El Clasico once again ended on a sour note, as Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-2 on the night, and 5-4 on aggregate to win the Spanish Supercup. Lionel Messi grabbed two goals, and Andres Iniesta got the other, while Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos scored for Los Blancos. Though the game was overshadowed by Mourinho gouging Tito Villanova’s eye, after Marcelo was red carded for hacking Cesc Fabregas.
After last season’s farcical encounters, you never quite know what you are going to get from a Clasico until it starts. Diving, petulance and defending? Or skill, goals and passion.
Thankfully, this was mostly an exhibition of the latter. Real Madrid started well, pressing Barcelona high up the pitch, and carving out early chances, most notably through Cristiano Ronaldo. Then FC Barcelona joined the party, displaying their unique brand of one-touch football, and nearly taking the lead, as Pedro played in a cross very reminiscent of Afellay’s ball in the Champions League semi-final. Again, Lionel Messi looked to get on the end of it, but he was just too late, and Casillas cleared the danger.
Would that discourage Messi? Of course not, and 14 minutes, Barcelona got their breakthrough.
Messi dropped his shoulder, and cut inside a Madrid player, before laying on a sumptuous through ball to Andres Iniesta, who dinked the ball over the on-rushing Iker Casillas. Barca were ahead, and looked in imperious form.
I for one spoke too soon, as Madrid came back into it. Fabio Coentrao played in a brilliant cross, and while Ronaldo tried to claim it, most people are saying that it was Sergio Ramos who got the final touch. Whatever the case, Real Madrid were level, and they went on to create some good chances.
Ronaldo had a thunderbolt tipped onto the bar by Valdes, who also saved shots from Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema, keeping the Blaugrana level.
The half was drawing down, but just like Sunday night, Lionel Messi was intent to change the scoreline. A corner was played out to Messi on the edge of the area by Xavi. Messi chested the ball, and Pique took possession, but only momentarily as he played a back-heel to La Pulga, who was now one-on-one with Casillas.
All that was left to apply the finish, a deft little chip over Casillas with his weaker right foot.
Like Sunday, Barcelona were 2-1 up at the break, but this time, they were the better side.
Real Madrid made one change at the break, bringing on Marcelo for Sami Khedira, meaning that Coentrao took up a further advanced position, and like the first leg, it revitalised Real Madrid.
The first 20 minutes or so of the half were dull, as Barcelona kept possession, and Madrid chased around, with no real chances to speak of. Marcelo kicked out at Messi while in the air, and that earned him a booking, not to mention the hatred of the Camp Nou crowd.
Next up was Pepe, as he bodychecked Messi, received a yellow card, before making umpteen challenges that should have warranted a second yellow. Back to the actual football, and Barcelona created the first chance of the half, as Iniesta went on a marauding run from deep, and laid the ball off to Messi, who took too long about his shot, giving Casillas time to make the save.
However, Madrid had their chances, as Ramos missed a free header, before the worst happened.
A corner was whipped in, and I believe Barcelona decided to let Madrid back in, as the defending was nothing short of abhorrent. Valdes was left picking the ball out of the net, as Benzema capitalised on the calamitous defending.
Oh, and Cesc Fabregas came on! Guardiola picked the best time, without the media glare, and Barca looked to give one more push, and get that winning goal.
It was the 87th minute and FC Barcelona had a throw-in deep in Madrid’s half. It was taken to Fabregas, who played it across to Messi. First time pass to Adriano, who spotted Messi’s run, and delivered the cross, and Messi hit the ball, sweet as you like on his right foot, with a delightful volley. Casillas was beaten again, and the man who had zero pre-season had scored three and assisted two in 180 minutes versus Real Madrid.
As Graham Hunter put on Twitter, he is the Ali of football:
Simply the greatest.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid 3-2 All Goals (via 101greatgoalsFan)
Though this was a Clasico, and it couldn’t end without note, as Fabregas was in possession on the half-way line. Until Marcelo scythed him down with a vicious scissor tackle, earning a straight red card, and sparking a massive brawl.
Amidst the brawl, Mourinho decided in his infinite wisdom to gouge Tito Villanova in the eye. Classy as always, Mourinho must be punished.
His post-match comments are disgraceful, his exact words are this:
"Don't have anything to say about Pipo Vilanova or what's the name of that guy...."
"Putting finger in eye Tito Vilanova? I don't know any Pito Vilanova..."
If I walk out onto the street and scissor tackle a member of public, I will be charged with assault. If I gouge someone’s eye, I will also be charged with assault. What makes Mourinho and Marcelo any different? In MMA, there are few rules, but eye-gouging is not allowed. In rugby, players get 8 month bans for eye-gouging. Mourinho? We will have to wait and see.
[HD] Mourinho Pinches Villanova - Super Copa Final 2011 (via EdwinTV42)
It was a disgraceful way to end a cracking game of football, and no doubt will serve as an excuse for Real Madrid. Whatever your thoughts on Barcelona, and their diving, there is never such thuggery on display as we witnessed here tonight.
Real Madrid have forever complained that they finish with 10 men versus Barcelona, maybe, just maybe, this is why.
Man of the match is Messi for destroying Madrid yet again, though honourable mention to Tito Villanova who in self-defense, slapped Mourinho. Shame it wasn’t a punch Tito.
Visca el Barca!
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