1. Pedro strike hands Barcelona Super Cup 5-4 vs Sevilla; Lionel Messi hand in it

Pedro strike hands Barcelona Super Cup 5-4 vs Sevilla; Lionel Messi hand in it

Barcelona substitute Pedro scored deep into extra time to secure the European Super Cup with a 5-4 win over Sevilla in a thriller on Tuesday after they surrendered a three-goal lead in Tbilisi.

By: | Published: August 12, 2015 8:48 AM

Barcelona substitute Pedro scored deep into extra time to secure the European Super Cup with a 5-4 win over Sevilla in a thriller on Tuesday after they surrendered a three-goal lead in Tbilisi.

Unsettled Pedro had said in the build-up to the game that he wanted to leave the club but he came on, as he did in 2009, to win the trophy, pouncing on a rebound from a Lionel Messi shot.

Lionel Messi had himself scored a double with two stunning early free kicks while Rafinha and Luis Suarez also netted for Barcelona, who led 4-1 with just over half an hour left.

Barcelona’s fifth triumph in the competition, which means they have now won four trophies this year, moved them level with AC Milan on the all-time UEFA Super Cup winners list.

“For the fans it was a great spectacle and something rarely seen,” said Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano.

“Aside from the win though we feel frustrated as we had gone ahead and were in control but let it slip. I am happy with the win but there is a lot to improve on.”

Ever Banega had given Europa League winners Sevilla the lead with a free-kick after three minutes but Messi stamped his mark on the game with stunning free-kicks after seven and 16 minutes.

The Argentine’s double for the Champions League holders Barcelona means he is again joint record scorer in European competition with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo on 80 goals.

Rafinha slotted home a Luis Suarez pass just before the break and the Uruguayan scored himself after the restart having been found by Sergio Busquets to put Barcelona firmly in command.

Sevilla, though, fought back with goals from Jose Antonio Reyes, after 57 minutes, and Kevin Gameiro, with a penalty in the 72nd, before Yevhen Konoplyanka equalised with 10 minutes left to force the game into extra time.

With Neymar out due to mumps, Barca coach Luis Enrique chose Rafinha ahead of Pedro in attack but three minutes into extra time the Canary Islander got his chance and made the most of it.

Pedro fired the winner into the roof of the net from close range with five minutes left as Barca stayed on track to win six trophies this calendar year on the back of last season’s treble.

“Hopefully he can continue here. He is one of those players that is made for the big moments,” Mascherano told reporters. “He has that touch where he delivers at the vital point.”

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