A listless first-half performance ended any hope of a Barcelona comeback in the Supercopa de Espana, the Catalans falling to a 2-0 second-leg defeat to lose 5-1 on aggregate against Real Madrid.
Marco Asensio wasted no time as he spectacularly fired the home side in front after four minutes on Wednesday, with Madrid dominating a team still adapting to life after Neymar.
Barca found goal-scoring opportunities hard to come by and Karim Benzema outwitted Samuel Umtiti to double Madrid’s lead on the night shortly before half-time at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Barcelona improved after the interval – Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both hit the woodwork – but their Neymar-less future remains a concerning work in progress for new boss Ernesto Valverde, as the club continue their pursuit of a suitable and – on this evidence – much-needed replacement. Those efforts may take on greater urgency after Suarez appeared to hobble through the closing stages.