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Barcelona ease past Real Madrid to win Spanish Super Cup as PSG lose again

Barcelona ease past Real Madrid to win Spanish Super Cup as PSG lose again

  • Gavi, Lewandowski and Pedri fire Barcelona to 3-1 win
  • PSG lose to Rennes for second defeat in two weeks

Barcelona were crowned Spanish Super Cup champions after goals from Gavi, Robert Lewandowski and Pedri earned a 3-1 win over Real Madrid in Saudi Arabia. Barcelona – three points clear of Carlo Ancelotti’s defending champions at the top of La Liga – secured their first trophy under Xavi, taking advantage of three mistakes to score.

They took the lead in the 33rd minute after the Madrid defender Antonio Rüdiger passed across his own area to Barça’s Sergio Busquets, who began a move that ended with Gavi scoring with a precise left-foot strike.

Lewandowski extended the lead 12 minutes later on the counter when Frenkie de Jong found Gavi, who ghosted in behind Madrid’s defensive line. He sprinted through the left channel before putting it on a plate for the Polish striker, who tapped into the back of the empty net.

Madrid, who had no shots on target in the first half, spent most of the second in panic mode, trying to avoid a bigger defeat. Yet, once again a costly mistake allowed Barcelona to score. The substitute Dani Ceballos lost the ball in midfield and Gavi sprinted forward and crossed for Pedri to fire point-black into the empty net.

Karim Benzema scored a consolation goal in added time, striking home on the rebound after Marc-André ter Stegen repelled his first attempt.

In La Liga, Atlético Madrid were held to 1-1 draw by Almería in another disappointing showing for Diego Simeone’s team, who ended with 10 men after Sergio Reguilón was sent off in the dying minutes. Atlético, who have won only one of their past six league games, are fourth, 13 points adrift of Barcelona, who have a game in hand.

PSG captain Marquinhos (right) takes flight as he fights for the ball with Rennes’ French forward Arnaud Kalimuendo

Paris St Germain suffered their second defeat of the season – and second in two weeks – in a 1-0 loss to Rennes on Sunday as their Ligue 1 lead was slashed to three points. Rennes, who have won a club record ninth consecutive home game in the top flight, prevailed thanks to Hamari Traoré’s second-half goal.

Kylian Mbappé, back after returning to training early following the World Cup final, was on the bench but it was the injured midfielder Marco Verratti who PSG missed the most. Midfielder Warren Zaire-Emery, 16, became the youngest player to start a Ligue 1 game for PSG and was nowhere near the Italian’s level.

“Two defeats in the new year, we need to be more aggressive and solid. If we find it again it will be fine,” said PSG captain Marquinhos.

PSG have 47 points from 19 games while second-placed Lens are on 44 after their 1-0 win against Auxerre on Saturday, with Marseille third two points further adrift after a 3-1 victory against Lorient, also on Saturday.

A first-half penalty from Mattia Zaccagni and a late Felipe Anderson strike helped Lazio secure a 2-0 win at Sassuolo in Serie A before their fellow top-four chasers Atalanta hammered Salernitana 8-2 at home and Roma beat Fiorentina 2-0 thanks a to a goal in each half from Paulo Dybala.

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