AC Milan win European Super Cup

AC Milan beat Sevilla 3-1 on Friday for its fifth European Super Cup.

updated: September 02, 2007 14:05 IST
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Monte Carlo:

Filippo Inzaghi scored in a continental final for the second time in three months, getting the equalizer and enabling AC Milan to beat Sevilla 3-1 on Friday for its fifth European Super Cup.

Inzaghi's goal in the 55th minute negated Renato's tally in the 14th for UEFA Cup champion Sevilla. Marek Jankulovski scored the eventual winner and a late Kaka goal sealed victory for Milan, the European Champions League winner.

Inzaghi scored both goals when Milan defeated Liverpool 2-1 in May to win its seventh European Cup.

"Inzaghi lives for these matches," Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "This is the first time he has played from the kickoff in the Super Cup and he was really ready to play."

Sevilla coach Juande Ramos conceded Milan were the better team overall.

"The second half was too much for us. In the first half we did our all to stop Milan and I think we played well for an hour," Ramos said. "The second goal was a very good shot and that opened the game for them. We did our best, but to lose a final to a team like Milan is no shame."

Both teams and match officials wore black armbands in memory of Antonio Puerta, the 22-year-old Sevilla midfielder who collapsed on the field during Saturday's Spanish league match against Getafe, and died three days later in a hospital after suffering multiple cardiac arrests.

"We wanted to win to dedicate the game to Antonio (Puerta), but we at least played well," Ramos said.

Players from both teams wore Puerta's name on their jerseys underneath their shirt numbers, and a minute's silence was observed while flags at Stade Louis II were flown at half staff.

Milan fans chanted Puerta's name and draped a banner reading "Onore a Puerta" (Honor to Puerta) from their end of the stadium. Sevilla's section featured several banners in homage to him. One simply read "Puerta, 16", honoring the player's name and uniform number.

"What has happened in the last few days with the death of Puerta created a unique atmosphere for this game," Ancelotti said. "Obviously Sevilla were more affected by that than us, but they played well."

After Renato headed in Duda's corner in the 14th, he kissed his hand and pointed to the sky while his teammates surrounded him and Sevilla fans chanted Puerta's name.

Missed chances

Sevilla missed another scoring opportunity in the 26th when Frederic Kanoute rounded goalkeeper Dida and sent the ball across to Renato, but his shot from 10 meters was cleared off the line by Italy defender Alessandro Nesta.

Five minutes later, Nesta flicked on a corner at the other end, and Clarence Seedorf headed over the crossbar.

Seconds before the interval, Inzaghi appeared to score but his strike was ruled offside.

He enjoyed better luck 10 minutes after halftime when he headed Gennaro Gattuso's well weighted cross from the right into an empty net, with Sevilla goalkeeper Andres Palop stranded.

The goal prompted an excited reaction from Gattuso, who rushed to the Milan bench and pushed coach Carlo Ancelotti in the face with both hands.

Milan went ahead on Andrea Pirlo's long pass from midfield to Jankulovski, who shot quickly into bottom corner.

Kaka completed the scoring in the 87th after he was tripped in the penalty area. Palop blocked the Brazil midfielder's ensuing penalty, but the ball rebounded off the goalkeeper's face and Kaka headed in the loose ball.

Milan last won the Super Cup in 2003. The others were in 1989, 1990, 1994.