Spanish Super Cup: Barcelona bow out brimming full of confidence ahead of the new season

Barcelona hosted a already disheartened Sevilla side at the Nou Camp and were looking to break the hearts of the Sevillistas who had made the long trip to the northeast part of the country. With Mathieu and Iniesta out with injuries, Luis Enrique had to lean heavily on his summer signings to pick up the slack. His counterpart, Jorge Sampaoli, had a goal deficit to recover from after the Catalans had steamrolled past his side just days prior.

Arda Turan put on a show against Sevilla, none more brilliant than his chipped shot in the upper 90 of Sergio Rico’s goal. (Photo by Albert Llop/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Barça started the game sloppily from a defensive standpoint. The high press tactic that caught the Blaugrana off guard in the first leg, worked wonders for Sevilla at the Camp Nou. The absence of the positionally talented Sergi Roberto was felt heavily, as a sluggish Aleix Vidal was out-paced multiple times by Wissam Ben Yedder. The constant pressure forced mistakes from the Barcelona midfield and caused multiple goalscoring chances in the first five minutes for Sevilla. In the 8th minute, Mascherano was pressured into passing the ball back to Bravo, which almost resulted in an own goal. As the game progressed though, Umtiti was able to link up with Javier and form a solid defensive back-line.

This man don’t need no captions! (Photo by Albert Llop/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Enrique’s men eventually punished Sevilla with their astute passing, as build-up play between Gomes and Messi resulted in Turan passing the ball into the back of Sergio Rico’s net. Sevilla attempted to counteract this disadvantage, but Angel Correa could only fire the ball at 2 mph towards Bravo’s goal.

Plenty of mistakes were made by both sides until Umtiti strayed a little too far, after he was penalized for committing a handball inside the box with a subsequent yellow card. With a chance to equalize the score in this 2nd leg, Iborra stepped up to take the penalty. Bravo calmly guessed the right direction and batted away the strike to keep the score unchanged. 

Barcelona players celebrate their Spanish Super Cup victory against Sevilla. (Photo by Albert Llop/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

As Barcelona continued to trouble Sevilla, another break came at the 46th minute, as Arda circled in a sweet ball into the left side of a frozen Rico’s net. The last goal saw a short (5’7″) Messi outleap a defender (5’11”) to head the ball into Rico’s net for the last time. And for the fifth time of asking, Sevilla still had no answer.

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