European Super Cup 2006/2007

An all Spanish tie in the European Supercup this year, with Champions League winners Barcelona taking on UEFA cup champions Sevilla in Monaco on 25th August. (19.06.06)

Barcelona 0 - Sevilla 3

Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Belletti, Puyol, Márquez, Sylvinho (Giuly 72'); Deco, Xavi (Iniesta 57'), Motta (Gudjohnsen 57'); Messi, Eto'o, Ronaldinho. 4-3-3.
Sevilla: Palop; Daniel Alves, Javi Navarro, Escudé, David; Jesús Navas (Maresca 76'), Renato, Poulsen, Adriano (Antonio Puerta 81'); Kanouté, Luis Fabiano (Martí 46'). 4-4-2.

0-1. 07. Renato. Following up after Valdés blocked shot from Luis Fabiano.
0-2. 45. Kanouté. Header up over Valdés after Navas headed ball back into area.
0-3. 90. Maresca (penalty). After Puyol brought down Antonio Puerta in area.

Sevilla are the surprise winners of the European Supercup after beating Barcelona 0-3. The European champions were strong favourites, especially after coming away from the previous day's ceremonies with awards for the best four outfield players in last season's Champions League competition (Puyol, best defender; Deco, best midfielder; Eto'o, best forward; and Ronaldinho, best player). But the festivities appeared to have distracted their interest and the Andalusians came out like lightning, Luis Fabiano and Escudé both testing Víctor Valdés in the first three minutes. And with only seven minutes on the clock Valdés could only push out an effort from Luis Fabiano, and Renato was there to roll the ball in to the empty net.

Sevilla kept up the pressure after that, Luis Fabiano in particular going close a couple of times. Other than a wayward Ronaldinho free kick Barcelona hardly approached their opponents goal until Eto'o broke through only to be blocked by Navas on the half hour mark, and Javi Navarro closed down Ronaldinho on another dangerous attack a few minutes later. Eto'o finally brought a first save out of Palop close to half time, but with the first half coming to an end Valdés could only punch out a corner, and Navas headed it back in to the area for Kanouté to head it over the top of the stranded keeper and in to the net.

Both managers had more or less stuck to the line ups which had won them their respective prizes last season, Poulsen the only new signing on the pitch at the beginning. The Danish midfielder had an excellent game, although he was guilty of dallying too long early in the second half allowing the defence to block his cross. Juande Ramos made his intentions clear when he took off a forward to bring on a third central midfielder at half time, and Rijkaard went for broke, Gudjohnsen and Iniesta replacing Motta and Xavi in a clearly attacking move. Gudjohnsen immediately brought two good saves out of Palop, but Sevilla could have increased their lead when Renato headed just wide of the post, and Valdés had to be at his best to keep out Adriano minutes later.

Barça were becoming frustrated though as a well ordered defence held their lines, and the addition of a fifth attacker Giuly only served to add one more body to an over-populated Sevilla half. Eto'o, Messi, Ronaldinho and Giuly all tried their luck as the clock ran down, but they were leaving gaps at the back and Navas could have scored on a rapid counterattackbefore Antonio Puerta got free and was brought down from behind in the area by Puyol. Maresca blasted home the resulting penalty to put the result beyond doubt, and Puerta should have added a fourth on another quick breakaway in the last minute, Valdés getting enough of a hand on his shot to stop it from entering the goal. The champions had been brought back to Earth, and Chelsea and many others were taking notes.

European Super Cup 2005/2006
European Super Cup 2004/2005
European Super Cup 2002/2003
European Super Cup 2000/2001
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