Antoine Griezmann was one of the few bright spots while Lionel Messi was sent off as Barcelona lost 3-2 to Athletic Bilbao in the finals of the Supercopa de Espana.
Athletic Bilbao started the game with more purpose and were the first team to go close to scoring, with Ander Capa forcing Marc-Andre ter Stegen into a save. Barcelona, though, grew into the game with time and had a couple of half-chances through Ronald Araujo and Lionel Messi, before Antoine Griezmann put them in front in the 40th minute.
However, the lead lasted just over a minute as Oscar de Marcos levelled things up for Athletic Bilbao stabbing home a smart through-ball by Inaki Williams. Twelve minutes into the second half Raul Garcia nodded Iker Muniain’s free-kick into the back of the net, but, much to Barcelona’s relief, the goal was chalked off for offside.
Ten minutes later, Williams had a great chance to put Los Leones in front but fired his effort wide from ten yards out. In the 77th minute, Griezmann guided home Jordi Alba’s cross to make it 2-1 in favour of Barcelona. However, Asier Villalibre reinstated parity in stoppage time to force the game into extra-time. And just three minutes in, Williams put Athletic in front with a swerving effort.
Barcelona threw everything at Marcelino’s men in search of the equaliser, but couldn’t find a way through. Frustrations boiled over as Messi was sent off in the final stages for lashing out at Villalibre as Athletic Bilbao lifted the Spanish Super Cup.
Here’s how we rated the performances of the Barcelona stars in what was a thrilling encounter in Seville.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 6/10
Made a good stop to deny Ander Capa with the scoreline still at 0-0 in the first half. No chance for any of the goals Athletic Bilbao scored, as he was let down by a vulnerable defence.
Ter Stegen after losing the Supercopa Final. No words. pic.twitter.com/ViGe7M0aiA
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) January 17, 2021
Sergino Dest: 5/10
Reinstated to the starting XI after missing the semi-final due to an injury, the USMNT international looked like he hadn’t fully recovered. Offered very little in terms of attacking outlet and was tested defensively by Iker Muniain. Taken off at half-time.
Ronald Araujo: 6/10
The better one among the Barcelona defenders on the night, Araujo looked solid for the most part, producing some important blocks, including one to deny Williams a scoring chance while he also made a game-high six clearances and won five aerial duels. Reliable on the ball as well, misplacing just five of his 89 attempted passes.
Clement Lenglet: 4/10
Found it hard to cope with the pressure of Williams and Garcia up top. Booked just ten minutes into the game for hauling down the former in a dangerous moment. Lack of pace and suspect positioning meant he was a weak-link at the back and Athletic Bilbao capitalised.
Jordi Alba: 4/10
Was involved in the buildup for Barcelona’s first goal with a neat exchange with Messi and got the assist for the second as well, crossing for Griezmann after linking up with Ousmane Dembele. However, was culpable for both of Athletic’s goals in normal time as he allowed de Marcos to get past him with ease for the first and ducked out against a free-kick leading to the second.
Frenkie de Jong: 6.5/10
Frenkie de Jong vs Athletic Bilbao (Supercopa Final):
88 passes (94%)
2 long passes
6/6 dribbles (100%)
12 Ground duals won
Another good game from him but nothing to celebrate.pic.twitter.com/DGzkVp98ow
— Frenkie News ?️ (@FrenkieNews) January 17, 2021
Endured a rather quiet first-half but improved a great deal as the game wore on. Drove Barcelona forward each time he got on the ball, making a game-high six dribbles and looked to support the team in the attacking phases. However, not near his best and couldn’t help Barcelona over the line.
Sergio Busquets: 6/10
Went about his job well in midfield, acting as the link between the two halves of the pitch. Complete 99 of his 110 passes, while also doing his bit off the ball as he made four successful interceptions and a tackle. However, the Basque outfit’s energy meant he was never quite completely able to stamp his authority in the middle.
After his masterclass against Athletic Bilbao earlier this month, the Basque outfit did well to ensure that there was no repeat of the same on Sunday. Wasn’t always afforded the space or time on the ball to make an impact, although he did manage to make a couple of dribbles and a key pass. Impressed with his work-rate off the ball, but couldn’t make the difference on the night.
Ousmane Dembele: 5.5/10
One of his most ineffective displays since returning from injury, the Frenchman ran into traffic more often than not when he was on the ball while his end product left a lot to be desired. Linked up well with Alba in the buildup to Barcelona’s second goal and completed four dribbles, but underwhelming in an overall sense.
Lionel Messi: 5/10
Lionel Messi’s red card against Athletic Club was the first time he had been sent off in his Barcelona career.
A bad end to the evening for the Argentinian. pic.twitter.com/R3XHbvIeiM
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 17, 2021
Back into the fold after missing the semi-final, the Barcelona skipper took some time to get going. Had a shot miss narrowly after the half-hour mark, then played a role in the opener as it was his shot that was deflected into Griezmann’s path who made no mistake.
Wasn’t able to kick on though, as he failed to muster up a single shot on target or a key pass on the night. Let his frustrations show as his team struggled to find a way through in extra-time, getting sent off for the first time ever in his Barcelona career.
Antoine Griezmann: 8/10
One of the few positives for Barcelona from the night, the Frenchman seems to have rediscovered his goalscoring touch. Pounced on the loose ball after Messi’s initial shot was blocked to put Barcelona in front and produced a neat finish in the second half to reinstate their lead. Had a tough chance to level things up in extra-time but couldn’t net a third goal. Worked really hard off the ball, making a couple of interceptions and three clearances.
— Barça Buzz (@Barca_Buzz) January 17, 2021
Oscar Mingueza: 5/10
On for Dest at half-time. Not a lot of attacking impetus on offer while the combination of Williams and Muniain gave him a hard time defensively.
Miralem Pjanic: 5/10
Replaced Pedri in the 88th minute to shore things up, but Villalibre’s goal meant the game went into extra-time. Couldn’t make any sort of time in the added thirty minutes to help his team make a comeback.
Martin Braithwaite: 5/10
Came on for Dembele in the closing stages. Worked hard, but couldn’t find a way through.
Riqui Puig: 6/10
On for Busquets in extra-time. Tried to get on the ball and make things happen. Misplaced just one of his 29 passes and completed three dribbles.
Francisco Trincao: N/A
Replaced Lenglet for the final fifteen minutes of extra-time. No impact whatsoever.