Barcelona Depth Proves Crucial as Luis Enrique Finally Wins Spanish Super Cup

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Barcelona Depth Proves Crucial as Luis Enrique Finally Wins Spanish Super Cup

Three points from Barcelona's 3-0 win over Sevilla on Wednesday at the Camp Nou, securing the Spanish Super Cup with a 5-0 aggregate victory.

1. Luis Enrique takes trophy tally to eight

Barcelona have their first trophy of the season. And it is the only one that was lacking from Luis Enrique's collection since taking over as the Catalan club's coach two years ago.

Two goals from Arda Turan -- the second a stunning long-range effort -- and a Lionel Messi header eased Barca to a 3-0 win against Sevilla and completed a 5-0 aggregate win, securing the Spanish Super Cup, which they missed out on to Athletic Bilbao 12 months ago.

Sevilla, who were bright early on, look as if they may need some time to get used to a new manager, new players and a new shape. They were lively in the opening stages and were unlucky not to take the lead, but Jorge Sampaoli's formation, which was tricky to label but perhaps closest to a 3-5-2, left plenty of space for Barca.

Any hopes they had of producing a remarkable comeback disappeared when Vicente Iborra's penalty was saved by Claudio Bravo in the 32nd minute with the scoreline at 1-0.

But back to Enrique. The former Barca player has now won eight of the 10 trophies available to him during his Camp Nou tenure, and has already elevated himself to joint-third position in the list of the club's most successful coaches, behind only Pep Guardiola (14) and Johan Cruyff (11).

2. New Barca signings add depth

Overall it was a mixed night for Barcelona's four summer signings, all of whom started, but the overriding feeling is that the squad is going to be even stronger this season -- something Enrique has already said himself.

Samuel Umtiti and Andre Gomes made their debuts for the club in the win against Sevilla, and both had reasons to be happy with how they played. Umtiti's performance was particularly encouraging.

The French defender was comfortable on the ball and looked a natural fit, although he'll be disappointed it was his handball that gave away a first-half penalty. With Javier Mashcerano taken off injured in the second half, it could well be Umtiti who's paired with Gerard Pique when La Liga gets started this weekend.

Gomes, too, showed plenty of promise. He was involved in the build-up for Turan's first goal and Messi's header, while displaying an excellent range of passing throughout the 90 minutes.

Elsewhere, not too much has been expected from French full-back Lucas Digne -- not yet, at least -- but his display here may well change that. Good on the ball and alert to his defensive duties, he rarely put a foot wrong before being replaced by Jordi Alba, who now knows he's going to have to work hard to keep his place in the side.

Denis Suarez's night wasn't as straight forward, though. The 22-year-old regularly misplaced passes from his position on the right of Barca's midfield three and some wasteful flicks are likely to have infuriated his manager.

3. Bye, bye Bravo?

Loud cheers greeted Bravo's trot out onto the pitch to warm up around 45 minutes before kickoff. A minute later his name was announced by the PA and the appreciation levels went up a few more notches.

After speculation he's closing in on a move to Manchester City increased this week, the Camp Nou crowd were keen to show him their gratitude for his work in the past two seasons. And the Chilean responded with a fine performance between the posts, one that will leave Barca supporters lamenting his potential move to the Premier League even more.

He was first called into action in just the third minute, diving low to his left to spectacularly deny Wissam Ben Yedder's low strike. Later in the first half came his big moment, though, when he saved a penalty from Iborra, beating the ball away to the right as "Bravo" echoed around the 71,000 crowd.

In between saves, he demonstrated why Guardiola has supposedly decided he's the man to replace Joe Hart. Regularly fed the ball, Bravo was at ease exchanging passes with his back four, a part of his game that has come on tenfold since he signed from Real Sociedad.

If this is to be his last game, he goes out in style, although Marc-Andre ter Stegen's untimely injury may mean Barca hang onto him for a few more days yet -- at least for Saturday's game against Real Betis.

Source: ESPN