It is not the most important prize you can win as a trainer, but Ronald Koeman will have a huge hangover in the final of the Spanish Supercup. Koeman almost got his first cup with Barcelona, but had to leave the win to Athletic (2-3).
In the 89th minute Barça was still ahead with 2-1, but Athletic from Bilbao equalized just before time and after extension, in which it was the only one who managed to score, went to the prize.
It is a setback for Koeman, who has the place on the road after a rough start. Star player Lionel Messi is back playing football under the trainer and the team reapes the benefits, resulting in a third place in the league.
Messi at kick-off
Prior to the final of the Supercup, the question was whether Messi could play after a minor injury. The answer was yes, to the delight of Koeman, who in his basic self also had room for Frenkie de Jong and Sergiño Dest.
It seemed to be Antoine Griezmanns night. The Frenchman, who is getting better in shape, put his team twice ahead. His second seemed to be the winning for a long time, until Athletic equalized in the 90th minute.
In the extension, Iñaki Williams quickly made a beautiful goal. From the edge of the sixtemeter area, he curled the ball through the inside of the pole in the upper right corner.
Ahtletic, who won a surprise from Real Madrid in the semifinals, was also close to the 4-2, but Unai Núñez failed. Barcelona had little opposite to that. A difficult volley of Griezmann flew next to the goal.
Just before time, Messi couldnt manage his frustrations anymore. He played a tap on the back of his opponents head and received the red card, his first in FC Barcelona shirt, in which he made his debut in 2004.
Since last year, the Supercup has had a new set-up, in which four teams compete for the cup. The number one and two of the competition and the finalists of the Copa del Rey.
In the semi-finals De Jong had a leading role. He scored, caused a penalty and missed a penalty in the decisive penalties series, which Barça managed to win from Real Sociedad despite his failure.