La Liga: Valencia 2 – 0 Atlético

Tough loss for Atlético in frustrating game at Mestalla

Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao against Valencia

Falcao in one of many aerial confrontations (MARCA)

Atlético’s 13 game streak of consecutive wins came to an end in Mestalla on Saturday night.

A fantastic volley by Roberto Soldado and a late goal by Nelson Valdez decided round 10 of la Liga in Valencia’s favour.

The home side only created two attempts on target, but were deadly efficient and brought the gap in the league down to 11 points.

In the first half Valencia dominated possession, but Atleti created most opportunities, although it took awhile for the teams to get going, as the match was often interrupted because of fouls from either side.

Atlético nearly scored when Miranda flicked on a header by Arda, but his attempt was saved on the goalline. Radamel Falcao was brought down as he battled for the rebound but his penalty claim was ignored by referee Teixeira Vitienes. While he was on the ground, Falcao was hit in the head by Soldado’s boot as the Valencia captain cleared the ball. Replays suggested that the awkward movement by Soldado might have been intentional, which should’ve led to his expulsion but again Teixeira Vitienes didn’t react.

The man who perhaps should’ve been sent off, then decided the game with a fantastic goal a few minutes later. Adil Rami played a ball over the top and Soldado smashed a fantastic volley past Thibaut Courtois.

After half an hour Radamel Falcao lost his balance just as he was about to shoot, after he had controlled a lovely through ball by Adrián on his chest. Just before the break Atleti again came close, but Adil Rami deflected Filipe’s cross just before Adrián could place it in the back of the net.

In the second half the Rojiblancos created more opportunities, with Arda first shooting wide and then enabling Juanfran, whose shot was also off target. At the hour mark Radamel Falcao saw his header land on top of the goal.

Simeone had started with Emre, who played as a deep lying playmaker, but with the Turk’s retracted role there was little connection from the midfield with our attack. This changed when the coach brought on Cebolla and Atleti took over the reigns in the second half.

Cristian Rodríguez, who provided some much needed width coming from the bench, played a pass into Arda Turan’s path but the Turk was only able to hit the side netting from a tight angle.

Since the goal Valencia hadn’t created any opportunities, but in the final minutes the game opened up, which created two shooting opportunities which weren’t converted by Andrés Guardado.

The home side finished the game with ten men, because Ricardo Costa received his marching orders after picking up a second booking. He joined his coach Pellegrino, who had been sent off just before the break in a game that had more cards than shot opportunities.

In the stoppage time substitute Nelson Valdez decided the game. After a great set up by Feghouli, the Paraguayan rounded the goalkeeper and put the ball in the back of the net.

And so Valencia became the first team to beat Atlético since the 11th of April when we were beaten by Real Madrid. In the meantime

Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Tiago (“70 Mario), Gabi (“67 Raúl García); Arda, Emre (“57 Cristian Rodríguez), Adrián; and Falcao.

Goals: 1-0 Soldado (“21); 2-0 Valdez (“90+5)

  • Nipe96

    Disappointing, but overall we were better in an away game against one of our direct rivals for the CL spot so its not all bad. Its a little comforting to know Juventus had their sick undefeated streak of 49 games also stopped today.

  • Ratchet

    I was talking on the chat on the forums, after I calmed down, I realised we deserved to win, and Valencia we not very good. Ref was bad, and so was the game. Horrid match. However, we do have Getafe next, ill be suprised if they got anything from that. We will take all 3 points. It may be a Madrid derby, but its not seen as very important. Y’know, I think we will be fine. A loss was always going to come, and well, I dont think Valencia will improve so much they will threaten us. We are going to finish in 3rd place I think. After tonights performance by Valencia, they are 5th at best.

  • Andres

    I have never seen a ref control the game so calmly… but so badly at the same time. usually when refs can’t control the game, they are nervous and don’t know what to do. This guy was way too confrontational.

    I think Falcao’s bloody cut near the beginning set up the game… super aggresive and way too cynical.

    Atletico was the better team, but not good enough as Valencia were highly efficient… Adrian played good and bad… Falcao wasn’t really in his zone (Even though I think he should’ve gotten at LEAST 1 penalty), Valencia was marking so tight as well.

    Weird game… disappointed that we couldn’t get at least a draw.

  • Sinan

    My hate for Valencia has increassed, what a disgusting team they have. Especially Soldado, Joa Pererra, Rami and Diego Alves, every corner and Diego Alves steals a few minute’s by falling on the ground and pretending he has pain.

    I just don’t understand why Soldodo didin’t get red, and why the reff didin’t gave a penalty to Atletico in the begin phase. Was he scared to blow on his whistle ?

    Off: I’ve seen Soldado play in the Europa League last year, against PSV en AZ. And man, what a dirty player he is. Kicking, giving sneaky elbows, harsh tackles. Why isn’t anyone taking action about this matter? By punishing that guy for 5-+ matches.

  • ratchet

    Well, lets make sure we give them an absolute pasting when they come back to the Calderon, just like we did last time. Id love nothing more that to wipe the grins off their cheating players. We will show them what being a 2nd place team is like.

  • churchill

    i bloody hate valencia,what a bunch of wankers!!,their keeper should be banned for 10 games!soldado always does the same,dirty player,pereira etc,and i am very proud of my team,atletico played better than other games but lost the game,dont worry guys,playing like that will finish 3rd in la liga,no doubt about it.Aupa atleti!!!

  • Dircil

    I agree with most of you guys that we deserve a draw. When watching them scoring the first goal, I just wished that we had had Diego in our team. Every player of Atletico had a very under performed match last night. The only light spot that I could see is our two central defenders. Finally, I want to emphasize that we really need Diego to deal with such team like Valencia.

  • Yon

    I can not understand why Miranda did not attack the bacll for Soldado’s goal, could have risked his head to stop it or at least lift his foot or knee, other than that he has been perfect this season. I think this may be good for the players though, to remember how horrible a loss is, they won’t want to feel that again and Cholo will highlight this to them.

    As for the ref, I was seeing red rage all night! 2 possibly 3 definate penalties, and Victor Ruiz came on got booked, then commited 2 more fouls? Surely he should have gone too?

  • Matthijs

    I am proud of this team. We did not deserve to lose.

    Miranda and Godin are developing as a central duo. And my hate against Valencia is growing. Soldado and Perreira wtf.

  • don

    PATHETICO!!!, you lot always make me chuckle, Valencia defenders owed Flacao last night. I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

  • colmiak

    you are right don, they owed him a ton of penalties.

    only way they stopped him was by blatantly cheating; pulling him down, stomping on him. great defenders.

  • Shlomgar

    I don’t know about a win, I do know that the first goal was not part of what was going in the pitch. Atletico wasn’t dominant enough, but Valencia were practically invisible on offence.
    About the goal, Miranda isn’t the one to blame. He had a good distance from Soldado, he did put his body in a place that prevented an easy shot for the striker. 80% of the times, this ball was out, another 15% at the keeper’s hands, the definition of lucky shot.
    At about the 60th minute, my mind was set on two facts, first, this game needed a game changer, second, our bench was short of those. If we agree that Diego is that sort of player, and that we don’t have him anymore, can’t we settle for a second beat? What I mean is, isn’t it the time for Oli to step up? Wasn’t this match missing a bit of juvenile delinquency?

  • Javi

    I agree with slomgar soldados gol was unstoppable and not Miranda’s fault
    Also Raul Garcia Mario and cebolla should have all come in earlier at least the second full half
    Felipe Godin and Miranda played great for me
    Juanfran and Arda were very weak
    And tiago and emre were useless
    I think the loss takes off a bit of preassure which might be good in the end.

  • Yon

    Miranda, almost managed to get his STRAIGHT UPRIGHT BODY in the way, had e stuck out a leg, or knee, it would have blocked the shot, simple as that!

  • Arjit

    Miranda actually wasn’t even marking soldado, somebody else was, miranda had to cut across after the initial marker let soldado run. Not Miranda’s fault, also it was a beautiful goal. Valencia as a team played horribly and were very lucky but the goal itself isn’t something to take away from them. Also, they probably would have broken oli’s leg or something, it was an incredibly dirty game they played yesterday. Honestly, if you actually read a FIFA rule book, a foul is a late challenge or failed challenge when trying to get the ball. When you make no effort to get the ball and only go for the player, it’s a definitely yellow every time and sometimes even red. The amount of times they pulled falcao down diliberatelty should have been punished way more.

  • AtleticoPhilly

    I have read a few times that people said Valencia were efficient. That statement is simply not true. Soldado scored an excellent goal — no more, no less.

    There is no reason to overreact to the loss – Atletico played a solid match.

    I do think it is interesting, though, that Simeone subbed all three midfielders. I thought it was interesting to give Emre and Tiago the start.

  • Yon

    I agree, I was not pleased with Emre and Tiago starting, would have preferred Mario and then probably Koke as Cebolla picked up a knock last week.