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Pirlo lights up saddest night

AC Milan's Andrea Pirlo described the 3-1 UEFA Super Cup victory against Sevilla FC as his "saddest final" despite pulling the strings in a brilliant performance.

Andrea Pirlo felt AC Milan paid their respect to Antonio Puerta by producing a terrific second-half display – none better than from the Italy midfielder – to defeat Sevilla FC 3-1 in the UEFA Super Cup.

Sevilla, spurred by their desire to retain this crown for their team-mate, made a fine start at the Stade Louis II and took the lead through Renato's 14th-minute header. It was a different Milan which emerged for the second half, though, as Pirlo pulled the strings from deep to orchestrate a comeback which reaped goals for Filippo Inzaghi and Kaká either side of a Marek Jankulovski volley which owed itself as much to Pirlo's sublime pass as the Czech's delightful finish. "It was a decent pass," said the 28-year-old humbly, "but the goal was all about the strike."

Mixed emotions
Pirlo picked up the Carlsberg Man of the Match award as well as a winners' medal, although his performance was overshadowed by the occasion. "I think it was probably my best performance in a final," he said. "I've played well in other finals but they’re always great events and it was wonderful to win. It was my saddest final, too. It was difficult to face up to the situation but we proved that we also played for [Puerta] and did it in the best possible spirit."