It was difficult, but Barcelona escaped the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán with a tough 2-0 victory over Sevilla, thanks to goals from Luis Suárez and Munir El-Haddadi. In a difficult match against an intense opponent, the Blaugrana suffered, but ultimately prevailed to take the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup. In three days, Barça can clinch the title at Camp Nou.
Jorge Sampaoli was clear before the match that he wanted Sevilla to pressure Barça and have the ball, and that was exactly what his players did. From the first minute, the Sevillistas suffocated the Catalans with their pressing, making it impossible for the Blaugrana to have possession and some space to create chances. Sevilla were also dangerous in attack, forcing Barça's back four to clear the ball out of danger plenty of times.
Luis Suárez had a golden chance in the first few minutes, but keeper Sergio Rico made a fantastic save to stop the Uruguayan. Other than that, however, there was nothing significant from the visitors, who couldn't scare the opposing defense. On top of a poor performance, Barça also lost players to injury, as Mathieu and Iniesta had to leave with hamstring and knee problems.
At halftime, a very even game with Sevilla just a little better. Barça needed to avoid another injury, improve their chance creation and try to find an away goal to take into the second leg.
Barça returned from the locker room in much more control, doing a better job of keeping the ball and creating chances. Denis Suarez was playing well, and he started a beautiful play that ended in the first goal, finding Arda Turan inside the box with a great lob pass, with the Turkish then chest-passing the ball right into Luis Suárez, who easily finished to score the opener.
Sevilla naturally went forward looking for a goal or two, but ran into a very well organized defense from the visitors, who had Lucas Digne and Gerard Piqué ready to clear and steal every ball that came their way. When they did get the ball, the Catalans were dangerous on the counter, and when Lionel Messi had the ball with some space he easily found Munir El-Haddadi, who calmly finished to score the second.
In the end, a very tough victory for Barça against a very difficult opponent, but a fantastic result to take into the decisive second leg next Wednesday. The silverware is closer.
Sevilla: Rico | Mariano, Rami, Mercado, Escudero (Sarabia) | Kranevitter (Ganso), Kiyotake, N'Zonzi, Vázquez | Vitolo, Vietto (Ben Yedder)
Barcelona: Bravo | Roberto, Piqué, Mascherano, Mathieu (Digne) | Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta (Denis), Arda (Munir) | Messi, Suárez
Goals: Suárez (54'), Munir (80')