BARCELONA (Web Desk) Cristiano Ronaldo made a big impact in his truncated appearance at Camp Nou on Sunday, scoring a sensational goal before being sent off for a combination of his provocative celebration and for diving as Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 in an explosive Spanish Super Cup first leg,Ronaldo went on in the 58th minute and scored with a beautiful strike from outside the area to make it 2-1 in the 80th, earning a yellow card for taking off his shirt to flex his muscles at the Barca faithful as he mimicked Lionel Messi’s celebration at the Santiago Bernabeu in last April’s Clasico.
But that defiant pose turned into a petulant pout two minutes later when Ronaldo was booked again for diving in the area following contact with Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti.The World Player of the Year gave the referee a push in the back after seeing the red card that meant he will miss Wednesday’s return leg at the Bernabeu.Real coach Zinedine Zidane said that the club would consider appealing Ronaldo’s second booking to the Spanish football federation.
“We played a great match. What bothers me is the sending off of Cristiano,” Zidane said. “Maybe it wasn’t a penalty, but the card is a bit too much.“I am not going to play this down, we are happy with the result. But of course it is not over. We are going to enjoy this today, because it is something to enjoy, and tomorrow we will think about the game on Wednesday.”After Real went ahead in the 50th from an own-goal by Barca defender Gerard Pique, Messi equalised for Barca in the 77th from the penalty spot in the annual curtain raiser between the Liga champions and the Copa del Rey holders.
Messi was given the chance to take his Clasico goal record to 24 against Real when Luis Suarez was fouled by goalkeeper Keylor Navas.While Ronaldo’s goal was a blow, substitute Marco Asensio’s scorching strike from outside the area in the 90th minute with Real down to 10 men left Barca in a deep hole for the second leg as they failed to get the early season boost they needed from Neymar’s departure for Paris St Germain.“These games are like this, you switch off for one second and relax and loads of things happen, but I’m very happy with the game,” said Real captain Sergio Ramos. “We’re fighting for a trophy and this is an important step.”
Without Neymar, Barca struggled to find their rhythm going forward as Gerard Deulofeu failed to impress in the role alongside Messi and Luis Suarez up front.“It’s a very adverse result and we have to accept that they are the favourites now,” admitted new Barca boss Ernesto Valverde as his reign started in disappointment.“But we need to play the second game. Everything doesn’t just come to an end after one defeat.”Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets said: “A 3-1 defeat at home is very difficult to take; the tie seems very tough for us now but we’ll try and make a go of it, even though we’ve made it almost impossible for us.
“Whoever scores first in these games has a huge advantage, and Real did very well on the counter-attack.”The game exploded into life after the break, following an uncharacteristically quiet first 45 minutes.Real immediately upped a gear at the start of the second period and were rewarded with the opening goal in a manner that would have delighted most Real fans.Pique is often Madrid’s chief aggravator, but the Spanish international was left embarrassed as he turned Marcelo’s delivery into his own net.Barca suddenly woke up and were denied an equaliser due to a brilliant double save by Real goalkeeper Navas.
The Costa Rican was left fuming moments later though when he was adjudged to have brought down Suarez, with the Uruguayan appearing to dive to win the penalty.Messi levelled from the spot, scoring for the first time against Real at the Nou Camp since 2012, but he was soon upstaged at the other end by Ronaldo in stunning fashion as he cut inside Pique before curling into the top corner.And with Barca pushing forward, Real picked the hosts off on the counter-attack when Asensio blasted into the top corner from the edge of the box as the game entered stoppage time to all but assure they will lift the Super Cup for a 10th time.