Barcelona beat Sevilla to Super Cup in nine-goal thriller
Pedro scores extra time winner for Catalan club after Europa League winners fight back from 4-1 down
Barcelona 5 Sevilla 4. Barcelona won the Super Cup, Europe's equivalent of the Community Shield, thanks to an extra-time winner from substitute Pedro, on what could turn out to be his last appearance for the club before a move to Manchester United, but opponents Sevilla played their part in a thrilling game of football.
The Super Cup may be as meaningless as a footballer's contract – and no one was quite sure why two Spanish sides had to travel all the way to Tbilisi to contest it – but nonetheless the Champions League winners and the Europa League champions put on some show for the Georgian spectators.
Three free-kicks in the first 15 minutes – two from the outstanding Lionel Messi, the other from Sevilla's Ever Banega – gave Barcelona a 2-1 lead, and Rafinha added a third just before the break. When Luis Suarez made it 4-1 to the Catalan club seven minutes into the second half it was game over. Or so Barcelona thought.
As their focus slipped, so Sevilla played with the reckless abandon of a side with nothing to lose. The result was three goals in 23 minutes, with Jose Antonio Reyes netting the first thanks to Vitolo's cross. Kevin Gameiro scored Sevilla's third from the penalty spot after Jeremy Mathieu had fouled Vitolo and Yevhen Konoplyanka levelled the scores on 80 minutes when he latched onto Ciro Immobile's pass.
That took the match into extra-time and though Barcelona dominated it wasn't until 116 minutes that Pedro scored the decisive goal, the substitute steering the ball into the top of the Sevilla net from the edge of the six-yard box. The victory, Barcelona's first in the competition since 2011, puts them level with AC Milan as five-times winner of the Super Cup.
"It seems Barcelona is expected to win every title, but it is not always like this," reflected Barcelona manager Luis Enrique. "What we did has a lot of merit. So I am very proud of how the players managed to restart again when it was 4-4 and create new chances."
Nonetheless, he admitted that his side should never have allowed Sevilla back into the game. "Obviously we have to analyse what happened," explained Enrique. "They managed to come back. It happens sometimes. They had a penalty and used the wings... when you're leading 4-1, the opponent has nothing to lose."
It was the first time that Messi has scored twice from free-kicks in a game but the Argentine later described his set-piece strikes as "lucky", adding: "The key thing is to win and to win as many trophies as possible. Winning today was significant because of what the Super Cup represents in terms of starting the season on the right foot, so we're delighted. All trophies are great."