La Liga: Atlético 1 – 1 Valencia

Poor first half by Atleti results in two points lost at home

Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao against Valencia

Falcao against Valencia

Atlético Madrid had won their first 13 league games at the Vicente Calderón, but have dropped points in the two games since ending their streak.

After falling to Real Sociedad at home three weeks ago, the Colchoneros shared the points with Valencia on Sunday night in a 1-1 draw.

The final score was reached after just six minutes, when Jonas and Radamel Falcao had already found the back of the net. The result was even more disappointing for Atleti, considering not only that their opponents were missing several key players and are currently trailing us by 15 points, but also because we let the opportunity slip to leapfrog over Real Madrid in second place.

Atlético didn’t appear to be ready for the game tonight and looked nothing like the aggressive team that have been shutting out opponents so effectively this season. Early on, Piatti made Godín look like an amateur by easily shoving him aside, before sending off a cross to Valdez that barely missed his teammate.

In the fifth minute Valencia did strike effectively. João Pereira was allowed to pick out a teammate in the box and his cross reached Jonas, who controlled the ball and left Courtois without a chance from close range.

But within a single minute the Rojiblancos struck back. Arda Turan cut inside and delivered a precise cross to Radamel Falcao, who escaped the offside trap and volleyed the ball past Diego Alves to tie up the game.

But despite getting back into the game so quickly, Atleti still weren’t up to par. Valencia controlled the match in the first half and was the only team creating opportunities. Thibaut Courtois did well to deny Éver Banega and later Dani Parejo, as Los Ché piled up the pressure.

Courtois made an excellent double save to deny João Pereira and Jonas, and was lent a helping hand by Valdez who blocked a shot from his own teammate Andrés Guardado.

In the last minute of the first half, Diego Alves did well to parry a free kick by Gabi, which was only Atleti’s second attempt of the match. But after the break Atlético were much improved and took control over the match. The team looked much stronger and created a series of chances. First Filipe’s shot was deflected wide for a corner, and a few moments later, Diego Alves rushed out to stop Diego Costa after Falcao had launched his partner with a ball over the top.

The home side earned a series of corner kicks, one of them allowing Falcao to head towards goal. His header was handled by Jonas, and although the Brazilian’s handball was unintentional and the ball was not goal-bound, Atleti still should have been rewarded a penalty kick.

In the remaining half hour Valencia retreated, allowing Atlético to dominate possession. But Simeone’s team lacked creativity tonight and Cholo, who was forced to replace the injured Arda in the first half, decided not to make any changes despite his team’s best efforts to break down Valencia’s defence. The team couldn’t manage it, and the game ended in a disappointing 1-1 draw.

Line-up: Courtois; Manquillo, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Arda (“27 Raúl García), Gabi, Mario, Koke; Diego Costa and Falcao.

Goals: 0-1 Jonas (“5); 1-1 Falcao (“6)

  • Ty Gambo

    Oliver could have replaced Falcao or something and maybe create something.
    Falcao was invisible as usual, nice finish, but outside of a few good touches I didn’t think he was involved enough. Have to say he almost gave a great assist, but in the final 20 minutes or so, a player like Oli (also because there aren’t that many other talented creative players atm) could have at least created some good chances.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    in the last 3 games for Atleti (Malaga, Sociedad & Osasuna) , Simeone made only 2 substitutions in each one

    tonight, he made only one sub. (RG for the injured Arda)

    is our bench is that bad .. did he lose the faith in Adrian .. what about Cebolla, the regular sub ?!

    and has anybody seen Falcao tonight? yes he scored, but only once .. then he disappeared

    when you buy a player with 45 millions you expect him to decide games like this

    DO YOU KNOW that Sociedad have 51 goals in La Liga, the same number of goals for Atleti … and they don’t have Falcao … this NOT right

    if he stayed that way I think we should sell him at the end of the season … before his price drops !!

    what do you think guys ?!

  • Andres (Lolaya)


    It is true his form is a little shaky but look at the rest of European strikers…

    Van Persie hasn’t scored in about 10 games, Cavani didn’t score in about 6, Aguero is doing bad while Falcao is at least still scoring.

    Falcao was suffocated a bit today because in my opinion Costa was strangling to the left a bit too much.

    When Falcao touched the ball though, his passing was good. He also scored the goal… a little bit too little credit you 2 are giving him.

  • Ty Gambo

    I said those things, so that’s my little bit of credit, it’s the other 88 minutes that bother me.

  • piserakos

    dissapointing performance… awfull first half

  • ktbell

    I agree with Ahmad Hossainy, Simeone’s lack of substitutions in these last few games is getting very frustrating. A sub or two easily could have been the difference in this game.

  • Martin Rosenow

    Falcao has decided much bigger games than this one. You know, the type that add huge trophies to our museum.

    El Tigre has 64 goals in less than 2 seasons. You read that correctly.

  • Yon

    Falcao isn’t getting great service since the Christmas break, hence the dip in goals, plus his little injury, as much as I love Costa and his work rate, we lose a little bit of creativity and Arda getting injured did not help.

    WE NEED DIEGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why he wasn’t signed in summer is baffling, why he still wasn’t signed in January is a joke. Will he even want to come in summer this year with Falcao leaving?

  • Shay

    How ingratful.. a few games without scoring and “his price drops”? get real, will ya?
    Falcao is one of the best things that happend to this club

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    actually this exactly what I’m talking about Martin, where did that Falcao go ?!
    this season he scored 8 times from penalty spot, and scored 5 in one game (it’s a good thing but also a bad thing, because it means he did score in many other games as he has 22 goals in 26 games in La Liga)

    and Shay, I’m not ingrateful, I love Falco , I even love Godin and always forgive him after every silly mistake he make (like the one he did last night) !!
    WHAT I’m Saying is if we can’t keep Falcao for ever (and I believe we can’t) so we must sell him in the correct time , and I’m asking is the time is now?!

  • Andres (Lolaya)

    I would say don’t sell Falcao if you think his value is going to decrease. I would say it would stay the same or maybe even go up a little.

    With Simeone staying, the presidents hopefully promising to go out on a splurge and Falcao going to the World Cup, his value could even go up.

    Imagine if Falcao scores a good amount with Colombia at the WC and Falcao stays to play CL next year with some replacements and Simeone staying?

    What if Atletico can stay on Madrid’s and Barca’s tails next season like this one and maybe even get 2nd place?

  • Ty Gambo

    I am not saying Falcao isn’t able to do great things, I’m just worried about him not doing those.
    The great Falcao we’ve seen in the first 6-8 weeks this season, after that there were a few games in which he still showed it, but the amount seems to be decreasing.
    He did some good things in this match, as well, but was involved way too little for me to be satisfied.
    We’re almost missing a player in the field play.
    He used to be way more available for passes, now it’s hard to even catch a glimpse sometimes.