La Liga: Atlético 3 – 0 Valencia

Strong second half performance leads Atleti past Valencia

Diego Costa against Valencia

Man of the Match Diego Costa (AS)

For years Valencia were labeled the third team in Spain, but Sunday night confirmed there no longer is a place for Los Che among La Liga’s elite after Atlético’s resurrection in recent years.

At the Vicente Calderón the visitors were able to keep up with the Rojiblancos for exactly one half, but after the opening 45 minutes Diego Simeone’s men pulled away to win 3-0 and continue their unbeaten streak at home.

One more goal would have seen Atleti go top of La Liga, a position they now share with Barcelona who they equalled in points and goal difference.

The goals were scored by usual suspects Diego Costa and Raúl García. The former added another late on after scoring one of two penalties.

Costa was a threat to Valencia from the early goings. After ten minutes he launched himself and reached the goal line, but he couldn’t connect with any of his teammates as Arda arrived just a second too late.

Valencia did well to keep Valencia far away from goal and even managed to break out quickly after half an hour of play, but Jonas’ cross was easily collected by Courtois. It was the only time the ‘keeper was called to action as the visitors didn’t record a shot on target in the entire game.

Before the break there were two more opportunities for the Colchoneros, but Diego Costa just missed Juanfran’s cross and shortly before the break David Villa allowed Guardado to intervene after Costa slipped him a lovely through ball.

Atlético were much more aggressive at the start of the second half and recorded an early shot on target when Koke found Diego Costa. A few moments later Arda Turan fired just over the crossbar and a low pass across goal by Miranda was backheeled just wide by the excellent Tiago.

After exactly an hour of play Atlético got the goal they deserved after turning defence into offence. Diego Godín won the ball and brought it forward to Diego Costa, who took on Víctor Ruiz and then slotted it in with his left foot to score his 21st of the campaign. It was the 8th consecutive time The Beast scored at the Calderón.

Only four minutes later the lead was doubled by substitute Raúl García, who had entered just a minute before to replace David Villa. After Oriol Romeu failed to clear a cross from Juanfran the ball fell before the feet of RG8, who scored with a low drive to beat Diego Alves for a second time.

Raúl’s great form has helped him become La Liga’s most prolific midfielder with 11 goals, one more than Ivan Rakitic and Gareth Bale.

Other than shots fired wide by Canales and Bernat, there was very little Valencia had to offer on Sunday night.

In the 73rd minute Diego Costa won the ball in midfield and then won a penalty after being brought down by Víctor Ruiz, who couldn’t handle the man from Brazil. But Diego Alves, who has quite a bit of a reputation, denied the striker from the spot kick. It was Alves’ 11th penalty save, the most among all active goalkeepers in la Liga.

However, shortly before the end Diego Costa got a second chance. He won another penalty after being pushed from behind by Barragan and again Costa stepped up himself. This time Costa did convert the penalty to score his 17th in the league and to make it 3-0 to Atleti.

Illustrative of his ambition and desire was Diego Simeone’s demand for his players to pursue another goal, knowing that his team had a chance to jump over Barcelona in the ranking. His team didn’t score any more goals but will have another shot at la Liga’s top position when they take on Getafe next week.

Atlético Valencia
Atlético 3 0 Valencia
Diego Costa 60' 
Raúl García 64' 
Diego Costa (p.k.) 81' 
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Vicente Calderon
Date 15 December 2013
Kick Off 21.00 CET

Team Lineups

Atlético
Courtois
Juanfran
Miranda
Godín
Filipe
Koke
Gabi
Tiago
Arda (85')
Villa (61')
Diego Costa
Substitutes used
Raúl García (61')
Adrián (85')
Valencia
Diego Alves
Barragan
Víctor Ruiz
Mathieu
Guardado (75')
Oriol Romeu
Parejo
Bernat
Canales
Feghouli (65')
Jonas (59')
Substitutes used
Paco Alcácer (59')
Pabón (65')
Piatti (75')

Match Stats

Possession
5149
Shots
143
On Target
60
Corners
81
Fouls
912
Yellow Cards
24
Red Cards
00
  • kris

    What’s most fascinating is the amount of goal shots Valencia had against us. Just look at it 14-3. I <3 our defense… That's just amazing.. .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I’m a little upset .. and I’m happy that I’m upset !

    I’m upset about the first penalty that Diego Costa missed ..
    it would give him the first hat-trick this season and the sole leadership for La Liga top scorers
    and it would give us the lead of La Liga with goal difference

    and I’m happy because only the fans of giant teams can be upset after wining 3-0 against a big team like Valencia

    Gracias Cholo

  • Colchonero in SF

    “Raul Golcia” ’nuff said.

    Am I the only one who believes Koke’s only weakness is his lack of finishing?
    Too many times he doesn’t convert chances that are sitters or they go over or off the post
    Today’s shot over the bar, his left footed curl against Real Madrid off the post etc.

    I love Koke- I think he’s brilliant but he needs to develop a scoring touch to establish himself as world class.

    I think Simeone will keep with Costa as a penalty taker as he needs to clearly establish himself as ‘the man’ of the team.

    Or- call me a conspiracy theorist- could it be a clause in his contract to ensure his value will keep elevating with free goals? because he truly looks un-confident taking the spot kick.

    Thoughts?

  • Jeronamo

    RG8 is a striker, I’m convinced

  • kris

    There was really no one better in the team who could have taken those p.k.s better than Costa himself. If Villa was still playing, maybe Costa would have handed them to him, but Cholo wants Costa to take them for his own good as well as he is the only realistic challenger for the Pichichi from our team.

    And RG8 has been misused for so many years, playing as a CM, CAM, RM when he clearly is a False 9. So glad Cholo has realized this. LOL from actually being one of Raul’s main haters to actually wanting him in the team when Villa was playing badly. How Cholo and him have managed to change my mind. Brilliant.

  • kris

    And yes, Koke seems to be actually scared to take shots, just like Oliver, don’t know for what reasons. When they are open and have a clear chance of getting a shot on target they have to shoot, so they can create chances. I don’t know what’s up with not shooting from our players. That’s the part I don’t understand.

  • Adnan Khan

    Yeah koke had alot of good chances to shoot this match, but he just passed the ball instead. When you are close to the box line then you should try to shoot. My opinion. And costa need to train on penalty taking his second penalty miss this season if i can remember correct

  • AaX

    THIS is a Valuable Win! against a team named Valencia, but shall we not settle as only the number the number 3 shall we ? At the very least, We are the Best of Madrid.