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Super Cup

  • 17 August 2011
  • • 22:00
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: David Fernandez Borbalan
  • • Attendance: 92965
3
FT
2

Barcelona win Aggregate 5 - 4

Barcelona 3-2 Real Madrid (Agg. 5-4): Messi brace settles bad-tempered Supercopa clash as Fabregas makes his debut

Barcelona 3-2 Real Madrid (Agg. 5-4): Messi brace settles bad-tempered Supercopa clash as Fabregas makes his debut

Getty

The Argentine popped two minutes from time to settle an enthralling encounter but a brawl between playing and coaching staff marred proceedings

Lionel Messi was the hero once again as his two goals helped Barcelona triumph over Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa in a 5-4 aggregate victory, which was marred by a player brawl moments before the final whistle.

In a match that mirrored Sunday's first-leg in terms of drama and goalmouth incident, Andres Iniesta and Messi had overcome Cristiano Ronaldo's goal to have the Catalans leading at the interval. Karim Benzema equalised in the closing stages, but the Argentine added a second to secure Pep Guardiola's 11th title. Marcelo's late red left a bitter taste in the mouth, however, as players and coaching staff clashed in the dying moments.

Guardiola opted for the same starting line-up that defeated Manchester United in the Champions League final in May, with new signings Alexis Sanchez, and most notably Cesc Fabregas, on the bench. For Madrid, their one change from Sunday evening was Fabio Coentrao's inclusion at left-back, with Marcelo omitted.

The match at the Bernabeu, which finished 2-2, had been a thrilling affair, and this encounter commenced in a similar vein, with Ronaldo warming the gloves of Victor Valdes in the opening seconds.

However, it was Barcelona who found the advantage on 14 minutes, courtesy of a sumptuous goal from Iniesta. Messi delayed his through pass perfectly, and Iniesta timed his run, before noncholantly scooping the ball over Iker Casillas and into the net.

But their lead was short-lived, as Madrid equalised just six minutes later. From a deep corner, Karim Benzema's bouncing volley was deflected into the net from close range by Ronaldo, who sent a hopeful glance in the direction of the assistant referee before celebrating.

Both sides then exchanged chances, as midnight approached in the Catalan city. Pedro produced a superb curling short that Casillas did wonderfully well to palm to safety, then Ronaldo's piledriver was pushed onto the crossbar from Valdes, the effort proving too hot for the goalkeeper to handle.

But Messi, just as he had did on Sunday, struck on the stroke of half-time to send his side in 2-1 up. Latching onto a backheel from Gerard Pique, he held off Ronaldo and flicked his shot into Casillas' far corner.

After the break, the match lost some of its intensity, and the aggression was ramped up, particularly as the visitors attempted to fight back into the contest. Messi and Busquets both came close for the home side, but as they looked close to seeing out the match, they were able to draw the match, and indeed the tie, level.

On 80 minutes, a corner from the left prompted a scramble inside the six-yard box; Pepe rose highest, powered a ball across the six yard area, and Benzema controlled, swivelled, and slotted the ball out of the reach of Valdes.

Extra-time beckoned. In a bizarre moment, Madrid celebrated the equaliser, but Barca fans embraced the first appearance of Fabregas, who was introduced into the fray.

But Barcelona were not to be denied. With just three minutes remaining, and both sides fighting for a winning goal, Messi collected the ball, played out wide and continued his run to meet Adriano's cross with a sublime volley into the corner to spark rapturous scenes in the stadium.

After such an exciting tie, however, the fixture exploded in injury time. Marcelo wrapped his legs around Fabregas in a wild lunge, to be granted a straight red from the referee. All 22 players descended on the incident, and the officials fought to regain control amidst a flurry of confusion.

Once the dust settled, Barcelona could finally collect their title deep into the night, to conclude what was a quite astonishing Clasico encounter.

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