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Sevilla tame Barca to win Super Cup
August 26, 2006 09:59 IST
Sevilla produced a spirited display to outplay Barcelona 3-0 in a lively all-Spanish European Super Cup on Friday.
The UEFA Cup champions bravely raced forward from kickoff to tame the Champions League winners in the traditional European season curtain-raiser.
Brazilian midfielder Renato opened the scoring seven minutes into a surprisingly one-sided contest, following up after Barca keeper Victor Valdes had failed to block an effort by Luis Fabiano.
Mali forward Frederic Kanoute doubled the advantage with a header from a corner just before halftime.
Substitute midfielder Enzo Maresca wrapped it up from the penalty spot one minute from time after he was brought down in the box.
Sevilla, who demolished Middlesbrough 4-0 in the UEFA Cup final last May to win their first trophy in 58 years, were more aggressive than their prestigious opponents and bravely seized their chances.
"The team worked phenomenally hard," said Sevilla defender Daniel Alves, who was outstanding. "We know we have a team with great quality and we showed that we knew how to control the game and win it and claim another cup for the club."
Ronaldinho and company did thrill their fans on occasions with clever combinations but Barcelona were too passive and clumsy in front of goal on a warm, still night in the principality.
Barcelona were the clear favourites after crushing King's Cup holders Espanyol 3-0 at the Nou Camp last Sunday to win the domestic version of the Super Cup 4-0 on aggregate.
They then thrashed German champions Bayern Munich 4-0 in the Hans Gamper trophy on Tuesday and the air of confidence surrounding them was such that they probably took Sevilla too lightly.
The first chance in Friday's game was for Sevilla with a header by French defender Julien Escude on four minutes that failed to surprise Barca keeper Victor Valdes.
Sevilla threatened again shortly after opening the scoring with a diving header from Fabiano.
Barcelona hardly created a clear chance in the first 45 minutes.
Coach Frank Rijkaard's men looked slightly more dangerous after new signing Eidur Gudjohnsen came on in the second half. The Iceland striker came close to scoring with an angled effort from inside the box on 62 minutes.
Sevilla, however, remained in control until Maresca sealed a convincing victory in an electric atmosphere provided by the 18,500 Spanish fans packed into the tiny Monaco stadium.