Barcelona will appear in a Spanish Super Cup final for a record-extending 25th time after beating Real Betis on penalties at the King Fahd International Stadium, but it was a laboured semi-final success, with the Blaugrana previously being denied two goals for offside by VAR.
As expected though, Robert Lewandowski then took the initiative when Betis were just starting to settle, after Ousmane Dembélé’s driving run saw the striker find plenty of space to finish at the second attempt, and give Barcelona a vital lead minutes before HT.
A tense endgame led to Lewandowski scoring what looked to be a late winner with a calm side-footed effort, but VAR intervened in Betis’ favour once again, before Barcelona’s Ansu Fati drew a fine save from Claudio Bravo in the dying moments of regular time.
Firstly, Fati atoned for his earlier failure to beat Bravo, as his superb guided volley appeared to have sealed the result, before a piece of prime showboating saw Loren Morón score with an exquisite backheel, taking the contest into a dramatic penalty shoot-out despite a late red card for Andrés Guardado.
Pedri then had the honour of scoring the decisive penalty, calmly placing his effort into the bottom-right corner for Barcelona to seal a mouthwatering showdown with eternal rivals Real Madrid in the Super Cup final.