Real Madrid struck the first blow of the season against traditional rivals FC Barcelona when they registered a 3-1 victory in the first leg of the Spanish Supercup at the Camp Nou Stadium here.
Madrid were able to seal the win on Sunday night despite having star forward Cristiano Ronaldo sent off for two yellow cards after he had come on as a second half substitute and scored his side’s second goal, reports Xinhua news agency.
Barcelona started with Gerard Deulofeu in a nominal 4-3-3 formation, but with Leo Messi dropping deep to receive in midfield. Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema led the Madrid attack in a 4-4-2 formation with Ronaldo waiting his turn on the bench.
Both sides showed from the start they were looking to pressure their rivals off the ball and the opening minutes saw too many errors.
The first chance fell to Luis Suarez, who fired directly at Madrid keeper Keylor Navas while Messi curled a free kick over the crossbar.
A nice combination ended with Messi just being crowed out in the Madrid area. At the other end good work from Isco ended with Bale seeing Ter Stegen tip a shot over the bar.
Meanwhile, the typical derby tension was visible with Casemiro, shown a yellow card for a bad foul on Messi and he was followed into the book by Gerard Pique, Dani Carvajal, Bale and Messi himself.
Madrid took the lead four minutes after the break when Marcelo was allowed to overlap on the left and his cross was sliced into his own net by Pique when Ter Stegen would probably have claimed the ball with few problems.
Barca came close to equalizing soon afterwards when Messi was unable to finish Deulofeu’s low ball into the Madrid area. At the other end Carvajal saw a shot cleared off the line following a Madrid break which saw David Vidal left exposed.
Ronaldo replaced Benzema just before the hour. Denis Suarez came on for the erratic Deulofeu to give Barca an extra man in midfield as the home side looked to get back into the game.
Ter Stegen again saved Barca when he saved from Marcelo. Ronaldo, who had earlier volleyed wide over, saw a goal correctly ruled out for offside.
Busquets blazed over when he should have at least hit the target before Navas saved well from Messi, before being harshly penalized for a supposed foul on Luis Suarez, although TV replays showed there was little if any, contact. That didn’t both Messi, who leveled from the penalty spot with 14 minutes remaining.
The tie lasted only moments before Ronaldo put Madrid back in front with a powerful shot, only to be shown a yellow card for removing his shirt in the celebration; something which became significant when he was shown a second for what the referee considered to be a dive a few minutes later.
With only 10 men, Marcos Asensio made it 3-1 to Madrid in the last minute with a left foot shot which flashed past Stegen into the roof of the Barca net to give Madrid a hand on the trophy ahead of Wednesday’s return leg.