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After a scintillating first-leg, Real Madrid and Barcelona will fight out the second-leg at the Camp Nou in a bid to claim the Spanish Supercup.
The first-leg ended 2-2 - a result which favours Barcelona - although some quarters suggested that the Catalans were lucky to not lose the game. For the most part, it was Madrid who dominated the game with a scintillating passing display. Their manager, Jose Mourinho, sent the team out in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and it worked. Mesut Ozil was at his creative best, Ronaldo was a constant threat in the final third while Karim Benzema repeatedly cut through the Barca defence. In fact, if it wasn't for keeper Victor Valdes, Barcelona would have been out of the tie by now, which is saying something!
However, Barca took their chances. Madrid opened the scoring in as early as the 12 minute, and although they were pegged back for most of the game, David Villa scored the equalizer with a screamer. Lionel Messi did his bit with a solo run and finish at the stroke of half-time and despite being dominated, Barca led 2-1. The lead didn't last for long though, as Xabi Alonso scored shortly after the break to level matters. Madrid will be disappointed that they didn't make their performance count. At the moment, it is Barcelona holding the slender advantage with two away goals.
It leaves Madrid with the task of winning without conceding a goal. A 1-0 win is enough, but keeping Barca at bay is easier said than done, especially with new signing Alexis Sanchez already having a keen understanding with Messi. So, if the scores are tied at the end of the second-leg, the away goals will come into the picture. A 1-1 draw means Barcelona will go through while a 2-2 draw will take the tie into penalties. However, anything more than a 2-2 removes any possibility of penalties.
Mourinho will line-up his side to play in much the same manner as the first-leg. He cannot afford to be defensive as scoring is a necessity if Madrid are to win. They have a tougher task at hand though, since Barca will have Xavi returning to the side (he was a substitute in the first leg) as well as defensive rock Gerard Pique.
Interestingly, Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has suggested that Madrid are better than his team at the moment.
"In the first leg, Madrid were better, in these three days we have improved some things, but I believe they are still better," he said."That is the feeling I have, but every match is a story. If the return leg were in two weeks, it would be different. We will have to play better than we did at the Santiago Bernabeu to win the Supercopa.
"We will have to play with the kind of speed we could not put in our game the other day. Three days have passed, we have trained really well."
It all makes for another exciting El Classico to look forward to.
Madrid looked fitter and more fluid than Barca in the first-leg, and they're expected to pose a real challenge this season. That will start here, and it shouldn't much of a surprise if Madrid win the match on penalties after a 2-2 score-line at the end of full-time.