Good goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen helped Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in the Supercopa de Espana semi-final.
While Lionel Messi escaped the tie with a slight injury, it was Frenkie de Jong who continued his recent strong form with the opening goal in the first half.
De Jong conceded the penalty which allowed Mikel Oyarzabal to equalize, however, and it was Sociedad who threatened the most as the game entered extra time, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen in strong form and the Substitute Adnan Januzaj hitting the post with a free kick.
Ter Stegen was essential in the shootout, making two saves, before Riqui Puig buried his kick to send Barca through.
the Germany international made a nice head-to-head save to refuse Alexander Isak as La Real looked by far the most threatening in the first exchanges.
Barca appeared to settle in after 25 minutes and came close to Martin Braithwaite twice, while Ousmane Dembele threatened Nacho Monreal on the right.
Growing pressure from the Catalans said it six minutes before halftime, with Antoine Griezmann clipping a cross towards De Jong, who reacted well to lead a header past Alex Remiro.
But De Jong handed Sociedad an equalizer 51 minutes later, with his handball allowing Oyarzabal to send Ter Stegen the wrong way.
15 – @RealSociedadENMikel Oyarzabal has scored more penalties without missing one than any other LaLiga player since the start of 2015/16 in all competitions (15, 12 in @LaLigaEN, 2 in Copa del Rey and 1 in #SupercopaDeEspana). Specialist. pic.twitter.com/aVQGYisd2n
– OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 13, 2021
An end-to-end fight ensued, with La Real threatening as Isak’s breakthrough and Pedri and Griezmann come closer with powerful efforts.
In extra time, Ter Stegen made a spectacular one-handed save to prevent Joseba Zaldua’s rocket before Dembele sent a shot straight at Remiro after Griezmann stole possession.
Griezmann saw a muffled volley and Barca were nearly hit at the break, Ter Stegen doing enough to turn Oyarzabal away after the striker failed to connect properly with Januzaj’s cross.
Januzaj himself had a shot just passed the left post after a strong run, then came closest to a winner, slamming the post with a nasty free kick as Ter Stegen looked to touch the ball from the fingertip.
De Jong hit the post with Barca’s first penalty, but Ter Stegen saved from Jon Bautista and Oyarzabal and Willian Jose hit the post after Dembele scored.
Griezmann horribly skied his effort after Miralem Pjanic and Mikel Merino each scored, but although Januzaj also converted, Puig showed nerves of steel to send the Catalans to the final.