It is great being an Atlético.
Not only does it make you passionate and an all round better person; these days it makes you a great winner too.
Tonight, Atlético fans in Monaco, Madrid and from all over the world got to celebrate a fourth European title in just over two years as Atlético were again crowned winners of the UEFA Super Cup.
And it was the manner in which the Rojiblancos brushed aside the current holder of the Champions League title which make us, the fans, even more proud. After dominating the Europa League last season, Atleti now played a near perfect game and beat Chelsea with four goals to one, a score generous to the team from London who had been branded the favourites to win this tie.
Besides the confidence boost and the silverware, Atlético also earned €3 million as new Supercampeones of Europe.
From the first minute until the very last it was the Spanish side that controlled the game. They overran Chelsea from the get-go and their aggressiveness resulted in an incredible chance for Radamel Falcao after just four minutes. The Colombian reached to a sharp cross by Filipe and volleyed the ball against the crossbar. As the ball came bounced back of the woodwork it was Adrián who collected the ball, and Atleti protested heavily when he was seemingly brought down by David Luiz.
The misfortune didn’t bring Atleti down, as Adrián and Arda later combined inside the box again, but the Turk wasn’t able to reach a teammate with his cross as he tried to bring the ball back across goal. It was just a minute later, with only seven minutes on the clock, when Atleti opened the scoring. Adrián launched Falcao and El Tigre finished with a deadly chip over Petr Cech, which went in with a little help from the post.
Determined to break Chelsea down entirely, Atleti went on to ferociously attack the goal and Adrián nearly got his when he burned past Cahill, only to be denied by Cech. Still in the opening periods Arda came close again with a header that went just wide.
Where his teammates failed to find the target, Falcao would not. The Colombian ace was allowed too much space too close to goal by Luiz, and curled in a magnificent attempt that was reminiscent of his opening goal in the Europa League final last May.
Still hungry for more, Atleti created huge opportunities for Gabi and Adrián, but the two Spaniards missed incredible chances. Especially Adri’s miss was head scratching. He managed to shoot the ball against his own head, in what was seemingly a tap in for an easy goal, and in the rebound Falcao headed against the post, to leave Atleti fans wondering how many more chances it would take to seal the deal.
Apparently just one.
In the final minute of the first half Arda Turan did very well to hold on to the ball after a long run, and he waited just long enough for Radamel Falcao to join the attack. With his first touch the European mass murderer beat his opponent and killed the tie by beating Cech with his left foot.
It wasn’t only El Tigre’s third goal with his supposedly weaker foot, it also was Falcao’s sixth goal in just five days and his 5th in 3 European finals.
After the break Atleti took their foot off the gas and sat deep on their own half, without ever allowing their English opponents any chances. Especially Gabi and Mario did incredibly well to protect their defence, while Rojiblanco idol Fernando Torres never stood a chance against centre back duo Diego Godín and Miranda. On the wings the offensive runs by Juanfran and the amazing Filipe effectively kept the much talked about Eden Hazard and Juanma Mata completely out of the game.
The only people more deserving of praise than Simeone and his men, were the masses of Spanish fans who had made their way to Monaco and had the Louis II stadium rocking all night long.
The game was put to bed by Miranda after exactly an hour of play, as the Brazilian responded quickly to a loose ball from a Koke free kick. The defender chipped the ball over the ‘keeper and took away any hope Chelsea might still have had left.
In the 67th minute substitute Óscar shot just wide of Courtois’ goal, which was only Chelsea’s second attempt that came remotely close to the Belgian’s goal. At the other end his colleague Cech was much busier and did well to save a free kick by our playmaker on the night, Koke.
Fifteen minutes before the end Chelsea pulled one back, when Cahill pounced on a rebound after Atleti failed to clear a corner. It was only the first shot on goal by Di Matteo’s side, who were flabbergasted by Atleti’s prowess throughout the game.
In the final minutes Atleti looked to hurt Chelsea even further on the counter attack, but a pass from Raúl García to Falcao was intercepted by Ashley Cole before the superstar striker could score his fourth. Filipe also saw his shot saved by Cech after he received a nice pass from Cebolla Rodríguez, who impressed after replacing Adrián in the second half.
Atlético hit the woodwork for a 4th time in the 90th minute when David Luiz slid a cross against his own post, to prevent our Turkish duo of Emre and Arda from combining for what would have been a nothing but deserved fifth goal.
And so Atleti cruised to an amazing and completely unanticipated 4-1 victory in the UEFA Super Cup. The historic victory places us amongst clubs such as Barcelona, AC Milan and Liverpool as the only clubs to have won the title twice. The festivities officially began as captain Gabi lifted the cup, after a game that will be long remembered by Atlético fans.
Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Mario, Gabi; Arda, Koke (“82 Raúl García), Adrián (“56 Cebolla Rodríguez); and Falcao (“87 Emre).
Goals: 0-1 Falcao (“7); 0-2 Falcao (“19); 0-3 Falcao (“45); 0-4 Miranda (“60); 1-4 Cahill (“74)