ABU DHABI (AFP) - European champions Inter Milan lifted the Club World Cup on Saturday after a 3-0 win in the Abu Dhabi final over African champions TP Mazembe.
The Italians largely dominated proceedings and had the match in their pockets once Goran Pandev and Samuel Eto'o had bagged goals in quickfire succession inside the opening 20 minutes at Zayed Sports City.
Frenchman Jonathan Biabiany slid home a third to add further gloss in the closing stages as Inter succeeded last year's winners Barcelona and added to Intercontinental Cup triumphs in 1964 and 1965 - a previous incarnation of the now expanded event.
The win meant that Inter chairman Massimo Moratti emulated his father Angelo, who held the post at the time of those two earlier successes.
Mazembe, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, had already made history by becoming the first African team to reach the final after a 2-0 upset win over Copa Libertadores champions Internacional of Brazil in the semi-finals - the biggest surprise in the 10-year history of the event.
But wily Inter proved a bridge too far as the experienced Italians struck early and then soaked up what limited and sporadic pressure the Africans were able to produce thereafter.
Inter had gone into the game hot favourites despite the injury absence of Dutch flier Wesley Sneijder - only the latest in a spate of injuries the Milanese have suffered this season, which had led to pressure on Inter coach Rafael Benitez as he attempts to replicate the success of the club last season under Jose Mourinho.
Adding the Club World Cup trophy to the Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup titles masterminded by his predecessor will relieve some of that pressure on the former Liverpool boss as he looks to lift Inter in the second half of the season from their current seventh spot in Serie A.
Benitez, embraced by Moratti at the end, was a happy man having landed his first silverware since leaving Anfield - but also struck a cautious note.
"My relationship with the chairman is good - but I ask the club for help and respect - they did not come up with the goods after what they told me in the summer about (new) signings and so it's not easy," said the Spaniard in allusion to his desire to strengthen his injury-ravaged squad.
But he insisted his overall relationship with the club was solid.
Mazembe have become a major force in the African game on the back of five league title wins in the last decade and also the last two editions of the African Champions League.
But Inter proved a class above as Pandev fired home a neat left-footed poke after Eto'o had helped tee him up in the 13th minute.
Cameroon star Eto'o then claimed his own piece of the limelight as he drove in an instinctive right foot drive on the turn after Champions League final hero Diego Milito had combined with Esteban Cambiasso.
Milito should have made it three after beating the offside trap but drove his shot against the feet of onrushing keeper Muteba Kidiaba, who had earlier led the customary goalline pre-match prayer session for his teammates.
Brazilian defender Maicon went on the attack on the hour as Inter pressed for a third in style reminiscent of his World Cup goalscoring showing against North Korea - but could only hit the outside of the post as the Europeans continued to look comfortable.
Eto'o then tried to go it alone down the left rather than look for either substitute Stankovic or Milito but he ran into a forest of defenders and was hustled out of possession.
Again Inter came forward and Maicon whipped over a fine cross from the right in the 73rd minute but Pandev could not quite twist his head to make sufficient contact.
Inter had a brief but all too rare scare on 74 minutes when Dioko Kaluyituka went clear on goal but he lost his footing as he bore down on Inter keeper Julio Cesar, whom he tried to round but then knocked the ball too far before crumbling in a heap.
Biabiany, on for Milito, bundled home the third with five minutes to go after a Stankovic chip through the middle, to ensure that a European team would take the title for the fourth consecutive time.
Earlier, Internacional won the third-place play-off match 4-2 against South Korea's Seongnam Ilhwa.
|Lennon slams ´weak´ Celtic|
|Wenger feels for eliminated Napoli|
|Matip: Win was for coach Keller|
|Marseille should not be ashamed, says Anigo|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Anigo eyes Marseille revival, Monaco target PSG|
|Chelsea always in control, says Mourinho|
|UEFA Champions League: Marseille 1 Borussia Dortmund 2|
|UEFA Champions League: Barcelona 6 Celtic 1|
|UEFA Champions League: Milan 0 Ajax 0|
|UEFA Champions League: Austria Vienna 4 Zenit St Petersburg 1|
|FIFA Club World Cup: Raja Casablanca 2 Auckland City 1|
|UEFA Champions League: Napoli 2 Arsenal 0|
|UEFA Champions League: Atletico Madrid 2 Porto 0|
|Schwarzer makes Champions League history|
|Kisenkov handed six-match spitting suspension|
|Bruce happy with Sagbo impact|
|Valencia eager to attract investment|
|Roux not focused on World Cup selection|
|Corinthians name Menezes as new coach|
|Too early for top-four talk, insists Cabaye|
|Tottenham to fast-track Vertonghen recovery|
|Beaten Conte critical of conditions|
|Ibrahimovic hails PSG youngsters|
|Honda to join Milan in January|
|Giaccherini happy at Sunderland, says agent|
|UEFA Champions League: Galatasaray 1 Juventus 0|
|Baines eyes festive return|
|Boateng extends Bayern deal|
|Pieters tips De Jong for Stoke|
|Arrasate talks up Champions League impact|
|Spalletti expects Vienna test|
|Juventus ´not interested´ in Kolarov|
|Fonseca calls for Porto balance|
|Dalglish backs Suarez to shine on world stage|
|Brunt: West Brom are no Mickey Mouse club|
|Klopp unsure over Marseille sacking effect|
|Howson in ´best form´|
|Ronaldo grounded despite record haul|
|Liverpool´s Kelly fighting fit|
|Guardiola calm over Champions League defeat|
|Bony boost for Swansea|
|A-League Preview: Mariners eye perfect 10 against Reds|
|Lucescu laments Donetsk performance|
|Michel: Olympiacos deserved knockout-stage spot|
|Pellegrini displays Munich confusion|
|Delaney credits Copenhagen second-half display|
|Sociedad president learns lessons from exit|
|Jesus believes Benfica deserved to progress|
|Vrba delighted with ´amazing´ Moscow win|
|Hyypia hails Leverkusen belief|
|Second-half show disappoints Blanc|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Maribor v Wigan Athletic|
|Moyes eyes UEFA Champions League glory|
|Lahm takes positive from City loss|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: St Gallen v Swansea|
|Van den Brom slams ´outrageous´ referee|
|Ancelotti pinpoints potential Manchester City threat|
|Juventus and Galatasaray to finish on Wednesday|
|Slutsky: Dzagoev dismissal changed the game|
|UEFA Champions League: Viktoria Plzen 2 CSKA Moscow 1|
|UEFA Champions League: Real Sociedad 0 Bayer Leverkusen 1|
|UEFA Champions League: Olympiacos 3 Anderlecht 1|
|UEFA Champions League: Benfica 2 Paris Saint-Germain 1|
|UEFA Champions League: Bayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3|
|UEFA Champions League: Manchester United 1 Shakhtar Donetsk 0|
|UEFA Champions League: Copenhagen 0 Real Madrid 2|
|Galatasaray-Juventus fixture abandoned|
|Lennon: Celtic supporters best in the world|
|De Boer: No favourite between Milan and Ajax|
|Evergrande face Jeonbuk in AFC Champions League draw|
|Allegri confident ahead of Ajax test|
|Klopp wary over Sahin return|
|Wenger ready for Champions League ´decider´|
|Keller urges Schalke caution|
|Blackstock´s season ended by knee injury|
|Busquets calls for Barca focus|
|Anigo hopeful ahead of Dortmund clash|
|Laudrup hints at keeper signing|
|Strootman staying with Roma|
|Petrov impressed with Villa midfielder Westwood|
|Deulofeu in no hurry over future|
|Allen not haunted by derby miss|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Tottenham v Anzhi Makhachkala|
|Giroud comfortable with rotation policy|
|Mourinho expects Cole to sign new deal|
|Horne plays down spot-fixing issue|
|Mourinho not expecting Champions League glory|
|Belief strong with Napoli - Benitez|
|Martino challenges Neymar|
|Williamson loving life at Newcastle|
|Barcelona chief: No reason to extend Messi deal|
|Kucka faces injury lay-off|
|Rafael expects United response|
|Ronaldo shrugs off Ballon d´Or talk|
|Larsson not seeking contract talks|
|Cannavaro backed by Materazzi|
|Guardiola rules out Neuer exit|
|Muntari keen to make Ajax ´suffer´|
|Brentford turn to Warburton|
|Benayoun seals QPR switch|
|Davies: Swansea got lucky|
|Bruce hopes for Graham run after breaking drought|
|Sevilla president Del Nido steps down|
|CSKA aim to topple Plzen|
|Costa Rica Primera Division Wrap: Herediano, Alajuelense reach final|
|Solbakken ready for Real challenge|
|Lucescu wary of wounded United|
|Argentina Primera Division Wrap: Belgrano finish with a win|
|Marseille to face Reims in Coupe de France|
|Marseille boss Anigo remains upbeat|
|We did not deserve to win, says Laudrup|
|Bury bring in Flitcroft|
|Primeira Liga: Vitoria Setubal 1 Academica 0|