Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

Sport

Real Madrid beat Barca 2-1 to take Spanish Super Cup

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-30

Real Madrid beat arch-rivals Barcelona 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday to take back the Spanish Super Cup, with two first-half goals by Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo.

AFP - Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo struck first-half goals as Real Madrid beat 10-man Barcelona 2-1 to lift the Spanish Super Cup before a full house at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

With last Thursday's first leg at Camp Nou having ended in a 3-2 Barca victory, Madrid took the title on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate draw.

All the action came in an exciting first half, where Lionel Messi replied with a brilliant free-kick for Barcelona, who had previously lost Adriano to a straight red card for a last-man foul on Ronaldo.

It was a timely success for Madrid, who have already fallen five points behind arch rivals Barca in La Liga after a draw and a loss in their first two league games.

With the tie finely balanced, both sides started with near full-strength teams.

Madrid coach Jose Mourinho kept faith with Higuain, who had scored in consecutive league games, leaving Karim Benzema to start on the bench with Luka Modric, who made his first appearance for Madrid after signing on Monday.

Barca, however, had to cope with a problem just before kick-off when Jordi Alba replaced Dani Alves, who seemed to pick up an injury in the warm-up.

Adriano was switched from left-back to right-back to accommodate Alba and the change seemed to have a major effect on the Catalans' start.

Madrid were quick out of the blocks and goalkeeper Victor Valdes made a superb block from Higuain on seven minutes to stop a certain opener.

However, three minutes later he could do nothing in a similar situation after Javier Mascherano had misjudged the flight of a long ball out of defence from Pepe. Again Higuain found himself in space and this time he slotted home.

Madrid were on top and Ronaldo surged down the wing to be blocked by Mascherano, who appeared rattled by his error and picked up a yellow card.

Marcelo went close before Ronaldo doubled Madrid's lead on 18 minutes.

Again it was a long ball out of defence that troubled Barca.

This time Gerard Pique failed to clear a Sami Khedira ball and the Portuguese star pounced on the loose ball to advance on goal and finally, after a quick check-back, beat Valdes with a low shot to claim Madrid's second of the evening.

Higuain was then denied again by the feet of Valdes before Pepe had a header chalked off for a push.

It got worse for Barca when Adriano received his marching orders on 27 minutes for a trip on Ronaldo, who was running on to another long ball out of defence.

Valdes saved well again from Khedira and Madrid's wave of advances finally came to an end.

Barca made their first real attack of the evening in the 36th minute, but nobody was able to connect with Andres Iniesta's dangerous cross.

Messi then struck with a perfectly curled free-kick to reduce Madrid's lead.

The second half could not continue at the same pace and, as Barca gained more possession and settled into a more comfortable passing game, chances became rare.

Pedro Rodriguez came close to levelling for Barca on 62 minutes, latching onto a long ball only for Iker Casillas to stop brilliantly with his feet.

At the other end, Valdes saved from Khedira but Barca were controlling the game, despite the numerical disadvantage, and the home crowd was getting restless.

Those nerves were not helped on 79 minutes when Higuain's shot agonisingly drifted to the foot of the post after beating a retreating Valdes.

Modric was then introduced to a standing ovation for his first taste of life as a Madrid player, Alex Song having earlier entered the fray to do the same for Barca.

What they both experienced was a frantic finish.

Messi came close to taking the title back to Catalunya in injury time with a shot that flashed wide from the edge of the box, but Madrid held on to trigger joyous celebrations in the Spanish capital.
 

Date created : 2012-08-30

COMMENT(S)