Barcelona 2 Porto 0: Fàbregas fires Barça to Super Cup glory

Barça new-boy sealed his second piece of silverware with Catalan club after they beat Porto in Monaco

UEFA SUPER CUP, 26 AUGUST 2011, STADE LOUIS II
team1
Barcelona
2 - 0
team2
Porto

Cesc Fàbregas 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 Guarín error to put Barça ahead just before half-time.

Porto had Rolando and Guarín sent off late on before Fàbregas 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 Barça’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 Nicolás Otamendi. The switch seemed to do the trick.

The 24-year-old gave Barça the lead in the 39th minute after Guarín 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.

Guarín 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 Fàbregas 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 Fàbregas.

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 Fàbregas 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 Barça fans.

The frustration appeared to get to Guarín 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 Fàbregas added another medal to his new collection.

Barcelona: Valdés, Adriano (Busquets 62), Abidal, Mascherano, Alves, Keita, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Pedro (Fàbregas 79), Villa (Sánchez 60).

Porto: Helton, Fucile, Otamendi, Rolando, Sapunaru, Souza (Fernando 76), Moutinho, Guarín, Cristian Rodríguez (Varela 68), Hulk, Kléber (Belluschi 76).

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands)

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