Barcelona claim European Super Cup

Lionel Messi scored twice during Barcelona's 5-4 victory over Sevilla in the final of the European Super Cup.
Lionel Messi scored twice during Barcelona's 5-4 victory over Sevilla in the final of the European Super Cup. Reuters/Grigory Dukor

Lionel Messi bagged a brace as Barcelona's glorious surge continued with the prize of the European Super Cup. It's their fourth trophy of 2015 and comes after La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Uefa Champions League were all acquired in May.


Another day, another trophy. Such is the Barcelona machine.

The Catalans added the European Super Cup to their haul with a 5-4 win over La Liga rivals Sevilla on Tuesday night.

Back in May, Barcelona beat Juventus to win the Uefa Champions League. Just over a week before that, Sevilla saw off the Ukrainian club Dnipro to take the Europa League for a record fourth time.

In Tbilisi, Sevilla came from 4-1 down to force extra-time and were only undone in the dying minutes by a strike from Pedro Rodriguez.

The 27-year-old's future at Barcelona is unclear. Coach Luis Enrique says he wants him to stay. Pedro is being courted by Manchester United, who are led by the former Barcelona manager Louis van Gaal.

"When you know that you could leave, it is a complicated situation. I was very angry to have not played from the start because I have always tried to be professional and go out to help the team," said Pedro.

"It is a complicated situation for many reasons. Not for money as has been said, which is another lack of respect. It is a question of continuity, of minutes on the pitch and I am an ambitious player."

Pedro was part of the squad which won the La Liga title, the Copa del Rey and the Uefa Champions League.

With a fourth added on Tuesday night in Georgia, there is an opportunity to harvest number five on Friday night when Barcelona travel to Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup. The second leg is on Monday at the Nou Camp.

That their fourth title was in jeopardy was attributed to sloppiness by the Argentina international Javier Mascherano.

He admitted his side had plenty to work on ahead of the clashes against Athletic. "For the fans it was the kind of spectacle you rarely see. We are happy to have won, but we have a lot to improve," said the 31-year-old midfielder.

"We committed a lot of errors that made life difficult for us. We allowed Sevilla to get back in the game. When you're 4-1 up and all of a sudden the result is in danger. It's not good."

Pedro's winning contribution brought an intriguing denouement to the tussle.

He has been frustrated by his lack of game time since the arrival of Luis Suarez at the start of last season from Liverpool. The Uruguayan has been preferred to partner Messi and Neymar in a South American troika.

Barca's faithful sympathise with a man who has been groomed for greatness in the Barcelona tradition. He joined the fabled training centre La Masía at the age of 17 and was an important member of Pep Guardiola's sides that garnered 14 trophies in three seasons between 2009 and 2011.

However, even with the Brazil skipper Neymar absent on Tuesday night, he was placed on the substitutes's bench. Enrique opted for Rafinha and the manager's decision was vindicated when the 22-year-old scored after Messi had fired in two free-kicks to cancel out Ever Banega's opener for Sevilla.

Suarez then made it 4-1 early in the second-half before the Sevilla fightback. Goals from Jose Antonio Reyes, Kevin Gameiro and Yevhen Konoplyanka took the game into extra- time.

After Pedro's winner five minutes from time, Enrique could argue that the deployment of his attacking options yielded dividends. But as Barcelona fans feast their eyes on yet more silverware, the question many will be asking is: whither Pedro?

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