Real Madrid CF lifted the Spanish Super Cup after a 2-1 second-leg win against FC Barcelona on Wednesday meant they took the silverware on away goals.
José Mourinho's men trailed 3-2 from last week's first game in the Camp Nou but turned the tie around inside 18 minutes at the Santiago Bernabéu – Gonzalo Higuaín and Cristiano Ronaldo drilling low shots past Víctor Valdés. Things got even worse for Barcelona when full-back Adriano was dismissed on 27 minutes for bringing down Ronaldo with the hosts threatening to run riot.
However, on the stroke of half-time, Lionel Messi stepped up to curl a beautiful free-kick past Iker Casillas from 25 metres – his sixth goal of the season – and make the aggregate score 4-4.
With Madrid ahead on away goals, the visitors' Pedro Rodríguez was twice foiled by Casillas after the break, before Valdés matched his opposite number as Sami Khedira burst into the area. The Barcelona keeper would be helpless though, with ten minutes to go, when Higuaín hit the post.
Although the Blaugrana pressurised the hosts late on – Messi driving just wide from the edge of the box – Madrid held on to collect the trophy for the first time since 2008. Their success prevented a fourth straight Barça triumph in the competition.
"I thought tonight's game belonged to us as we created lots of chances," said Casillas. "Valdés was phenomenal – I'd give him ten out of ten. Barcelona played with a man less for much of the match and showed great professionalism in coping with that and also in the way they stayed in the centre circle [during the trophy ceremony]. I'd like to thank them for that."
After a contest also notable for debuts by Madrid's Luka Modrić and Barcelona's Alex Song, Xavi Hernández said his team would take the positives for the campaign ahead. "We could have won the Super Cup but were made to pay for two early mistakes," he said. "Despite being down to ten men we still played our football and had chances to win. We have lost one trophy but the biggest ones are still to play for."
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.