FC Barcelona won the Catalan Super Cup against city rivals Espanyol on Wednesday night after a penalty shoot out. The match ended in a 1-1 draw but Barça settled the score 4-2 on penalties.
The game ended up one goal apiece as Gerard Piqué put Barça in the driving seat only for Arbilla to make it all square.Therefore the 90 minutes of stalemate had to be settled from the penalty spot.
This was the first ever Catalan Super Cup and was played at the Estadi Montilivi in Girona, some miles outside the city of Barcelona. Barça fielded 9 first team players as Luis Enrique vowed to take the game seriously with Pedro wearing the captain’s armband and Jordi Masip getting a run out for the Catalan giants in goal. Luis Suárez led the Barça attack and it was he who got the first chance of the evening just after 8 minutes via a Sergi Roberto cross.
Masip showed he was worth bringing on with a great one on one with Espanyol’s left back, Víctor Álvarez. Barça dominated the game from the outset but were unable to add to their 1 goal lead.
The second half got under way and it was Arbilla who made it all square just after five minutes. His free kick left Masip in no mans land at the shot thundered into the top corner.
At all square the dreaded penalty shoot out loomed and at 90 minutes, it was a reality. Xavi, Halilovic, Grimaldo and Rakitic scored for the Catalans with Sandro missing and for Espanyol, Victor Sanchez and Jordan found the net while the goal scorer Arbilla and Abraham missed.
The Catalan Super Cup has a long history in Catalonia, but this is the first time it has been contested this way. There used to be a knock-out tournament which included some of the smaller sides from the region, but fixture congestion means that it has been converted into a one-off final between the two La Liga sides from Catalonia – Barça and city neighbours Espanyol.