13th August, 2018
F.C. Barcelona took a giant step into the new football season in Spain by winning the very first available trophy – the Supercopa de España – by defeating Sevilla F.C. 2-1 in a very thrilling encounter played far away in Tangier, Morocco.
In a first half that was dominated by Barca, it was Sevilla that actually got the first goal through Pablo Sarabia who scored in a counter attack completely against the run of play.
As shocking as that was for the Blaugranes, it did not make them jittery as they took control of the game from then on and so, it was no real surprise when the equaliser finally came in the 42nd minute courtesy a goal from Gerard Pique.
Barca dictated the game especially on the wings where both full-backs, Jordi Alba and Nélson Semedo, constantly provided width and support for Lionel Messi and others in the attack.
The midfield was well dominated by the duo of Arthur and Sergio Busquets and that gave room for Lionel Messi to roam freely in that area of the pitch.
It was a free kick from the superstar that eventually resulted in the first goal for Barcelona as his kick hit the post and eventually bounced into the part of an alert Gerard Pique to slot home the equaliser just before the halt time mark.
The second half was somewhat more difficult for Barca as the level of physical fitness after the World Cup break started to show. It became more difficult to keep up with the pace from the first half and had to rely on Messi set pieces to create any kind of danger.
Sevilla which was evidently the fitter of the two teams at this stage became more dangerous especially on the counter with Franco Vázquez coming very close to scoring on two different occasions.
Ousamane Dembélé displayed his superb quality on the all as he fired a rocket from outside of the box into the top corner on the 78th minute mark and gave his team the lead and some breathing space in face of the opponents’ increasing pressure on the Barca defence.
Sevilla then changed formations as they brought in Ben Yedder in place of Mercato thereby playing two strikers upfront and sending all their kicks into the Barca box as they searched desperately for the equaliser.
The opportunity eventually came their way as Aleix Vidal ran into Ter Stegen inside the six-yard area and the centre referee inexplicably awarded a penalty kick against Barcelona in the very last minute of the game.
However, the Barcelona goalkeeper rose to the occasion as he saved the penalty kick taken by Ben Yedder to ensure that F.C. Barcelona went home with their first trophy of the new 2018/2019 season in style.
The line-up for this game was as follows:
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rafinha (Rakitic), Busquets, Arthur (Coutinho); Messi, Suárez, Dembélé (Vidal)
Goals: Piqué (42’), Dembélé (78’)
Sevilla: Vaclík; Mercado (Ben Yedder), Kjaer, Gómez; Navas, Mesa, Banega, Escudero; Sarabia (Vidal), Muriel (André Silva), Vázquez
Goal: Sarabia (9’)