MADRID: Real Madrid and Barcelona drew 2-2 in the first-leg of the Spanish Supercup in front of 80,000 fans in Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu as the two bitter rivals kicked off the new season. Mesut Ozil gave Real a 13th-minute lead before David Villa and Lionel Messi put Barcelona ahead at the break. The Spanish and European champions then celebrated their interval advantage by announcing that they had finally agreed a deal with Arsenal to end their long-running pursuit of Cesc Fabregas. But Real took a little shine off the news when Xabi Alonso levelled nine minutes into the second half.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.