Atletico Madrid came back from a 2-1 down to win 3-2 against Barcelona in the semifinal of the Super Cup de Espana, which is being held for the first time in Saudi Arabia. The Blaugrana captain Lionel Messi admitted that the team switched off in the final ten minutes that lead to Atleti’s 2 goals.
Barcelona faced bitter humiliation when they surrendered a 2-1 lead and lost 3-2 to rivals Atletico Madrid in the semifinal of Super Cup de Espana. The fans will now witness a Madrid derby in the final with Real Madrid defeating Valencia 3-1 in the first semi-final of the competition.
Barca captain Lionel Messi indicated that silly mistakes cost Barcelona the game. The Argentine also acknowledged that the players are aware that they have to improve during the season, build on their performance against Atleti and avoid similar mistakes in the future.
“We have much to improve and we are aware of it, but today we took a step beyond the defeat. We are aware that we have not been doing things as we would have liked or the way we can. This year we will try to continue on the path of what we did today and not make the childish mistakes we made," said Messi to Marca.
Manager Ernesto Valverde has come under heavy criticism once again for substituting Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong in the final few minutes of the game. Reports started doing rounds that the ex-Athletic Bilbao boss might be sacked after a shocking result but Messi sent a message of unity and has stated that the entire team is together trying to work on solutions.
“When there is a defeat and the targets are not achieved, it is normal for people to talk. We have to be more united than ever, be a strong group and move forward. It is a difficult situation especially because we missed out on a title that we wanted to win, [but] we have to look forward and keep growing," added the Argentine.
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