Barca just keep on winning
Fabregas claims his second trophy in 10 days with Barca
Last Updated: August 27, 2011 9:01am
Barcelona celebrate at the end of another productive evening
Lionel Messi scored one and set up another as Barcelona beat nine-man Porto to claim the European Super Cup.
Messi made the most of a sloppy back pass from Fredy Guarin as he rounded Porto 'keeper Helton to slot home in his customary ice cool fashion.
But it was not until two minutes from time that substitute Cesc Fabregas notched the clinching goal when he controlled a pass from Messi to volley home.
Porto had two players sent off to blot their copybook in what was an encouraging performance from them.
Rolando was sent off for a second bookable offence on Messi, while Guarin's miserable evening was compounded when he was shown a straight red four minutes later.
The presence of Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez on the bench served to highlight that the best team in the world are now, frighteningly, even stronger than last season.
Yet it had been an uncomfortable start as Barca initially struggled to reach their own high standards. The often-criticised pitch in Monaco's Stade Louis II did not help Barcelona, cutting up almost immediately having been heavily watered and for the first half-hour it was Porto who enjoyed the best chances.
A handball by Eric Abidal handed Porto a free-kick in a promising position on the edge of the 'D' but Hulk drifted it over, and Joao Moutinho threatened Barca's goal again with a wicked shot that Victor Valdes turned past the post at full stretch.
Some extravagant step-overs by Hulk took him past Adriano but the Brazilian bent his shot wide.
Barca had only an effort by Pedro lobbed onto the roof of the net to boast of after half an hour, but they slowly started to warm up with Andres Iniesta in particular making light of the pitch with some awesome dribbling.
Xavi had seen a 25-yard shot tipped over before Messi's goal came six minutes before half-time when Fredy Guarin ruined all his side's good work with an awful attempted backpass.
Messi had been slow to get back and he could hardly believe his luck when the ball landed at his feet, and he strolled around Porto keeper Helton for a simple finish.
Porto appeared determined not to waste their good work of the first half with two cracking efforts early in the second. First Moutinho brought another good stop from Valdes and then Guarin fired in a 30-yard thunderbolt that the Barcelona keeper tipped aside.
David Villa, earlier denied by a hasty whistle from Dutch ref Bjorn Kuipers when he should have played advantage, was put free on goal by Iniesta but for once he snatched at the shot and it was easy for Helton.
A stunning length-of-the-field run involving Pedro and Messi so nearly led to a second goal but Helton came off his line to prod the ball away.
Villa made way for Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean winger who joined from Udinese this summer, with Sergio Busquets for Adriano leaving Fabregas sweating as to whether he would get a run-out.
Busquets' misguided header over the oncoming Valdes nearly played Barcelona into trouble but Abidal stretched to clear the loose ball ahead of Kleber.
Fabregas was given 10 minutes to shine by Pep Guardiola, coming on for Pedro, almost immediately to be hacked down by Guarin who earned himself a yellow card.
Porto's hopes were all but extinguished when Rolando was given his marching orders for hauling down Messi and earning a second bookable offence.
Then came Fabregas' moment, Messi's clip over the defence, the former Arsenal skipper controlling the ball on his chest and then volleying high into the roof of net.
Guarin ended a miserable night for him personally and Porto with a straight red for a nasty lunge on Javier Mascherano.