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)
Real Madrid was in a slump, that's for sure. But it didn't matter today. The team performed brilliantly and clearly deserved to win this game. It's true that Barcelona had the match at their own hands while playing with just ten men, but Real Madrid could've finished the first half with a 4-1 score really easily. Unfortunately for los blancos, Gonzalo Higuaín didn't have it tonight (even though he scored the team's first goal).
Messi and Tello had good chances to tie the game and win the Supercup at the end of the match. One could say that both teams were lucky. Barcelona was lucky to even had a chance to win the game, but Madrid could've lost the trophy in the final minutes of the game.
Arguably, Real Madrid's best player was Pepe. The Portuguese defender showed today why he is the best center back in the world. Period. Ramos is a beast, and there are other defenders like Puyol, Kompany or Vidic that are certainly close to the madridista, but neither one of them has that big of an influence on their own team. Real Madrid is lucky to have this guy on the roster.
Every Real Madrid player was brilliant, with no exceptions. From Marcelo to Alonso, going through Khedira and Özil as well.José Mourinho decided to start his best team available . He had to chose between Benzema and Higuaín and the Argentinian player was finally the chosen one. It wasn't a bad choice. The Pipita had very good runs and scored the team's first goal, but he should've finished the game with a hat-trick since he had at least five very good and clean chances to score.
The first half was Real Madrid's all over. Cristiano Ronaldo kept his Clásico scoring streak alive with a lucky goal. Some said that the Portuguese player never caused impact on the big games. Maybe he's silenced his critics after five Clásico goals in a row.
He also forced Adriano to foul him when the Brazilian player was Barcelona's last defender. Referee Mateu Lahoz saw it and sent Barcelona's player off rightfully. Everything looked right for Real Madrid with a 2-0 margin and against a Barcelona with only ten men on the pitch, but Messi scored off a brilliant free kick just before the 45th minute. Casillas didn't place the wall right, and the ball went in right on the side he should be guarding. Real Madrid's captain redeemed himself in the second half with two great saves, one to Pedro and one to Tello.
Mourinho decided to introduce Real Madrid's first substitution on the 80th minute. Benzema joined the pitch for Gonzalo Higuaín, and shortly after Callejón and Luka Modric entered the game for Di María and Özil respectively. The substitutions were perfect, but Mourinho probably waited too long before pulling the trigger.
Luka Modric had a good chance to wrap up the game in the addition time. Real Madrid put too much at stake in the final moments of the game, and Barcelona had a couple of counterattacks when these kind of situations shouldn't be allowed while the team is leading. Every fan at the Santiago Bernabéu thought Messi's shot in the 91st minute was going in, but it went too wide so Iker Casillas could raise the trophy to the Bernabéu's sky.
Nobody will ever know how much Mourinho's words affected his players. He publicly asked his team to be brave and have a good attitude. And everybody responded.
Who was the Man of the Match?
Pepe (224 votes)
Khedira (27 votes)
Ronaldo (218 votes)
Other (43 votes)
512 total votes