Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved twice from the spot to assist Barcelona beat Actual Betis 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw on Thursday, establishing a Clasico Spanish Tremendous Cup ultimate.
The Catalans will face their bitter rivals Actual Madrid on Sunday after Carlo Ancelotti’s facet beat Valencia on penalties on Wednesday.
Barcelona wanted spot-kicks to see off Betis after an entertaining draw over 120 minutes at Riyadh’s King Fahd Stadium.
Robert Lewandowski put Barcelona forward after 40 minutes however Betis playmaker Nabil Fekir levelled with 13 minutes remaining.
Ansu Fati smashed in a high quality volley to place Barcelona forward in extra-time however Loren Moron pulled Betis again degree with a crafty backheel flick.
Ter Stegen denied Juanmi and William Carvalho within the shootout and Pedri transformed the decisive spot-kick.
“(The final) will be a very nice game, everyone wants to see these type of games and we’ll be delighted to play it and win it,” Ter Stegen advised Movistar.
The goalkeeper made some high quality saves even earlier than the shootout, the place he was key.
“I would like to have less work in games,” Ter Stegen added, acknowledging that he was again to his greatest.
“For a year I’ve been at a very good level personally, physically, it’s the work too — every day I have a spectacular team that helps me improve and think about how to get better.”
Barcelona haven’t gained the Spanish Tremendous Cup for the reason that change to a four-team format, with the primary Saudi Arabia version going down in 2020.
After ending final season with no single trophy and investing closely in the summertime regardless of the membership’s money owed, Xavi and his staff are determined for silverware.
Though profitable the Tremendous Cup won’t be sufficient in itself, it will be a step in the correct path and Xavi’s first trophy since arriving in November 2021.
“Ter Stegen makes the difference for us, I am very happy with him,” Xavi advised reporters.
“He saved two penalties, and we’re in the final. Now we have to compete in it and win it.”
Ter Stegen impresses
Pedri had an early strike disallowed for offside however Betis quickly discovered their consolation zone, impressed by the artistry of Fekir and dynamism of Luiz Henrique.
Nevertheless, Lewandowski, who missed the win over Atletico Madrid in La Liga on Sunday by way of suspension and was removed from his greatest, broke the impasse shortly earlier than the break.
After being fed by Ousmane Dembele the Polish ahead’s first effort was blocked however he introduced the ball beneath management once more and managed to beat Claudio Bravo on the close to put up.
Ter Stegen made saves from Rodri and Henrique on a busy night time for the German goalkeeper — simply because it had been for his Madrid counterpart Thibaut Courtois the night time earlier than.
Fekir ultimately levelled within the 77th minute after intelligent footwork from Henrique, drilling previous Ter Stegen to power extra-time.
Three minutes into the extra interval, Fati produced a chunk of magic to place Barcelona again in entrance with a volley from the sting of the field.
It didn’t final lengthy, with Betis hanging by way of Moron’s intelligent effort, backheeled previous Ter Stegen regardless of shut consideration from Ronald Araujo.
Fati tried to answer with a backheel of his personal however former Barcelona stopper Bravo was alert to disclaim him.
Veteran Betis midfielder Andres Guardardo was despatched off late in extra-time for 2 yellow playing cards, however Barcelona didn’t have lengthy sufficient to capitalise earlier than penalties.
Each side transformed their first two spot-kicks however Ter Stegen denied Juanmi handy the Catalans the benefit.
Fati scored and Ter Stegen produced one other save to foil Carvalho, with Pedri changing the subsequent spot-kick to seal Barcelona’s progress.
“Betis fans should be proud of the team’s performance,” stated defender Miranda, enjoying within the stead of Alex Moreno, who signed for Aston Villa this week.
“We are, with the fight that we showed. We have a lot to learn and I hope we can be here again many more times.”