For 180 minutes plus most of stoppage time. the 2011 Spanish Supercup was a wonderful display of football and, by the admittedly low standards of El Clasico, a pretty decent display of sportsmanship. Unfortunately, Marcelo had to shift the story away from the football and towards his horror challenge on Cesc Fabregas that incited a massive brawl and saw three players sent off, one of them being Marcelo himself. His atrocious challenge shouldn't take away from the brilliance of Lionel Messi, though, who was unbelievable on Wednesday night as Barcelona won 3-2, capturing the Supercopa 5-4 on aggregate.
The first half was absolutely riveting, with both teams scoring impressive goals and picking up where they left off on Sunday afternoon. The opener was scored by Andres Iniesta, assisted by Lionel Messi, on a fantastic chipped finish following a through ball and some terrible defending. Madrid equalized quickly through Cristiano Ronaldo, who tapped in a Karim Benzema cross.
It looked like the first half would end with the score level until the 45th minute, when Messi and Gerard Pique combined for a brilliant go-ahead goal. In the penalty area, the pair played a quick one-two with Pique receiving the ball and playing a backheel to Messi, who finished with a chip over Iker Casillas.
Madrid were on the front foot for most of the second half, but failed to break down the door over and over again. Benzema and Sergio Ramos both had clear headers off of corner kicks, but both missed badly on what should have been sure goals. Eventually, in the 81st minute, Madrid found their equalizer on a corner. Following a serious scramble that resulted in three or four half chances, the ball eventually fell to the feet of Benzema who finished calmly, drawing the series even at 4-4.
Messi would have the last laugh, though, scoring a brilliant winner in the 88th minute off of a spectacular volley. Had any other player scored it, they would be proclaimed a newly christened hero and legend of world football. However, Lionel Messi scored it, so he's just Lionel Messi.
For all of our updates from the second leg of the 2011 Spanish Supercup, check out this StoryStream. For more on Real Madrid, check out Managing Madrid. For more on FC Barcelona, check out Barca Blaugranes.