Colombian star Radamel Falcao struck twice and Diego scored the third as Athletico Madrid convincingly bagged the 2011-12 Europa League title with a 3-0 win over Basque rivals Athletico Bilbao. Playing in his second successive final after winning the title with Porto last year, Falcao’s power, skill and irrepressible footwork inside the D proved too much for the Bilbao defence.
It took only 7 minutes for the Santa Marta-born Colombian to open the scoring in the first all- Spanish Europa League final. Collecting a pass from Adrian on the right channel, the 26-year-old created space just good enough to allow him exquisitely curl the ball past Gorka Iraizoz and into the top-left corner for the opener.
Bilbao have never won a European trophy before and their hopes of snatching their first seemed a dream too far just after 34 minutes. And who else could it be. Radamel Falcao.
The £35m signing from Porto, where he scored the winner in last year’s final against Braga, collected a pass from Arda Turan in the six-yard box and threw all but him off balance to hit almost an identical strike to his first one, only that this was much closer and took him to 29 goals in 29 Europa League games. Little wonder some call this second-tier European cup competition, the “Falcao League.”
The match then went into a dry spell (as far as goals are concerned) until Diego Ribas put the result and winners of this year’s competition beyond doubt with 6 minutes before the final whistle with an equally sublime individual goal. Madrid soaked up late pressure from Marcelo Bielsa’s side but at the end, the majority of the 52,347 celebrating fans at the Arena Nationala in Bucarest, Romania were those from the Spanish capital of Madrid.
This was a match full of all the thrills worth of a European cup final but the individual brilliance of Radamel Falcao, who top-scored in the competition for the second year running and became the first player to win back-to-back Europa League titles, eclipsed all. Too bad he missed a hat-trick when his effort in the second half rebounded off the post. But he’ll be back next season. Because, this is, the Falcao League!
And That's thesteifamstertake!!