The first leg of SuperCopa with Barcelona finished 2-2 at the Bernabeu with goals coming from Ozil and Alonso for Real Madrid and Barcelona scored through Villa and Messi. It was a fantastic first leg and hopefully the second leg would be as fun as this was. Here are my 10 points from the game :
- From the onset, Real Madrid pressed beautifully. Everyone ran their socks off to put Barcelona under pressure. The team maintained a high tempo to the game and Barcelona’s backline had a tough time passing the ball ahead or even around them.
- In terms of the team lineup, the doubt over Di Maria v Coentrao was solved with Di Maria starting ahead of the Portuguese. Also, Varane was on the subs bench instead of Albiol (Varane didn’t get to play though). “The Cat” Benzema started ahead of Higuain which given his pre-season performance was a smart choice. Pep Guardiola, however, went with a lineup which was pretty experimental in nature as Pique, Puyol, Pedro, Xavi, Busquets were on the bench.
- Di Maria had a pretty quiet game with the exception of his pass to Benzema who in turn provided the assist for Ozil to score. Besides that, the Argentinian had a pretty quiet game by his standards. It would be interesting if Coentrao starts the second leg and has the opportunity to impress.
- Barcelona scored against the run of play. Villa with an absolute screamer as Casillas couldn’t even get a hand to it (and that’s an achievement in itself) and Messi scored as there was a mistake by Khedira and then Pepe slipped to give Messi the space to score against us. Again.
- I would say we let go of the momentum we had before scoring the first goal and they scored out of nowhere. The score at the end of the half would be a perfect example of the injustice of the sport. We dominated the half and still found ourselves down 2-1.
- Alonso scored the second for us through a neatly placed shot in the bottom corner. Neat finish as the well watered pitch in Madrid helped in beating Valdes with much ease.
- Unlike previous Clasicos, this one had a referee who did a fairly good job in my opinion. No unnecessary bookings and killing the game by brandishing cards. Khedira was lucky to stay on the pitch as he was very high with his foot on Abidal’s head. In the second half, there were more incidents which required referee’s intervention. There was the repeat of Pepe on Alves and Alves rolling on the pitch in agony but this time the referee didn’t hand out any card to Pepe which in my opinion was the wrong decision. He deserved a yellow for the late tackle. Further, Cristiano was brought down in the box by Valdes and pleas for penalty were turned down. Over on the other side, Pedro was brought down inside the box by Marcelo which was a penalty too but again the referee turned it down. So let’s say the parity was restored?
- Benzema played a wonderful game as he was very active in winning the ball and was very much involved in every move that Real Madrid had going. He could have even won the game for Real but for his woeful finishing and slipping at crucial moments.
- Really impressed by Alexis Sanchez and his quick feet. He had Marcelo in a difficult position for most of the game. Add in the support from midfield with their usual one-two football and Alexis could score a lot of goals for the Catalans.
- We could have won the game but for some sloppy finishing, scuffed efforts and great goalkeeping by Victor Valdes.
Things are difficult for us going into the second leg as they have the advantage of having 2 away goals so a scoreline of 0-0 or 1-1 would give them the SuperCopa. If Real can continue to play the pressing game at Camp Nou as well, then I’d say we have a chance of winning.