Sevilla Threaten Withdrawal From Spanish Cup Over Eligibility Rule

Spanish football gets its first taste of VAR

Spanish football gets its first taste of VAR

Dembele scored the victor in the 78th minute after Gerard Pique had cancelled out Pablo Sarabia's opener as Barca beat Sevilla 2-1 in Tangier, Morocco.

Lionel Messi moved out on his own as the most decorated player in Barcelona history after helping to shore up the 2018 Spanish Super Cup on Sunday evening.

Pablo Sarabia opened for Sevilla in the ninth, when the video assistant referee overruled an offside call in the first use of VAR in Spanish competition.

The Catalans were given a much tougher time from the Andalusians than in the Copa del Rey final and met a narrow, determined team who have quickly been whipped into shape by new coach Pablo Machin and who went ahead early on through Pablo Sarabia after a barnstorming run by Colombian forward Luis Muriel.

Messi wasn't a part of Barcelona's pre-season tour in the United States owing to his extended break after the World Cup commitments, but his performance today - easy on the eye - made it look like he was never absent.

Sevilla nearly regained their lead moments later when Muriel again found Sarabia inside the Barcelona box, but Ter Stegen was on hand to make a terrific save as the pair headed down the tunnel at 1-1.

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In addition, in the second half, Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic came on and they, like Suarez, had only returned from holiday last Monday.

Sevilla responded by introducing Portugal worldwide Andre Silva, with the striker making his debut following a move from AC Milan. The 21-year-old France winger stunned Sevilla's defense with a right-footed shot that hit the underside of the crossbar in the 78th minute.

Barcelona's next chance arrived in the 64th minute when Messi released Dembele inside the Sevilla box, but the Frenchman saw his effort saved by Vaclik, before Vazquez fired wide of the post down the other end.

There was more action to come, with Ben Yedder's miserable penalty, but Barca - who handed debuts to Clement Lenglet, Arthur and Arturo Vidal - win for the sixth time in nine years.

Last season at club level Messi played 54 times, scoring 45 goals and winning the Golden Boot for a record fifth time.

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