Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s heroics in the Supercopa de Espana shootout helped Xavi’s Barcelona advance to an El Clasico final against Real Madrid.
As Barcelona prepares to play Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana championship game, Xavi is anticipating a “desired final.”
After a 2-2 draw in Riyadh, the Blaugrana needed to defeat Real Betis on Thursday in a penalty shootout to guarantee their spot in the championship game on Sunday.
The game entered extra time after goals from Robert Lewandowski and Nabil Fekir, and then went to penalties after astonishing volleys from Ansu Fati and Loren Moron.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen was the Blaugrana’s hero, making saves from Juanmi and William Carvalho to seal the victory. His head coach remarked on the potential morale boost that defeating their El Clasico opponents in the championship game may have.
“It is a desired final and now we are going for the title,” Xavi said. “I always want to play against the best and beat them.
“It’s a trophy and therefore important, but it’s not going to change the season either, although it would give us more morale and peace of mind for the rest of the season. We will try to fight for the three remaining titles no matter what happens.”
Xavi also complimented Ter Stegen’s role in the victory against an impressive Betis, adding: “Since I’ve been here I’ve been delighted with him, he’s the icing on the cake.”
The LaLiga leaders in Saudi Arabia did not put on a stellar display, with Betis having more shots (15-12) over the 120 minutes.