coach offered his thoughts pre-game: “All trophies are important, they build confidence, motivate and spur players on to keep doing well. There is a trophy up for grabs and we will try and win it”.
Right now, we are only thinking about this trophy, the Super Cup. That’s what we should do, not be thinking about something that is incredibly difficult, or very complicated. We have to take one step at a time until we reach the end of the season”.
Xavi: “Psychologically, Real Madrid have an advantage”
Speaking to the media ahead of Sunday's game, the Catalan coach stated: "As always, Madrid are very strong physically, tactically. Very strong moving the ball forward.
They are a great rival - the strongest rival in LaLiga, thy are the reigning European champions... The Madrid we all know. They also have a competitive gene in finals which makes them special.
And we have to match that. We are motivated, excited. Winning the trophy would mean a lot to us, and more for the rival. Whatever happens tomorrow, we will have to continue. But with the title in the bag, it would give us confidence."
Real Madrid vs Barcelona: last five meetings
October 2022: Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona, LaLiga
March 2022: Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona, LaLiga
January 2022: Barcelona 2-3 Real Madrid (AET), Spanish Super Cup
October 2021: Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid, LaLiga
April 2021: Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona, LaLiga
Super Cup hauls
FC Barcelona have won the competition a record 13 times but will be joined on that tally by Los Blancos should Real Madrid emerge victorious in the Gulf state tonight.
Athletic Club and Deportivo la Coruña can each boast three Super Cup victories.
How Madrid and FCB got to the final...
Both semi-final games in the 'Final Four' mini competition needed penalties with Madrid beating Valencia after the game was tied 1-1 after 120 minutes of football.
The Catalan giants also needed a shoot-out win to advance to the final after their contest against Real Betis ended 2-2 after extra time.
Extra time and even a penalty shoot-out may be needed again to night should the Riyadh 'El Clásico' be tied after 90 and then120 minutes of action.
The game gets underway at 2 pm (ET) or 11am (ET) and both sides will be keen to claim the first domestic silverware of the 2022-23 season.
Hello and a warm welcome to our live coverage of the Spanish Super Cup final as the old foes of the game do battle in the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh.