When Barcelona and Real Madrid faced off this past Sunday the match become the No. 1 trending topic throughout the globe. Such is the reach of el clasico, that even the opening leg of a SuperCopa matchup has the globe fixated.
That enervating and exciting match at the Bernabeu ended in a 2-2 draw. Today, there will be a winner. And, a loser.
The first match featured two stunning goals by the Catalans, each created by an individual moment of inspiration, and an all-encompassing effort from Madrid that was eye-opening in its own way.
Jose Mourinho had Madrid pressuring from end line to end line, chasing seemingly every ball up every blind alley. It was as muscular and fierce a 90 minutes as anyone has given to Barca during their current run of international dominance.
And yet, David Villa and Lionel Messi each authored exquisite goals to ensure that the teams returned to Camp Nou on level footing.
Follow along with this LIVE BLOG for updates throughout the match. And please tweet @HuffPostSports to join in the conversation.
If you're late to this live blog, then read on below for analysis for the full 90 minutes, from Iniesta's glorious opening goal to the scrum in the waning moments. Video highlights of all goals are included as well.
To sum up, you missed another cracking installment of el Clasico. Madrid gave everything they had but still couldn't top Barcelona.
In fact, one wonders how this will impact the psyches of the Madrid players. Could they be hurt by having played so well yet still come up short?
|@ jorgearangure : Cesc celebrating this trophy is just hilarious|
|@ espn : "GOLAZO DE MESSI" is the #5 trending topic worldwide. After Leo's performance today, it should probably be #1. #Animal|
With nine goals across two matches between two of the top five teams in all the world, there is little to complain about after Barcelona showed Madrid the door in the Super Copa.
Unless, of course, you're Real Madrid.
Jose Mourinho's team played with so much fire and energy and may feel that there play warranted more than just four goals across 180+ minutes. I'd tend to agree. They squandered a few chances in both games and had even more attacking spells end ponderously without shots on target.
Barcelona, on the other hand, made the most of their chances. And also showed a mesmerizing ability to make those chances from nothing. Of the five goals they scored, there are five memorable moments and a trio of sublime golazos.
|@ jessespector : Lionel Messi is 24 years old. Mindboggling that he may still have untapped potential.|
|@ sportsguy33 : Barca-RM is the best rivalry in sports. Well-played game, beautiful winning goal by Messi, then a cheapshot and near-brawl as the kicker.|
|@ noahtrister : Ugly finish, but 5-4 on aggregate? Great show. #Barca #Madrid|
|@ jorgearangure : Love that in the middle of the scrum Puyol found the time to fix his hair to keep it from going out of place|
|@ SurrealFootball : Mourinho = amazing. A huge brawl going on, and he just tweaks someone's ear from behind.|
|@ TheBigLead : that Marcelo tackle looked like the move in Karate Kid where Johnny kicked Daniel low, then quickly high, and Daniel went DOWN #SickCombo|
Yes, that foul was totally and thoroughly unnecessary and cutthroat, but it seems that he was being showered with racist chants by Barcelona fans all night long. That's not Cesc's fault. But it shouldn't be ignored. Just saying.
And, the final whistle comes to the delight of Barcelona. I don't think they looked this joyous after winning the Champions League Final.
After all that, there is still some remaining time. And if Madrid manages to tie then they would actually WIN the overall two-leg affair on away goals.
|@ AndyGlockner : TSO needs to get his team to check their roll. Way too much of this thuggery from a very skilled side.|
The Brazilian takes Cesc down with malice in the waning moments near the intersection of the halfway line and the sideline. Every one is pushing and shoving and the melee is on. Someone popped Ozil in the face it seems amidst the traffic. No word on Cesc.
To Ramos and Ronaldo... But Valdez comes out and rises to the ball.
There are 4 minutes total. Nearly two of them gone by. Valdez taking as many second as he can to take a free kick. Tick Tock.
With a chance to put this one ice but Casillas saves. The hat trick was there for him.
|@ SoccerByIves : And yes, Cesc Fabregas started the sequence on that goal with a sharp pass to Messi, who played the give-and-go with Adrian. #BeautifulStuff|
|@ jorgearangure : That was totally a give and go play gol from FIFA. Diamond button|
With authority and speed, Messi scores what looks to be the winner. Ray Hudson is now blurting Esperanto psalms. Adriano crosses and Messi volleys home. No chance for Casillas!
And gets the ball from Alves as he looked dangerous.
The game is up and down with just a few minutes left.
|@ jorgearangure : Would be kind of funny if Barca fails to win a title in Cesc's first game|
And he quickly snuffs a Barca scoring chance by bumping his own player.