Athletic Bilbao lifted Spanish Super Cup after earning a 1-1 draw against Barcelona in the second leg clash at Camp Nou on Monday evening, triumphing 5-1 on aggregate.
The reigning European champions failed to stage a famous comeback as they were bidding to overturn a 4-0 first leg deficit. Catalan side was unsuccessful to reduce Bilbao’s commanding lead until a minute before half time. The visitors claimed their first Super Cup since 1984.
Barcelona got the breakthrough just before half time as Lionel Messi scored the first goal of the evening when he netted a volley off Ivan Rakitic’s cross. Luis Enrique’s side were hoping to stage a remarkable comeback but dismissal of defender Gerard Pique shortly after the interval ended their hopes of completing a turnaround.
Basque club managed to draw level 15 minutes from time when the first leg hero Aritz Aduriz scored an away goal for the visitors. Barcelona goalkeeper saved the initial shot but the striker slotted the rebound home. Bilbao was down to 10 men too when substitute Kike Sola was sent off the pitch in the 86th minute for hitting his studs on Mascherano’s shin.
La Liga champions began attacking football right from the start and created certain goal scoring opportunities in the opening minutes of play. The hosts were unfortunate not to be in front when Pique saw his shot came off the crossbar. Barca continued to attack but poor finishing from Andres Iniesta and Luis Suarez prevented them from breaking the deadlock within the opening half an hour of the game.
Luis Enrique returned to his first-choice squad except for Neymar and Jordi Alba after the first leg humiliating defeat. The Spaniard also switched goalkeepers after Marc Stegen conceded eight goals in his last two games, opting for Claudio Bravo.
Bilbao were unaffected by the late red card shown to Sola and ended a 31-year silverware drought. Their last title came in 1984, when they defeated Barcelona 1-0 in the Copa del Rey final and claimed the Double, La Liga and Copa del Rey. IMAGE/skysports