Atlético went at Valencia at the Vicente Calderón, but were shut out the entire 90 minutes. Los Che didn’t score either as we collected Simeone’s fifth clean sheet and a 0-0 draw.
The match became a tough battle but without a winner. Good football didn’t seem a priority to either coach, who instructed their teams to play with aggression and intensity. The public might not have been entertained fully, because with 44 fouls the game was constantly interrupted.
Diego Simeone made few changes to the team. Gabi and Diego returned after sitting out suspension against Osasuna, and took the spots of Mario and Koke who took place on the bench.
The first opportunity of the match was for Adrián, who directed a powerful header towards goal after a great cross by Juanfran. Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves denied the striker with a spectacular save.
It took the visitors about half an hour to create their first chance. Piatti forced Courtois to a save with a shot from the edge of the box. At the other end Falcao came just a step too late to put the ball into the back of the net after Adrián had flicked on a cross.
The teams were equal in every sense, although Atleti were the team with the better chances in the first half. After the break Gabi almost instantly put us ahead with a spectacular volley from outside the area, but his attempt whistled past the post.
With the game going from end to end, the next opportunity was for Valencia. Roberto Soldado controlled a ball over the top on his chest and marched towards goal, but Miranda came flying in with a last ditch tackle to stop the striker before he could pull the trigger.
After an hour of play Atlético lost Diego Godín, who collided with Diego Alves and was stretchered off. It’s unclear how long the Uruguayan will be out and with Miranda picking up his 5th booking of the season we might see Domínguez and Perea start against Racing next week.
In the 65th minute Valencia were incredibly lucky not to concede. Radamel Falcao found himself in a great position and tried to cross to Adrián, but Adil Rami intercepted the pass. In the rebound the ball again fell to Falcao, who saw his shot stopped by Rami on the goalline and the ball ricocheted out of bounds just on the wrong side of the post.
In the final minutes Diego losing possession in midfield almost enabled Jordi Alba to score, while the Brazilian playmaker tried his luck with a powerful strike at the other end a minute later.
Late on Atleti had two more opportunities to score, but Alves shut out Adrián and Falcao’s header was off target.
In the end Atlético seemed to be more motivated to break the deadlock and get a win, which would have brought them just four points off Valencia and to fourth place in the table. But the match ended as it began, without a goal for either side.
Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín (“56 Domínguez), Filipe; Diego (“81), Tiago, Gabi, Arda (“80 Salvio); Adrián and Falcao