Barcelona have managed to get one over on their rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercup final, defeating them 3-1, but striking an important psychological blow as the two battle it out in La Liga.
There had been a sense that regardless of their results and three point lead at the top of the table, this Barcelona was not at Real Madrid’s level. Yet that idea was dismissed by a rampant Blaugrana on Sunday night.
It was evident just how important it was to Barcelona, who broke out into jubilant celebrations at the final whistle, in a competition that rarely inspires that degree of emotion.
Speaking after the match, the celebrations got to one player in particular, Ronald Araujo.
“An enormous happiness. I was crying with joy because I come from a very hard time with the injury, missing the World Cup. This title is a great reward for my family, for the doctors. This week was hard because the idea was to start going bit by bit, but the team needed me. After Betis I was very frustrated, but I was able to be here.”
Araujo’s comments were carried by Marca. Not only was this a vindication of the team, but manager Xavi Hernandez came out of the match reinforced after the first real doubts about the direction of his project, following their Champions League elimination.
“It’s a very nice victory, we played very well, we did everything the coach asked of us. We knew we had to have the ball. We worked very well this week. Winning a Clasico in a final has a more beautiful flavour [to it].”
While this felt like a significant victory for Barcelona, they will be forced to refocus quickly with a long trip to Ceuta on Thursday, followed by Getafe at home. As they showed against Intercity in the previous round, the Blaugrana are vulnerable in any match and just one defeat in La Liga could see Real Madrid draw level again.