La Liga: Valencia 3 – 1 Atlético

Rojiblancos fall to first league defeat as Valencia move top

After an emphatic 4-0 win at home in the Calderón last week against an in form Sevilla, the rojiblancos would have hoped for another 3 important points on their travels to the Mestalla. However, the home side took the 3 points after a ruthless opening 12 minutes, going on to secure a crucial 3-1 win.

It took only 6 minutes before a lapse of concentration between Moya and Miranda left Atleti trailing – uncharacteristic defending from a Rojiblanco perspective.

A minute later Valencia struck once more to make it 2-0 after Andre Gomes strolled through the Atleti defence, finishing exquisitely past a helpless Moya.

Definitely not the start Simeone would have hoped for, his team were shaken and Valencia continued to press. A tenth minute tribute to a legend of the Mestalla, Mario Kempes followed, after the 60 year-old underwent heart surgery last week.

A tough task became almost impossible after Otamendi headed home from a corner in the 13th minute, leaving the Atléticos in complete shock. Such defending was reminiscent of the Quique Sánchez Flora era, rather than what we have been used to under Simeone in the last few years.

A half chance soon fell to Mandzukic as he tried to flick a cross from the left in at the far post, but the header fell at the wrong side of the post.

Simeone’s men began to gain a little momentum and seen more and more of the ball. It paid off in the 28th minute as Mandzukic scored his 4th goal of the season after the ball fell to him, after a speculative Tiago strike parried by Diego Alves into the path of the Croatian. This gave Atleti hope of salvaging something from this match, with an hour still to find another goal or two.

Soon after, referee Fernando Teixeira Vitienes denied Atleti a clear penalty after the ball struck a hand in the Valencia box, but justice was done shortly after when he awarded a penalty for a hand ball against José Gaya.

Guilherme Siqueira stepped up to take it, but he could not beat Diego Alves and left Atleti still 3-1 down at the break.

Mandzukic was clearly upset, shaking his head as he walked down the tunnel having wanted to take the kick himself. A massive moment in the game, one that left us wondering what might have happened had he converted.

The red and whites came out for the second half a little more fired up and were threatening the Los Che backline on a more constant basis. Mandzukic coming close an attempt from outside the box, but Diego Alves was equal to it.

With half an hour to go, Nuno Santo made a defensive change, introducing Orban on for Piatti and opting to play for the rest of the game on the counter attack.

Griezmann, still yet to really kick-off his career at Atleti, was next to threaten with a free kick just over the bar, his last impact on the game as he was replaced by Alessio Cerci moments later.

The next 5 minutes saw a series of substitutions by both managers, Raul Jiménez and Raúl García coming on for Arda Turan and Tiago respectively. The Valencia boss sent on Felipe Augusto and Feghouli on to try and tighten things up for the goalscorer Andre Gomes and Paco Alcácer.

Atleti struggled to create any clear cut chances, until late on when Cerci thought he had scored his first goal in Spanish football. However, it was ruled out for a handball ,which consequently seen him recieve a second booking.

The final whistle soon followed to end a miserable afternoon for Atlético, who suffered defeat for the first time this season in La Liga. Up next is a must win fixture against an Espanyol side, who have just 1 win from their opening 6 matches so far.

Valencia Atlético Madrid
Valencia 31 Atlético Madrid
Miranda (og) 6Mandzukic 29
Andre Gomes 7 
Otamendi 13 
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Mestalla
Date 04 October 2014
Kick Off 16:00 CET
  • Glad we won, it was a difficult game. I thought Valencia would score more than 3 as the team started off, but things stabilized by the 20th minute and then of course the Mandzukic goal came to make the game more interesting.

    Thankfully our defense held tight and we were able to beat Atletico, those last 20 minutes were really scary.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Plain and simple this was down to bad coaching. Simeone got everything wrong this time and that’s the real truth

  • First goal was lucky for us, I mean it could happen to anyone and has happened. From then Atletico defense was shocked and VCF were able to score a second goal just a minute later.

    Obviously VCF pressured really hard early in the game and with the two quick goals made the defense uneasy and this Otamendi was able to score a third goal.

    After that it would have been hard to come back for any team, VCF is just a solid team this season with great defense and was able to slowly but surely close out the game!

  • I’ve been busy with Eid Al-Adha .. I didn’t watch the game which was at 4 pm in Spain and also 4 pm in Egypt, I downloaded it but I still didn’t have the chance to watch it, but here is some general thoughts :

    1- The 3 goals from Miranda have masked the fact that he has been making many mistakes this season, ridiculous mistakes
    this is not Miranda of the last 2 seasons .. this is Perea in his last 3 or 4 seasons with Atleti
    is his mind not clear ?! is he thinking about the opportunity he ” missed ” to leave the club for much bigger contract in EPL like his 2 compatriots Costa & Filipe ?! .. I don’t know
    But I do know that Simeone has to make a courageous decision and put him on the bench for a while and give the chance to Gimenez
    if the kid was good enough to start 3 games with Uruguay in the world cup, 2 against very big names like Italy & England and one in the knock-out stage then he is definitely good enough for Atleti
    let’s make Miranda feel some fear to lose his spot, especially after he was called back to Brazil national team

    2-In someway, I think what Siqueira did of asking to take the penalty shows a good quality of him
    it shows that he has a strong personalty and he is not afraid to take a penalty in a very hostile stadium while his team is down with 2 goals margin, he wants to prove himself and to make his name with a big club like Atleti
    yes, it also shows that he is a little selfish and he is a terrible penalty taker -despite his almost perfect record with Granada, scoring 11 of the 12 penalties he took- but I won’t worry too much about that, because clearly he will not take any penalty again !

    The incident also shows a great quality of Mandzukic .. we’ve seen many players fighting with their teammates to take a penalty

    3- Also in someway, that game should give a big load of confidence to Oblak, what happened with Moya against Valencia is almost exactly what happened with Oblak against Olympiacos, a lot of defensive mistakes, and both GKs are not responsible for at last 2 of the 3 goals each of them have conceded

    4-About Valencia :
    I hate to underestimate rather than disrespect any opponent, but I also hate to put things out of its perspective
    Valencia are a good team, but are they that good to compete for 3rd place (probably with us) or even for the title ?!
    many people would say yes .. I will not, but I will not say no either (although I think so)
    it is too early, and the few games they’ve played until now were very easy, while their only real challenge was very weird and they were at least a little lucky

    To put things in their perspective :
    Valencia have played 7 games in La Liga,
    4 at home, against Cordoba, Espanyol, Malaga & us .. and they won all of them
    3 away, drew in 2 of them against Sevilla & Sociedad, and won 1 against Getafe

    one more game at home, only 2 teams of the top 7 right now .. not much of a challenge

    November could tell us more, they will go to the Madrigal, and to the Ciutat de Valencia for the derby, and they will host Athletic and Barca

    for more perspective, we beat Real Madrid, champions of Europe (twice), we beat Juventus, champions of Italy in the last 3 seasons, and we thrashed Sevilla, champions of Europa League and the 3rd on the table right now

    without any disrespect or underestimation, and without denying that we have some problems :
    feeling threatened by Valencia -at least at this point- is an insult for Atelti

  • Mrtn

    I agree with you in the cases of Miranda, Siqueira and the keepers but I see our display in a total different way: in the first supercup leg at Bernabeu we were really lucky as Real could win that by 3-4 goals easily. Although we beat Juve I think nobody can be proud of the fact that Juve dominated hugely in our own ground, and we didn’t really deserve the 3 points. We were also outplayed and forced to defend desperately by Rayo and Eibar, and again, we could lose both games with all the chances these 2 small teams created against us. And there was the Olympiakos game which was a disaster again.
    Our only good displays this season were the 2nd leg against Real and Sevilla game last week.
    My biggest worry is that I can’t see Cholo utilize creative attackers in the team and adjust the tactics for a more attacking, more creative play.
    I think Valencia can be good enough to challenge for the 2nd place with Real and Atleti, but this season Barca could be really strong as Vermaelen and Mathieu provide serious improvement for their ridiculous defense of last years, Rakitic improves the midfield a lot and Suarez is a monster (literally).
    But it’s still very early in the season, we have to fight hard like last year.
    Vamos Atleti

  • I said I can’t deny that we have some problems, but playing so bad in the games you mentioned and still beating Real and Juventus is actually a good thing, only the greatest can play bad and win

    what I said about Valencia is also true about Barca, they only had one real test, and they got a big F on it
    and it’s true about Real Madrid too

    Spain is living in denial, they are trying to convince themselves that they have a strong and competitive league just because Valencia & Sevilla got 17 & 16 pts in 7 weeks mostly against the mid-table teams, while they are totally ignoring the 5-0, 5-1, 6-0 & 8-2 we see every week from Real and Barca

    Just like El Cholo said before : La Liga es aburrida (La Liga is boring)

  • Amr Misir Mukadaffi

    Valencia didin’t won the game.. But the reff and the Spanish football Federation.. Valencia doesn’t play Europe League, or CL.. Atletico Madrid does.. How on earth can they just have 2 days of rest ?? While Valencia has 1 week rest ? Valencia played their last game against Real Sociedad on 28/09/14.. And 1 fully week later against Atletico Madrid… freaking 1 week of rest, Atletico Madrid didin’t had that luxury.. Also Andre Gomes should’ve have seen the red card, for taking the 100% scoring chance of Arda away by moving the ball away with his hands..

    Corruption, manipulation, and matchfixing also striked Spain ??

  • LOL. Keep deluding yourself, its good for you!

  • Amr Misir Mukadaffi

    Correct me if im wrong ? Fact is, Valencia had 1 week of preperation and rest… Atletico just 2 days 🙂

  • Chewie

    Come on, the team just messed up. Even if Siqueira scored and Gomez was sent off, Valencia could’ve parked the bus and kept the score. As for the 2 days of rest, this is outrageous. Fatigue is a huge factor. It slows down mental processes and reflexes, which leads to an increased amount of mistakes and lack of concentration. Imagine running 10-12 km, sprinting a dozen of times, tackling, etc. and then playing away against such a serious rival – who’s not scared to play rough, either – after just 2 days of rest. Especially if you concede a stupid OG and then another cheap goal. How many times have we won or drawn after conceding 3 goals? I can’t remember a single game. When we lost, I was disappointed and concerned but not too much. It’s still too early to judge whether the season is successful or not.

    Imagine now that the first 10 minutes never happened, and the game finished 1-1. Would it be a good result? I would take it anytime.

  • Difficult game? WHAAAAT? Maybe I am missing your point, but when you are up 3 to ZERO in the first 12 minutes, you can NEVER say it was a difficult game. In addition, Valencia had 7 days to prepare. Atletico had 1 full day to prepare. La Liga should have moved the game to Sunday. At least give Atleti one more day. I am not crying about this, because if the tables were turned, I would have taken the 3 points too.

  • Miranda has been playing a lot, he has a great back up (Gimenez). Maybe the back up should have gotten the node. Of course this is easy for me to say after the fact.

  • Brad

    I don’t know what I think about that…as much as I’m opposed to 3rd party ownership, I’m not a big fan of out of country interests owning or having too significant of an impact on the team (see: all of the oil and gas people buying teams, Vincent Tan’s purchase and change of club colors at Cardiff City, Peter Lim taking over Valencia). Atleti could use the cash infusion, but it needs to be hands off of the clubs traditions.

  • I also hate to see foreign people buy or get a big share of a football club while they don’t have the slightest idea about the country’s and the club’s tradition, and in some cases they don’t even have any idea about the sport itself, like those Americans who keep buying football clubs in England while they don’t even call it football !

    But to be honest, only some small businessmen who bought small clubs are messing with their traditions, like Tan as you mentioned, and Assem Allam, owner of Hull City, who couldn’t won trophies for their clubs to be remembered with so one of them changed his club’s logo and colors, and the other is trying to change his club’s name

  • Difficult game to watch for cry tleti fans, easy game for VCF though!