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Sports

Falcao, Atletico dominate Chelsea in Super Cup final

The Super Cup, which pits the reigning Champions League title holders against the winners of the Europa League, was decided in the first half - with the on-form Falcao striking for a hat-trick in the first 45 minutes.

The man Chelsea knew they needed to stop was arguably the hottest scorer in top-flight European football over the past year. True to form the Colombian international threatened to break the goose egg in the fourth minute, when he almost crowned some good work on the left flank by Filipe Luis. However, Chelsea keeper Petr Cech was relieved to see the ball come back off the bar.

Just two minutes later though, Falcao did draw first blood - getting the ball in the area, he out-waited Cech who tried to make himself even bigger than he already is - pushing to ball to the Czech netminder's left as he could no longer delay his fall to the right.

Throughout the first 18 minutes, Atletico looked the better - and more confident side, with Chelsea at times almost looking like they had a touch of the jitters, giving the odd ball away with a bad touch.

Falcao doubles Madrid's advantage

On 19 minutes, the man Atletico needed to stop proved unstoppable, beating Cech for a second time - this time with a beautiful curling shot into the top left-hand corner from the right of the top of the box. Cech and a gaggle of his defenders could only admire the flight of the perfectly struck ball.

Ten minutes from the break, Falcao came close to completing his hat-trick after Adrian Lopez missed a sitter from a square ball across the face of goal. Alas this one too came back off the aluminum as Cech must have thought he was living in a pinball machine.

Just before the break though, Falcao would not be denied, taking a pass inside the box to the right of Cech before inevitably completing his hat-trick, making the score at the half Falcao 3 - Chelsea 0.

While it had been clear before the match that this was the man the London Blues would have to stop on the night, the way the defense stood back from him at crucial moments in the first half gave the impression of a team mesmerized by an opponent's reputation.

Chelsea play the possession game - to no avail

The second half started with Chelsea looking more composed, more confident on the ball against a Madrid team happy to sit back and wait for a mistake and look to catch the Blues on the break. As much as they were able to dominate possession though, Chelsea were never really able to trouble the Madrid defense, let alone goalkeeper Thibault Courtois.

Atletico Madrid's Brazilian defender Joa Miranda de Souza (up, L) scores a goal during the UEFA Super Cup football match.

Miranda made it an even four for Atletico

Instead, it was Madrid who would strike again on the hour mark - this time, not through Falcao for a change, but the defender Miranda, who poked the loose ball home after Chelsea's back line were unable to deal with a free kick.

It wasn't until the 75th minute that Chelsea really gave Atletico any trouble, when Gary Cahill found the back of the next after a scramble in front of the Madrid goal off a second consecutive corner. While it was only a consolation goal, it would at least spare the Champions League champions the indignity of being kept off the score sheet by the winners of the second-tier Europa League.

Three minutes from time, the undisputed man of the match, Falcao, was subbed off, to a round of applause from the appreciative Madrid - and likely also the neutral fans. Five minutes later, the referee blows the whistle on a surprisingly one-sided match.

As Atletico celebrated winning another piece of silverware, the Chelsea players and entourage must have just wanted to get out of Monaco as quickly as possible, so as to put this remarkably lackluster performance behind them. Despite his having conceded four goals, you could make an argument for Petr Cech being the English club's best player on the night.