The Spanish Super Cup isn't supposed to be this much fun.
The first leg was an exciting match and Barcelona appeared to have escaped with a 2-2 draw. The Catalans will now have the home crowd on their side at Camp Nou when they face Real Madrid in the second leg on Wednesday.
"In the first leg, Madrid was better, in these three days we have improved some things, but I believe they are still better," Barcelona Pep Guardiola said.
Though Real Madrid were expected to be the more aggressive club last Sunday, few experts thought that Barcelona would manage only four shots in the entire match. The Catalans were efficient with their shots -- scoring goals on their first two shots.
Barcelona will have to go back to their basics if they expect a better result in the second leg. The normally effective passing strategy didn't throw Real Madrid off at all, and it seemed that Jose Mourinho's squad were always on the verge of scoring.
Real Madrid have to go into Nou Camp confident that their effort in the first leg will carry over. Los Galacticos looked very fit, and were not thrown off by Barcelona's normally dizzying passing strategy.
Barcelona's Carles Puyol was sidelined on Sunday, and will be unavailable on Wednesday. The centre back's absence was very apparent, as Barcelona's defense lacked cohesion at many points of the match. Though Javier Mascherano did a solid job in central defense, Eric Abidal looked tentative.
The big question facing Pep Guardiola will be if he plans on playing new midfielder Cesc Fabregas, and if so, how many minutes. Fabregas trained with his new teammates on Monday, and is obviously well-acquainted with the squad from his time with the Spain National Team. Playing a rusty Fabregas might jeopardize the outcome of the match, so his play will be scrutinized.
Guardiola hinted that Fabregas might start, but whether he plays the full 90 minutes is another story.
Barcelona had key players who were not match fit going into Sunday's first leg. Regular starters Xavi Hernandez, Gerard Pique, and Pedro came off the bench in the first leg. David Villa only played 73 minutes despite not receiving many touches in the match.
Should Barcelona receive better efforts from their starters, Real Madrid may be in for a long night in Camp Nou.
Real Madrid will have to stick to their same strategy, particularly from the midfield. Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil did a masterful job of controlling the flow of the match. Ronaldo nearly scored a gorgeous freekick from just outside the box, and set pieces will be key for Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Los Galacticos could also use some good fortunate to fall on Karim Benzema. The French forward was responsible for setting up Ozil's goal, but has struggled to find the back of the net himself.
Mourinho received more solid performances from Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos. The Real Madrid manager will need both Spaniards to continue their efforts in the second leg.
Barcelona went into the first leg with fitness issues, so they will be better off on Wednesday, and playing at home means Real Madrid will have to play nearly flawless if they expect to win the Super Cup.