After two games, Atlético Madrid are still without a goal in the Liga BBVA.
On Saturday night, los Rojiblancos played a thrilling game at the Mestalla, where the team lost 1-0 to hosts Valencia.
The only goal of the match was scored by Spain’s top scorer Roberto Soldado.
Gregorio Manzano surprisingly started with Miranda in place of Luis Perea and let Falcao make his debut in the starting line-up.
The team started strongly, but after the opening period Valencia took control of the match and created good chances through Mathieu and Roberto Soldado.
Atleti escaped in the 14th minute, when a goal by Piatti was wrongly disallowed for offside.
Some minutes later the home team had another big opportunity to score, but Soldado failed to keep his volley down.
The best chance in the first half for los Rojiblancos was for Adrián, after Tiago lobbed a ball in behind Valencia’s defence. Goalkeeper Guaita rushed out to stop the striker’s attempt. Shortly after, a shot by Reyes went off target.
Just before the break there were two big chances for Brazilian forward Jonas, but his first shot was beautifully stopped by Courtois and the rebound that followed was put wide.
The first chance after the break was for Atleti, but from close range Gabi failed to convert a perfect cross by Sílvio and headed straight at Guaita. The rebound fell before Falcao but he failed to get any power behind his shot.
Some minutes later Valencia opened the scoring at the other end. Despite the aerial prowess of Domínguez and Miranda a cross came in and Roberto Soldado was allowed an unchallenged header.
The Pichichi headed the ball perfectly into the top corner to score his fourth goal of the season.
Atleti responded with a dangerous cross by Tiago from the right, but there was nobody to tap it in.
After an hour of play Manzano brought on Arda Turan and the Turk got straight into the action as he skipped past two Valencians in the box, but he was unable to find a team-mate.
A handful of minutes later the coach also added Diego, who made his official debut for Atlético. With the addition of the two creative players Atleti went searching for the equaliser, but a header by Arda and a shot by Diego were not enough to beat Guaita.
In the 75th minute Atlético claimed a penalty when Diego was pushed from behind by Adil Rami, but referee González González waved play on.
Reyes played a beautiful through-ball to launch Arda five minutes before the end, but the Turk’s shot was superbly saved by Guaita, while Falcao was right next to Arda waiting to put the ball into an empty net.
In the final minute Diego had another big opportunity to score, but his shot was deflected wide.
Los Che had dug themselves in after Soldado’s goal and coach Emery decided to secure the lead by bringing on defensive substitutions. The home side didn’t record a single shot on target after the changes, but they proved enough to hold on to the 1-0 lead as Atleti failed to break down the white wall.
Atlético’s next match is on Thursday against Celtic in the Europa League.
Line-up: Courtois; Sílvio, Miranda, Domínguez, Filipe; Tiago (“64 Diego), Mario (“77 Juanfran), Gabi; Adrián (“59 Arda Turan), Falcao and Reyes.
Goals: 1-0 Soldado (“52)