'Tata' Gerardo Martino was brought to Barcelona to make them into a more versatile team, and on the evidence of Wednesday's Spanish Super Cup second leg, he's well on his way to achieving that. The Blaugrana were not spectacular, but good defensively and in possession in a 0-0 draw that saw them defeat Atletico Madrid on away goals.
The Blaugrana had even more possession than they normally do, but did very little with it, opting to keep the ball instead of trying anything risky even with Neymar and Lionel Messi starting together for the first time. Barcelona's only shot on target came in the 37th minute, on a mediocre effort by Cesc Fabregas that Thibaut Courtois had little difficulty with.
Atleti looked dangerous on the break, but their one good chance of the first half was squandered by Koke, who put a shot right into the belly of Victor Valdes just before that effort by Fabregas, with Gabi providing the setup. Valdes was called into action again in the 56th minute as he denied David Villa, who picked up a pass from Arda Turan before firing into the reach of the Barcelona keeper.
The visitors always looked capable of doing something on the break until the 80th minute, when left back Felipe was sent off after getting into an altercation with Dani Alves off the ball. The referee decided to send off Felipe after speaking his assistant, who believed that the Atleti man struck Alves.
Diego Godin apparently thought Alves sold the foul well to draw a red and was less than pleased. Five minutes later, he stomped on the back of the Barcelona right back, but was only shown a yellow card for his actions.
Barcelona had a chance to put the game away in the final minute when the referee pointed to the spot for a foul on Pedro in the penalty area, but Lionel Messi missed from the spot, striking the underside of the crossbar. Apparently displeased with that call and the sending off of Felipe, Turan -- who had been substituted -- appeared to abuse the referee from the bench and was sent off.
Atleti launched balls into the box in stoppage time in search of a winner, but never found one as Martino's boys hung on to lift the trophy.
Barcelona: Valdes, Alba, Pique, Mascherano, Alves, Busquets, Xavi, Fabregas (Iniesta 73'), Neymar, Messi, Sanchez (Pedro 65')
Goals: Messi (pen miss 89')
Atletico Madrid: Courtois, Felipe (Red 80'), Miranda, Godin, Juanfran, Suarez, Koke (Leo Baptistao 89'), Turan (Lopez 72' - Turan red 90' from the bench), Gabi, Costa, Villa (Rodriguez 84')