Barcelona vs. Real Madrid  3 - 2

Article

Ramos hopeful of overcoming deficit

24 August 2012 19:41

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos is hopeful his team can respond in the second leg of the Spanish Supercopa after their 3-2 first-leg defeat.

Real go into next week's match at the Santiago Bernabeu behind their Clasico rivals, but Angel Di Maria's late goal, aided by a mistake from Victor Valdes, leaves the trophy up for grabs.

"We went into the first leg not wanting to lose, we were disappointed with the first goal as it was always going to be difficult if they scored," Ramos said.

"I'm optimistic that in the second game we can remain calm and win."

Pepe, who missed the first leg, is expected to miss Real's Liga game against Getafe at the weekend, with Raul Albiol again expected to deputise.

Ramos spoke about the Portuguese defender's importance to the side, before declaring that Albiol is more than capable of replacing him.

"No-one doubts the importance of Pepe to the team, but we have great depth and Albiol is a great asset who can perform perfectly as a starter," he said.

Article

Iniesta calls for repeat effort

24 August 2012 17:37

Andres Iniesta says Barcelona must not lose focus in the second leg of the Supercopa against Real Madrid, despite a 3-2 first-leg win on Thursday.

Goals from Pedro, Lionel Messi and Xavi were enough to put Barca in the driving seat going into next week's return fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Iniesta, who was instrumental to Tito Vilanova's first Clasico win, said the team must remain focused for the second leg.

"It was a good game, and I'm happy that we managed to win," Iniesta said.

"But it is only half-time, now we have to go to the Bernabeu and play another 90 minutes."

With the return leg to be played next Wednesday, the Catalan giants may come to rue Victor Valdes' mistake five minutes from time, when the goalkeeper gifted a goal to Angel Di Maria.

Article

Mourinho sets priorities straight

22 August 2012 16:23

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho says he would much rather see his team defend their La Liga title than defeat arch-rivals Barcelona in the Supercopa.

Mourinho led Real to a 32nd top-flight crown last term, ending a three-year La Liga title drought for the Bernabeu club.

And the Portuguese made it clear that league glory takes priority ahead of the Supercopa, which Real lost to Barcelona last season.

"If I could, I would lose the Supercopa now and win La Liga. I would also give the Supercopa away if this provided extra motivation to win the league," Mourinho said.

"The Supercopa does not affect the championship. It has no influence on it simply because the competition is less important than the four competitions we will take part in during the season.

"It does not determine how the league season will unfold. I think that when rival clubs meet, they always want to win. For this reason, winning the Supercopa is important, even if it has no effect on the rest of the season."

Mourinho went on to speak about the personnel changes at Barcelona, and what effect they will have on the Catalan giants.

"Barcelona are a team with practically the same players as last season. They have the same style which they can change a little now that they have two new players," he said.

"There will be some small differences, but for me it is the usual Barcelona, a team with great quality, great players, but I do not see that much of a difference from recent seasons."

Real renew their rivalry with Barcelona in the Supercopa on Thursday at Camp Nou.

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 12 +35 30
2 12 +24 28
3 12 +11 26
4 12 +13 24
5 12 +3 23

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 12 +35 30
2 12 +24 28
3 12 +11 26
4 12 +13 24
5 12 +3 23