BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 23: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Super Cup first leg match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou on August 23, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona, Super Cup: Merengues Win On Away Goals

Goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as a red card to Adriano, led Madrid to a 2-1 home win against Barcelona. It was enough to win the Super Cup on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate draw.

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Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona, 2012 Spanish Super Cup: Adriano Sent Off For Barca

This is just going from bad to worse for Barcelona. And it's going pretty swimmingly for Real Madrid. The hosts nearly go 3-0 up only to see Sergio Ramos' headed goal end up ruled out for what looked like an imaginary foul on Gerard Pique. That doesn't matter much -- Madrid are so thoroughly in control that even Lionel Messi gets flustered, going in studs-up on Pepe. I didn't write that sentence backwards.

Aaand then there's a breakaway, with Ronaldo once again tearing through the centre. The only man nearby is right back Adriano, who was supposed to be playing on the left, and the fullback employs a rugby tackle to bring him down. Adriano's the last man back, and has to be sent off. So he is. Barcelona are down to ten men, and Sami Khedria nearly scores on the subsequent free kick, smashing a header straight at Victor Valdes. As things stand, it's 2-0 (4-3) to Real Madrid.

Alexis Sanchez is hauled off for Martin Montoya, by the way. Disastrous for Barca.


Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona, 2012 Spanish Super Cup: Ronaldo Doubles Madrid's Lead

Well Real Madrid will be feeling in a happier mood now. They're 2-0 up and leading 4-3 in the Spanish Super Cup after yet another defensive mistake from Barcelona. The hosts are playing well, smothering the Catalans' attacks and then hitting them incredibly hard on the counterattack, and they're reaping their rewards.

Another long ball over the top sees Cristiano Ronaldo isolated against Gerard Pique, and it looked as though the big defender would be able to get there first. But a slight deflection gave Ronaldo a chance, and he took it brilliantly, popping the ball way into the air with a backheel and racing past Pique. The Portuguese's second touch wasn't particularly great, which allowed Victor Valdes to get set, but the goalkeeper couldn't stop the blistering shot, and it was 2-0.

Then Gonzalo Higuain managed to get through the defence again, and Valdes is forced into yet another save. Good grief, Barcelona are getting torn apart here.


Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona, 2012 Spanish Super Cup: Higuain Opens Scoring

Oooh, that's a big save by Victor Valdes. The Barcelona goalkeeper made a catastrophic error in the first leg of the Super Cup, gifting Angel di Maria the goal that made it 3-2, but he's stonewalled Gonzalo Higuain here in the first chance of the match.

The Barcelona defence was uncharacteristically open, allowing a simply diagonal to find Higuain in the box. The Argentinian turned smartly, escaping his man and creating room to shoot, but his attempt to go across the goalkeeper was thwarted by a smart stop by Valdes, who came flying off his line to keep the score at 0-0.

Buuuuut he can't stop the second one. A simple ball over the top completely undoes Javier Mascherano, who makes a hilarious attempt at a clearance which completely fails to make contact. That allows Higuain to race through the middle and slot past Valdes. 1-0 Real Madrid, 3-3 on aggregate. Game on.


Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona, 2012 Spanish Super Cup: Game Underway; Dani Alves Absent

We're off and running in what is already our second Clasico of the 2012/13 season. Barcelona have the advantage in the second leg of the Super Cup, having beaten Real Madrid 3-2 at the Camp Nou, but it's still tight enough that the hosts have a real chance of winning this thing. That said, with one point from two games in the league, you wouldn't put much faith in Los Blancos overcoming Barcelona here.

Not a whole lot has gone on so far, although there is some team news to report -- Adriano was announced in the lineup but it's pretty clearly Jordi Alba starting in his place, with Adriano on the right. Dani Alves is the man absent; presumably the right back was injured in the warmup. The closest we've come to any real action is Alexis Sanchez claiming a penalty after getting a slight nudge from Marcelo as both contested a Pedro cross. The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona, 2012 Spanish Super Cup: Lineups

It looks like Carles Puyol has not recovered from the fractured cheekbone he suffered over the weekend -- there were rumours that the Barcelona captain would tough it out and play, but he doesn't even make the bench. For Real Madrid there is, unsurprisingly, no start for new midfielder Luka Modric. Instead, we get the standard double pivot of Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira, both of whom should probably try to play better than in their first leg of this tie. Gonzalo Higuain will start up front, while Raul Albiol is nowhere to be seen. Thank goodness.

And, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are both playing. That means you should probably watch this match.

Real Madrid starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Iker Casillas; Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Alvaro Arbeloa; Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira; Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Angel di Maria; Gonzalo Higuain.

FC Barcelona starting lineup (4-3-3): Victor Valdés; Adriano, Javier Mascherano, Gerard Pique, Dani Alves; Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta; Pedro, Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez.

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Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona, 2012 Spanish Super Cup: Game Time, Live Updates, TV Schedule, Streaming, And More

Real Madrid have not gotten their season off to a good start. They draw against Valencia and then were beaten by Getafe in the league, results which sandwiched a 3-2 reverse in the first leg of the Super Cup against Barcelona. Yes, this is a glorified friendly. But with everything going against the defending La Liga champions at the moment -- except, perhaps, the arrival of Luka Modric from Tottenham Hotspur -- you'd have to imagine that Jose Mourinho and company will want to send out a statement here.

Angel di Maria's late goal (read: Victor Valdes' incredible mistake) will have given the hosts belief that they have some hope of coming back from their first-leg deficit. Can they? We'll find out shortly. Here's how to watch the game:

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. ET, 10:30 p.m. local

Venue: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain

TV: ESPN Deportes (U.S.), Sky Sports 3 (U.K.), GolTV (Canada)

Streaming online: ESPN3

We'll have updates throughout the day and live coverage of the match in our Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, 2012 Spanish Super Cup StoryStream. For more on the Blaugrana, head over to FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes. For more on Los Blancos, check out Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid. For more from around the world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on twitter.

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