Super Cup Win Steadies Real Madrid

Two defeats and a home draw in its first three official matches left Real Madrid visibly bitter and frustrated coming into the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup at the Bernabeu. Yet the Merengues showed no lack of confidence and killer instinct in taking advantage of two Barca defensive blunders to go up 2-0 within the first 20 minutes. It got worse for Barca with Adriano’s elimination, but the Catalans found a way back into the game with Messi’d brilliant free kick and were unlucky not to get a second in the last quarter hour of the match. Madrid also had chances to put the game away, but Messi’s last minute shot narrowly missed Barca’s triumph. It was an entertaining encounter featuring a little changed cast of characters that managed to shake hands and exhibit fair play at the final whistle.

Mourinho & Co. can breathe easily until Sunday. This victory boosted spirits damaged by a dismal start in La Liga, but the team looks more vulnerable than it did last year. Modric made his debut and nearly scored, coming in for Ozil, but his place in the team remains unclear. Mourinho said he will play Modric wherever the Croatian feels most comfortable. Barca also looked very vulnerable in the middle of the defense, Pique and Mascherano responsible for the Madrid goals, Busquets not much help. On the up side, Song made his first appearance for Barca and made a good impression.

The Super Cup had the feel of a warm up super classico. It will be different in the spring.