Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona: Super Cup slips away from Barça (2-1)
After taking it for the last three years, Barça lost their Spanish Super Cup title on Wednesday night, going down narrowly in Madrid and losing the tie on the away goals rule. Higuaín and Cristiano Ronaldo put Real Madrid ahead early on and Barça played with 10 men for more than an hour after Adriano was sent off. Messi brought Barça back into the tie with a superb free kick just before the break. Pedro, Alba, Montoya and Messi all came close to getting the goal that would have meant Barça retained their title.
Madrid (FCB).- Barça lost the Spanish Super Cup in Madrid by the narrowest of margins after they were defeated 2-1 and with the 3-2 win in the Camp Nou last week lost on the away goals rule. FC Barcelona could walk away with their heads high though, as they came back from a poor start, finding themselves two down and with just ten men within the first half hour. Adriano\u2019s red was a tough blow, but Messi\u2019s goal at the end of the half brought Tito Vilanova\u2019s team right back into the tie.
The Madrid crowd were made to suffer despite their team playing the last hour with that one man advantage, as Barça\u2019s ten men then put in a great second half, with chances for Pedro, Alba, Montoya and in the dying seconds, Messi, whose shot went inches wide.
Bright start from the hosts
Right from the off, Real Madrid went for the goal which would bring the tie level and Valdés was soon in action, making a superb stop from Higuaín on six minutes. However, there was nothing he could do five minutes later, as the Real Madrid striker pounced on a mistake in the Barça defence to fire under the keeper. Barça were looking unusually shaky at the back and Madrid did their best to take advantage with deep through balls to exploit their forwards\u2019 pace, with Cristiano Ronaldo in particular finding space to score on 18 minutes and then force Adriano\u2019s expulsion in a similar move ten minutes later.
Valdés and Messi prove decisive
After just 30 minutes, Madrid looked to have the game in the bag \u2013 two up and playing against ten men as they laid siege to Valdés\u2019 goal, but the keeper was brilliant in keeping out the hosts\u2019 attackers and Barça gradually began to find their feet and begin to get closer to Casillas\u2019 goal. Montoya \u2013 who had been left out of the squad, then come in on the bench after Alves\u2019 injury in the warm up and finally brought on once Adriano had been sent off \u2013 was the first to really threaten the Madrid goal on 37 minutes.
The second chance fell to Messi, just before the break and the Argentinean fired home a lovely free kick from 25 yards out, swerving it round the wall and to Casillas\u2019 left to stun the Bernabeu and give Tito\u2019s side a glimmer of hope for the second half.
Domination, but no goal
If Real Madrid had dominated in the first half, it was a different story after the break, as FC Barcelona held onto the ball and kept Madrid caged up in their own half. Pedro came agonisingly close on two occasions, using his speed to cut in from the wing, then both full backs \u2013Jordi Alba and Montoya- both came close, whilst it fell to Messi in the final seconds of injury time to so nearly win the tie, only for his shot to go just wide as the Bernabeu crowd held their hearts in their mouths. In the end though, the Real Madrid fans celebrated the final whistle as their team took the trophy despite Barça\u2019s brave effort.