Gavi inspires FC Barcelona to Spanish Supercup triumph over Real Madrid
Riyadh : Young Barcelona midfielder Gavi starred as FC Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-1 to win the final of the Spanish Supercup, here. The 18-year-old gave two assists and scored one of Barca’s three goals in a complete display in the King Fahd Stadium as Barca outplayed their historic rivals for nearly all of the game to give Xavi Hernandez his first title since replacing Ronald Koeman as coach 14 months ago, reports Xinhua news agency.
Real Madrid brought Luka Modric, Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy into their starting 11, while Andreas Christensen, Alex Balde and Sergio Busquets were all in for Barcelona. With both sides playing an extra man in midfield, space was at a premium in the first half, with challenges not allowing players time on the ball.
The first chance fell to Robert Lewandowski, who controlled at the edge of the area and fired in a low shot that Thibaut Courtois did well to tip onto the post before Alex Balde fired the rebound wide.
Eduardo Camavinga and Ferland Mendy linked well at the other end for Mendy to cross to Benzema, whose header dipped just wide of the post. It took a bad mistake from Antonio Rudiger to help break the deadlock as Busquets won possession from his poor pass.
Busquets picked out Lewandowski, who fed Gavi to score from a tight angle in the 33rd minute. Madrid seemed to lose concentration in Barca’s second goal as De Jong was given too much space in midfield, he passed to the unmarked Gavi, who advanced before returning the favor for Lewandowski to score with a simple finish in the 45th minute.
Courtois kept Madrid in the game after the break, saving from Ousmane Dembele, who had been put clear by Lewandowski. He then denied Lewandowski who tried to beat him from a narrow angle.
Carlo Ancelotti replaced a flat Luka Modric with Dani Ceballos in the 64th minute, but four minutes later, Pedri scored Barca’s third. Gavi won the ball in midfield, exchanged passes with Lewandowski and crossed for Pedri to tap home at the far post.
Barca then controlled the game with ease and never looked like relinquishing their lead, although Benzema did score a consolation goal for Madrid in the 93rd minute.