Real beat Barca in Super Cup first leg

Carla Harmon
August 16, 2017

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta has been ruled out of the Spanish Super Cup second leg against Real Madrid on Wednesday (16 August) after sustaining a muscle injury in his right leg. Thomas Vermaelen and Rafinha Alcantara also remain on the sidelines while Arda Turan, Marlon Santos, Sergi Samper, Munir and Douglas have also been left out of Ernesto Valverde's 19-man squad due to technical reasons.

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With the fans in the Bernabeu looking to rub salt into Barca's wounds, Valverde will want to see his side show some personality to try and go into the league season on a positive note. "With Neymar leaving we need, above all, attacking players".

"Those who come will be welcome".

The "BBC", as they are known, blew hot and cold last season and it was when Madrid switched to a 4-4-2 with Isco in the middle of the park that their season really took off. Isco is another creative genius Zidane can call on and he can expect much more game time this season, as can Marcos Asensio. Denis Suarez came on for the erratic Deulofeu to give Barca an extra man in midfield as the home side looked to get back into the game.

"We don't need new signings because of the result, but because we have to renew the squad", he said, according to Sport.

However, it is obvious Barcelona have problems: the departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain was a kick in the guts for the club; both in terms of loss of talent, but also in terms of confidence that as a club they are now vulnerable.

While Real Madrid have built intelligently over the past seasons, constructing a balanced squad with a base in youth, Barcelona have allowed key players (Xavi, Dani Alves and Neymar) to leave, others to grow old (Andres Iniesta, Javier Mascherano and even Geard Pique and Sergio Busquets) and have not done enough to renovate their squad. It was an even game and they had a strong central midfield, which made playing inside hard.

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