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PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Barça and Porto lived up to expectations with a quality game in Monaco tonight, with the European Champions taking their second title of the season as they repeated their 2009 success to take the European Super Cup.

The game saw Leo Messi score his first goal in the European Super Cup, which means he's now scored in every competition, as well as summer signing Cesc Fabregas get his debut goal for the team in just his second appearance.

It's been a great start to the season so far, with two the first two titles on offer both won as the team set out on what could be another legendary campaign.

Porto pressure

Both teams started well, as Barça worked hard to escape the pressure in midfield from the Porto players, which brought about some uncharacteristic loss of possession, as they found it hard to bring the ball out under control. A Hulk free kick and another effort from Moutinho gave Valdes some early work, whilst at the other end, Pedro missed a great chance as he tried to chip the keeper, only for his attempt to go just over.

Messi makes the most of Porto gaffe

Barça gradually began to impose their passing style on the game though, with Xavi directing play and Iniesta and Messi both looking lively and after a good move down the left involving Villa and Adriano, Xavi fired in a rising shot that Helton just tipped over. A minute later, Barça were ahead when a misplaced back pass set up Messi, who shimmied past the keeper to slot home and send Barça in one up at the break .

Control

The rhythm of the game dropped in the second half and Barça found it easier to combine and lift the Portuguese pressure, though it was Porto who had the best chances early on after the break, with Guarin firing in a fierce shot that Valdes did well to stop. For Barça, Villa saw a chance saved by Helton as both keepers showed their class.

Cesc off the mark

Guardiola made two changes on the hour mark, bringing in Alexis for Villa on the left, whilst in the centre of defence Busquets replaced Abidal, who moved out left instead of the limping Adriano. The team took a while to get used to the shift at the back and Porto nearly took advantage to draw level before order was restored and Barça again took control with a number of dangerous counter attacks.

In one of the breaks, Messi brought about a second yellow for Rolando and his sending off proved a body blow for Porto, with Cesc, who'd just come on, almost immediately getting the second after a sublime assist from Messi. Guarin then left his team with nine men after a bad foul and Barça played out the final minutes before claiming yet another title.

The goals

1-0, Messi (min 38)
2-0, Cesc (min 87)

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