Goals from Adriano (2), Keita and Maxwell put an end to Qatari club Al-Sadd’s participation in the competition, and Barça will face Santos of Brazil in Sunday’s title decider
FC Barcelona are in the Club World Cup final for the fourth time after easily defeating Al-Sadd of Qatar in today's semi final. There was only ever going to be one winner, and the goals eventually came from Adriano (2), Keita and Maxwell, although the celebrations were muted by the news of a very serious injury sustained by David Villa. Asian champions Al-Sadd didn't get a shot on target all game.
The challenge now is for FCB to win their second world final, having already done so in 2009 in Abu Dhabi. Brazilian side Santos will be the opposition.
Barça were infinitely superior to their opponent, and had them outplayed in every department. They dominated the possession and found it relatively easy to turn that into goalscoring chances. Al-Sadd had little option but to defend for all their worth, and even sacrificed almost every opportunity of counter attacks, as if resigned from the outset to little more than a damage limitation exercise. With Pedro especially active down the left wing, it was only a matter of time before the first goal came.
Two from Adriano
It was Adriano who broke the deadlock, following a horrendous mix-up between Belhadj and his goalkeeper Mohamed over a backpass. The Brazilian was there to seize the opportunity and knock the ball home with his knee just as the keeper was attempting a desperate clearance. It was hardly a candidate for goal of the year, but Barça were in the lead. Shortly after came the dreadful incident in which Villa fractured his left tibia, and Alexis came on in his place. Adriano was also the author of Barça's second goal, a far more beautiful effort than the first, in which he converted after receiving the ball from Thiago. The final was already well in sight.
Keita makes sure
Barça looked extremely relaxed going into the second half, knowing that the game was well under their control and that the Asian champions would need a vast improvement if they were to trouble the Catalans, who seemed to have a free reign to do whatever they liked. Rival keeper Mohamed was in for a busy evening, and there was nothing he could do to stop Keita's deftly converted goal that made it 3-0.
Moments after, Maxwell topped off a piercing run from the left to score what, like Keita's, was his first goal of the season. The second Club World Cup final awaits on Sunday (11.30, GMT+1), against Santos.