It may only be the Supercopa, but it was a first for Real Madrid since 2008, taking full advantage of the Barcelona defensive problems with early goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo. Lionel Messi got one back for Barcelona with a beautiful free kick, but with 10 men, the job of coming back from 2-1 was too much, losing the two legs on away goals.
If you’d like, you can say Barcelona lost the title the moment Victor Valdes made that huge mistake in the first match, allowing Real a second away goal at the Camp Nou, but that would be making too much of a single moment. Real Madrid took advantage of two huge mistakes.
First by Javier Mascherano after 11 minutes, missing the ball with an attempted clearance, allowing Gonzalo Higuain to race forward and score his third goal of the season, and seven minutes later by Gerard Pique, mishandling a loose ball, allowing Cristiano Ronaldo that one second he needs to beat you. A brilliant back heel flick which put him in a one on one situation against Valdes, but both the keeper and Pique, running to the line instead of covering Ronaldo, could have done more to stop the goal.
If things weren’t bad enough, Adriano got sent off in the 28th minute for stopping Ronaldo on his way to goal. Instead of rampaging on and completely destroying the confused visitors, Real Madrid stopped with the high pressing and moves back. Tito Vilanova threw in Martin Montoya (32 minutes too late) instead of Alexis to give his team an actual right back and gradually, mostly through Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi’s posession, Barcelona eased back into the match.
After a foul on Messi, 23 meters out on goal, there was a feeling something would happen. Messi was frustrated about something regarding a referee call, and curled a beautiful ball around the wall and into the corner while Iker Casillas had a way too late reaction to the kick, giving us a chance for a very exciting and dramatic second half.
We had no goals, but a much more evenly matches contest in the second half. Real Madrid stopped pressing high through the entire half, making it a random occasion, getting more opportunities against a very alert and reactive Victor Valdes, responsible for the minimal Barcelona loss on the night. Barcelona managed to create chances through their ball movement, luring Real defenders to come out of positions, but Pedro, Jordi Alba and young Martin Montoya missed the opportunities handed to them through brilliant Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano passes.
Alex Song and Luka Modric made their debuts for both sides, not really making an impression for better or for worse, while Lionel Messi missed a big chance in the closing minutes that would’ve stunned the celebrating Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid, deservedly, thanks to a very good first half and especially the first 30 minutes, won their first Super Cup title since 2008, beating Barcelona at the Bernabeu for the first time since that year.