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Valdes howler keeps Real alive in Super Cup

August 25, 2012

BARCELONA, Aug 24: An embarrassing error from Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes allowed Real Madrid to grab a late second goal which kept them alive in the Spanish Super Cup, after Barcelona ran out 3-2 winners in Thursday’s first-leg.

The first meeting of the season between Spain’s top clubs provided more of the usual heated rivalry to match the scorching summer night.

Pedro Rodriguez, Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez had earlier scored second-half goals to give Barca a convincing lead after Cristiano Ronaldo had put Madrid ahead on 55 minutes.

With five minutes to go, however, Angel Di Maria pressured Valdes in his area as he controlled a backpass, stole the ball off him and scored while Barca’s defenders looked on aghast.

Real’s late goal took the shine off Tito Vilanova’s first ‘Clasico’ as coach since he stepped up from assistant to replace Pep Guardiola, but he was sanguine about the error.

“It’s a team game. Anyone can make a mistake, I don’t give the error any importance,” Vilanova told a news conference.

Real coach Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, questioned the legality of Barca’s first goal.

“Barca played well, especially in the first-half when they did not allow us to play, but in the second we were able to change our game a little.

It was a good game but their first goal was an error by the linesman and was offside,” he said.

The second-leg will be played in Madrid on Wednesday.—Agencies