Gerardo Martino captured his first trophy at the FC Barcelona helm as a 0-0 draw with ten-man Club Atlético de Madrid was enough to seal an away-goals triumph in the Spanish Super Cup, despite Lionel Messi's late penalty miss.
Neymar's equaliser at the Vicente Calderón last week, cancelling out David Villa's strike against his former employers proved decisive. Yet so too was Víctor Valdés, the champions' hero with outstanding saves in either half in the Catalan capital. Shortly after visiting full-back Filipe Luis was ordered off, Messi sent a late spot kick against the underside of the crossbar in the game's final act.
Hoping to add Spanish Super Cup glory to their recent UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and Copa del Rey successes, Atlético went close to edging in front in the tie before the break. Receiving Koke's pass from the left, Arda Turan evaded Gerard Piqué's challenge before rifling a shot at the target which Valdés superbly saved.
Valdés again came to the rescue as Atlético stepped up their efforts after the restart, expertly palming away Villa's swerving shot. Appearing in their fifth consecutive Super Cup final, Barça rallied with Neymar eyeing Daniel Alves's lofted centre before opting to volley a cutback into space instead of firing at the target.
In what proved a dramatic finale, Filipe Luis was ordered off for a challenge on Alves while Miranda's foul on Pedro Rodríguez inside the area offered Messi the chance to seal victory for the Blaugrana. His shot hit the crossbar, yet the Argentinian forward's disappointment was short-lived as the final whistle sealed Barcelona's 11th Spanish Super Cup win and fourth in five years.
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