[BARCELONA-REAL MADRID]If Jose Mourinho thought Real Madrid would have better luck against Barcelona under Tito Vilanova than it did against Pep Guardiola, he was sadly mistaken as Barca won the first meeting of the year with the Merengues, 3-2, on Thursday in the first leg of the Spanish Supercopa that drew 91,728 fans at the Camp Nou Stadium.
In the previous two seasons, Barcelona and Real Madrid met 11 times with Barcelona winning on five occasions, four games ending in ties and Real Madrid prevailing only twice.
There was no confrontation between Vilanova, the former Barca assistant who took over as head coach following Guardiola's resignation in May, and Mourinho, who infamously poked Vilanova in the eye when Real Madrid and Barcelona tangled in the 2011 Supercopa.
Taking a new stance, Mourinho complimented Barca for how it disrupted his team's game plan in the first half.
But he could not help himself when he blasted referee Clos Gomez, saying Pedro was offside when the Barca winger evened the score one minute after Cristiano Ronaldo put the defending La Liga champions ahead in the 55th minute.
"I'm not surprised he would say that," said Vilanova, an old hand at Barca-Real Madrid clasicos.
Lionel Messi and Xavi put Barca ahead 3-1 with goals eight minutes apart, but a blunder by Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdesgifted Angel Di Maria a goal with five minutes to play.
"I would have preferred 3-1 to 3-2, but we played a good game," Vilanova said. "The series is in still in our favor, so generally we have to be happy."
The return game will be Thursday in Madrid.