Said all this, lets not forget that the Spanish Super Cup is a 180 min title. There is still the 2º leg to be played at the "Santiago Bernabeu Stadium" & although Real Madrid was tonight clearly below their last season level & losers they take home two valuable away goals that keeps their title chances wide open.
Some observers may even rightly think that although Barça won & played better, they missed the golden opportunity to have shut the whole story tonight & put the title in their pocket, & along with a terrible Valdes goalie mistake allowed Madrid to score their second to let Real off the hook.
The first half was all Barça & Real Madrid looked slow & lost most of the time. Benzema is out of form & Ozil fades in & out of the game which effects the whole teams flow. Barça with peaks of 75% ball possession missed an opportunity to have stamped their authority early in the match.
The second half was different, Real Madrid looked more lively & Barcelona began feeling the effects of their first half physical effort. It was Real Madrid that went ahead first via CRISTIANO RONALDO in the 55 th min with a corner header. Ronaldo was relatively "invisible" until this moment & appeared as the top players tend to do.
However, Barça reacted immediately while Real was still celebrating when Mascherano found PEDRO in the 56th min & equalized. Things see-sawed here for a while with Barça again dominating & won a penalty when Ramos fouled Iniesta in the box. MESSI scored in the 70th min & put Barça ahead.
Real Madrid Coach Mourinho reacted & put on Higuain & Di Maria to attempt to lift the team & take advantage of a tiring Barcelona. But Barça was inspired & smelling "blood" & an Iniesta piece of magic found XAVI HERNANDEZ who scored in the 78th min te third. Real Madrid was wobbly & only needed the final Barça punch to knock them out, when the mistake of the night arrived in the 84th min when Barça goalie Valdes fumbled the ball & DI MARIA scored the second & a oxygen saving goal. This mistake put Real Madrid back into the title race with the 2º leg match now the real decider.
In conclusion, excellent match by Barcelona who look strong & are at this moment a level above Real Madrid, but they failed to finish the job off. To the merit of Real Madrid they withstood well the attacks & even lifted in the second half which highlights that they can only lift & improve in coming matches. No doubt they will be more dangerous in the home return game.
Andres Iniesta was absolutely outstanding & is a delight to watch. The man is a magician of the ball. Messi was relatively quiet tonight & Ronaldo is out of form independent of his great goal & will need to improve to help out his team.
Next week more top World Class Football with the 2º leg.