Barcelona win Spanish Super Cup after late penalty save

New Barcelona signing Arturo Vidal centre alongside Barcelona's third vice president Jordi Mestre left and sports manager Eric Abidal at his unveiling earlier this month. EPA

Sevilla threaten to boycott Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona

The match had endured a controversial build-up when Sevilla threatened to file a complaint against Barcelona if the La Liga champions fielded more than three non-EU players.

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) announced that teams could field an unlimited number of players without European Union citizenship, a change in the rules for La Liga, which limits teams to three non-EU players in a matchday squad.

Dembele scored the victor in the 78th minute after Gerard Pique had cancelled out Pablo Sarabia's opener as Barca beat Sevilla 2-1 in Tangier, Morocco.

Sevilla qualified for Sunday's match as last season's Copa del Rey runners-up after Barcelona won the league and cup double.

"Many players came into this game after time off, having only just returned this week, and this was obvious".

Played in Tangier, Morocco, this was the first Spanish Super Cup held outside Spain and the first time it was played as a single match, instead of a two-leg series.

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Malcom has been left out of Barcelona's Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla. In their last notice for the 18-19 season, only three were due to be permitted, without exception.

There is also a debut for Arthur Melo in midfield, although Arturo Vidal and Malcom are forced to wait for their Barcelona bows, with the former being named amongst the substitutes alongside World Cup finalists Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti. Barca have taken four non-EU players to Morocco, including defender Marlon.

It was reported earlier this week that Barcelona were in the process of acquiring a Portuguese passport for midfielder Philippe Coutinho in order to free up a third non-EU playing spot in their squad and that process is believed to have been completed.

"I think that Sevilla are professionals and we are professionals".

Wall game: Lionel Messi tries for goal from a free-kick.

The 30-year-old has worn the arm-band for the Catalan giants on numerous occasions before he was named vice-captain since 2015.

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