FC Barcelona – CA Osasuna: Gündoğan leads Barça to Spanish Super Cup final (2-0)
Barcelona’s German midfielder emerged as the team’s leader. He dominated a slow tempo game with few chances in which Osasuna defended their area effectively for sixty minutes, but could only create danger in isolated moves.
Tactical analysis and match report by Xavi Sánchez.
The Spanish Super Cup has become increasingly important over the years. What used to be a summer tournament that ended the pre-season and kicked off the new football season has now become a 'final four' in the middle of the season, with all four teams in top form and hungry for titles.
For Xavi Hernández, this is not just another trophy. He understood that last season’s final - when Barça beat Real Madrid 3-1- gave him the energy to face the final stretch of LaLiga, which he eventually won thanks to the team's competitiveness rather than their good performances. So Barça go into this competition hoping to turn their season around, far behind leaders Real Madrid and Girona in LaLiga and with a deepening crisis in their play.
In this hope, Xavi has fielded the fittest players for the semi-final — which is not the same as the players with the most quality, such as Joao Félix. Iñaki Peña remains in goal as long as Ter Stegen remains injured; the defense is the same as the one that won the trophy last year, with Koundé at right-back, Araujo and Christensen at center-back and Balde at left-back; in midfield . . .