Barcelona squander 8/10 gem from Messi in Supercopa loss to Atletico

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia -- Atletico Madrid scored twice in a wild final 10 minutes as they came from behind to beat Barcelona, 3-2, and set up a Spanish Supercopa final derby against Real Madrid here on Sunday.

Barca had earlier come from behind themselves, with goals from Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann cancelling out Koke's opener, which came 23 seconds after half-time. Messi had a second goal disallowed for handball, while Gerard Pique also had one chalked out for offside.

The decision to disallow Pique's goal seemed to revitalise Atletico, who until that point had offered little after Koke's opener. But they sprung to life in the closing stages. Alvaro Morata scored from the penalty spot and Angel Correa netted the winner in the 87th minute, sparking the Atletico bench to join in a mass celebration by the corner flag.


For large parts of the game, it seems funny to say now, this was actually Barca's best performance in quite a while. Jan Oblak was imperious in the Atletico goal, making save after save as Barca created really good champions. Messi was in form, Griezmann was fighting and Luis Suarez brought his touch. They will regret not scoring more.


Ernesto Valverde will have to work out why his defence fell apart in the final stages. The most concerning thing was not that Atletico came from behind, it was how easily they went through the middle of Barca's backline. The back four was all over the place when Vitolo breezed in to win the penalty and it was the same moments later when Correa scored. It's not a new problem, either. Barca have conceded 23 times in 19 league games. Atletico and Real Madrid have leaked just 12 each.

The result means the Supercopa final will feature two finalists who traditionally wouldn't even have been in the tournament, much to Valverde's chagrin based on his comments on Wednesday about the new four-team format. League winners Barca and cup winners Valencia are out. You can decide if that's good or bad.

Manager rating out of 10

5 -- Valverde's game management was poor again, just as was the case in the draw at Espanyol last week. He reacted too late and left Barca too open to Atletico's comeback.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Neto, 4 -- Not a memorable night for the Brazilian. Couldn't do much about Koke's bobbling opener, but gave away the penalty for the equaliser and should have saved the winner, which he got his hands to. In his defence, his backline had left him exposed.

DF Sergi Roberto, 5 -- Helps in attack with his link-up play, although he's not offered much in the final third. Not good enough to be a top-level right-back in a defensive sense.

DF Gerard Pique, 5 -- Walked a tightrope after picking up an early yellow card for a late and reckless foul on Renan Lodi. Unlucky to see his goal ruled out for the minimalist of offsides, but lucky not to give a penalty away when he handled at 2-2.

DF Samuel Umtiti, 6 -- Clement Lenglet's done nothing wrong but you could easily argue that a fully fit Umtiti complements Pique better. The Frenchman was good here for parts of the match -- stepping up to win the ball back, covering Atletico counters and passing bravely out of defence -- but was part of a back four that then fell apart.

DF Jordi Alba, 6 -- Great cross in the build-up to Griezmann's goal to follow up his assist for Suarez last weekend. There are signs that he's beginning to click in attack again after a slow and injury-hit start to the season.

MF Sergio Busquets, 8 -- Played with real intelligence. Robbed the ball back of Atletico time and again to help set up Barca counterattacks.

MF Frenkie de Jong, 7 -- Always an option in midfield, building play and driving into the space when it opened up.

MF Arturo Vidal, 6 -- Worked really hard and has a good relationship with Messi. Gave the ball away cheaply in the build-up to Koke's goal, though.

FW Lionel Messi, 8 -- Adored by the public in Jeddah, he put on a show for them. Scored one, scored another beauty that was ruled out, and helped set up Pique's goal, which was ruled out too. Desperately unlucky to be on the losing team.

FW Luis Suarez, 6 -- Got into some good positions but was denied by an inspired Oblak.

FW Antoine Griezmann, 6 -- Scored his first goal against his former side, heading home from close range after Oblak had saved from Suarez. Could have scored more, too, but two chipped efforts were both saved by the ginormous Slovenian stopper.


MF Ivan Rakitic, NR -- Came on seconds before Atletico's equaliser...

FW Ansu Fati, NR -- Desperately thrown on by Valverde after Correa scored the third for Diego Simeone's men.