Real Madrid got the better of Barcelona in the Supercopa de España semi-finals on Wednesday night.
Los Blancos wasted no time getting the party started with a fantastic goal after just 25 minutes, snatching possession from their Catalan rivals to tee up yet another strike for Vinicius Junior.
Real Madrid 3-2 Barcelona
However, Barcelona weren’t going to go down without a fight and scored their first equaliser of the evening when Luuk de Jong bagged his third goal in as many games in fortuitous circumstances.
The scores remained at 1-1 until the second-half when Karim Benzema regained the advantage for Real, finding the net on the second attempt after Marc-Andre ter Stegen had denied him.
But once again, Barcelona had an answer with Ansu Fati marking his return from injury by ensuring that there would be an extra 30 minutes with his deft header.
Real get the better of Barcelona
Ultimately, though, the Blaugrana ran out of avenues back into the game with Federico Valverde once again grabbing the headlines in a Supercopa de España semi-final, but this time for a goal.
The midfielder took his time in the box to round off an emphatic Real counterattack, secure the win in extra-time and put Los Blancos within 90 minutes of the first silverware of the season.
However, for all the topsy-turvy events of the game, one of the standout moments actually had nothing to do with any of the goals as Ferland Mendy caught the eye in an unexpected way.
Mendy styling on Barcelona
That’s because the vastly-talented Frenchman showed even more composure in the penalty area whilst defending than even Valverde did when he bagged the winner in consolidated fashion.
The 26-year-old proved that he has ice running through his veins by beating Barcelona’s press twice over, before capping it off with a roulette skill despite being just yards away from his own goal.
It really did take the phrase ‘playing out from the back’ to slicker and silkier heights than we’ve seen in a long time, so be sure to check out Mendy flexing on Barcelona down below:
Just imagine having the guts to pull that off. Madness.
Real Madrid show their composure
What makes the situation all the more remarkable is that Thibaut Courtois hadn’t even settled back on his goal line by the time that Mendy decides he’s going to embark upon a mazy dribble.
Marry that to ending the skills show with a swift Zinedine Zidane impression as well as progressing possession into the midfield for Toni Kroos and you really do have to tip your hat to the Real star.
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And it was in those icy-cold flashes of composure that Real showed their greater experience than Xavi’s Barcelona side in big games, deservedly taking the win despite a few wobbling moments.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men will now have to wait and see which of Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao will line up against them when the skills show comes to town once again for the final on Sunday.