While You Were Asleep: Barcelona win first trophy without Messi, Rennes stun PSG, Roma beat Fiorentina 2-0


Barcelona win their first trophy since Lionel Messi left the club after they demolished fierce rival Real Madrid 3-1 to win the Spanish Super Cup.

Barcelona had not lifted a trophy since the 2021 Copa del Rey under former coach Ronald Koeman. That was Messi’s 35th and final title with Barcelona before leaving amid the club’s financial struggles.

Robert Lewandowski, Gavi and Pedri scored a goal each in the final at King Fahd Stadium to give Barcelona its first Super Cup trophy since 2018 — and its 14th overall — and the first since the tournament began being played in a Final Four format in 2020 in a lucrative deal for the Spanish soccer federation.

Gavi opened the scoring in the 33rd minute from close range after a pass by Lewandowski, who doubled the lead after an assist by Gavi in a breakaway just before the end of the first half. Gavi also set up Pedri’s close-range goal in another breakaway in the 69th.

Karim Benzema scored for Madrid late in stoppage time.

Rennes pip PSG

Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé couldn’t stop Paris Saint-Germain losing 1-0 at Rennes for a second straight away defeat in the French league on Sunday as its lead over second-place Lens dropped to three points.

PSG started with Messi and Neymar in attack before bringing on Mbappé — top scorer at the World Cup in Qatar — early in the second half but still managed only one shot on target in the whole game under driving rain.


Rennes defender Hamari Traoré showed how to finish in the 65th minute with a crisp low shot past Gianluigi Donnarumma into the bottom right corner.

PSG was expected to line up with Messi, Mbappé and Neymar for the first time since before the World Cup. But Galtier surprisingly started Hugo Ekitiké, with Mbappé on the bench, and with 16-year-old Warren Zaïre-Emery in midfield.

Dybala scores brace

Paulo Dybala scored both goals in Rome — both on assists from Tammy Abraham as AS Roma defeated 10-man Fiorentina 2-0.

Fiorentina had to play most of the match with 10 men after Dodô was sent off in the 24th minute following a second yellow card.

Roma eventually made the numerical superiority count five minutes before the break when Abraham chested down a ball over the top for Dybala’s impressive volley.

And the two combined again eight minutes from time when Abraham raced into the right side of the area before rolling across for Dybala to slot home.

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