Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Barcelona Claim UEFA Super Cup Over Sevilla in Goalfest

It took just three minutes for the first goal of this season's UEFA Supercup. Sevilla's Ever Banega curled in a free kick just outside the area, leaving Ter Stegen standing still and Barcelona chasing the game. Luckily, the blaugrana talisman quickly replicated Banega's free kick at the other end. Messi curled in his own effort to equalize, and then with fifteen minutes on the clock he blasted another free kick in off the post to give Barcelona the lead.

Sevilla's surprise lead was quickly nullified singlehandedly by Lionel Messi, leading to an uphill struggle for last season's Europa League winners as Barcelona continued to surge forward in brilliant attacks. By the end of the first half Suarez slipped a pass across the box for Rafinha to finish, giving Barcelona the 3-1 lead.

The second half kicked off with Barcelona seemingly coasting their way to the trophy. Suarez capitalized on a Sevilla mistake, receiving a mistaken pass, and made it 4-1 for the Blaugrana while Sevilla looked completely lifeless. However, the quick scoring trend continued, and five minutes after it looked decided for Barcelona, Jose Antonion Reyes pulled one back for Sevilla. Luis Enrique must have still felt the game was won, and subbed off Iniesta for the younger Sergi Roberto.

Without the veteran midfielder to pull the strings, Barcelona were less dangerous and sluggish in their defending, ultimately conceding a penalty to Sevilla which Kevin Gameiro blasted in to make it 4-3. With belief flowing back into the Sevilla team, ten minutes from the final whistle the two substitutes combined to equalize. New loanee Ciro Immobile wriggled into a crossing position, giving Konoplyanka the chance to tuck the ball into the back of the net.

With extra time, both Luis Enrique and his side began to take things much more seriously while Sevilla began to look tired after their monumental effort to come back. Pedro was put in for Mascherano, and it looked like Sevilla could barely cope with the angered Barcelona. Soon enough, the Barcelona substitute who had been left out of the starting eleven (due to the transfer talks with Manchester United) jumped on a parried shot by Sevilla's keeper Beto to make it 5-4. Although Sevilla created a couple of goalscoring opportunities in the dying minutes, a missed header by Coke and an open goal for Rami which he blasted wide off his knee, Barcelona held on to claim the UEFA Super Cup for a fifth time.


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