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Falcao at double as Atlético march to title

Published: Wednesday 9 May 2012, 22.58CET
Club Atlético de Madrid 3-0 Athletic Club
Scorer of the only goal in last season's final, Falcao went one better in Bucharest as a pair of stunning first-half strikes set up Atlético's triumph.
by John Atkin
from National Arena Bucharest

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Match statistics

AtléticoAthletic

Goals scored3
 
0
Attempts on target6
 
3
Attempts off target7
 
9
Corners3
 
8
Offsides2
 
3
Fouls committed25
 
14
Yellow cards1
 
4
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 9 May 2012, 22.58CET

Falcao at double as Atlético march to title

Club Atlético de Madrid 3-0 Athletic Club
Scorer of the only goal in last season's final, Falcao went one better in Bucharest as a pair of stunning first-half strikes set up Atlético's triumph.

Falcao's love affair with the UEFA Europa League continued as he entranced Athletic Club in Bucharest, scoring twice in a 3-0 victory to take the trophy to Club Atlético de Madrid for the second time in three years.

The 26-year-old collects his second winners' medal in 357 days, having struck the only goal in last season's showpiece for FC Porto. He took his tally to 29 goals in 29 games in the competition here, capping a fine start with a stunning seventh-minute opener and doubling the advantage with a finely-executed second before half-time. There was no way back for Athletic, Diego sealing their fate five minutes from time.

Indeed, showpiece tension and the overfamiliarity of acquaintance were never in evidence from Atlético, who enjoyed a blistering start. They harried and hectored all over the pitch with an intensity and elan more associated with their opponents. Falcao was to the fore, blocking two clearances inside the opening 40 seconds, and his endeavour was soon rewarded.

There was no obvious threat as he collected Diego's pass just inside the area but Fernando Amorebieta stood off and when Falcao cut on to his left foot, the defender slipped. Before he had regained his composure Falcao had capitalised, curling a sumptuous effort around the retreating Jon Aurtenetxe and just inside the far post.

Athletic's 28-year wait to dust off their gabarra, the barge they use for victory cruises along the Ibaizabal river whenever they secure silverware, looked set to go on. There were flickers of hope of regaining an even keel, most coming from the enterprising Iker Muniain, at 19 the youngest member of a side whose average age was just 24. But then, on 34 minutes, came the second.

Athletic were architects of their own downfall as Amorebieta, tarrying on the edge of the box, was pick-pocketed by Miranda. He fed Arda Turan, and though the winger's centre left Falcao with much to do, how easy the Colombian made it look, shaping to shoot but instead dragging the ball back and leaving Aurtenetxe on the floor before firing high into the roof of the net.

It was all or nothing now for Athletic, and coach Marcelo Bielsa rang the changes at half-time as he sought to fortify his midfield and add impetus to the attack. Yet with Mario Suárez imperious and ever vigilant in front of the Atlético defence, reinforced by the disciplined Diego, Adrián López and Arda, Los Colchoneros' advantage always looked sufficient.

At the other end only a timely deflection and the width of a post denied Falcao a hat-trick, but Diego did grab a third on the counter, brushing aside Amorebieta and striking into the bottom corner. Ibai Gómez hit the crossbar for Athletic in the closing moments, but they will have to make do with a second shot at ending their trophy drought when they meet FC Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final on 25 May; for Atlético, and the gilded Falcao, the gold rush continues.

Last updated: 28/04/13 0.09CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000277/match=2007480/postmatch/report/index.html#falcao+seals+title+atletico

Lineups

atlético

Atlético

athletic

Athletic

13
CourtoisThibaut Courtois (GK)
1
Gorka IraizozGorka Iraizoz (GK)
2
GodínDiego Godín
3
AurtenetxeJon Aurtenetxe
Substitution46
4
Mario SuárezMario Suárez
5
AmorebietaFernando Amorebieta
Yellow Card64
6
Filipe LuísFilipe Luís
8
A. IturraspeAnder Iturraspe
Substitution46
7
Adrián LópezAdrián López
Substitution88
9
LlorenteFernando Llorente
9
FalcaoRadamel Falcao
Goal7
Yellow Card26
Goal34
10
De MarcosÓscar de Marcos
11
Arda TuranArda Turan
Substitution90+3
14
SusaetaMarkel Susaeta
Yellow Card90+1
14
GabiGabi (C)
15
IraolaAndoni Iraola (C)
20
JuanfranJuanfran
19
MuniainIker Muniain
22
DiegoDiego
Goal85
Substitution90
21
Ander HerreraAnder Herrera
Yellow Card22
Substitution63
23
MirandaMiranda
24
Javi MartínezJavi Martínez

Substitutes

25
Sergio AsenjoSergio Asenjo (GK)
13
RaúlRaúl (GK)
3
Antonio LópezAntonio López
2
ToqueroGaizka Toquero
Substitution63
8
SalvioEduardo Salvio
Substitution88
6
San JoséMikel San José
12
Paulo AssunçãoPaulo Assunção
11
GabilondoIgor Gabilondo
18
Álvaro DomínguezÁlvaro Domínguez
Substitution90+3
17
Íñigo PérezÍñigo Pérez
Substitution46
Yellow Card75
19
KokeKoke
Substitution90
23
EkizaBorja Ekiza
41
Pedro MartínPedro Martín
28
Ibai GómezIbai Gómez
Substitution46

Coach

Diego Simeone (ARG) Marcelo Bielsa (ARG)

Referee

Wolfgang Stark (GER)

Assistant referees

Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER), Mike Pickel (GER)

Fourth official

Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)

Additional assistant referees

Florian Meyer (GER), Deniz Aytekin (GER)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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