It wasn't pretty but Barcelona got past Osasuna 2-0 in the semifinal of the Spanish Super Cup. Robert Lewandowski and Lamine Yamal were the goal scorers as the Catalan side set up a Clasico in the final against Real Madrid.
Xavi Hernandez set out a full-strength side with Ferran Torres starting ahead of Joao Felix to round out the attacking trio alongside Lewandowski and Raphinha. Sergi Roberto was selected ahead of Fermin Lopez in accompanying Ilkay Gundogan and Frenkie de Jong in midfield.
Barcelona had the better of the game in the first half with a couple of chances they should have put away. The most glaring was a 3v2 breakaway where Sergi Roberto had Raphinha on his right and Lewandowski on his left. Roberto opted for the latter, which resulted in Lewandowski's shot getting saved.
Osasuna got in a few licks themselves in the first half but some opportune blocks by the defense as well as Iñaki Peña kept the game scoreless heading into the break.
Barcelona finally broke the deadlock in the 59th minute. Gundogan, who alongside De Jong were the game's standouts, send it a precise pass to Lewandowski who managed to control and then place the ball past the keeper. It was a well taken goal and one that should serve to raise his confidence as he tried to get out of his goal drought.
The goal seemed to be what Barcelona needed as they managed to take off some of that pressure off of themselves. It allowed Xavi to make some changes which included the introduction of Pedri who had been out injured and received the medical green light prior to the match.
However, Osasuna wouldn't go down that easy as they still threatened the Barcelona defense. This also meant they left themselves exposed to a possible Barcelona counter.
Osasuna would finally be caught out in the dying moments of stoppage time as Pedri laid the ball off to Felix, who replaced Ferran Torres. Felix then nutmegged one defender before cutting toward the middle where he spotted an open Lamine Yamal. He passed to Yamal who took an extra touch to his left before slotting it past the keeper who will certainly believe he could have done better.
The goal all but put the game to bed and gave Barcelona some breathing room in the final minute of the match.
A final against Real Madrid now awaits Barcelona who will be looking to repeat the same formula as last season where they beat Los Blancos 3-1 in the final.
Both teams are in a different moment with Barcelona still struggling to produce a good, consistent performance. The return of Pedri should help. But it's one step forward two steps back as the win came at a price given the injury to Raphinha who is all but out for the final.
Barcelona continue to be wasteful in front of goal and it doesn't take much for the opponent to create danger. These are the same issues that have been plaguing them all season and ones Xavi has been unable to find a solution for.
What remains clear is Barcelona are going to have to hope they're able to solve at least one of those issues in time for the final. The way things are going, Real Madrid enter the match as favorites.