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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Blood Sparks Win For Robson's Barcelona

BARCELONA, Spain -- New Brazilian signings Ronaldo and Giovanni scored three goals between them Sunday to lead FC Barcelona to a sparkling 5-2 victory over league champion Atletico de Madrid in the first leg of the Supercup final.


Under new English coach Bobby Robson, Barcelona had the cutting edge from the start with Ronaldo and Bulgarian striker Hristo Stoichkov pairing up to launch attack after attack against a feeble Atletico.


In the fifth minute Ronaldo took the ball past three Atletico players and let fly a shot from 20 meters that left goalkeeper Francisco Molina stretching and Barcelona one goal ahead.


Fellow Brazilian international Giovanni headed in Barcelona's second from six meters after a high cross into the center from the left wing by Portuguese striker Luis Figo in the 31st minute.


Six minutes later, Atletico came briefly to life when Argentine center-forward Juan Esnaider, signed from Real Madrid, scored with a diving header from eight meters.


With confidence boosted, Atletico came into the second half looking stronger. In the 58th minute, it drew 2-2 when Yugoslav Milinko Pantic netted a penalty.


In the following minutes Barcelona looked as if it was going to lose. But suddenly in the 73rd minute Juan Antonio Pizzi slammed home a goal from 16 meters in his first touch of the ball after being brought on as substitute seconds earlier.


Then two minutes later fellow substitute Ivan de La Pena knocked in the fourth and Barcelona was back in full control.


In the 90th minute the Brazilian duo sealed the victory in classic style when Giovanni took the ball just beyond the halfway line, dribbled past six Atletico players and instead of shooting it himself slipped it to Ronaldo who, standing on the edge of the six-meter box, rolled in the fifth with ease.


The return game will be played in Madrid on Wednesday, three days before the start of the league.


?In Milan, Argentine star Gabriel Batistuta scored two spectacular goals Sunday night to lead Fiorentina past host AC Milan 2-1 for the Italian SuperCup.


?Batistuta put the guests ahead after just 11 minutes and, after Milan had equalized through Montenegerin Dejan Savicevic in the 21st, won the match with a signature free kick with eight minutes remaining.


Fiorentina displayed fluid midfield play and tight defense in upending defending serie A champion Milan.


It signals Fiorentina's rise to prominence in one of the world's top leagues. A second-division club just three years ago, the Florence side is now serious contender for Milan's league crown.


In the 11th minute, Batistua took a long pass and flicked the ball over Milan's Franco Baresi. He rounded the veteran defender and volleyed a powerful shot between goalkeeper Sebastiano Rossi and the right post.


Savicevic equalized 10 minutes later. He dribbled past two defenders and, moving to his left, left-footed across his body a low shot that ricocheted off the base of the right post and into the goal.


But Batistuta, whose eight goals led the Italian Cup competition last season, ripped a free kick into the roof of the net from 26 meters in the 82nd.