Europa League

Atletico's title defense opens with a bang

September 20, 2012
By ESPN.com news services
Atletico Madrid made a confident start to its defense of the Europa League title with a comfortable 3-0 win in Israel in its first meeting with Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Even without the prolific Radamel Falcao, fresh from his hat trick in his side's 4-1 win over Chelsea in the Super Cup last month, the Spaniards had too much class for their hosts, who qualified for the competition thanks to their success in this year's Israeli State Cup.

Hapoel went into the game on the back of five ...

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