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Alexis Sánchez / FOTO: FCB

The Spanish Supercup will be decided at the Camp Nou. Everything is still to play for after an intense first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu ended all square.

Barça didn't get off to the best of starts. A very physical Madrid came out strong and enjoyed the first few chances, but Valdés was on splendid form in the FCB goal. But after just 12 minutes, Ozil put Madrid one up after a deft strike following a Benzema cross from the right. However, following the goal, Barça started playing the way we know and love, and gained control of most of the possession.

Double strike

A far more comfortable looking FCB side was putting together some delightful combination moves and tied the game with ten minutes of the first half remaining. David Villa produced an absolute stunner, bending the ball from outside the area into the top right hand corner, totally out of reach of Madrid stopper Iker Casillas. The equaliser boosted Barça even further and just before the break Leo Messi made it 2-1, after rounding Pepe brilliantly and then beating Casillas.

Better play but no goals

Thiago really came into his own in the second half, assuming the central playmaker role and bringing out the best in Barça. Not for the first time, Madrid were totally confounded by the Catalans' passing game, but it was the all-whites who scored the only goal of the half. In the 53rd minute, Xabi Alonso received an assist from Pepe and his low, hard shot was too much for Valdés, who was unsighted by the many players around him.

Concentration at the end

Xavi, Piqué and Pedro came on for Thiago, Adriano and Villa, adding new freshness, and the last half hour was a demonstration of how Barcelona know how to dictate a game. Nevertheless, it was Madrid who had the best chances, but failed to convert any of them.

Next Wednesday August 17, Barça and Real Madrid will face each other again at the Camp Nou, where the Spanish Supercup title will be decided.

GOALS

1-0 Ozil (12')
1-1 Villa (35')
1-2 Messi (45')
2-2 Xabi Alonso (53')

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