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UEFA Super Cup: Chelsea 1 Atletico Madrid 4

Radamel Falcao’s hat-trick helped Atletico Madrid demolish Chelsea 4-1 in the UEFA Super Cup on Friday.

Colombia striker Falcao took his tally to six goals in the last two games as Atletico won the trophy for the second time in three years, with Miranda adding a fourth goal in the second half before Gary Cahill claimed a late consolation for Chelsea.

It was Falcao who looked the most dangerous from kick-off as Atletico came flying out of the blocks in Monaco.

He crashed an effort off the bar from a Felipe Luis’ cross just moments into the match as Chelsea’s defence struggled to deal with his pace and power.

Atletico maintained their high-temp opening and, with just six minutes on the clock, that man Falcao broke the deadlock.

Played in behind the Chelsea back-line, he dinked the ball over an on-rushing Petr Cech, with David Luiz unable to hook the ball off the line before it nestled into the net.

Chelsea tried to respond and Eden Hazard rifled a shot just over the bar, but Falcao doubled Atletico’s advantage in fine style on 19 minutes, cutting inside Ashley Cole before curling a left-foot shot into the top corner past the despairing grasp of Cech.

Chelsea were rocked by the Europa League winners’ strong start and tried to gain a degree of control on the ball, but their play lacked any real cutting edge.

They were fortunate not to be 3-0 down on the half-hour mark when Adrian Lopez somehow contrived to scuff Arda Turan’s cut-back before Falcao headed the rebound off the post.

The La Liga side continued to frustrate the Champions League holders, denying the likes of Mata and Hazard any space to dictate play.

Shortly before the break, Falcao completed his sensational hat-trick from another slick counter-attack.

The lively Turan held up the ball on the edge of the Chelsea box before sliding it through into the path of Falcao, who took a touch to control before firing low through the legs of Cech.

Atletico continued to look dangerous early in the second half and with an hour gone they had a fourth.

Chelsea failed to deal with a simple free kick into the box and the ball bounced off Falcao to Miranda, who poked beyond Cech at the near post.

Substitute Oscar went close for Chelsea a few minutes later with a low drive from distance, but Atletico were playing with supreme confidence, and Cech soon had to react smartly to keep out a Koke free-kick.

Their Champions League triumph in Munich may have felt like a distant memory for Chelsea fans but they did have something to cheer in the 75th minute, when Gary Cahill netted from close range after Atletico failed to clear their lines from a corner.

Chelsea were almost embarrassed further in the closing stages, as Cech saved smartly from Felipe Luis before Luiz turned a Turan cross onto his own post.

The star of the show, Falcao, received a well-deserved standing ovation when he was substituted with three minutes remaining.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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