Lionel Messi was the clear standout, but Neto and Gerard Pique were the catalysts in defeat as Barcelona were beaten 3-2 by Atletico Madrid in Supercopa de Espana.
Barcelona thoroughly dominated the first half, but could not manage to find a way past the brilliant Jan Oblak. The game burst into life seconds after the break, as Koke broke the deadlock with a close range finish. Five minutes later, Barcelona got the game back on level terms through Lionel Messi.
Messi was denied a second soon after, but Barcelona did have their lead when ex-Atletico Madrid superstar Antoine Griezmann scored against his former side. However, Barcelona would go on to squander their slender advantage in a five-minute period. The Colchoneros first made it 2-2 from the spot via Alvaro Morata, after Neto had brought Angel Correa down inside the Barcelona box.
With four minutes left in regulation time, Atletico Madrid completed their comeback, as a weak save by Neto saw Correa’s effort ricocheting into the net. Barcelona were, therefore, sent packing from the Spanish Super Cup, while Atletico Madrid will meet Real Madrid in Sunday’s final. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ernesto Valverde’s men.
Neto made a quiet start to the game, as with Barcelona dominating the proceedings, he only had to make regulation saves to make in the first period. However, the second half was a nightmare for the Brazilian, who could have done better for each of the three goals that Barcelona conceded.
A late reaction saw Atletico Madrid captain Koke score past him easily for the first goal. Neto then made the catastrophic error when he swept with his feet to concede the penalty that Alvaro Morata converted. Finally, a weak effort saw Angel Correa score the winner. Not a great night for Neto, but he was also sold short by a woeful Barcelona defence.
Sergi Roberto: 4/10
Roberto was not especially bad on the night. However, there were some glaring oversights by the Spaniard that ultimately cost Barcelona dear. A constant outlet in the final third, but he had very little in way of end product.
It was at the back, though, where he was found out, being caught out of position quite regularly, including for the first and third Atletico Madrid goals. This inconsistency is starting to hurt and it is quite perplexing as to why Nelson Semedo is not getting a chance.
Gerard Pique: 3/10
A game to forget for the veteran defender. Pique was largely solid in the first half, snuffing out much of the danger that Atletico Madrid looked to create. However, post the break, the screws turned and the former Spanish international was desperately out of luck. Pique was first pulled out of position when Koke broke the deadlock.
He was then denied a goal after a close offside call on Arturo Vidal. The kicker, though, came in the final ten minutes. Pique was nowhere to be seen when Correa was through on goal before being pulled down by Neto. A horrible attempted clearance then enabled Morata to set Correa up for the winner, as Atletico Madrid completed their comeback. Quite an ordeal.
Samuel Umtiti: 6/10
Quite easily the best Barcelona defender on the night, although that hardly says much. Umtiti, though, showed much more sensibility than Pique, although he was opened up rather easily in the build-up to the opening goal. However, there were some positives from his display as well, and it looks as if he is slowly getting back to his best. Looked jaded towards the end of the game.
Jordi Alba: 6.5/10
A game of hits and misses for Alba, who was at his electric best in the final third, but also left much to be desired at the back. His telepathic understanding with Lionel Messi was evident every time he charged forward and it was his sumptuous cross that led to Antoine Griezmann’s goal. However, he always looked suspect when the forwards ran at him. Still, some major positives.
Arturo Vidal: 7/10
Following another impressive cameo at Espanyol, Vidal got a deserved start. The Chilean boosted his chances for the rest of the season further with another strong showing. A key reason for Barcelona’s first half dominance, Vidal quickly closed the gaps to win the ball high up the pitch.
Caught offside by the slightest of margins when Pique slotted the ball into the back of the net. A bit of a dampener in an otherwise strong performance was the fact that he lost the ball in the build-up to Atletico Madrid’s first goal. Nevertheless, this was a solid display for the most part.
Sergio Busquets: 8/10
The player whose substitution effectively changed the course of the game. Playing some of his best football this season, Busquets was sublime in the middle of the park, absorbing the pressure that Atletico Madrid looked to create and setting a quick tempo to the game. Not at fault for either goal that Los Rojiblancos scored while he was on the pitch. Inexplicably taken off late on.
Frenkie de Jong: 6/10
Following a horror end to the game against Espanyol, de Jong looked strong in the early exchanges versus Atletico Madrid. The Dutchman moved the ball along with a precision and did well to support Busquets. However, he faded in the final quarter of the game and lost the ball before Correa scored the winner.
Lionel Messi: 9/10
Just Messi doing some Messi things. Against one of his favourite opponents, the Barcelona captain looked to be in his elements pretty much from the get-go and did all he could to get his side the win. Got the game back on level terms by showing a lot of tenacity, working the ball through two defenders before finishing a fierce effort with his right foot.
Desperately unlucky thereafter, having first seen a goal being chalked off for handball – a harsh call when the ball seemed to have come off his shoulder. Messi then delivered the free-kick that led to the disallowed Pique goal and another late free-kick almost saw Messi assisting Pique. Sometimes it just is not your day.
Luis Suarez: 6/10
A mixed bag of an evening for Suarez. The Uruguayan would count himself unlucky to see two wondrous efforts being denied by a couple of equally marvellous saves by Oblak. Set Messi up for his goal with a deft touch. Tailed off dramatically in the final quarter of an hour or so.
Antoine Griezmann: 7/10
Griezmann made a slow start to the game, even as Barcelona dominated the proceedings. However, once he found his feet, the ex-Atletico Madrid star was on song. Frustratingly denied by Oblak twice with the chipped effort, in particular, requiring a top save. Finally had his goal when he had to head into the open goal. A decent effort.
Antoine Griezmann scores against Atlético Madrid for the first time in his tenth game against them.
It just had to be him. 😅 pic.twitter.com/n8v2wPEdJK
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 9, 2020
Ivan Rakitic: 3/10
It is unusual for substitutes coming on after the 75th minute to be rated. Rakitic, though, was quite horrendous after being introduces, which is why a rating is warranted. Nowhere to be seen when Pique attempted to clear the ball from Morata when it was Rakitic who needed to be assuming the position.
Instead, he inexplicably went to ground and did not win the ball either. Surely on his last legs as a Barcelona player.
Ansu Fati: N/A
A late introduction, Fati did not have time to make an impact.