For now, Real Madrid remain the kings of Spain.
Los Blancos took out Barcelona by a score of 2-1 at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, pushing the aggregate to 4-4. Real Madrid took home the Spanish Super Cup victory due to road goals.
Madrid, with the help of some horrendous Barcelona gaffes in the back, absolutely owned the first 45 minutes—well, maybe the first 44. We'll get to that later.
Gonzalo Higuain got the scoring started in the 11th minute when Pepe fed him a long ball down the middle of the pitch. Javier Mascherano did an absolutely horrendous job dealing with it, leaving Higuain one-on-one with Victor Valdes for an easy finish.
Gift No. 1.
Eight minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo proved why he is Cristiano Ronaldo.
The talented forward received a long through ball, and with the help of some atrocious Gerard Pique defending, he was able to put an absolute marvelous backheel flick on the ball that left just the goalkeeper in front of him. Ronaldo finished it, although Valdes probably should have done better.
Gift No. 2, mixed with a little world-class Ronaldo magic.
As the half wore on, Real Madrid could have added more goals, especially after Adriano was booted with a red card in the 28th minute, but Barca barely held on.
Finally, in the 45th minute, Lionel Messi proved why he is Lionel Messi.
The left-footed magician took a free kick from about 30 yards out, curling it beautifully around the wall, leaving Iker Casillas absolutely helpless.
The scoring came to a standstill in the second half. Both squads had ample opportunities, but each keeper found a way to keep the ball out of the back of the net with terrific saves before Gonzalo Higuain squandered a fantastic chance in the 80th minute.
No worries, though, as Real Madrid were crowned champions.
Lionel Messi: A-
Messi's goal, which was already his sixth of the season, was absolutely world-class. A finish that you just don't see all that often.
Still, though, there were large spurts of the match when he had trouble making his usual impact, and he never really got a chance to make one of his typical menacing runs forward.
Cristiano Ronaldo: A
I felt like I was watching a YouTube highlight reel whenever Ronaldo touched the ball during this one.
The amount of brilliant touches, threatening passes and beautiful dribbles almost happened too often to count. To put it in perspective, his wonderful flick—which resulted in a goal despite a lackluster finish—might not even have been his best play.
It was classic Ronaldo, who continued his recent dominance of Barcelona.
Javier Mascherano/Gerard Pique: F
Not only did Mascherano and Pique both make terrible mistakes that led to goals, but they both earned their own yellow card.
The defending duo looked absolutely unprepared for Real Madrid's attack.