AC Milan 3 Sevilla 1 – Look At Our Future Opponents

In a moving tribute to the late Antonio Puerta, Sevilla decided to play in the European Super cup final. In the aftermath to the tragic death of the much loved Andalusian, Sevilla president stated, “With the memory of Antonio Puerta, we start playing again with the desire to win the Super Cup and we will dedicate it to him”. With a short video preceding the match showing the highlights of Puerta’s short footballing career, his Sevilla team-mates sporting his name on their shirts and the fans chanting ‘Puerta!’ right until the minute of silence…the whole stadium appeared to be weighed down by emotion and the memory of Puerta. The match began at a fast pace, with a well worked opening allowing Renato to shoot in the second minute, inevitably wide after scuffing the effort. Immediately at the other end Seedorf played in Inzaghi, who cut in, only for Kaka to take the ball into his stride and fire against the woodwork. 14 minutes in Renato headed in at the far post from a corner taken in from the right, after Jankulovski took no chances from a deep Duda cross. The celebration that followed was a team huddle with all arms pointing to the high heavens. In a game of fair play, Inzaghi soon had to fall with alarming ease in a meager attempt (20’) to win Milan a penalty. The experienced back-line were torn to shreds when an Alves cross was deflected into Kanoute’s path, who evaded Dida and opted to cross to Renato, whose shot was hacked clear by Nesta on the goal line. Duda’s return was high and wide. Renato was an aerial threat and failed to connect to a free-kick on 28 minutes. Then Seedorf headed over following a Pirlo corner a few minutes later. In 32 minutes Palop gratefully clutched the ball after Inzaghi moved away from his marker and fired in a low drive from the edge of the area. Ambrosini (43’) almost broke the resistance but a dangerous through ball was cut out but the Sevilla defence. While earlier Kanoute chested down and fired wide. Inzaghi went even closer but somehow missed. Finally the Sevilla defence broke, but the linesman’s flag chalked off a predatory finish by the Italian (46’). Alves was a constant thorn in the Milan side, with driving runs and probing lofted passing he applied himself well by spreading the play with long range passing and also Sevilla’s short passing game and burst a lung to supply support to Sevilla’s pacy counter attacks. His aggressive manner in defensive situations certainly doesn’t bode well for Rosicky or whoever plays on the Arsenal left flank for the opening Champions league match against the Andalusian club. After a slow second start, Milan started to press more and on 51 minutes a Seedorf cross was cut out, a minute later a Pirlo counter attack ended following a poor cross from the Dutchman. Following this a clever turn and backheel by the deep-lying Italian playmaker released Gattuso, who crossed for Inzaghi to head into an empty net after the Sevilla defence fell asleep, perhaps unprepared for Pirlo’s brilliance (55’). Sevilla almost regained the lead when Kanoute crossed, but Duda was unable to connect (56’). But it was the Milanese that struck, with Jankulovski running in from left-back on a lofted through ball by Pirlo to volley past Palop in an efficient manner (62’). Milan took control as they showed their experience, with pieces of delightful skill coming from Kaka, who knocked the ball past Alves and ran the opposite side, with the strong dribble ended with a stern Poulsen challenge. In an attempt to press for the equaliser, Juande Ramos brought on Luis Fabiano, a volatile Brazilian on for Julian Escude, who is a centre-back (82’). Sevilla’s hopes ended when the brilliant Brazilian Kaka headed in a rebound after his penalty was saved by Palop (86’). The celebration included pointing to Puerta’s name on his shirt at the Sevilla end of the ground in a touching gesture. In similar fashion Seedorf raised his shirt to the fans, holding up Puerta’s name, when being substituted. Maresca had a late chance to make for a nervy finish but hit the post from point blank range (90’). In the end the Italians deserved their win, but this night will long be remembered for the tribute of Antonio Puerta. Meanwhile Arsenal should be aware of the quality of the Spanish team, while the occasion may have been overwhelming, the Andalusians acquitted themselves well and well dangerous on many occasions. Rest in Peace: Antonio Puerta. Goals: Renato 14’, Inzaghi 55’, Jankulovski 62’, Kaka 86’ Milan: Dida, Kakha Kaladze, Gennaro Gattuso (Emerson 73’ ), Filippo Inzaghi (Alberto Gilardino 88’), Clarence Seedorf (Cristian Brocchi 89’), Alessandro Nesta, Marek Jankulovski, Andrea Pirlo, Kaká, Massimo Ambrosini, Massimo Oddo Subs Not Used: Zeljko Kalac, Cafu, Giuseppe Favalli, Daniele Bonera Coach: Carlo Ancelotti Sevilla: Andrés Palop, Ivica Dragutinović, Daniel Alves, Duda (Enzo Maresca 84’), Jesús Navas, Christian Poulsen, Renato, Frédéric Kanouté, Julien Escudé (Luis Fabiano 83’), José Luis Martí (Aleksandr Kerzhakov 65’), Seydou Keita Subs Not Used: Morgan De Sanctis, Aquivaldo Mosquera, Diego Capel, Tom De Mul, Coach: Juande Ramos Referee: Konrad Plautz (AUT) Assistant referee: Egon Bereuter (AUT), Markus Mayr (AUT) Fourth official: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT) By KaiserKolo

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