UEFA Super Cup: Inter Milan 0-2 Atletico Madrid

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Atletico Madrid kicked off the new European club season as they ended the last by lifting a trophy thanks to their 2-0 victory against Inter Milan in the UEFA Super Cup at the Stade Louis II in Monaco.

It was the first time either team had taken part in the fixture and it was the UEFA Europa League holders who triumphed over the UEFA Champions League winners, José Antonio Reyes and Sergio Agüero making the difference with a pair of second-half strikes.

Rafael Benítez’s Liverpool FC side lost out to Atletico in the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League last season and though the Spaniard is now in charge of Inter, it was his counterpart Quique Sánchez Flores who again had the last laugh. Not even a late penalty for UEFA Club Footballer of the Year Diego Milito could spoil a memorable night for the victors as David de Gea pulled off a fine save.

 Benítez made one change to the side that defeated FC Bayern München in the UEFA Champions League final under José Mourinho, Goran Pandev making way for Dejan Stanković, and they started brightly with Wesley Sneijder and Milito both having early efforts on goal.

Summer signing Diego Godín was the only new face from the Atletico team that defeated Fulham FC in the UEFA Europa League showpiece, but it was old boys Diego Forlán, scorer of both goals against Fulham, and Simão who soon caught the eye at the other end.

Patience, though, was the watchword for much of the half as defences took control. Walter Samuel failed to convert Inter’s best chance on 28 minutes when he headed Sneijder’s cross over despite being unmarked, and that was followed by team-mate Samuel Eto’o driving wide.

It was the Atletico fans who nonetheless ended the half in louder voice and their team should have gone into the break ahead. With 31 minutes gone, Agüero shot wide after Reyes’s clever pass had found him free in the area, and the 22-year-old then missed the target again four minutes before the interval after being teed up by Simão.

Atletico also fashioned the better chances after the restart and sent down a warning on 59 minutes when Júlio César brilliantly tipped Reyes’s shot round the post following a break instigated by Forlán.

A goal was not long in coming, however, and on 62 minutes Reyes picked his spot perfectly low to César’s right after bursting clear of Maicon. The goalkeeper got his hand to the ball but could not keep out the stinging shot, to the delight of Atlético’s supporters.

Inter were struggling to make an impact and Eto’o headed over 15 minutes from time with one of the few chances that came their way. The result was put beyond doubt with seven minutes remaining when Simão again broke free, surging forward down the left to square the ball for Agüero to turn it low into the net.

Inter’s misery was complete in the final minute when De Gea parried Milito’s penalty high away to his left after Raúl García had brought down Goran Pandev in the area.

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