Robert Lewandowski and Lamine Yamal scored second-half goals to give Barcelona an 2-0 win over Osasuna in a dour Spanish Super Cup semi-final in Saudi Arabia.
Barca set up a dream showpiece clash on Sunday with Real Madrid, who had beaten city rivals Atletico Madrid in a breathtaking 5-3 derby earlier in the week. It will be a re-match from last year’s final, which Barca won 3-1.
Barcelona dominated possession in a dismal first half but were bereft of ideas and barely threatened their opponents.
Lewandowski could have done better in a couple of half-chances that were denied by a confident Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera, but it was not until the 59th minute that Barca came to life and managed to break the deadlock.
Ilkay Gundogan picked out Lewandowski with a through-ball and the striker scored from close-range.
However, Osasuna players were left fuming and complained to the referee that Barcelona defender Andreas Christensen had fouled Jose Arnaiz before starting the counter-attack, but a VAR check confirmed the goal.
“We felt we were wronged, because the refereeing criteria was very different during the whole match. The foul was clear,” Osasuna manager Jagoba Arrasate told Movistar Plus.
“Watching live it looked like a foul, to be honest, but the replay shows that there was nothing…” Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez said.
“Sometimes the referee works to our advantage, sometimes he works against us… However, I don’t think he was decisive in today’s outcome.”