Chelsea were comprehensively beaten in the Super Cup as Radamel Falcao scored a hat-trick to inspire Atletico Madrid to victory in Monaco.
Falcao struck a shot against the crossbar before beautifully dinking in his first past keeper Petr Cech. He curled in a shot with Chelsea in disarray and ended a counter attack with a left-foot finish for his third. Miranda slotted in a ruthless Atletico’s fourth, while Gary Cahill lashed in a shot for the Blues.
In a match pitting European champions Chelsea against the Europa League winners, it was the latter who deservedly came out on top with Falcao in irresistible form. The Colombian, who scored 24 La Liga goals and 12 in Europe last season, came into the game on the back of a hat-trick and quickly took advantage of a lethargic Chelsea defence. Having seen an early shot come back off the crossbar, he expertly lifted the ball over the on-rushing Cech when played through on goal.
A stunned Chelsea were being overrun and another incisive move ended with Falcao curling a left-foot shot into the top corner from just inside the box. Roberto Di Matteo’s side were exposed time and again, the scale of their defeat coming as a surprise given they had gone into the game leading the Premier League after three straight wins. But Atletico had an intensity and urgency missing from Chelsea’s play, and Falcao was again denied by the woodwork when he headed against the post. However, he did not have long to wait to complete his hat-trick as Atletico countered, Chelsea backtracked and Falcao latched on to an Arda Turan pass before slotting past Cech.
Chelsea’s lacklustre play was epitomised by their lazy response to a free-kick as Mario Suarez diverted the set-piece to Miranda, who steered home a shot. Cahill scored a late goal for Chelsea but it did nothing to disguise the dominance of Atletico.
Juan Mata could have reduced the deficit still further but he fired narrowly over 10 minutes from time. Atletico nearly made it five at the very end. Suarez’s cross looked to be drifting harmlessly across goal before Luiz slid in to meet it and almost put it into his own net, but it ricocheted off the right post.
“I am speechless. I really cannot describe it. What Radamel is doing is indescribable” –Simeone (post-match)
“He is a boy that, whenever you set the bar high, he sets it higher and rises to the occasion. He has dedication much higher than is normal. I have known him since he was young and he is always demanding. Pressure is the source of his strength.”
And Falcao himself was emotional after having time to take in what he had just produced on the stage of a UEFA Super Cup final.
“It exceeded my expectations and is more than I could dream”, said the striker. I was dreaming of winning the Super Cup and dreaming of scoring goals but even then, it exceeded my expectations.”
“Everything went well very well and when you achieve something like this, it is very emotional.”
- Falcao gives Atlético Super Cup (english.pravda.ru)
- Falcao shines as Atletico reign in Monaco (fifa.com)
- Super Cup Comes Full Circle With Last Monaco Match (nytimes.com)
- Simeone wants ‘sweat, heart and tears’ (fifa.com)