Chelsea were soundly beaten by Atletico Madrid in the Super Cup final thanks to a masterful first-half hat-trick by Radamel Falcao.
The Colombian forward has scored more goals in 2012 than anybody other than Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and quickly settled into the match, hitting the bar inside five minutes.
Chelsea didn’t heed that warning and they were behind after eight minutes, Falcao dinking over Petr Cech. Fifteen minutes later it was 2-0, and Roberto Di Matteo’s defence was rocking without skipper John Terry.
Falcao, signed as a replacement for Sergio Aguero after the Argentinian moved to Manchester City, wears Fernando Torres’ old Atletico number nine shirt.
But Torres, the subject of adulation from the Atletico fans throughout the 90 minutes, was just a bystander as Falcao put on a master-class in forward play. The former-Porto striker had been linked with a move to the Blues for much of the summer, and Chelsea fans must be wishing Roman Abramovich had dipped into his pocket once again.
On the stroke of half time Falcao completed his hat-trick, successfully adding a couple of tens of millions of pounds more onto his already considerable price tag.
His hat-trick was the second in the space of four days, after he smashed three past Athletico Bilbao in La Liga earlier this week. A goalscoring phenomenon, and without doubt the most in-form striker in world football.
The game over as a contest after 45 minutes, and Atletico centre-back Miranda rubbed salt in the wound with Madrid’s fourth just after half time. Gary Cahill chipped in with a consoldation on 74 minutes, but the Champions League winners were well and truly beaten by the Europa League victors.
Torres had spoken before the match about his fondness for Atletico, his boyhood club. The fans reciporated his love throughout the match, but the La Liga side has a new hero. Falcao is the real deal.