After an opening 45 minutes that featured one of the most ridiculous back heel flicks you'll ever see, some great saves from Victor Valdes and a straight red to Adriano, you would think things might calm down a little but this is El Clasico right? Well, yeah but oddly, it did calm down.
For reasons that will only be known to Jose Mourinho, Madrid hit the brakes in the second half choosing to defend their lead rather than pressing for more. Barca took advantage and began their seductive snake dance in the midfield, slowly lulling Madrid to sleep and picking at them with passes. It wasn't until the 62nd minute that Barca got their first great chance of the half. Javier Mascherano found Pedro with an excellent diagonal pass that sent the attacker in against Iker Casillas. The Madrid keeper was up to the task, making a tremendous save to deny Pedro.
Valdes came up big again for Barca, keeping them in the match, with a great save on Sami Khedira in the 68th minute. Jordi Alba wasted a beautiful ball from Messi in the 77th minute, he got behind the Madrid defense but botched the touch and had to settle for a corner.
Madrid had their chance to finish the tie in the 79th minute as Gonzalo Higuain got behind Mascherano and hit the post with his shot. Mascherano deserves credit for getting back in the play and making a slight deflection on the ball that helped it stay out of the Barca net.
In the end, Los Blancos held on to win the match 2-1. The tie ended 4-4 on aggregate but Madrid claimed the Super Copa on away goals. The trophy is nice, but the psychological victory will probably mean more to Mourinho and his players as they can now focus on getting their La Liga campaign back on track.
Just in case you were wondering, Alex Song made his Barcelona debut, replacing Sergio Busquets in the 75th minute. Meanwhile, Madrid's new signing Luka Modric also made his debut in the 83rd minute, replacing Mesut Ozil. The final seven minutes or so had a nice, "players than used to reside in North London" feel to it.
For more on the Blaugrana, head over to FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes. For more on Los Blancos, check out Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.
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