Valdes error keeps Madrid alive in Super Cup

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes erred to allow Real Madrid a late goal in the Super Cup.

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho. Picture: AFP

BARCELONA - An error from Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes allowed Real Madrid to grab a late second goal which kept them alive in the Spanish Super Cup.

Thursday's first leg ended 3-2.

Pedro, Lionel Messi from the penalty spot, and Xavi scored for holders Barca as they stormed back after Cristiano Ronaldo headed the opener in the 55th minute at the Nou Camp.

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.

Valdes is the starting point for much of Barca's possession play from the back and is well known for his accurate distribution with his feet.

"If he played it long all the time we wouldn't have the combination play we have," Vilanova added. "We will encourage him to carry on doing it."

The game had a muted opening, following the pattern of recent clashes, with Barca dominating possession and Real looking to steal the ball and break quickly.

Niggly fouls interrupted the flow and it was Messi who looked most likely to break the deadlock.

He fired just wide of the post twice but it was Pedro who forced the first save with a fierce shot that was tipped over by Iker Casillas in the 32nd.

The visitors came out stronger in the second half and the match burst into life when Ronaldo powered in a header from Mesut Ozil's corner, and celebrated by calling for the Nou Camp to go quiet.

The second leg is at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.