Things got off to a fast start in the 1st minute as Cristiano Ronaldo was brought down by Gerard Piqué just outside the Barcelona box. Piqué came across the midfielder late, he knew exactly what he was doing, and the referee showed the Barca defender a yellow card. Ronaldo put the subsequent free kick on target but José Manuel Pinto was up to the task and parried away his curling shot.
Another close call in the 9th minute for Barcelona when Michael Essien put a cross in to the box that was slighly deflected by Jordi Alba. Pinto took no chances and pushed the ball over his crossbar for a corner. Madrid were unable to take advantage of the set piece and Barca cleared the danger.
The Blaugrana answered the pressure a minute later as Lionel Messi and Cesc Fàbregas combined for a celver one-two in the Madrid box that ended with Messi alone in front of Diego López. His shot went in to the side netting but the linesman's flag was up on the play.