Ousmane Dembele’s fierce shot was the winning goal for Barcelona as the Catalan club came from behind to defeat Sevilla 2-1 win in the Spanish Super Cup.
Playing against a team they walloped 5-0 to win the Copa Del Rey trophy last season, the Spanish champions had to work hard for the win against a sturdy Sevilla side.
In the first ever one-legged Super Cup and a controversial match staged in Morocco, Barcelona’s newly elected club captain, Lionel Messi, led out a team that included two new signings, Arthur and Lenglet, in the starting line up, while Coutinho started on the bench.
The Seville-based club fired the first salvo by taking the lead on nine minutes through Spanish attacker, Pablo Sarabia. The attacking midfielder, who has scored thrice already in Europe this season, converted Luis Muriel’s cross.
Although the referee initially disallowed it, the video assistant referee (VAR) awarded Sevilla the goal which is their tenth in their history of the Super Cup.
Gerard Pique, who retired from international duty on Friday, equalised for Barcelona three minutes from half time, converting on the rebound from six yards out after Messi’s initial free kick hit the bar and the back of the goalkeeper.
Sevilla, who have won the Super Cup thrice by defeating Barcelona on all occasions, came close to retaking the lead early in the second half through Franco Vasquez but his glancing header could only find the top of the net.
Dembele, who was injury-plagued last season but won the World Cup with France, scored what turned out to be the winning goal eleven minutes from time, smashing in a shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Drama ensued in added time when Sevilla were awarded a penalty after goalkeeper, Mac-Andre ter Stegen, brought down former Barca player, Aleix Vidal.
Substitute striker Wissam Ben Yedder’s spot kick was however tame and ter Stegen comfortably held to redeem himself.
The latest Barcelona laurel sees captain Leo Messi become the most honoured player in Barcelona’s history with his 33rd trophy at the club.