Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo scored as Real Madrid beat archrival Barcelona 2-1 to win Spanish soccer’s Super Cup for the first time in four years.
Lionel Messi got a goal back for Barcelona in first-half stoppage time at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium last night after teammate Adriano was ejected. Barca won the opening game 3-2 at the Camp Nou last week.
With the two-game series tied at 4-4, Real won by scoring more away goals in the matchup of Spain’s league champion and cup winner. It’s the first time Real, which began the defense of its league title with a draw and loss, beat Barca at home in eight attempts.
“We were ready for this match even though we’re not on a good run in the league,” Real captain Iker Casillas told his team’s website. “The fans deserve it and it’s a gift for them. They can see that the team can be up to the job.”
Higuain made it 1-0 after 10 minutes, firing a shot under goalkeeper Victor Valdes after Javier Mascherano failed to clear a ball lofted from Real’s half.
Ronaldo scored eight minutes later when he flicked the ball over Gerard Pique’s head, ran into the penalty box and shot past Valdes. The Portuguese forward joined former Real striker Ivan Zamorano as the only players to score in five straight so-called El Clasico matches.
As the home team dominated, Adriano was ejected for hauling down Ronaldo with his hands as he raced toward the Barcelona goal after 27 minutes.
Messi got Barca’s goal when he bent a free kick around a four-man wall and into the net.
Modric Makes Debut
In a less frenetic second half, Casillas saved a shot from Pedro Rodriguez with his legs after 62 minutes.
Real coach Jose Mourinho brought on playmaker Luka Modric, who signed from Tottenham Hotspur three days ago, with eight minutes left. Barca also gave a debut to midfielder Alex Song, who was acquired from Arsenal on Aug. 20.
In the final chances of the game, Higuain struck a right-foot shot against the post with 10 minutes left and Messi fired wide with his left foot in stoppage time.
Barca had won the Super Cup the three previous seasons.
“We went into the game a bit cold and we paid for it,” Barca midfielder Xavi Hernandez told Efe news agency. “We’ve missed out on a title but the most important ones are still to play for.”