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Barcelona crush Real Madrid in Spanish Super Cup final

On a sunny afternoon in Riyadh, the King Fahd International Stadium was the setting for a highly-anticipated match between two of the most successful teams in Spanish football history.

Barcelona and Real Madrid clashed in the Spanish Super Cup final, with both teams looking to add another trophy to their illustrious cabinets.

The match began with both teams feeling each other out, but it was Barcelona who struck first.

In the 33rd minute, a costly mistake by Real Madrid defender Antonio Ruediger allowed Sergio Busquets to gain possession and start a swift counter-attack.

The move ended with Gavi, a young Barcelona player, finding himself all alone in the box and finishing with a precise left-foot strike to put his team up 1-0.

Just 12 minutes later, Barcelona doubled their lead on another counter-attack.

This time, it was Dani Carvajal who was caught out of position and left Gavi alone on the left wing. Frenkie de Jong saw his teammate’s run and delivered a perfectly weighted ball through, which Gavi controlled before laying it off for the onrushing Robert Lewandowski to tap into the empty net.

Real Madrid, who had yet to register a shot on target in the first half, spent the majority of the second half in panic mode, trying to avoid a bigger defeat.

However, they were dealt another blow when Barcelona scored their third goal in the 75th minute. A costly mistake by substitute Dani Ceballos allowed Gavi to sprint forward and cross for Pedri to fire point-blank into the empty net.

Despite the scoreline, Real Madrid continued to fight until the final whistle and were rewarded with a goal in added time.

Karim Benzema struck home on the rebound after Marc-Andre ter Stegen denied his first attempt. But it was too little, too late for the Madrid side, and Barcelona were crowned Spanish Super Cup champions.

Manager Xavi Hernandez deserves credit for his tactical decisions in this match. He sprang a surprise by shifting from his usual 4-3-3 system to play an extra man in midfield with only Lewandowski up front.

Additionally, he deployed center back Ronald Araujo at right back in order to try to slow down Real’s electrifying winger Vinicius Jr. This tactical shift paid dividends as Gavi was able to exploit the space left by the Madrid defense and was instrumental in the win, scoring one goal and delivering two assists.

The game was held at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has struck a deal with the Gulf nation to host the tournament until 2029.

This deal will earn the governing body $34 million a year.

No team has won the Spanish Super Cup more times than Barcelona, who now have 14 titles, with Real Madrid being the second most successful team in the competition with 12 titles.

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