Atletico Madrid Outlasts Barcelona in VAR-Altered Spanish Super Cup Semifinal

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The Season of VAR has another addition to the highlight reel.

Atletico Madrid watched as two Barcelona goals were taken off the board–and as one apparent penalty on Gerard Pique wasn't given–and emerged victorious in the Spanish Super Cup semifinals, winning 3-2 to set up an all-Madrid final vs. rival Real on Sunday in Saudi Arabia.

Angel Correa had the final say, scoring on a goal that was partially saved by Barcelona goalkeeper Neto but crept in for the 86th-minute winner–Atletico Madrid's second goal in five minutes after it trailed 2-1.

Atletico Madrid had struck first, scoring seconds into the second half through Koke to break a scoreless deadlock, only to have Lionel Messi answer with a gem in the 51st minute. 

Messi nearly scored a second, but it was taken off the board for an apparent handball.

That set the stage for Antoine Griezmann to burn his former team. Jordi Alba had a key role in the sequence with a lovely bending cross from the left to pick out Luis Suarez by the far post. The Uruguayan's header banged off the crossbar, but Griezmann, who left Atletico Madrid for Barcelona in the summer, was there to head home the rebound and give Barcelona a 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute.

Barcelona again had a goal taken off the board in the 74th minute, with Messi's free kick finding Arturo Vidal, who set up Gerard Pique for the finish, only for Pique to be ruled offside on VAR review.

That would prove to be costly. A penalty allowed Alvaro Morata to equalize from the spot in the 81st, and Atleti rode the momentum to Correa's winner and a place in the final.

It means there won't be an additional Clasico on the calendar, but there will be an extra Madrid derby to determine who lifts the Super Cup trophy, whose competition expanded to the four-team format and was held in Saudi Arabia despite critics highlighting the country's human-rights record.