Europa League: Valencia 0 – 1 Atlético

Adrián seals Atleti's passage to the Europa League final

Atletico Madrid striker Adrian Lopez skips past Valencia defender Jordi Alba

Match winner Adrián skips past Alba

On its 109th birthday, Atlético Madrid qualified for the Europa League final for the second time in three years.

On Wednesday the 9th of May, we will travel to Bucarest to take on our Basque brothers from Athletic Club.

Atleti struggled at the Mestalla on Thursday night, but the tightly contested match was decided by a golazo from Adrián López.

The first opportunity of the match came after 20 minutes. Like last week, Valencia again threatened through corner kicks and Jonas almost scored after flicking on a volley from Feghouli. Thibaut Courtois however got down very well and responded quickly when the shot changed its course because of the deflection. The Belgian also stopped the rebound which fell before the feet of Jonas.

Atleti had made it through the opening period comfortably but again looked shaky when Feghouli and Soldado went for goal just a minute later.

With Canales and Jordi Alba in charge, Valencia completely dominated the first half, as the home team piled on the pressure. It seemed only a matter of time before the Rojiblancos’ defence would crack, but Courtois proved to be too big an obstacle.

Shortly before the break, Atleti livened up and created their first opportunity of the game on a fast break. If Arda Turan’s pass had been more accurate, then Falcao surely would have scored number 11 of his Europa League campaign, but the Turk’s pass was just out of reach.

While still searching for the opening, there was bad news for Valencia. Just as Emery took off Jonas, one of his other offensive players went down. Canales, arguably the best player on display, fell awkwardly and seemed to suffer the same knee injury that has kept him out for most of this season.

While Los Che were still recovering from their loss, Atleti dealt a huge blow. A long pass by Diego was controlled on the chest by Adrián, and our most valuable player of the tournament smashed the ball into the far top corner with an absolutely fantastic effort from the edge of the area.

Like we have become accustomed to in the Europa League, Adrián scored a peach of a goal. It was his 11th this season, setting a Spanish record, with the most goals in European competition in a single campaign.

Some minutes later Falcao could have put the tie beyond doubt, but he lost his balance and shot straight at Diego Alves.

Ten minutes before the end a lot of controversy arose as the excellent Skomina seemed to wrongfully award a penalty, judging that Tiago handballed inside the area when it was actually Tino Costa who knocked the ball away. Upset over the decision Tiago got into a scuffle with Jordi Alba and was subsequently sent off for slapping Soldado, meaning that the Portuguese midfielder will miss the final in two weeks’ time.

Fortunately for Atleti, to avoid a nerve-wrecking finish, the linesman advised the referee not to point to the spot after all.

Over in Bilbao it was Athletic who qualified for the final after beating Sporting Lisbon over two legs. When Atlético take on Los Leones at the National Arena in Bucharest, we will be wearing our red and white stripes as we have the home advantage.

Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Diego (“84 Koke), Tiago, Mario (“46 Gabi), Arda (“74 Salvio); Adrián and Falcao.

Goals: 0-1 Adrián (“60)

  • SoLobo

    A bad first half, but we totally deserved to be in Bucharest! Let’s go for the second Europa!! I feel sorry for Tiago, it must be hard not to play at the final. I feel even more sorry for Canales, I hope he overcomes his serious injury.

  • kabir

    how was it decided who plays at home?

  • Great result. We need some of that in the league in our hunt for the Champions League.

    Aupa Atleti!!

  • Am over the moon, Diego Simone is a true champion. We deserve to be in the final, Atleti you bail me out of trouble, shame to Real Madnes fans dat say we can’t make it to the final, we make it you fucking bitches.

  • Qumar

    Hi I have 2 tickets for the final of europa league 2012

    Check eBay item number


  • I actually feel a bit sorry for Valencia Cuz LAST time they played us a couple years ago they were unfortunate. I wish them all the best in the league. Jordi Alba is such a greta player for them as well as soldado. If it were two people from valencia that we wanted in our side I say it would be Them. But sorry Valencia what had to be done was done; knocking your tails out of the Europa League. We gonna win Athletic in the finals!!

    Aupa Atleti!!!!! again :p 🙂 😉

  • AtletiFanInPhilly

    I can’t believe how dumb Tiago’s reaction was. At the time of the hand-ball in the box, Atletico was up 5-2 in the aggregate. Tiago would not have missed the final with a yellow card. But, no, rather than just walk away, not argue, get some space, cool off, he pushed and pushed.

    It was a completely boneheaded play, and he deserved the red for his erratic and out-of-control behavior.

    Even though I don’t particularly like him or his style, he’s an important part of the team. His stupidity is inexcusable.

  • Mais


    it was decided during the last uefa draw

  • k14

    @AtletiFanInPhilly , Doesn’t matter if you like Tiago or not, it looked like the Ref was gonna award Valencia a penalty, thats why he was protesting.
    If you look at a replay you see Soldado pushing Tiago while he was talking to the Ref assistant, then Jordi alba pushing Tiago from the back then diving to frame a kick then changing his mind and holding his face for an elbow, then you can see Tiago trying to talk to Soldado and calm things down by placing his palm on the side of his face, thats when that tiny dwarf Jordi alba pushed tiago again, hence the scratch on soldado face.
    From what I saw, Tiago didn’t do anything wrong. It was just a poor Ref, and I think you are worse than the Ref for talking this way about our player without verifying the incident when you have the means to do so.

    In the end, you cant be surprised by Valencia cheap means of winning, all along their history they have been doing these cheap tricks.

  • Mais

    thankfully the ref had the sense to check with the other official…something i havent seen done in la liga long?

  • shlomgar

    K-14 man I dig you, but chill, we just won…

    I think Tiago is fool too. He got his red card for pushing the refs hand when he was trying to understand what was going on. And he was acting a fool going physical with the Valencians. If he would shut up and got the red card for a hand ball it would be cancelled! It was 10 minutes or so to the end of the game.

    Tiago is a crazyhead, that’s why we like him. Gabi as well, But when was the last time this yellowed dynamo got a red? It takes a bit of brains to be a good butcher.

  • AtletiFanInPhilly

    He slapped/hit/touched Soldado’s face. It was a poor decision, especially given the score. He had nothing to gain from protesting and negotiating. The best thing he could have done was just to walk away.

    If the ref was going to give him a red for the (perceived) handball in the box, then I understand the initial reaction. As soon as he and the other guys had successfully argued that it was not his hand, he should have just walked away.

  • DJ_ZA

    The incident definately played out the way you said K14, but Tiago should’ve kept his cool. he had several opportunities to walk away and now the only thing he’s walked away from is the opportunity to play in the final. But enoough said about Tiago …. we’re in the final! Yeah baby!

  • Javi Lozoya

    What a fucking golazo from Adrian!, it was amazing.
    Arena Națională on May, 9th, 2012 here we come!!.
    Grande Cholo!!, he is a genius!!, his first season as Atletico manager and he reaches the Europa League final!!, He is the perfect manager for Atleti!!, he was born for this moment!!, just like in the 95-96 season!!. It’s not a mere coincidence!!, it’s fate!!, is our destiny.
    Aupa Atleti!, For we are Club Atletico de Madrid and we the best!!

  • Javi Lozoya

    Sucks for Tiago but we got captain Gabi who never gives up!, Grande Gabriel Fernandez Arenas Gabi!, I want to see you lifting the trophy captain!!, all the way to Neptuno!!. Aupa Atleti!!.

  • norman

    congratulations colchoneros …. forza atletiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii…

  • Nexus

    Yeah we did it….thanks to God and to determination and hardwork from the coach and players.
    Aupa Atleti

  • Javi Lozoya

    Adrian, Spanish top scorer in European competitions in one season with 11 goals ahead of Raul and Di Stéfano. That says it all. Grande Adri!!, what a stunning goal!!.

  • detectivu001

    i have to ticket for the final gate E block 330 row 24,(half of the field)…contact me “detectivu001”

  • ratchet

    YAY!! WE’RE IN THE FINAL!!. Great result. I was incredibly nervous in the first half, but when we got that fantastic goal by adrian i knew the tie was over. Tiago reacted stupidly but he is not as important to the team as diego, falcao, arda or adrian. Glad diego didnt get a yellow. Miranda and godin also played very well, they really played their part last night. Bucarest here we come!!

  • ali_

    im with k14 on the tiago case. soldado is douche, he proved it many times. tho tiago kicked/try to kicked jordi alba, and since jordi has the actors bloods in his veins, he dived.
    btw i totally understand tiago’s reaction. the ref almost give a penalty for a valencia handball… and im sure that mofo soldado provocated him too.

    oh, and after i see a valencia match, i realise every single time how much i hate them.

    btw get well canales.

  • Sanchez Moreno

    It is great that arda can play on both wings effectively,adrian is same as always,he knows football very well,falcao and diego are also doing great. Ithink cup comes to Madrid.

  • Javi

    Guys whatch out for scammers
    I see two here already
    Tickets go in sale Sunday and these two already say they have tickets
    Be careful
    Buy from the atletis website not from individuals

  • Sergio Lopez

    Aupa, Club Atletico de Madrid! Animo, Sergio Canales!

  • atletico9

    Hi, Im am very interested in 2 tickets to the final. Do some of you have some tickets forsale.

  • ascky
  • Kristi