Best of friends
The number of Christmas cards travelling between the Nou Camp and Santiago Bernabéu looks set to remain at another all time low after a feisty Spanish Super Cup second leg.
August 18th, 2011
Cesc Fabregas’ debut and a brace from Lionel Messi were overshadowed by an injury time brawl and an apparent poke in the eye for Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova from a certain Jose Mourinho.
It was a foul by Real’s Marcelo on Fabregas that started the mêlée, which then led to the protagonist being given his marching orders, along with teammate Mesut Özil and Barca’s David Villa, who had already been substituted.
That brought the cards tally in meetings between these sides to 48 yellows and six reds since Mourinho arrived in Madrid.
In the end, despite Barca still looking rusty in comparison to Real, it was a late goal from Lionel Messi that secured a 5-4 aggregate victory for the European Champions to wrap up their third successive Supercopa.
Of course, Jose Mourinho deflected the blame and this time, it was the Catalan ball boys who were to at fault or Real’s slack defending.
“It was a spectacular game from the first to last minute,” he shrugged. “But from the first minute of the second half, and I don’t criticise it because I know people do it, the ball boys hid the balls.
“It happens with small teams when they find themselves in difficulties.”
Hiding the balls; those cheeky scamps!
He also suggested that the Barcelona coaching team should be able to take being poked in the eye like men, although he appeared unsure who it was that he actually went for.
“I have been polite and played like a man and not fallen to the ground at the first touch. I don’t know who Vilanova is,” added Barcelona’s favourite interpreter.
It was down to Gerard Pique to take the moral high ground, although his approach to extinguishing fires appears to involve the addition of fuel.
“Mourinho is destroying Spanish football,” he calmly and rationally suggested. “It’s not the first time and it’s always a number of players and the same ones so there has to be some way of stopping them,” he added, before pointing to teacher and sobbing “he started it”.
Here’s to a calm, friendly affair in four months time.