Spanish Supercopa: Real Madrid 2 (4) Barcelona 1 (4) (Real win a.g.)
By Football News
Real triumphed on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate draw, but the margin of victory could have been greater after a shambolic defensive performance from Barca in the first half of Wednesday's match.
A missed clearance from Javier Mascherano gifted Gonzalo Higuain the opener in the 11th minute, and an outrageous flick from Cristiano Ronaldo over Gerard Pique allowed the Portuguese forward to make it 2-0 after 19 minutes.
Adriano's dismissal on 29 minutes seemed to signal the end of Barca's hopes, but Lionel Messi dragged them back into contention with a fantastic free-kick on the stroke of half-time.
The second half was closer, as a much-improved Barca had chances to score again, but there was no way back for the visitors, Real holding on to claim the first trophy in Spain this season.
Barca were without injured captain Carles Puyol due to a fractured cheekbone, and also lost fullback Dani Alves during the warm-up.
For Real, yet to win in two La Liga matches, it was a welcome return to form.
The club's supporters were also afforded their first glimpse of Croatia midfielder Luka Modric, who came off the bench following the completion of his transfer from Tottenham Hotspur.
Real's triumph means their coach Jose Mourinho draws first blood in his new rivalry with Tito Vilanova, promoted to the top job at Barca after the 2011/12 season.
The two men infamously clashed on the sidelines of last season's ill-tempered Supercopa, when Mourinho poked Vilanova in the eye and the Barca man responded by shoving his assailant.