Sevilla rallies to beat Barcelona

August 15, 2010

Sevilla came from a goal down to beat an under-strength Barcelona 3-1 in the first leg of the Spanish Supercup on Saturday.

Supercup-holder Barcelona will host the return leg next Saturday between the league winner and Copa del Rey champion Sevilla.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who according to media reports could soon be leaving the club, put Barcelona ahead in the 21st minute when he stretched to tap in Maxwell's long through pass from five yards (meters) out.

Luis Fabiano equalized in the 63rd, striking Luca Cigarini's pass first time past Ruben Mino. Then substitute Frederic Kanoute converted Alvaro Negredo's pass in the 73rd. The Mali forward was unmarked when he headed in 10 minutes later at Sevilla's Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.


Barcelona's lineup was almost unrecognizable, as all eight of its Spain internationals were rested after their midweek game against Mexico, and Argentina striker Lionel Messi was on the bench. Messi eventually replaced Ibrahimovic in the 53rd.

Adriano Correia, who recently moved from Sevilla to Barcelona, also started on the bench for his first official game with his new team.

The result left Barcelona needing to overcome a two-goal deficit to become the sole owner of the record for Spanish Supercups. Barcelona and Real Madrid have eight each. Sevilla has won the trophy once, in 2007.

In a quiet opening, Sevilla threatened on a couple of occasions. Jesus Navas sent a long-distance shot wide and Fabiano was ruled offside as he tried to control a Diego Perotti cross from the left.

Navas then drew a save from Ruben Mino in the 18th with a low drive after dribbling in from the right.

Despite the absence of most of its key players, Barcelona soon settled into its trademark quick-passing game. Bojan Krkic had the best opportunity of the first quarter hour when Ibrahimovic's pass found him well positioned inside the area, but goalkeeper Andres Palop charged out to steal the ball.

Maxwell shot just wide in the 35th for Barcelona, as the Catalan club started to take control following Ibrahimovic's goal.

However, while Sevilla looked overwhelmed in midfield, the hosts still managed to unsettle the Barca defense through Navas and Perotti on the wings. Renato nearly scored early in the second half when he met Navas' superb cross with a close-range header that Mino did well to stop.