MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 29: Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Super Cup second leg match betwen Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 29, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Madrid’s win on aggregate (4-4 on away goals) has generated some press interest, of course. Here is a review of what the papers had to say.
We begin with Xavi Hernández in El Mundo Deportivo, lamenting that Madrid were "not superior over two legs."
The day may still be coming when Xavi will surprise us with his comments, but tonight is not the night, apparently.
Tito Vilanova, quoted by the same paper, preferred to stay optimistic and highlighted his men’s excellent showing in the second half, when with 10 men they managed to create a serious threat and had some good chances on goal. He does not feel that the game will be a psychological blow for his players.
In a piece entitled "The True Super Champions" Marca notes that Madrid scored its two goals before Barcelona were down to 10 men and that Barcelona were "a shadow of the team" that played last week. Madrid should have had three goals, notes the paper, since replays showed no one was offside when Pepe headed the third past Victor Valdés. After the break, Madrid continued to have the better chances.
Elsewhere, they note that Luka Modrić and Alex Song (of Barcelona, lately of Arsenal FC) had excellent debuts for their respective clubs.
Another piece in the newspaper refers to Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored in a fifth consecutive Clásico this evening, as "Madrid’s 007".
In England, BBC SPORT has a devastating critique of Barcelona’s defence in between lengthy descriptions of the first two goals.
Tito Vilanova was denied his first trophy as Barcelona boss and he will need to look no further than his lacklustre defence for the reason...
The hosts were scything through Barcelona's flimsy defence at will...
Aitor Karanka was assigned the chore of speaking to the press after the match. He singled out the outstanding contribution made by Pepe, stating that "you notice a player like that when he plays on the pitch." He also spoke at length about his reading of the final score.
The result is a reflection in the match that took place. If in the first half we scored all the chances we had, and they only had a few, and Pipa had a few on the counter, I think it would have been a fairer result. It was a game for a title and this was the result we needed after the result in the first leg and we got the result, which was the most important thing.
Regarding rumours that Esteban Granero may be on his way to London on loan (the destination, QPR or Tottenham, is unclear) Karanka repeated what has been said before on the subject and extended his comments to include Kaká.
As the manager said yesterday, the market is open until the end. What’s best for him is being looked at, it’s him who has to decide. For us, if Esteban (Granero) stays with us it’s the same as with Kaká, we’ll be really pleased if he stays because he’s a player from here, who always gives his all and transmits Real Madrid’s values, but if he decides to leave it will be because its best for him and we wish him the best of luck.
It was nearing 1 o’clock in the morning when the players were finally able to leave the pitch after celebrations. Unsurprisingly, no Real Madrid players seem to have taken the time to comment to the press.