La Liga: Atlético 1 – 1 Valencia

Atleti miss the chance to close gap on top-two after finishing a draw

Mustafi capitalises on goalkeeping mis-hap from Moyá

Mustafi capitalises on goalkeeping mis-hap from Moyá

Atlético Madrid missed the opportunity to go within five points of the top of the table after they played out a 1-1 draw with Valencia on Sunday evening.

Despite taking the lead midway through the first half, a late defensive lapse for Atleti handed a point to Valencia, who keep up the chase for third with the home side.

Diego Simeone chose to start with Fernando Torres up front alongside Raúl García, fuelling rumours of a falling out with summer signing Mario Mandzukic. The Croatian started the second successive game on the bench, despite the absence of fellow arrival Antoine Griezmann through suspension.

Also returning to the starting line-up was Koke, who hadn’t featured from the beginning since his injury in February’s 4-0 win over Real Madrid.

Cholo’s decision to start Torres looked justified from the start. El Niño ran himself into the ground for the entirety of the first half, chasing down the ball and fighting to create opportunities.

The Spaniard had fire in his eyes, which can’t be said of some of the players in our recent performances. Torres almost took it a bit too far in the 17th minute however, as he plunged his elbow into the face of Otamendi, and was lucky to not pick up a red card.

It was fortunate for Atleti too, as Torres was involved in the set up of the opening goal. A free-kick floated in from Gabi was headed on by Torres and chested down by Tiago. And who was waiting outside the box ready to drive it into the back of the net? The returning maestro, Koke.

The canterano’s strike hit 95 kilometres an hour as it flew past Diego Alves in the Valencia goal, and it ended Atlético Madrid’s run of 275 minutes without scoring.

Despite the goal, it was a half of few chances and many fouls. The referee dished out 11 yellow cards all game, on what was a scrappy night in Madrid.

The biggest chance of the night fell to Tiago in the 70th minute. A corner whipped in from Gabi looked to be going out, but Diego Godín managed to get his head on it and pull it back to the Portugese midfielder. Tiago leaned back, got his foot on it but could only send the ball crashing up into the crossbar from less than three yards out.

An excruciating miss, especially considering what happened next.

Moyá, after almost getting caught out in no-mans land if it wasn’t for a Juanfran intervention a few minutes before, could arguable be at fault for the Valencia equaliser, but it was a tough cross to deal with.

A free kick on the left hand side was whipped in by Parejo, and looked set to loop over Moyá into the back of the net. Our goalkeeper got his hand to it and palm it back into play, where a waiting Mustafi was on hand to head the ball into an open goal despite a challenge from Siqueira.

Not undeserved when you look at the possession, but with their only real chance of the night bundled into the back of the net, it must go down as a poor defensive lapse for Atleti.

Despite Mario Mandzukic and Raúl Jiménez both joining the game to try and regain the lead, neither had any real effect on the match.

In fact, Mandzukic has done the team a favour by picking up his fifth booking of the season almost instantly after coming on. Not because Atleti won’t miss him, but because it will spare Simeone a decision, as he will miss the next match against Espanyol through suspension.

With the yellow cards in double digits, it wasn’t surprising that the game finished without it’s full quota of plauers. Javi Fuego was sent off in stoppage time for two bookings in as many minutes after fouls on Raúl Jiménez.

In the end it was a disappointing night for Atleti. The opportunity to close the gap on the league leaders has passed them by, and it remains to be seen if they will get another one.

Make sure you check out our player ratings, from our assistant editor Billy Edwards

Do you blame Moyá for the equaliser? Should Oblak be given a chance? Is this a point gained or two points dropped?

Atlético Madrid Valencia
Atlético Madrid 11 Valencia
Koke 33'Mustafi 78'
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Vicente Calderón
Date 08 March 2015
Kick Off 21:00 CET

Team Lineups

Atlético Madrid
Moyá
Juanfran
Godín
Giménez
Siqueira
Gabi (81')
Tiago
Koke (69')
Arda
Raúl García
F Torres (61')
Substitutes used
Mandzukic (61')
Suarez (69')
Raúl Jiménez (81')
Valencia
Alves
Gaya
Otamendi
Mustafi
Barragan
Javi Guego
Parejo
Perez (68')
Piatti (90')
Feghouli (58')
Negredo
Substitutes used
Rodrigo (58')
Gomes (68')
Orban (90')

Match Stats

Possession
4555
Shots
83
On Target
31
Corners
61
Fouls
2219
Yellow Cards
56
Red Cards
01
  • It’s true that Cholo also said last season that he is only playing for 3rd place, but it’s was very obvious to everybody that he was just keeping low profile, and that his actions were different than his speeches
    After scoring the 3rd vs Valencia last season and tying with Barca in everything, he said to his players : “uno mas” [one more], even though that one more goal would have only made us sole leaders temporarily, because what matters is the head-to-head results

    While tonight, he seemed very convinced with the 1-0, which not just wasn’t enough to secure the win against a dangerous team like Valencia, but also wasn’t enough to win the head-to-head against them, something that could come in handy at the end of the season

    I had my doubts for a long time, but after tonight, I’m totally sure that Simeone really meant it this time when he said that he wants the 3rd or 4th place
    And I simply can’t accept that .

  • Luis

    Feel absolutely deflated by that result. We’re a better team than Valencia but we can’t back that up with results. The goalkeeping situation needs to be addressed. Moyà is an excellent second choice keeper but I don’t know if Oblak is ready to be number one and we need QUALITY in that area now not in a few seasons time. If we can add two or three world class players this summer next season we will be back.

  • tohaju thomas

    ahmad i have a question ,, why anisaldi is not playing even its the 4th match for him on the bench after coming back from his injury ?

  • Actually he wasn’t on the bench tonight, Lucas was, and he wasn’t on the bench against Sevilla or Almeria, he was on the bench only once in the last 4 games, in Vigo, although -if I remember correctly- he was called up to all those games

    I don’t know, maybe he is not fully fit yet
    or maybe Simeone has made up his mind and picked Siqueria as number 1 choice, because as we all know, he wasn’t really rotating them at the beginning of the season, since he doesn’t believe in rotation !
    both were new signings and he was trying both of them to see which one will be the starter and play every single minute and who will be left to rot on the bench

    Anyway, Siqueira is suspended for Espanyol game and we should see Ansaldi, but if we didn’t and and Gamez played again as a left back, or Lucas, then I guess we will never see Ansaldi in Atleti’s shirt again

  • tohaju thomas

    that is very weird , coze i also remember he been called for the last 4 games and pick games over him when siqueira injured ,,
    i thought after valencia 1st match ansaldi was the num 1 for him to start even we all saw he was much better than siqueira on def and ofn

  • It is not weird, Simeone sometimes calls 19 or 20 players then he drops one or two just before the game to make a list of 18 players as the rules say (if that what you meant by weird)

    I never thought that Ansaldi will be number 1, simply because he is on loan while Siqueira is the permanent deal, the only case this could happen is if Siqueira is really really bad, but he is not, beside, Ansaldi is not very great either, he is just good

    By the way, and I really hate to say this, but you need to work on you English, especially that you usually reply to me, because sometimes it’s difficult to understand you, like :
    ” he been called for the last 4 games and pick games over him when siqueira injured ”

    What does that mean ?!!
    I wish you take this in good way 🙂

  • tohaju thomas

    well i know he drop one or 2 from the list b4 the game , so when i said very weird my point was why he dropped anisaldi
    and if he is not ready yet why he called him
    coze we know simeone never call a player if he is not fit to play even if he gona drop him from the list b4 the game and this happened 3 times as u told me at ur last comment
    about my english
    well i am not very good at grammar ,, but at this line i think i lost my mind ,, i meant to say Gamez not games with s ,, my mistake 😉

  • And that’s why grammar is very important, like starting the names with capital letters, maybe I could have guessed that you meant Gamez if you wrote it with a capital “G”, even with an “s” at the end

    Don’t be lazy man, press the shift button 🙂

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Maybe these results are because of the change in attitude by Cholo and his staff. What happened to game by game and every game is a final etc.?

    By the way, I can’t forget to blast Moya lol just kidding, even tho the goal was his fault also Tiago should have scored that sitter

  • Carpetano

    The only possible reason why Ansaldi’s isn’t a name for the Starting XI, is because of the police incident during the Barca game in CdR.

    Seriously, it has nothing to do with his performaces on the pitch since he’s far better than Siqueira and Gámez as left back.

  • tohaju thomas

    its not about lazy or not , it depends more about my mood
    some times i care about writing a proper english and the capital letters , and sometimes i dont at all like yesterday
    btw u also dont start names with capital letters sometimes 😉 hehehe

  • No, that never happened

  • tohaju thomas

    ops sorry , it was ur copy and past of my line which u didnt understand 🙂 hehehehe

  • Good thinking, I forgot about that incident, it could be a reason, but I really don’t think so

    In Spain, such incidents don’t prevent players from playing
    I mean this is a country which is drowning in corruption ans scandals
    4 former club presidents are in prison right new, those of Barca, Sevilla, Valencia & Osasuna, while the current president of Barca is being investigated, and the presidents of Real Madrid & Atlerico have been called testify in a corruption and extortion cases respectively
    Caminero was accused with money laundering for drugs cartel (I don’t know what happened to that case)
    And several clubs and many people are being investigated for match fixing, including our captain Gabi

    So, I really don’t think that there is a Spanish club that would prevent a player from playing for “just” slamming his car’s door on the hand of a police officer !