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    Messi stars as Barca lift Super Cup

    Monaco: Lionel Messi's goal late in the first half and Cesc Fabregas' first for his new side gave Barcelona a 12th title under Pep Guardiola and a second already in 2011-12 as the Catalan club beat Porto in the Uefa Super Cup in Monaco on Friday evening.

    Messi, named European Player of the Year at Uefa's Champions League draw on Thursday, scored in the only competition in which he had failed to net after he was left all alone by Fredy Guarin's shocking pass-back six minutes before the interval.

    Europa League holders Porto started brightly against the Champions League winners, with Hulk a lively presence up front for the Portuguese outfit.

    Aided by the busy Guarin, Porto rattled their illustrious opponents in the opening exchanges and Moutinho's drive on the bounce tested Victor Valdes, while Hulk was off target with a low drive.

    Porto were pushing up and pressing Barca, playing the Catalans at their own game, and every time Pep Guardiola's side ventured forward, they were caught out by their rivals' offside trap.

    But it doesn't take long for Barca to figure out their rivals and Guardiola's men began to enjoy more of the possession as the game wore on.

    Messi, who had started quietly and looked uncomfortable at times, almost set up David Villa following a fantastic run and pass through the heart of the Porto defence, but Romanian full-back Cristian Sapunaru got a vital touch and Helton came charging of his line to gather.

    Xavi then came close with a fierce drive from the edge of the box, put Helton pushed the ball over the crossbar.

    Barca were growing in stature, though, and soon took the lead as Guarin inexplicably played a back-pass into his area where Messi, who would have been offside had the ball been sent through by a team-mate, was waiting all alone to pounce, leaving Helton grounded with a glorious feint and slotting into the empty net.

    The Argentine had made his Barca debut against Porto in a friendly in 2003 and had missed a similar opportunity, but he doesn't err those anymore and suddenly, the Portuguese faced an uphill task.

    After the break, Villa shot straight at Helton and Pedro was denied by the Brazilian keeper as he raced through on his own.

    Porto had a penalty shout turned down after that when Eric Abidal clattered into Hulk after losing control of the ball in the area, but the referee waved play on.

    Barca were the better side and continued to attack.

    That pressure brought another rash challenge from Rolando, already booked, who then saw red after a cynical foul on Messi.

    And the Catalans took quick advantage as Mess turned provider for Fabregas, who chested down Messi's pinpoint cross and volleyed past Helton to register his first goal in some style.

    It could have been three after that, but Barca were comfortable in the end as they lifted a 12th title under Guardiola - and two in two games for Fabregas.

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