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Xavi Hernández / FOTO: FCB

The Spanish Super Cup already has an owner. It's FC Barcelona, who managed to defend their crown after a long night of football; the game finished some time after 01.00. Just like the first leg, the game was end-to-end, played at top speed and with two opposing styles: the touch and elegance of Barcelona against the rough and physical Madrid. One star outshone the rest: Leo Messi, the best player in the world, who made the first goal for Barça and scored the other 2, the last one after 87 minutes when the tie seemed destined for extra time. Earlier, Real Madrid had twice equalized with goals from Ronaldo and Benzema.

The game had a dream end: Cesc made his debut and played a vital part in the goal that made it 3-2. The Super Cup is staying in Barcelona!

Messi assist, Iniesta definition

As in the first leg, Madrid pressurized Barça from the very beginning, and very high up the pitch, making it difficult to move the ball out of defence, and forcing the defenders to play the long ball. Much of the game was being played in the Barça half, although Madrid were creating very few chances. In their first long and quick combination, Barça went 1-0 ahead, when Messi and Iniesta changed roles. Leo got away from Khedira and Coentrao, and put a perfect through ball to Iniesta, who calmly chipped Casillas. A fabulous goal.

Madrid response

Madrid had no other option but to play higher up the field. After 15 minutes they needed two goals to overturn the tie. Madrid benefited from the intensity of the game and long balls into the area, and hardly played in the centre of the pitch. However, they almost scored an equalizer through Benzema, but his execution was poor. However, from the resultant corner, Ronaldo scored after some messy play in Valdés's area.

Pique and Messy fantasies make it 2-1

The game didn't lack goals. There was no respite, and before the break, there was time for a very powerful shot from Ronaldo that Valdes diverted onto the crossbar. The goal tio make it 2-1, scored by Messi, just like the Madrid goal, came from a corner. Leo benefited from a fantastic back-heel by Pique, and with all the calm in the World, chipped the ball over Casillas. Just like in the first leg, Messi dealt a lethal blow to Madrid's morale just before half time.

The game heats up

After the break, tempers began to heat up. Cristiano Ronaldo and Mascherano saw yellow after a scuffle following a foul by Marcelo, on the pitch from the start of the second half. Later, Pepe crudely blocked Messi, incensing the Camp Nou crowd. In this situation, chances were scarce until Messi tested Casillas after a touch of genius from Iniesta, who invented a new dribble with his back to goal. As an answer to this Ramos saw a header go just wide of the far post. Both sides were giving everything, despite the intense heat.

Benzema equaliser

Getting close to the 90 minutes Mourinho was forced to throw his most attacking players, Higuain and Kaka, into the fray, replacing Di Maria and Özil, and Madrid managed to equalize again, once more with a bit of luck on their side, following a corner, just like for the first goal. Benzema was the scorer this time, and tied up the game once more.

Fantastic Messi

It really looked like the match was going into extra time at the Camp Nou, which witnessed the debut of Fabregas, Barça's brand new signing. However, with Messi on the pitch, anything is possible. Messi, Fabregas, and Adriano, another who came on late in the second half, teamed up for one of the last moves of the match, to decide which team would be Champion. A fabulous volley by Messi, from the Adriano cross, won the match for Barça, who chose to play football again. The game ended in a similar fashion as the 5-0, with an impotent Madrid, with only ten players on the field after a brutal foul by Marcelo on Cesc. Villa was also sent off in the brawl that followed. In the end, nastiness aside, football was the winner.

With this win, Barça have begun the season how they finished the previous one, with a trophy. It's the eleventh in the Guardiola era, and he's lifted the Spanish Super Cup 3 years running.

GOALS

1-0, Iniesta (min 14)
1-1, Ronaldo (min 20)
2-1, Messi (min 45)
2-2, Benzema (min 81)
3-2, Messi (min 87)

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