Real Madrid blew away Barcelona in Sunday’s Supercopa first leg after a 3-1 victory at Camp Nou, which saw Cristiano Ronaldo score and see red.
The match exploded into life after the break as Gerard Pique’s own goal was followed by a controversial equaliser from the penalty spot. Ronaldo’s rocket then restored Madrid’s lead, and despite him being sent off for an apparent dive, Marco Asensio secured the win with a similar effort.
Gerard Deulofeu replaced Neymar on the left wing for the Blaugrana, who also started Aleix Vidal over Sergi Roberto and new boy Nelson Semedo at right-back.
Los Blancos, meanwhile, named Cristiano Ronaldo as a substitute for the second game running as they stuck with a 4-3-1-2 formation and Isco in the hole.
Luis Suarez’s early half-volley kept Keylor Navas on his toes, before Isco’s angled drive from the left hit Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s side-netting after he gave Vidal the run-around.
Dani Carvajal then came to Madrid’s rescue as he came across from out of nowhere to dispossess Suarez in a one-on-one with Keylor before he could pull the trigger.
Gareth Bale had only scored one goal in seven Clasicos, and he was close to adding to his tally when he drove the ball on target in Barca’s box, only for Ter Stegen to tip his effort over.
Just five minutes into the second half, however, Pique delivered a finish that Suarez would've been proud of – only in the wrong net – as he flung himself onto the end of Marcelo’s low cross from the left and poked it past Ter Stegen.
At the other end, Deulofeu fizzed a cross-shot towards the far post, but Messi couldn’t steer his sliding finish on target.
Benzema then left Pique on his backside with a deft stepover and squared the ball for Carvajal, but Alba managed to block the right-back’s shot on the line.
The right-back was lucky not to be punished after he was outjumped in the air by Suarez from a set-piece, but Keylor pushed the striker’s header over.
Barca were similarly unlucky to see a low cross into Madrid’s penalty area blocked by Raphael Varane, whose touch spun off-target and out for a corner.
Despite the Catalans’ impressive response, Madrid’s defence stood up to the pressure and Ronaldo didn’t take long to orchestrate their attacking play.
Indeed, the Portuguese had the ball in Ter Stegen's net from a diagonal, through ball, but he was adjudged offside by the slightest of margins.
Barca, however, should’ve equalised when Sergio Busquets dashed onto a loose ball in Madrid’s box but blazed over from a couple of yards out.
Nonetheless, they won a penalty when Messi’s shot deflected into the path of Suarez, who fell to the ground after a clash with Keylor. The contact may have been minimal, but it didn’t stop the No 10 from sending the spot-kick into the bottom-left corner.
Yet just three minutes later, Ronaldo led a Madrid breakaway and unleashed an unstoppable effort past Ter Stegen, before taking his shirt off in celebration for a first yellow card.
But in just as quick time, Ronaldo was sent off after he was alleged to have dived in Barca’s box– despite Samuel Umtiti being in hot pursuit – and pushed the referee for his second booking.
Barca tried their best to throw bodies forward in the final 10 minutes, but they were caught out again on the break towards the end as Asensio rifled home from just inside the box.
Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid
Messi 77 (B) Pique og 50, Ronaldo 80, sent off 82, Asensio 90 (RM)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Vidal, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic (Alcacer 83), Busquets, Iniesta (Sergi Roberto 68); Messi, Suarez, Deulofeu (Denis 59)
Real Madrid: Keylor; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kovacic (Asensio 68), Casemiro, Kroos; Isco; Bale (Vazquez 81), Benzema (Ronaldo 58)
Referee: De Burgos Bengoetxea