La Liga: Valencia 1 – 0 Atlético

Atlético again fail to find the back of the net

Soldado celebrates his goal (Marca)

Soldado celebrates his goal (Marca)

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)


  • mohamad

    falcao is so static it is impossible for him to score in this way. i can swear he didmt touch the ball. he must search for the ball and be more unpredictable! no comparison between him and aguero or forlan!!!

  • 92

    I think Koke should have been on the starting line-up today instead of Tiago who played ugly, at least Koke would’ve played with more determination and guts, and Diego and Turan should’ve been starters also, they revolutionized the game instantly, and yeah, Rami did two penalties which would’ve change the outcome of the game, and Courtois was so outstanding the Valencia fans should’ve applaude him.

    Hopefully we can defeat Celtic easily as they pose no threat and Koke finally plays for good.

  • Davide

    I think it looked good. They just need some time to gel. Falcao has a special pattern of movement, almost like Nistelrooy in his glory days. He is smart player in the box. Teammates needs to learn how he moves and supply him in right time. Reyes annoys me more by every game, he seem to have developed the Messiaitis desease. Diego puts a smile on my face, a creative offensive runner from the middle, pinch me, i must be dreaming. Tiago need to be benched, horrible display. Miranda looks to be a good one for the back line. He is growing every game. Silvio is probably the best right back in the league. Curtois is one hell of a young talent. We need to to practice crosses much more. My initial feeling is that Diego is going to carry this team. Salvio in, Reyes out. He needs soms thinking time and has to decide if he is going to play for Atlético or for himself.

  • 92

    @mohamad I agree, just ’cause Falcao is the center forward doesn’t mean he is just gonna be static, I think he had sporadic chances, sure it’s his first game and he didn’t havemany chances but he has to show more determanation, in that facet Kun and Forlan are in much contact with the ball than Falcao, but let’s wait patiently till Falcao coordinates with Diego, Reyes, Turan and the others, and next time Manzano better play Koke.

  • SpeGo

    Both goalies were excellent tonight. I was disappointed with Tiago and Mario. Once Koke recover from his injury he will be in strating eleven. We have to give our team some time gel because lots of players arrived quite late to our team so it will take some time to get things working. Turan nad Diego looked good and we have Salvio wating his chance in bench. Juanfran was also very bad tonight and he might be out of the squad for next game. I still believe this season will prove to be succesfull one! Valencia is a very good team and we didnt play badly, just lacked a goal.

  • Russell Buckley

    Same old same old!

  • 7th

    actaully valenica were superior to us for 70 min of the match.

    intorducing diego and arda changed our momentum, if they were introduced from the beginging of second half. we might have taken a lead.

    otherwise, we played with 50% perfomance.

    Aupa atleti

  • 7th

    to be honest, i get a boner when watching this atletico team. gonna be fun playing them in fifa 12.lool

    even though we lost. pppoo

  • 92

    WHOA 7th!!! don’t you think your comment it’s a little inappropriate, I get excited too to see Atleti but not like you, keep it to yourself, I can’t wait for FIFA 12 either, I wonder who’s gonna becover, hopefully Koke for Spain, but I doubt it.

  • 92

    on the cover my mistake.

  • mohamad

    losing 5 points in the first 2 matches are critical specialy losing from direct rival like valencia! i hope that 3 points again racing will be the starting points. ATLETI LACKS THE WINNING MENTALITY THROUGH OUT THE LAST YEARS RATHER THAN ANYTHING ELSE…. THIS IS WHAT MANZANO MUST WORK HARDLY ON

  • Edletico

    I thought the team played exceptionally well, the players barely know each other and the passing was sublime in places. Valencia are a qualit side but I think we can better them come the calderon as this team has a lot of potential

    Diego looks quality, as did Arda. I believe Falcao played well just didn’t have a cross which he was able to connect with. I thought Miranda looked poor in the Europa league but was solid tonight. Silvio amazing but needs to take players on more often.

    Lets do the same against Celtic, with hopefully Koke in the team with Arda and Diego, then we can start our winning streak 🙂

  • fancyfartpants

    ARDAAAAAAAA TURAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNN
    the manager needs to give him 90 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!

    he did very well in 30 minutes !!! in 90 minutes he will make several women run on the field naked!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 7th

    92, lool, it was just phrase, not real. sorry.

    well, it seems koke is well liked by every atletico fans. well, me toooo.

    yeah. we will wiin la liga sooner than u think.>>> talking to myslef.

  • AtletienPhila

    Diego and Arda added an extra spark to the team. The biggest take away from this game, I think, is that these two players are going to bring top-quality play to the pitch.

    I never liked that Atleti brought Tiago back. When inspired, which seems to be rare, he plays fantastic football. He too often falls short of his best form. I would like to see Koke get more playing time.

    In defense of Tiago, he did have a brilliant pass to Adrian that he did not convert into a goal.

    Reyes is such a mystery. He is clearly talented, but does he help the team win? I don’t know the answer.

  • Ringo Schut

    The direct Atletico, yes, but the passing Atletico, he doesn’t help, unless he starts growing brains or something like that…

  • 92

    mohamad is right, we lost 5 points so far, I know that is been only 2 matches, but I agree with him, we could have done better last match and today, I know that is still early but is also a poor excuse. The signing of Falcao was done to replace Kun and Forlan on a short term, not long term, look at Kun with City, 3 games 6 goals, so I expect Falcao scoring in the next matches, and mohamad I also agree that our mentality needs to change, we need to start looking to score first that the other team, we need to be agressive from the 1st minute, now that we have the players, we need to stop being shilly-shally or else we are not gonna acomplish nothing.

    7th, excuse man my bad, I should have known better you were obviously joking, I should’t take all things too serious. And hell yeah Koke ROCKS!. Better play him Manzano, Better play him.

  • Kuwaiti

    that what i was telling you guys ” CENTER MIDFFELDERs ”
    we must play koke with suarez and thats it , Noooooo Tiago or Gabi any more PLEASE !!

    and Diego !! OOOOFFF he was the Best with Silvio and i think Turan also ,, BTW Manzano yesterday !! he was playing and trying many tactics in one match !!

    when we start the game i was shooking cuz our tactics was FUNNY !! No color No tast !!

    and our center midffelders must learn to come deeeeeeeeep and take the ball from defenders ,,,

    Second >>> there was no spaces to out fast and talented players cuz we are playing NORROW and this is a WROOOOOOOOOOONG way to play for our players cuz yesterday seems everybody they dont no their POSITIONS !! so we must Create some SPACE PLEASE MANZANO ..

    THANX GUYS ..

  • starvs

    This team was much much better when Arda and Diego came on, I take solace in that.

  • josé antonio burro

    The team selection was poor. The midfield lacked creativity and Tiago in particular was awful. Also, Adrian despite his enthusiasm really didn’t produce anything. Reyes was being selfish again and all his moves failed. If Falcao had got real service from his teammates, I’m sure he would have scored. But he’s no Kun and we shouldn’t expect that from him. Hopefully next match both Arda and Diego will start.

  • LosColchoneros

    I think it was actually a good match. Highly entertaining. Courtois was the real hero. He pulled off many important reaction saves that kept the score civil. Too bad we won’t be keeping him, unless there’s a buy-out clause somewhere. The tactics employed by Manzano, at least at the start were interesting 4-3-3. I was surprised that all three of Mario Suarez, Gabi, and Tiago were playing. I actually love Tiago, and believe he has been simply a revelation after re-discovering his form – though to be fair, he had quite a torrid match yesterday. Clearly, a 3-man center mid puts a lot of creative strain on the CMs, and that can tire them out. I would prefer a Tiago/Gabi backed by Suarez midfield. With Arda and Reyes on the wings. And Diego shadowing Falcao. Actually, I feel this is the only way we can play to fully utilize our talent – even though I’m not a fan of lone strikers. At Porto, Falcao had Hulk doing most of the hard work, and him just being the clutch at the end. Defence looked solid for the most part, Dominguez didn’t impress me too much as he sometimes lacked concentration – though I doubt we have any better players on the bench. Miranda was solid, but a few times he may have been a bit rough, credit this ref, but some Spanish referees are notoriously soft. Which means we would have been given a few penalties with Falcao being brought down. I was absolutely thrilled to see Arda and Diego. Arda clearly oozes confidence and his dribble style is amazingly technical while he seems to be simply strolling around, reminds me of Riquelme a bit. Diego was full of energy, I remember seeing him running right out of the blocks, and then he put on his creativity – we should have scored. Our team is stronger than Valencia’s, we just need time to clearly gel. There were two opportunities where both Adrian and Arda selfishly (but with some justification) took shots, when clearly back tracking to an open Falcao would have been an almost guaranteed goal. I caught the game a bit late, but did manage to catch Adrians volley coming from Tiago’s chip, had he simply gave a one touch side volley pass to his left and we may have won the game. I realized however, with the amount of muscling around happening, has anyone wondered what will happen if we lose Falcao to an injury? Adrian cannot be on his own up there. Salvio lacks confidence and play time. Juanfran has never impressed me; I believe that he’s only really useful in running defenders in circles. That is surely a talent in itself, but we need players with goal scoring prowess. Besides, with Reyes, Turan, and Diego already on the pitch, there’s no shortage of technical skill available. Silvio was as usual, impressive. His cross was the only real one among all the posers. Filipe was shambolic when it came to crossing, his marauding runs were also quite muted. We may as well have Antonio Lopez playing instead, at least our real captain would be on the pitch. I don’t think Dominguez is really cut out for that job. If it was up to me, I would either have Suarez. Speaking about Koke, I don’t understand everyone’s fascination with him; he is clearly talented and may be a fan favorite. But I cannot honestly say he’s better than Tiago; shining for the youth and the Spanish U-whatevers team is one thing, but crowding out either Tiago or Suarez is quite another. Perhaps, he may be able to over take Tiago sometime during this season.

  • SpeGo

    Well I think Koke will be our best midfielder when season ends. Tiago is pretty reliable and works hard but he rarely shines and he should be better with the ball in the role he plays. Koke is very good passer and tactically good. I definately rate him our most creative central midfielder and because he is capable of defending he will be very important player for us this season.

  • Turkish Fan

    I m glad to see ur nice words about ARDA,i say again,he needs to play full times,after he played 90 mins for afew times,he ll change score so easily with reyes,diego,falcao…
    ARDAAAAAAA TURANNNNNNNNNNNN

  • Javi

    Arda and Diego clearly made an impact in the game. Big coaching to play them only at the end
    They should be starters in place of tiago and Reyes
    Also Salvio should be playing with Falcao I thought Adrian was ineffective. Koke should also get an opportunity as Suarez was mediocre at best
    In general again I believe we gave away points here because of bad coaching-that is five points now: we should have Osasuna and we definitely could gave beat Valencia
    Same as last year looking up at teams we should have beat-frustrating

  • Javi

    I meant big coaching mistake not to start arda and diego

  • turk

    i think arda is ready for playing 90 minutes!!! im so proud of your comments about arda turan, im pretty sure ardas gonna play first 11 and he will score goal and assist for next game

  • Edletico

    Does anyone else think that Juanfran has started the season poorly? Reyes shouldn’t be dropped I don’t understand the selfish comments, sometimes he tries long shots but our best chances come through him. Salvio (or Pizzi if he is good enough) should take Juanfran’s place on the bench for the time being with Koke, Diego and Arda coming in for Tiago, Gabi and Adrian in the first team.

  • Turkish Fan

    i poor to juanfran so much,he should not play in ametaur league even..he s terrible…and silly selfish,and reyes should not try to be selfish ether,he thinks he s hero of at.madrd.
    ARDA will be ur best footballer in next days,….see u…

  • k14

    Falcao would have had 2 goals to his name if Adrian and Arda didn’t try to go for glory (most likely they didn’t notice him) and passed to him instead of shooting.

  • javi

    @ edletico, I havent liked Juanfran since the day we got him. he has not shown me anything at all, just mediocrity. Whenever he comes in there is no feeling that anything positive is going to happen with the team, its just wasted space on that side of the field. I rather sell him and bring up a young player.

  • k14

    Honestly, there was games where Juanfran played well, the ones he played with D.Costa, somehow they were doing good together.

  • javi

    k 14, yes you are correct, there were a couple of games that he played better. I just dont like him, he was a replacement for Jurado but he lacks so much. It seems like another of those Pitarch signings that dont do anything for the team. I rather see us developing young talent than paying for mediocre players.

  • Lubo

    About Juanfran. He was a cheap signing never meant for starting eleven. I mean even he knows it. But I would never sell him. Remember the pre-season guys? How everyone was talking about the great atmosphere in the squad? I think it’s also Juanfran’s work. He looks like a funny and honest type, who can bring the team together and for this squad it’s more than important. Unity is what this team needs and I think Juanfran can do his job. Even from bench.

  • javi

    Lubo, you might be right, I dont know about the off field stuff, I can only judge on what I see on the field. But when I saw Diego or Arda getting ready to jump into the game the other day, I got excited. But when I see Juanfran its like…a little better than seeing Raul Garcia coming in.
    And the question is why, is this the best we can do?

  • Lubo

    javi I agree with you, but.. Juanfran is in this team just for 9 months. He came to completely new environment. He wasn’t worth his price in january nor in february. When he got used to new team, he actually did good job. Now after this summer, 7 players of starting eleven were replaced, we have new coach, new style of play and he is again in new environment. You know what I want to say. This whole team needs some time and we’ll be stronger than ever, I’m pretty sure about it.

  • javi

    I agree with you on that one Lubo.
    It appears that a court today, Department of Vaud, determined that Sion not Celtic has the right to play thursday’s game against atleti…so this circus continues. We dont know at this point who we are playing.