Very strange match for various reasons. Dani Alves was a last minute withdrawal with injury, Barça did not control the ball as usual & looked slow & out of groove, Real Madrid missed lots of chances, too many chances, red card early to Barça with Adriano out that conditioned things & that left Barça with 10 men from the 27th min & curiously, Barcelona then played better with 10 men. All these "rare" situations that made the game look distorted & uneven globally speaking. Perhaps I am not accustomed to a non one-sided affair or game between these two Clubs.
Said all this, in my particular fashion, the first half was all Real Madrid as they had up to 55 % of the ball, something unseen between these two in the recent past. The first goal came from a Pepe pass the found the back of Mascherano & HIGUAIN scored in the 10th min.
Real Madrid continued with their strong dominance & another long pass, this time by Khedira, found CRISTIANO RONALDO who did his magic with a self made "loop" over Pique that set him up for the second goal in the 18th min. Magic!
From this point onwards Real Madrid sinned of not "killing off" Barça with missed clear goal chances that Higuain missed along with Di Maria & company. Barcelona goalie Valdes was clearly the best for his team & that says how things were going.
|Messi scores from free kick|
However, Barcelona was slowing growing & playing better with 10 men & began finding spaces & opportunities of which a free-kick was found in the 44th min. LIONEL MESSI then pulled a fabulous goal from long range free-kick the beat the wall & Casillas. Barça was back, & just needed to score another goal to get the title.
The second half was possibly for Barcelona which was creating numerous dangerous opportunities with just 10 men & looking for that one more goal. A worrying aspect of Real Madrid, which will need future analysis, is the lack of finishing & definition with the opportunities they created. The "killer instinct" is not there as Real should have been up by 4-5 more goals.
Said in another way, with 10 men, Barcelona could have won the Super Cup tonight with some luck & without a solid Casillas stopping that scenario. Barcelona gave Song a run & Real Madrid put on Modric who looked good & nearly scored!
In conclusion, the Super Cup is a 180 min title & anything was up for grabs. Real Madrid played their cards & perhaps Barcelona paid for some of the past mistakes. Either way, today s papers will hail Real Madrid as Spanish Super Cup Champions & internally the title win give back lost confidence.
Tonight was just Round 1 ( or 2 ) of what will be a long season with plenty of more head to head meetings were the table could be turned at any moment. Congratulations to all the Merengues.
From a personal point of view & colours, hope Atletico de Madrid can win this Friday the European Super Cup...but this will be another post :O)