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Yet another El Classico descended into a brawl, although unlike the matches last season, this one was an actual classic. Eventually, Barcelona secured the Super Cup with a 3-2 win, 5-4 on aggregate, over Real Madrid, after Lionel Messi capped a wonderful display with a late winner.
Cesc Fabregas came off the bench to make his debut for Barca, and although he had just 10 minutes to influence the game, he more than did so. He came on just as Karim Benzema equalized from a corner to make the score 2-2. The match seemed destined for extra time. That was until Messi did his bit.
On the right side, outside the box, Fabregas found Messi who played a one-two with Adriano, racing into the box to volley in the returning cross at the near-post. It was greeted with a show of elation from the home side, although Madrid will feel unlucky as they had performed impressively.
As is the case these days, the match descended into a brawl. A frustrated Marcelo dangerously dived into Fabregas and thereby received a straight red. It was near the touch-line and the technical staff got ivolved, and soon there was a melee as both squads clashed. Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain clutched at Barca second keeper, Josep Pinto's throat, while Mesut Ozil was livid at something someone had said to him and his reaction earned him a sending off. David Villa was sent off too, for his role in the melee. In between all the confusion, Madrid manager Jose Mourinho appeared to tweak the ear of Barca's assistant coach.
It was sad end to a game which had begun beautifull. The first half saw some scintillating football played by both sides as Barca opened the scoring on 15 minutes when Messi picked out Andres Iniesta's run with a perfectly weighted through ball. The Spaniard latched onto it, and kept his cool to dink over the racing Iker Casillas. Five minutes later, Madrid equalized when Benzema's cross after a corner was deflected in by Cristiano Ronaldo.
At the stroke of half-time though, Messi gave Barca the lead when he played a one-two with Pique in the box before finding the far post with a dink over Casillas from a tight angle.