Barcelona wins at tired Sevilla in Spanish Super Cup first leg
SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Luis Suarez and Munir El Haddadi scored in the second half to give Barcelona a 2-0 win at Sevilla in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday.
Arda Turan set up Suarez with a wonderful chested pass in the 54th minute after Denis Suarez found him in the area with a well-placed lob.
"We played a great second half," Suarez said. "Turan has a lot of quality and he showed it in the first goal."
Substitute El Haddadi sealed the win in the 81st from a pass by Lionel Messi five minutes after going on.
Sevilla's pressure kept Barcelona at bay until a dip in intensity after halftime gave last season's league and cup champions the space they needed to claim the commanding victory at Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
Barcelona lost both Andres Iniesta and Jeremy Mathieu to injury in the first half. The club says Iniesta bruised his right knee in a knock with Sevilla's Mariano, while Mathieu pulled a muscle in his right thigh.
Before his exit, Iniesta surpassed Carles Puyol with the second-most appearances in club history at 594 matches. Xavi Hernandez holds the club record of 767.
The injuries allowed summer signings Denis Suarez and Lucas Digne to make their competitive debuts for Barcelona.
Sevilla, which lost the UEFA Super Cup 3-2 in added time to Real Madrid on Tuesday, visibly tired against a Barcelona side playing its first competitive match of the season.
Goalkeeper Sergio Rico, who denied Messi twice after Suarez's opener, saved the hosts from a rout in their second match under new coach Jorge Sampaoli.
"We suffered in the second half because we were worn down after the other final," Rico said.
The Spanish Super Cup pits the league champion against the Copa del Rey winner, but since Barcelona won both competitions, Sevilla was invited as the Copa del Rey runner-up.
The return leg is on Wednesday at Camp Nou.