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Athletic stay strong to beat Barcelona in Super Cup

Lionel Messi netted one for Barcelona. Credit: Reuters

Barcelona didn't come close to overcoming their four-goal deficit against Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup, losing 5-1 on aggregate.

Lionel Messi gave the Catalans hope in the first-half by giving his side the lead in, but he was never going to be enough.

Things got worse for Luis Enrique's men when Gerard Pique was dismissed for dissent.

Athletic talisman Aritz Aduriz scored at the second attempt to make it 1-1 on the night and ensure victory overall for the Basques.

Aduriz was replaced by Kike Sola, who was sent off late on for a late challenge on Javier Mascherano.

Aston Villa complete signing of Traore from Barcelona

Traore, 19, has joined Villa from Barcelona. Credit: PA

Aston Villa have completed the signing of Adama Traore from Barcelona.

The 19-year-old has penned a five-year deal, Villa announced in a statement, and the transfer fee could rise to from an initial £7.1m rising to £8.6m if certain clauses are met.

Barcelona have a first refusal option on the winger and can buy him back during his first three years at Villa Park, the Spanish club have announced.


Pedro hits Super Cup winner as Barcelona beat Sevilla 5-4

Andres Iniesta lifts the Super Cup after Barcelona's 5-4 victory. Credit: Reuters

Substitute Pedro struck an extra-time winner as Barcelona beat Sevilla 5-4 in the Uefa Super Cup.

Europa League champions Sevilla took an early lead through Ever Banega's third-minute free-kick, but two brilliant free-kicks from Lionel Messi in the seventh and 16th minutes quickly turned things around.

The Catalans made it 3-1 a minute before the break when Rafinha tapped in and Luis Suarez added a fourth for the treble winners seven minutes after the interval.

Five minutes later Sevilla got a goal back through Jose Antonio Reyes, before Kevin Gameiro's 72nd-minute penalty made it 4-3. Substitute Yevhen Konoplyanka then dramatically levelled with nine minutes of normal time remaining.

Reported Manchester United target Pedro came off the bench in extra-time and struck the decisive goal in the 115th minute from close range in Tbilisi.

Aston Villa set to sign Barcelona winger

Traore is set to join Aston Villa. Credit: PA

Aston Villa are closing in on Barcelona's Adama Traore, Press Association Sport understands.

The winger is not yet at the Barclays Premier League club to put the finishing touches to the deal but could be a Villa player by the time they face Manchester United on Friday.

Stoke were also interested in the 19-year-old but Villa are now understood to be in pole position.

Traore has been a long-term target of boss Tim Sherwood, who refused to discuss any deal last week.

He said: "He's a good player, but at the moment he's a Barcelona's player."

Traore, a Spain Under-19 international, has risen through the ranks at the Nou Camp and would offer Sherwood further attacking options.

He would become his 10th signing of the summer should the deal go through as Sherwood continues a summer revamp in the wake of the exits of Christian Benteke, Fabian Delph and Ron Vlaar.

The boss had suggested he would target English players after raiding France for Jordan Veretout, Jordan Amavi and Jordan Ayew but instead Spaniard Traore is close to joining.

England winger Aaron Lennon is also a potential signing for Villa with the winger on the fringes at Tottenham.

Guardiola backs Pedro to be success at Man United

Guardiola has backed Pedro to be a success outside Barcelona. Credit: PA

Pep Guardiola has backed Pedro to be a success at any football club in the world, including Man United.

The Barcelona winger is likely to join United this summer as a replacement for ex-Real Madrid winger and Old Trafford flop Angel Di Maria, who is moving to PSG.

Speaking at this week's pre-season Audi Cup event, Bayern manager Guardiola, who managed Pedro at Barcelona, says the Spanish winger is good enough for any team.

He told Marca:

Pedro has a lot of ability. He's a world and European champion with Spain and has won the lot with Barcelona. He's played millions of games for Barça and is good enough to play for any team he wants to.

– Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola

West Ham hopeful on permanent Song deal

Song looks set to return to West Ham permanently from Barcelona. Credit: PA

Slaven Bilic insists West Ham have not given up on completing a permanent deal for Barcelona midfielder Alex Song.

Former Arsenal star Song will miss three months with ankle trouble, leaving the ex-Cameroon midfielder haggling with the Hammers over the length of a permanent contract.

Song spent last season on loan at Upton Park, and Barcelona are ready to let him return on a free transfer - but new West Ham boss Bilic admitted talks are ongoing with the 27-year-old.

"We are in contact but it's not for the media yet," he said.

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