Barcelona 3-2 Real Madrid

The Supercup shall be decided at the Santiago Bernabeu. Next Wednesday, the Madrid fans will witness how the first title of the season is decided after an entertaining first leg of the Supercup. Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the first Madrid player to score for the fourth game in a row at the Camp Nou, put the team ahead with a header in minute 55. One minute later, Pedro, who was offside, equalised. Messi, who scored from a penalty resulting from a foul committed by Ramos on Iniesta, and Xavi made the match difficult for Real Madrid, but this team never surrenders; it comes with putting on the Madrid shirt and is part of its philosophy and with five minutes remaining in the clash Casillas and Di María played an important part in the final result. A lesson on how to react on in one-on-one situations by the goalkeeper against Messi and then the Argentine’s persistence and the serious mistake by the Barcelona goalkeeper did the rest. ‘El Fideo’ picked Valdes’ pocket, who was attempting to beat the Argentine, leaving the first title of the season to be decided in Madrid.

Real Madrid demonstrated in the first half that it is able to adapt to all types of situations. Barcelona, the home team, dominated possession and the Whites, well aware of the fact that they likely have the best counterattack in the world, pressuring the home team’s passing and awaiting their opportunity. The first fifteen minutes of the match passed with no apparent danger, with both teams making their intentions known.

The first chance fell to Barcelona, although they had to wait 28 minutes; a through ball from Alves to Messi, two metres from the penalty spot, who shot wide from in front of goal. The Argentine could have put his team ahead again ten minutes later, but his solo effort ended in the same fashion as his previous shot, wide of the goal protected by Casillas.

Real Madrid demonstrated maturity and defensive solidity. Their display on the turf at the Camp Nou saw reward at the half-hour mark when a counterattack started by Cristiano Ronaldo, continued by Özil and then Callejón was almost completed by Benzema whose through ball was cleared by Mascherano for a corner when CR7 was waiting to finish the move. Two shots from the home side from the edge of the area, one of which was on target, the first in the game, brought the first half to an end. There had been few chances for both teams, two yellow cards for Real Madrid (Alonso and Arbeloa) and one for the home side (Mascherano).

Five goals in a crazy second half and several chances for both teams
The match did not take long to change entirely. Ten minutes was all Cristiano Ronaldo required to make the most of an Özil corner and put his team ahead with a header. The Portuguese player stole into the box to get ahead of Busquets and scored, ecstatic to be scoring once again at theCamp Nou. By scoring the goal, CR7 becomes the only player in the club’s history to score for the fourth game in a row against Barcelona.

The away side’s joy was short-lived. A long pass from Mascherano from the halfway line was met by Pedro, who beat Casillas with a shot across goal. The goal, which was scored from an offside position, equalised a clash that was starting to liven up due to the clear opportunities created by both sides. Mourinho, aware of the impact of the goal, wanted to give his team more speed and cutting edge up front. Higuaín replaced Benzema, exhausted from all his work, in minute 60. Four minutes later, the Argentine’s move arrived at the feet of Callejón, who shot wide from the edge of the area. The Real Madrid youth team player was replaced by Di María in minute 65’.

The match was wide open, entertaining, but the balance was tipped in Barcelona’s favour with the penalty awarded to Barcelona for the foul committed by Ramos on Iniesta in minute 69. Messi took the penalty and put his team ahead, and eight minutes later they scored the third in a move started by Iniesta and finished Xavi, beating Casillas in a one-on-one.

It appeared that the match was drawing to a close, but this Real Madrid team never surrenders; it comes with putting on the Madrid shirt and is part of its philosophy and with five minutes remaining in the clash Casillas and Di María played an important part in the final result. An unbelievable stop by the Real Madrid captain in a one-on-one with Messi and Adriano beat Di María in the counterattack, passed the ball to Valdés in the home side’s goal and in an attempt to dribble past the Argentine, lost the ball to Di María, who slotted the ball into the goal calmly to silence the Camp Nou. 3-2 was the final result and leaves the title to be decided at the Santiago Bernabeu. Next Wednesday, the Madrid fans will witness how the first title of the season is decided. (source: realmadrid.com – Alberto Navarro)

55′ [0 – 1] C. Ronaldo
56′ [1 – 1] P. Rodriguez
70′ [2 – 1] L. Messi (pen.)
77′ [3 – 1] X. Hernandez
85′ [3 – 2] A.D. Maria

Maicon in Premier League link

Maicon has been at Inter since 2006 and won the UEFA Champions League with the club under Jose Mourinho two years ago.

Mourinho, now at Real Madrid, is believed to be one of the managers now interested in signing the 31-year-old Brazil international.

But the player’s agent Roberto Calenda claims another former Inter boss, Roberto Mancini, is also willing to move for the full-back.

He told calciomercato.com: “There is interest from Manchester City, Real Madrid and Chelsea in the player, while there are no possibilities that he goes to AC Milan and Juventus.

“But the player could also stay at Inter.”

Calenda later admitted there had been no progress on any deal, telling fcinternews.it when asked about negotiations with City: “There is no news.”

Reds set to sign Sahin

Real Madrid are willing to send the Turkey international out on loan and he looked destined to link up with Liverpool’s Premier League rivals, Arsenal, earlier this week.

But it is believed the Gunners wanted to make it a permanent move and the 23-year-old was only willing to leave the Bernabeu on loan.

Now Rodgers, who worked with Real boss Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, believes a deal is imminent for Sahin to go on loan to Anfield instead.

“Hopefully in the next 24 hours we will get some confirmation on that,” said the Liverpool manager after his side’s Europa League win at Hearts.

“It’s quite far along. He’s a very good footballer.”

Modric 'close' to Real switch

The 26-year-old has been chased by the Primera Liga champions for most of the summer and a deal appears imminent.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had steadfastly refused to sell the Croatia international unless their valuation is met.

Levy turned down a reported £40million bid last summer from Chelsea, who had elevated the playmaker to their number one target.

Information

It appears Tottenham will now accept a reduced fee for the former Dinamo Zagreb starlet who seems intent on leaving White Hart Lane.

“You read many things in the media but from the information that I have, Luka will move to Real Madrid for sure,” Mamic told 24sata.

“I’ve heard it’s almost done, so I don’t have any doubts Luka will play for Real Madrid next season.

“It is just a question of when the official announcement will be.”

Sahin set for Prem switch

The Turkey international is among those Real are prepared to move out this summer in an effort to get important minutes under their belt.

With competition for places fierce at Santiago Bernabeu, especially in forward-thinking positions, the likes of Sahin are likely to find themselves on the fringes of the first-team fold.

Mourinho accepts as much as he is prepared to sanction loan moves which could prove beneficial to Real in the long run.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are all reported to be keen on offering Sahin a shot at the English top flight, with the Gunners believed to be leading the chase.

Characteristics

Former Chelsea boss Mourinho feels a spell in England will help to develop the 23-year-old’s game, but he is refusing to be drawn into a debate as to where Sahin may end up.

“It can teach him particular characteristics of play that he doesn’t have at the moment,” said the Portuguese tactician.

“I couldn’t care less if he goes to Arsenal, or Liverpool or Tottenham. I have no preference.”

While Sahin would appear to be heading for an imminent exit, Real are struggling to find a taker for former World Player of the Year Kaka – with the Brazilian playmaker another in need of a move if he is to take in regular game time in 2012/13.

“With Nuri we have proposals on the table, but we have no official proposals for Kaka,” said Mourinho.

QPR agree Carvalho deal

The 34-year-old has fallen out of favour at Primera Liga champions Real and will be allowed to move on in search of regular football.

Carvalho was omitted from the Real squad which toured the United States this summer, sparking speculation that he could be on his way out of the club.

A return to England, where he has previously taken in a successful spell with Chelsea, was quickly mooted.

Experience

Tottenham were said to be keen on the experienced centre-half, who won three Premier League titles during a six-year stint at Stamford Bridge.

It is, however, QPR who have leapt to the front of the queue in the battle to bring Carvalho back to London.

Mark Hughes has made the acquisition of defensive reinforcements a top priority, having seen his side open the new season with a 5-0 home defeat by Swansea.

A deal for Spurs’ England international Michael Dawson is believed to be close to completion and he could be joined at the heart of Rangers’ back four by Carvalho.

Gunners close to Sahin deal

The Gunners have wanted to sign the former Borussia Dortmund star on loan and stepped up their interest after Monday’s sale of Alex Song to Barcelona.

An agreement has now been reached between Arsenal and Real and the move could happen before the weekend if Sahin wants to make the switch to Emirates Stadium.

Liverpool had also been linked with 23-year-old Turkey international but Arsene Wenger’s Gunners have always been favourites.

Classy midfielder Sahin has struggled at Real since arriving in 2011 but could be considered the final piece of Arsenal’s summer redesign, which has seen significant changes in personnel in London.

Former captain Robin van Persie was sold to Manchester United, while Song has joined Real’s Spanish rivals, Barcelona, among the reshuffle.

But Wenger, who came in for criticism in Saturday’s season-opening 0-0 draw with Sunderland, has also brought in Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla.

Cirigliano rubbishes rumours

The 20-year-old midfielder is among the most highly-rated prospects in South American football.

Inevitably, a number of eye-catching displays have seen him linked with a move to Europe.

Heavyweights from England and Spain are said to have Cirigliano in their sights, but the youngster insists no official approaches have been made to his current employers River Plate.

Agreement

“I don’t know where the information comes from,” he told devotoradio.com.ar.

“First I heard that it was Manchester City, then Manchester United that were interested in me, but there has never been any proposal.

“I also heard that I was wanted in Spanish football, even that I had an agreement in place with Real Madrid, but that isn’t true.

“I want to stay in Argentina and at River.”

Mourinho must feel wanted

The self-styled ‘Special One’ is currently overseeing events at Spanish giants Real Madrid, a side he guided to Primera Liga glory in 2011/12.

Mourinho is, however, always open to new challenges and refuses to keep the exit door at Santiago Bernabeu locked.

Reports continue to suggest that he will soon be on his way back to England, where he has previously taken in a successful stint with Chelsea.

The Portuguese tactician is the strong favourite to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, whenever the veteran Scot decides to call it a day.

Mourinho concedes that he could be enticed back to the Premier League, but has made it clear that it would take a special offer to lure him away from Real.

“I will go where people really want me and, when that moment arrives, they show me they really want me,” he said.

Understand

“I will go where people really want me and, when that moment arrives, they show me they really want me.”

He added: “I want one day to be back in English football, yes. I always said that.”

That does not extend to taking charge of the England team, however.

Insisting he was enjoying day-to-day management too much at present to entertain an international job, he said: “I will do it with Portugal because I think Portuguese people wouldn’t understand if I do it with another country.

“Because of feelings you have with some people, with some other countries, you could do it with your heart too.

“But, I don’t imagine myself in the World Cup playing against Portugal.”

Gala eyeing Kaka and Zarate

Real have hinted they would be willing to part ways with Brazil international Kaka this summer, with the 30-year-old having struggled to make an impact in Spain following his prolific spell with AC Milan in Serie A.

The Rossoneri have been linked with a reunion with their former star but have said a deal is unlikely due to financial restraints.

Kaka, who has also been linked with a loan move to Manchester United, has now caught the eye of Turkish giants Galatasaray and chairman Unal Aysal says the club are determined to lure the midfielder to the Turk Telekom Arena.

Undecided

Aysal told Haber7.com: “We will try to do everything possible to bring Kaka to our team.

“He is still undecided whether or not to remain at Real Madrid. It won’t be easy to convince him (to come to Galatasaray), but we’ll keep trying.”

Meanwhile, the chairman is feeling positive over the possible signing of Lazio forward Zarate, who spent last season on loan at Inter Milan and previously had a loan spell at Birmingham.

He added of the Argentinian: “Zarate seems closer to us. We want to reduce the SS Lazio’s demand for €12 million, which is too much for us.”

Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim says he would be happy with both reinforcements to his squad.

He added: “I gave my approval for Kaka and Zarate. Their transfers would both be welcome.”