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Sevilla shatter Boro's UEFA dreams

Sevilla lift their first European trophy on an emotional night in Eindhoven

EINDHOVEN, Netherlands -- Enzo Maresca scored twice in six minutes as Sevilla crushed Middlesbrough 4-0 in the UEFA Cup final Wednesday to lift their first European trophy.

Luis Fabiano claimed the opener for the Spaniards in the 27th minute, heading home Daniel Alves' cross from 11 meters.

Maresca made the game safe 12 minutes from time before netting his second on 84 and Fredi Kanoute wrapped up the victory in Eindhoven.

The result was especially bitter for Middlesbrough coach Steve McCLaren in his last competitive match in charge of the Premiership club before he takes over as England coach from Sven-Goran Eriksson after this summer's World Cup.

It was Sevilla's first trophy since a domestic cup win in 1948 and the perfect way to celebrate their centenary season.

Sevilla are the third Spanish side to win the UEFA Cup following triumphs for Real Madrid (1985 and 1986) and Valencia (2004).

"It worked out perfectly and we achieved our aim of winning the trophy in the year of our centenary," player Pep Marti told Spanish TV. "For the fans and at least half of the city of Seville this will be a great day of celebration."

McClaren could not inspire another comeback reminiscent of Boro's rollercoaster ride to the final as the English side failed to spark in their first appearance at such a level.

Not even the halftime introduction of Italian striker Massimo Maccarone, hero from the astonishing four-goal comeback victories in the quarter and semifinal victories could lift a side playing their 64th game of a long and demanding season.

"We could have played better but credit to them they were a class side and deserved it," Boro captain Gareth Southgate told ITV.

In a bright opening Brazilian rightback Daniel sent a shot fizzing past Mark Schwarzer's far post early on.

It was Sevilla who settled the better, Adriano and Luis Fabiano giving Boro some early scares. In quick succession they were allowed to get in crosses from the byline requiring last-ditch clearances as Javier Saviola lurked.

The Argentine, who has flourished at Sevilla during a season-long loan from Barcelona, was then allowed too much time on the edge of the box to fire a well-struck shot which cannoned into Gareth Southgate.

Early dominance

Sevilla were rewarded for their early dominance with the opening goal on 26 minutes.

Daniel planted a perfect cross on to the head of Fabiano who gave Schwarzer, wearing a protective mask after fracturing a cheekbone less than three weeks ago, no chance with a well placed downward header into the corner.

With Boro rattled, Adriano then ran at the heart of the retreating defense and thumped his shot over the bar.

Sevilla replaced Saviola with Kanoute at halftime and the Spaniards threatened again soon after the restart with Adriano curling wide after a swift move.

Boro responded with their best chance of the match as Mark Viduka, taking Chris Riggott's knock down on the volley, drew a superb block from an Andres Palop from point blank range.

Maccarone forced Palop to tip over and angled drive and Hasselbaink sent a freekick whistling narrowly over.

Sensing a change in momentum, McClaren threw on a fourth striker with Nigerian Yakubu Aiyegbeni replacing defender Franck Queudrue with 20 minutes left.

Viduka, at last escaping Julien Escude's shackles, blazed wide and was denied a penalty in Boro's next attack when he was sent crunching to the ground by Sevilla captain Javi Navarro.
Fabiano celebrates after putting Sevilla on the way to an emphatic win.

Making most of a lenient decision by referee Herbert Fandel Sevilla wrapped up the game after 78 minutes when Maresca slotting in after Schwarzer could only parry Kanoute's shot from a Jesus Navas cross.

Maresca added a third six minutes later with a left foot shot from the edge of the box and Kanoute pounced at the death to notch a fourth.

"We have achieved something very important," Marseca told Spanish TV. "It was a perfect day. I think we deserve it and so do the fans. It is important that they enjoy this moment."

"There was a lot of tension and a lot of pressure, but the suffering was all worth it to bring some joy to our fans," said coach Juande Ramos.

Viduka said: "If I'd put that chance away it could have been a different story at 1-1.

"I thought we could go all the way tonight, the way we played in the last two games, but today it just wasn't meant to be.

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