Blues picked off by Falcao
Colombian helps Atletico continue dominance of Spanish sides
Last Updated: August 31, 2012 11:40pm
Radamel Falcao grabbed a first-half hat-trick to help Atletico Madrid thump Chelsea 4-1 in Monaco and claim the UEFA Super Cup.
Strongly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the past, the Colombian striker showed just why the Blues had coveted him with a superb treble that put the result beyond doubt by the break.
Falcao had already hit the bar by the time he broke the deadlock after six minutes and he doubled his side's advantage with a left-footed curling finish that left Peter Cech with no chance.
His third came when he rounded off fine a counter-attacking move before the interval, meaning he had scored a hat-trick for the second time in four days.
Joao Miranda added a fourth on the hour and although Chelsea did get a goal back through Gary Cahill, it was a harrowing night for the current UEFA Champions League holders, particularly after such a fine start domestically.
The Blues looked anything but kings of Europe in the last Super Cup match to be played at the Stade Louis II, with the fixture touring the continent from next year.
Manager Roberto Di Matteo was a player when Chelsea defeated Real Madrid 1-0 in 1998, but this was to be a nightmare return for the Italian to the principality.
It did not look good from the outset, Falcao serving an early when his sliding finish hit the crossbar.
The forward, however, made no mistake soon after when he raced clear, biding his time for Cech to commit and then dinking the ball beyond the lunging David Luiz, the ball going into the net off the post.
Adrian Lopez and Arda Turan both went close before Falcao struck again in the 18th minute, Ashley Cole standing off the former Porto man as he bent home a delicious 15-yard shot.
Cech saved from Gabi to limit the damage and then was indebted to the woodwork for a second time, Falcao unfortunate again when he threw his head at Lopez's air-shot only to see it hit an upright.
However, he completed a well-deserved hat-trick moments before half-time when Turan was allowed to run 60 yards unchallenged and square for his unmarked team-mate to run onto and finish.
Any thoughts of a titanic comeback in the second half disappeared for Chelsea when Atletico made it 4-0 after 60 minutes, Miranda poking Mario Suarez's lay-off home.
Jorge Koke's crossed free-kick almost went straight through but was saved by Cech before Cahill drilled home after Atletico failed to clear Frank Lampard's corner.
Chelsea needed the post to save them for a third time in the closing stages, with David Luiz's blushes being spared when he turned Emre Belozoglu's cross towards his own net.
Still, Atletico ran out comfortable winners to lift the trophy for the second time in the space of three years, while a Spanish side has now won it for the past four successive seasons.
|Chelsea||Team Statistics||Atlético de Madrid|
|0||1st Half Goals||3|
|2||Shots on Target||8|
|4||Shots off Target||5|
|64.6||1st Half Poss.||35.4|
|56.2||2nd Half Poss.||43.8|