Cristiano Ronaldo made the difference as Real Madrid held off Lionel Messi and 10-man Barcelona for a 2-1 win at Santiago Bernabeu, crowning them Spanish Super Cup winners on away goals.
Javier Mascherano’s blunder let in Gonzalo Higuain on 11 minutes and the Argentina striker did not pass up the opportunity given to him by his international team-mate, slotting through ‘keeper Victor Valdes’ legs for the opener.
The Barça defence did not learn their lesson and Gerard Pique was the next to falter; his uncertainty gave Ronaldo the opportunity to make an audacious flick over the Spain defender and fire under Valdes to double the lead.
It went from bad to worse for Tito Vilanova’s side in the 28th minute, when his defenders went missing once more to allow Ronaldo in behind them, only to be hauled to the ground by Adriano.
The Brazilian left-back saw red after some confusion when referee Antonio Mateu initially showed a yellow card, but quickly rectified his mistake and left the Catalonians with a mountain to climb.
Lionel Messi gave the ten men hope just before half-time with a spectacular 35-yard free-kick, but the Blaugrana could not make the breakthrough in the second period.
Barcelona’s 3-2 win at Nou Camp last week meant the tie finished 4-4 overall, but los Merengues displaced their rivals as trophy holders by virtue of away goals.
Watch the best of the action below…
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