Barcelona 2 Porto 0: FÃ bregas fires BarÃ§a to Super Cup glory
BarÃ§a new-boy sealed his second piece of silverware with Catalan club after they beat Porto in Monaco
Cesc FÃ bregas smashed home his first goal for Barcelona as the Spanish champions outplayed Porto to win the Uefa Super Cup in Monaco.
The 24-year-old midfielder’s brilliant 88th-minute volley helped secured the Catalan club’s second trophy of the season after Lionel Messi had capitalised on a Fredy GuarÃn error to put BarÃ§a ahead just before half-time.
Porto had Rolando and GuarÃn sent off late on before FÃ bregas lifted his second trophy since sealing his move to the Camp Nou earlier this month.
The Portuguese champions had started brightly on a muggy night in the Med, closing the Champions League holders down and putting them under pressure from the off.
But the first real opening fell to the Spanish champions when Andrés Iniesta’s lofted pass found Pedro, whose instinctive lobbed effort dropped onto the roof of the net.
Moments later Porto’s Hulk fired a rasping low left-footed shot fizzing just wide of Victor Valdés’s far post.
Newly-crowned European player of the year Messi then embarked on a mazy run through the Portuguese champions’ defence ““ but the Argentine just over-hit his pass to David Villa.
Iniesta was in superb form throughout for the Azulgrana, the Spain international effortlessly pulling the strings from the heart of BarÃ§a’s midfield.
Mid-way through the first half, Messi signalled to the bench that he needed to change his boots after a collision with Porto centre-half NicolÃ¡s Otamendi. The switch seemed to do the trick.
The 24-year-old gave BarÃ§a the lead in the 39th minute after GuarÃn played a catastrophic backpass straight into the Argentine’s path.
With only Helton to beat, the majestic forward effortlessly danced past the Porto goalkeeper before slotting the inevitable finish into the bottom corner.
GuarÃn looked to make amends for his costly error after the break with a thunderous drive from 35 yards which was pushed round the post by an out-stretched Valdés.
Despite their slender lead, Barcelona perhaps did not look as comfortable as Pep Guardiola may have hoped, and he opted to throw new signing FÃ bregas into the mix with 10 minutes to play.
Porto’s Rolando was shown a second yellow card five minutes from time for bringing down Messi as the Argentine looked to hold up the play for the arriving FÃ bregas.
The Barcelona new-boy looked distraught as the opportunity to burst through on goal was stolen from him ““ but he took his second chance moments later.
After 88 minutes Messi found FÃ bregas in acres of space in front of goal with a cross from the right-wing. The former Arsenal captain took a touch before smashing a sublime strike into the roof of the net in front of the BarÃ§a fans.
The frustration appeared to get to GuarÃn as he hacked down Javier Mascherano in stoppage time, leaving referee Bjorn Kuipers with no choice but to dismiss him.
The man in black from the Netherlands blew the whistle moments later, leaving the raucous Barcelona fans to celebrate wildly in Monaco as FÃ bregas added another medal to his new collection.
Barcelona: Valdés, Adriano (Busquets 62), Abidal, Mascherano, Alves, Keita, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Pedro (FÃ bregas 79), Villa (SÃ¡nchez 60).
Porto: Helton, Fucile, Otamendi, Rolando, Sapunaru, Souza (Fernando 76), Moutinho, GuarÃn, Cristian RodrÃguez (Varela 68), Hulk, Kléber (Belluschi 76).
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands)