This was supposed to be a simple blowout by Barcelona and a nice tune up to their La Liga title defense. What it turned out to be was a thrilling UEFA Super Cup game between the Champions League winners Barcelona and Europa Cup winners Sevilla.
To borrow a quote from Alexi Lalas, the game started out as a “set piece orgy.” After a Ever Banega set piece goal to give Sevilla the lead, Lionel Messi answered with two set piece goals within the first 16 minutes, including a beauty of a goal floated from right outside of the box.
Then Rafinha scored right before halftime to make it 3-1 Barcelona and essentially made the game out of reach for Sevilla. After a fourth goal by Luis Suarez, all really looked lost.
Sevilla pulled a goal back as Jose Reyes made it 4-2 in the 57th minute but things really got going in the 72nd minute. Kevin Gameiro scored a PK to make it 4-3 Barcelona and people began to take notice. Just nine minutes later, Yevheniy Konoplyanka equalized and Barcelona were shellshocked into extra time.
While the teams got adjusted into extra time, an unexpected face entered the game. Pedro, who is widely rumored to be off to Manchester United, entered the game and boy did he make an impact. During a Messi free kick in the 115th minute, the ball deflected off a Sevilla players hand (and probably should’ve been a handball) and was saved by Beto. But because he couldn’t get full control of the ball, Pedro rushed in and scored from a couple yards out. Despite a couple of big chances by Sevilla, Pedro’s goal wound up being the game winner and Barcelona won.
So while the outcome was the outcome almost everyone predicted, the journey of how we got to that point was way more entertaining than expected. All i all, it was a great preview to what we hope to expect from this years European competitions