Madrid look to overcome Barcelona in Super Cup
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 16, 2011, 20:57
  
Barcelona: Real Madrid need to overcome the disappointment of a frustrating 2-2 draw when they play at Barcelona in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday.

Madrid dominated the first leg on Sunday and created the best scoring opportunities, but the team was eventually undone by the individual talent of the Spanish champions, notably David Villa and Lionel Messi.

Barcelona will welcome a return to the Camp Nou after an uncharacteristic match where they failed to impose itself through its usual passing game.

The Catalans may also be able to count on Cesc Fabregas, who joined his boyhood club from Arsenal on Monday, as they look to win the annual preseason matchup between the league champions and the cup winners for the first time in five tries against Madrid.

"I am physically ready (to play), but it's the coach's decision," Fabregas said. "Barca and Madrid are two of the best teams in Europe, the competition (between the two) is brutal. Madrid never throws in the towel. We know they are a great team."

Fabregas' long-awaited return could be celebrated against Madrid, although the Spain midfielder's arrival illustrates the Barcelona's squad lack of preseason training time with so many international players away at different times. Fabregas can at least slide right into the Catalan club's system since he came up through the youth ranks before his move to north London eight years ago.

"It was a good result considering the shape we were in coming into the game," Barcelona defender Daniel Alves said. "Several players had managed to play only some minutes for Barcelona this preseason and we played pretty well against this Madrid, which enjoyed more time together as a team. Our team responded (Sunday) so we have to be happy."

Former Real Madrid great Alfredo Di Stefano asked if the performance signalled the beginning of "Barcelona's deterioration" in his Marca sports daily column on Tuesday.

As Di Stefano asked if it was time for Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola -- who is vying for his 11th major trophy -- to revise his system, Guardiola labelled his team's first-leg performance "titanic."

"In the return leg we'll play in a different manner since our team will also have more minutes," Alves said. "We'll (also) arrive in better shape, physically. I'm sure we can achieve our objective."

Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is likely to stay with the same line-up he used at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium with Fabio Coentrao possibly replacing Angel Di Maria on the wing. Whether the Portuguese coach meets the Spanish media or not is the doubt.

Mourinho again dodged the post-match news conference just as he has done since the being sanctioned for comments made after the first leg of the Champions League semifinals between the clubs in April. There seemed little to complain about from Sunday's wide-open match when both teams could be upset over potential penalty calls.

"We were stronger, a better unit and I think we dominated and created more situations on goal, which is good," Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain said. "We have to be happy with our play."

Madrid beat three-time defending league champion Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.

Bureau Report


First Published: Tuesday, August 16, 2011, 20:57


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