Messi inspires Barca romp

Image: Messi: Stole the show

Lionel Messi fired home a hat-trick as Barcelona crushed Sevilla 4-0 to lift the Spanish Super Cup.

Argentine hits hat-trick to secure Super Cup

Lionel Messi fired home a hat-trick as Barcelona crushed Sevilla 4-0 at Camp Nou to lift the Spanish Super Cup. Sevilla had won the first leg 3-1, but were no match for the Spanish champions in the return as Barca won 5-3 on aggregate. Argentine ace Messi was the star of the show as he scored three times after Abdoulay Konko's own goal had gifted Barca the lead. Pedro beat two Sevilla players on the right wing, advanced into the area and saw his low cross deflected into the net by Konko after 14 minutes. The Andalusians, with one eye on Tuesday night's Champions League qualifier against Braga, began without their two star strikers, Luis Fabiano and Frederic Kanoute. Alvaro Negredo and Alejandro Alfaro began in their place, but were feeding off scraps up front.

Dominating

The Catalans were dominating almost effortlessly and a second goal appeared only a matter of time. Bojan Krkic and Maxwell both came close before Messi ran on to Xavi's perfectly-weighted slide-rule pass to slot home after 25 minutes. A 2-0 win was all that Barca needed to reclaim the Supercopa, but there was still more than an hour to go. And Messi was in the mood. The 24-year-old latched on to Dani Alves' pass in the area a minute before half-time and beat Andres Palop with a fierce angled shot which gave the keeper no chance. Messi could have completed his hat-trick five minutes after the break, but dragged his shot wide of the target. David Villa came on for his debut short of the hour mark and showed some moments of inspiration, but it was another Barca substitute, Andres Iniesta, who created the fourth goal. Spain's World Cup hero charged into the area in the last minute after playing a one-two with Villa and unselfishly laid the ball back for Messi, who slotted home to complete his hat-trick and round off a perfect night for the Catalan club. It was a first title for new president Sandro Rosell, but an eighth for Pep Guardiola in what is the beginning of only his third season in charge.

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