Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Messi double devastates 10-man Real as Fabregas picks up trophy on debut

Lionel Messi carried on where he left off last season, scoring twice as Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-2 at the Nou Camp to win the Spanish Super Cup 5-4 on aggregate last night. Cesc Fabregas, Barça's new signing from Arsenal, came on for his debut late in the second half.

After their pulsating 2-2 draw in the first leg at the Bernabeu on Sunday, Andres Iniesta put the home side ahead in the 18th minute only for Cristiano Ronaldo to soon equalise. Messi scored from close range on the stroke of half time and despite greater Real pressure in the second 45 minutes that looked to be the winner until Karim Benzema bundled the ball home with eight minutes to go.

However Messi struck again in the 88th minute, playing Adriano down the line and racing to meet the Brazilian full-back's cross with a superbly controlled volley from just inside the penalty area.

Fabregas had come on in the 82nd minute and a terrible tackle on the midfielder from Marcelo saw the Real full-back get sent off in added time and provoked a mass confrontation in which Mesut Ozil and David Villa, who had both been substituted, were also shown red cards and Real's Jose Mourinho appeared to tweak the ear of one of the Barcelona coaches.