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Sevilla win big in Monaco

FC Barcelona 0-3 Sevilla FC
Sevilla followed up their triumph in Eindhoven with another superb display to win the UEFA Super Cup.

Sevilla FC became the third Spanish side to win the UEFA Super Cup as first-half goals from Renato and Frédéric Kanouté, together with a late penalty from substitute Enzo Maresca, earned a fine victory in the all-Iberian affair against FC Barcelona in Monaco.

Solid Sevilla
The UEFA Cup winners were rarely troubled at the Stade Louis II once Brazilian midfielder Renato had opened the scoring from close range in the seventh minute. After Kanouté had headed a second on the stroke of half-time, a second European trophy in four months was within Sevilla's grasp, something which was confirmed when Maresca rounded off proceedings by smashing in a penalty in the final minute. Barça had their opportunities but the UEFA Champions League holders - twice winners of this competition in the 1990s - were unable to break down a well-drilled Sevilla defence.

Renato opener
Sevilla began at breakneck speed, with Victor Valdés called upon to keep out a long-range effort from Luis Fabiano inside the first minute and then saving Julien Escudé's diving header from Renato's right-wing free-kick as the Sevilla centre-back escaped the attentions of Rafael Márquez. The Barcelona goalkeeper was then equally alert as he raced from his line to block Luis Fabiano's shot after Renato had lifted a clever pass over the defence but, unfortunately for Valdés, the rebound fell perfectly for Renato who guided the ball into an unguarded net.

Kanouté strikes
Unsurprisingly Sevilla eased up slightly after going in front, allowing Barcelona the majority of their possession and the Spanish champions steadily pushed back their opponents without really threatening an equaliser. Samuel Eto'o and Ronaldinho both had brief glimpses of goal while at the other end Daniel Alves twice came close to setting Luis Fabiano clear. Just as Barça looked to be building up a head of steam, however, Sevilla doubled their advantage; Valdés punched away a left-wing corner only for Jesús Navas to quickly return the ball into the area with a powerful header giving Kanouté the opportunity to nod Sevilla's second over the stranded goalkeeper. There was barely time for the restart.

Sevilla hold firm
Barcelona continued to struggle to break down a disciplined Sevilla rearguard in the second half, although substitute Eidur Gudjohnsen had two presentable opportunities shortly after his introduction, and instead it was Sevilla who came closest to another goal. Escudé's clever chip found Kanouté inside the penalty area and the Frenchman unselfishly opted to head the ball square for Renato who bravely nodded past the onrushing Valdés only to see his effort clip the outside of the left-hand post. Valdés then saved from Jesús Navas and Adriano, but Sevilla's night was complete in the final minutes as Carles Puyol pulled down Antonio Puerta and Maresca crowned an exceptional team performance from the spot.