Real Madrid defeat 10-man Barca to win Spanish Supercup



Real Madrid defeat 10-man Barca to win Spanish SupercupMadrid: Real Madrid defeated FC Barcelona 2-1 to win the Spanish Supercup on away goals.

First half goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo Wednesday put Real Madrid 2-0 ahead and although Lionel Messi`s goal at the stroke of halftime meant the tie finished 4-4 on aggregate, Madrid took the title as they scored twice in Barcelona`s Camp Nou Stadium last week.

Barcelona suffered a setback just before the match when Dani Alves suffered physical problems warming up and the full back was replaced by Adriano in the starting 11.

That loss was to be decisive as defensive errors sunk Barcelona in the first half.

Higuain opened the scoring after 10 minutes, beating Victor Valdes after Barca defender Javier Mascherano missed the chance to clear a long ball from the Madrid defence.

Ronaldo doubled Madrid`s lead 18 minutes later after Gerard Pique made another error of judgment from a long ball, Ronaldo controlled well with his heel and had time to pick his spot. Valdes got a touch, but couldn`t keep the ball out of the net.

Barcelona were shaken and Valdes did well to save from Higuain, who again was through on goal.

The effect of Alves` injury became clear just before the half hour when Adriano was shown a direct red card for bringing down Ronaldo when the striker looked to close in on goal. Ronaldo looked to make the most of the defender`s challenge, but it was clear Adriano had not played the ball. With a player less, Barca coach Tito Vilanova reacted by replacing Alexis Sanchez with defender Martin Montoya, though his side needed to score at least twice.

Barca had not had a shot on target until the 44th minute when Messi scored a majestic free kick to make it 2-1. The Argentinean bent the ball around the defensive wall to leave Iker Casillas with no chance.

The second half saw Madrid look comfortable as the Catalan giants controlled the ball, although Pedro Rodriguez should have made it 2-2 on the night on the hour after finding himself through on Casillas, who saved well with his legs.

Andres Iniesta tried his luck from halfway after seeing Casillas a few yards off his line, but his shot went wide, while Sami Khedira saw Valdes make another good save for Barca.

Vilanova handed a debut to recent signing Alexandre Song with 15 minutes remaining as both sides began to tire, while Madrid brought Javier Callejon and Karim Benzema into the action.

Higuain should have sealed the tie with 10 minutes remaining, but again failed, hitting the post with just Valdes to beat, just before he was replaced by Benzema.

Luka Modric made his Madrid debut with seven minutes left on the clock. He went close to scoring with a close range shot, but Messi was inches away from netting the decisive goal in injury time with an effort that was inches wide of the post.

IANS