I, among with millions of other people, watched the Spanish Super Cup 2nd leg last night between Barcelona and Real Madrid. The first leg, which was on Sunday, ended 2-2, so the second leg at the Nou Camp was going to be a treat, and boy was it. Watching Barcelona this past season has been magical and there’s always something about an El Clasico match that keeps you glued to the screen.
The match ended 3-2 to Barcelona, 5-4 on aggregate over the two legs. It was a tasty affair, as only an El Clasico match can be and I think the right team came out on top. It was a stunning game, with Barcelona’s trickery and masterful passing on full show and Barcelona have become a team to behold. Sure, Barcelona have their off-games like every other team, but mostly you know that watching Barcelona is going to be something amazing. The way the play, the way they pass the ball, the goals they score. Every player on that team can kick the football beautifully. I’ll be watching La Liga this season, to watch Barcelona because they’re the dominating force right now during every single competition they’re in.
Real Madrid, not to be left in the cold, had their own moments. The first 20 minutes of the first leg was something else and they competed very well over the two legs but ultimately they fell short. Real Madrid might have the ‘New Galacticos’ but they can’t seem to really match Barcelona. It’ll be quite something to see if Real Madrid can match – or better – Barcelona at any time this season. Of all the games I’ve watched they haven’t seemed like beating Barcelona for a while. Generally the only way Real Madrid can get close to Barcelona is when they play uber-defensively as they did during the two Champions League semi-final legs last season but it made for a horrible spectacle, two of the worst El Clasico games, though the goals were spectacular.
As always in an El Clasico match, there was a fracas. Fabregas came on for the last few minutes and Marcelo scissor-tackled him and it all went nuts. Marcelo was sent off along with David Villa and Ozil (I think it was Ozil) though both Villa and Ozil had already been subbed. There were handbags, Mourinho even got in on the act, poking his finger into the cheek/ear of a Barcelona coach. It took some of the shine off, but an El Clasico without a fracas is unheard of, frankly. Real Madrid are quite dirty players and do rather throw themselves into tackles and part of me agrees with the Barcelona players saying that Mourinho should be warned about the way he acts because it is getting out of control. Barcelona are hardly angels, mind you, but Real Madrid go into tackles really hard and it’s lucky Fabregas wasn’t injured after Marcelo’s tackle.
The two legs were excellent and I truly believe nobody would care if La Liga was reduced to just two teams, with Barcelona and Real Madrid duking it out for 39 matches (or however many there are in La Liga). No offence to the other Spanish teams, but watching El Clasico is something else and it just something you never get bored of because it’s always amazing, always full of energy and passion. I mean, I’ve never even heard of the Spanish Super Cup – it’s evidently a Spanish version of the Community Shield, but the way the two clubs went for it is indicative of how El Clasico is. It’s ruthless and it’s brilliant and it doesn’t matter what context they’re playing in, because they’re going to give it their all.