FC Barcelona continued their fine history in the Spanish Super Cup when they clinched their 11th title in history despite playing a goalless draw against ten men Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou on Wednesday night.
It was a drama filled match as the referee of the day, Fernandez Borbalan, produced seven yellow-cards and two red-cards late in the second-half.
The 2012-2012 La Liga Champions won on the away goal rule after coming back from behind in the first leg at Estadio Vicente Calderon to end the match 1-1.
Lionel Messi had a chance to put the home side ahead with two minutes remaining in the match from the penalty spot, but the Argentine’s effort came off the cross bar.
Atletico Madrid, the last season’s Copa Del Rey champions, were dominating the match but they could not find the back of the net, thanks to some fine saves from Victor Valdez in both halves of the match.
FC Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino gave Neymar his official start alongside Lionel Messi upfront, but the pair of South Americans didn’t threaten that much in the match. The first chance of the match fell to the home side when Sergio Busquets found Lionel Messi in the box with a pin-point pass but Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis was able to cover.
After the opportunity, it was now Atletico Madrid’s turn going forward, the away side appealed for the red-card when Jordi Alba clipped Diego Costa in a clear goal scoring opportunity, but the lines man had already judged the Uruguayan attacker off-side.
Between the 25th minute and 35th minute, was forced to issue three yellow-cards in quick succession to Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas and Jorge Koke after the triple made reckless challenges.
Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdez was well positioned to deal with Koke’s well taken shot from the edge of the area with just ten minutes left before the break. But the Spain’s second choice keeper had to be at his best six minutes later to keep out Arda Turan’s shot from inside the area as the visitors pilled pressure on the host.
FC Barcelona also had a chance in the stroke of half-time but Alexis Sanchez could not keep his header down after rising high to connect with Lionel Messi’s inviting cross as both teams headed to the dressing rooms locked at 0-0.
The second –half started more of the same as the first-half, where both teams had a go at each other from the start, Victor Valdes was called into action again just ten minutes into the second-half when David Villa forced him to make a full stretch one hand save to push out his long range shot.
FC Barcelona pushed forward in a search of the opening goal and they were unlucky not to find one in the 66th minute when Naymar was picked in the far post by Dani Alves but the young Brazilian opted to pass when scoring looked easier.
Cesc Fabregas, who made a start ahead of Iniesta was pulled-off with eighteen minutes to go for the fan favourite Andres Iniesta. The away side suffered a blow in the 80th minute when their hard tackling defender Filipe Luis was dismissed after a clumsy challenge on Andres Iniesta even though the replay shows on TV that it was soft challenge.
The Red and Whites’ frustrations continued as they conceded a penalty after Joao Miranda brought down Pedro inside the box; only for Lionel Messi to rattle the cross-bar with Thibaut Courtois going the wrong way.
The referee finished the match with more drama as Arda Turan was sent off from the bench.
Barca then celebrated their first piece of silverware for the 2013-2014 season.