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Pedro snatches late winner to give Barça the title

Winger pounces late in extra time of a memorable final to give Barça the UEFA Super Cup Pedro gives Barça the title FC Barcelona 5 – 4 Sevilla FC FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC played out a thrilling final in Tbilisi, one that you would more expect to see at a different stage of the […]


12 de agosto de 2015 - Sportyou

Winger pounces late in extra time of a memorable final to give Barça the UEFA Super Cup

Pedro gives Barça the title

Supercopa de Europa

FC Barcelona 5 – 4 Sevilla FC

FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC played out a thrilling final in Tbilisi, one that you would more expect to see at a different stage of the season and for a more prestigious title. Barça take the Super Cup, but Sevilla can presume to have sold their defeat by no means cheaply, and to have gone down with honour as well as giving a lesson in good football. They did not give up, even when the scoreline was 4-1 in favour of the European champions, with Messi showing once again that he is a player who is capable of deciding not just matches, but championships as well. Despite the Argentinean’s brace, the hero of the night was Pedro, an unexpected substitute who, foreseeably will be on his way to England in the near future.

The match was a to-and-fro affair, and started favourably for the Andalusians. In the third minute Banega put Sevilla ahead with a masterfully executed free-kick that he drove into the top corner, after Mascherano had fouled Reyes. The Argentinean midfielder lifted the ball over the wall and into the net close to the post, leaving Ter Stegen helpless.

It took Messi little time to turn things around. Only four minutes later he equalised with a carbon copy of Banega’s goal, after Luis Suárez had been fouled on the edge of the box. The Barça star floated in a shot that beat the scrambling Beto by inches. In the fifteenth minute, he repeated the feat, from a little further out, hitting a harder shot into the same spot.

Barça then cooled the game, and their opponents, down in the way that they always do, with possession, moving the ball around at pleasure. Two minutes before the break, Luis Suárez broke away down the right and came face to face with Beto, who got his legs in the way of the Uruguayan’s shot. Reyes got in the way of Krychowiak as the ball bounced back to Suárez, who then nutmegged Krohn-Delhi for Rafinha to make it 3-1 by steering the ball in from six yards.

Six minutes into the second half, it was Suárez who made it 4-1. Tremoulinas made a terrible mistake, laying the ball off for Sergio Busquets close to the area and the midfielder only had to serve up for the former Liverpool man who, once again alone in front of Beto, made no mistake, nutmegging the ‘keeper to establish what seemed to be an unassailable lead.

The match was intense, everything that one expects from a European final. Barça were not content with the lead they had, but neither were Sevilla prepared to accept the situation and Reyes provided them with some relief when he dashed in unmarked at the back post to volley past Ter Stegen, taking advantage of the movements of Iborra and Gameiro, who centred in from the left.

With twenty minutes remaining, Mathieu hauled down Vitolo in the box and the referee declared a penalty. Gameiro converted the spot kick with power and precision and it was now game on for Sevilla. Shortly before that, Rafinha had smacked a header against the bar. The Andalusians continued to press. In the 81st minute, the recently-introduced Immobile wriggled past Bartra close to the goal line and sent a low pass across the face of the goal for Konoplyanka to tap in the equaliser.

Luis Enrique made some switches and brought on Pedro for Mascherano in extra time. The Canary Islander was a surprise introduction, as he had been thought of as the substitute for Neymar though the coach had in fact preferred to play Rafinha in the role. The game became scrappier owing the enormous physical effort both teams had put in, and it looked like going to penalties. That was until Messi smacked a free-kick against the wall, latched on to the rebound and drove the ball back in, forcing Beto into a save that he could not hold, and the alert Pedro pounced and smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

Even still, Sevilla made two more chances, with both Coke and Rami missing by a whisker, while Barça were desperate for the final whistle to go. And when it did, they lifted their fourth title of the year.

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