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Barcelona take first trophy of the season

La Lga and European champions FC Barcelona warmed up for their appearance in the UEFA Super Cup on Friday with Lionel Messi scoring twice in a 3-0 Spanish Super Cup win against Athletic Club Bilbao.

While they struggled to make possession and chances count in the first half at Camp Nou, it took just four minutes after the interval for Messi to make the breakthrough, skipping down the right and beating Gorka Iraizoz from an acute angle. Debutant Zlatan Ibrahimović was denied a goal with the referee awarding a penalty – converted by Messi – after the summer signing had bundled the ball into the net, and the Swede was taken off not long afterwards, only for his replacement Bojan Krkić to swiftly make it 3-0, pouncing on a miscued back-pass.

Barcelona are now level with arch-rivals Real Madrid, with both sides having won eight Spanish Super Cups since the competition’s inception in 1982. The Catalan side take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Super Cup at Monaco’s Stade Louis II on Friday night.