Going into the UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla, Barcelona showed all the makings of another apocalyptic crisis from which they will never recover. Neymar had to go into quarantine with mumps, Pedro was held out of the starting XI amidst his prolonged transfer saga with Manchester United, and the club hadn’t won a major trophy since the Champions League final last season.
Once the match began, the horrors continued. Ever Banega gave Sevilla a 1–0 lead in just the third minute with a free kick and Lionel Messi responded with two free kick goals of his own to put Barca on top 2–1 in the 15th minute, demonstrating once again that they are too reliant on Argentine.
Rafinha and Luis Suarez added goals of their own to give Barca a 4–1 lead by the 52nd minute, but then their defensive weakness was viciously exposed when Sevilla scored three unanswered goals to equalize in the 81st minute. That sent the match to extra time, where Pedro came off the bench to score the winner for Barcelona.
Though Barca lifted yet another trophy, their fatal flaws were on full display in this game. They can’t concede four goals every match, especially when Pedro leaves and the mumps epidemic introduced by Neymar sweeps through the team. Plus, Messi won’t regularly score two free kicks in one match since this was the first time he’s ever done that in his career. On this conclusive evidence, it’s safe to say that Barca might only win two or three trophies this season. Which would be disastrous.
On the bright side, Thomas Vermaelen gets to celebrate another trophy he didn’t earn (he wasn’t even in the squad for this game…but he was in the celebration). And now Arda Turan, who was signed this summer but can’t play until January because of the club’s ongoing transfer ban, has an undeserved medal of his own, too.
We also got an adorable picture of Messi looking at his own reflection in the trophy. Which is nice.