La Liga: Valencia 0 – 1 Atlético

Atlético just two victories away from La Liga title after big away win

raul garcia valencia atletico

Raúl García conquers Mestalla (MARCA)

Following their 9th consecutive victory Atlético Madrid are now only two wins away from their first La Liga title since 1996.

On Sunday the Colchoneros faced a big challenge on the road, which they overcame with a narrow victory. Against Valencia, a goal just before half time by Raúl García helped Atlético earn another three points, of which they now have 88.

Shortly before the break captain Gabi, who will miss Wednesday’s game versus Chelsea, chipped a ball over the defence into the path of Raúl. Goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, who had been largely responsible for Atleti’s victory in the Copa del Rey earlier this year, rushed from his goalline but was beaten by a header from García.

Amazingly it was the 6th time this season the midfielder has scored from a header in league play, while RG8 has now scored an incredible 17 goals in all competitions.

The winning strike was only Atlético’s first attempt on target, but Cholo Simeone’s team have proven all season long to need few opportunities. Earlier David Villa had curled a shot just wide against his old team, while Koke sent a volley over the crossbar.

At the other end Valencia had created just a single opportunity in the first half, right at the start, when young striker Paco Álcacer shot wide just a minute into the game.

At the start of the second half Diego Costa should have put the game away when he went 1-on-1 with Guaita without a defender near. But the forward took too much time and ended up shooting straight at the goalkeeper.

Valencia had started with a conservative lineup, which included two right backs to stop the threat of Filipe Luís, but a goal down coach Pizzi decided to bring on forwards Vargas and Feghouli. Valencia are in the midst of a Europa League semifinal clash with Sevilla, but wanted to prevent a loss at home.

Los Che nearly got the equalizer after an hour of play, but Jonas’ header was deflected wide by Filipe. The home side created one more opportunity fifteen minutes before the end, but Feghouli struck just a hair wide as Atlético secured their 8th clean sheet in the last nine games.

Diego Costa should have decided the game a few minutes before the end, after he received a fantastic pass from substitute José Sosa. But again Costa hesitated and was beaten by Guaita when he tried to take the ball around the goalkeeper.

With a counterattack looming in the added time, right back Juanfran took out Pablo Piatti with a vicious challenge from behind, which resulted in a red card for the Spanish international. It didn’t hurt Atlético, as the team held on for a 1-0 victory.

Valencia Atlético
Valencia 01 Atlético
 Raúl García 43'
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Mestalla
Date 27 April 2014
Kick Off 17.00 CET

Team Lineups

R. Costa
Parejo (53')
Barragan (62')
Jonas (82')
Substitutes used
Vargas (53')
Feghouli (62')
Fede (82')
Raúl García (68')
Villa (59')
Diego Costa
Substitutes used
Arda (59')
Sosa (68') (93')
Alderweireld (93')

Match Stats

On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
  • Yon

    We gon miss Gabi badly on Wednesday night 🙁

  • Brad

    I think we’ll miss him more from a leadership standpoint than a skill standpoint.

  • Ian

    I wasn’t able to see the match, but saw the highlights and how costa failed to score on a 1-on-1, it seemed uncharacteristic of him, and looks like he lacks confidence…
    Maybe this chelsea rumor is getting into him?
    Anyways, a very important victory!!!
    It seems our self-destructing defense days are long behind now, haha..

  • Silchas

    I think Costa is tired same as everybody else in the squad.
    I prey that we will go 2 or 3:0 in front in the next laliga-games, so that i can relax and enjoy the game rather then they of a stroke due to the tension in every game in the last weeks.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    @Ian : it’s NOT uncharacteristic of Costa to fail to score from one-on-one chances
    he did that many times this season, but the big number of goals he scored make us forget
    in New San Mames he scored the equalizer from one-on-one situation, but in the second half and just like today’s game he wasted 2 one-on-one opportunities

    I don’t think he is thinking about a move to Chelsea or any other club or about the world cup, he is just not so good in that particular skill and needs to work on it, just like the penalties and the discipline

    excuse me to talk about Liverpool, not about Chelsea win, but about Liverpool loss
    it’s very sad, after all that great effort now their fate is not in their own hands
    they are similar to us in many ways and I was dreaming about an Atleti-Liverpool double league titles,
    now it’s in the hands of their arch-rivals Everton who will play Man City at Goodison Park

    I remember commenting here couple of weeks ago that no one can stop us except us
    I warned from “failing to handle the pressure and shooting ourselves in the foot” ..
    that’s exactly what Liverpool did today, and I wish we don’t do the same,
    but I believe we have a more solid team than Liverpool,
    yes, maybe less talented and with less solutions on the bench but it is for sure a more solid team
    there is no better proof about that more than those many 1-0 wins we are achieving lately

    2 more wins to win La Liga .. I’m sure our fighters will handle the pressure very well
    I’m just not so sure if I can,
    so if I stopped commenting in the next 2 games then I will probably be in the hospital !

  • MR

    Costa is in bad shape since January, so the missed opportunities don’t surprise me.
    imo he still outperformed Falcao, but I am disappointed because of the bad second half of the season.
    Naturally, we will find a better replacement as soon as he leaves, or get even more of him next year if he stays.
    Vamos Atleti

  • Will

    55′: Villareal 2 – 0 Barcelona.

    Barcelona is dropping off from the season. It’s time for them to a renewal.

  • Brad

    Barca dropping is only good news for atleti

  • Brad

    spoke too soon…

  • Will

    Yeah, I did. Incredible how many ‘own goals’ Barcelona was awarded this season. Nice effort for Tito they did.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I thought Asenjo made a great game, he is not responsible for any of the 3 goals he conceded

    Villareal have very stupid defenders, they scored many own goals and conceded many penalties this season
    They wasted a very important win tonight for them and maybe for us too, and they prevented us from watching Oli who was about to go in until Marcelino changed his mind in the last second after the 2nd own goal

    That’s why Villareal have dropped from 4th place to 7th despite playing a very beautiful and offensive football
    Defense is the key to success .. no one is more aware of that than us Atleti fans

  • jhony

    bravo atletico…

  • AaX


  • piserakos

    Let’s make my commet
    1) I was the one who all time told! SELL COSTA! 60 millions for him (if the rumors are truth) are a HUGE amount of money… Excuse me but i don’t think he is better than Iccardi, Staridge etc… He lose many chances, he is selfish etc… So i will celebrate if we sell him… Bring Torres back!
    2) 2 wins and then! CAMPEONES CAMPEONES OEOEOEOEO!!!! I told you guys this was our year!!
    3) Koke needs rest.. He looks too tired!
    4) Liverpool more talented and with biggest roster than us? What? Liverpool? They have far worst roster that ours
    5) Villareal sack at the 2nd round, they are lucky Valencia can’t reach them… But, Asenjo had one more great game! Well i started to changing my mind… Maybe he can be our next no1?
    6) Next stop London! Beat Chelsea and reach CL final!
    What a fantastic year? I was crying like a girl after Garcia’s goal… He is a legent of Atleti now! Well done Raul. To tell the truth i was sure we would win 0-1 with Raul’s goal. Even though i predicted costa

  • Chewie

    Asenjo is going to be one hell of a goalkeeper after he learns not only to expect goals from the opponents but from his own players as well.
    What a bunch of clowns!

  • Dircil

    @Piserakos: Selling Costa for 60 millions of euros is a good idea. Bringing Torres back is a really really terrible idea Pise. Don’t get obsessed with his past glory and forget his current form. Costa = Courtois + Lukaku + some money is the best deal for me now. However, retaining Costa is not a bad idea though since I can see the high chance that he will score more than 20 goals in La Liga next year!

  • Dircil

    Demba Ba is also a good replacement for Costa. I think he will come cheap in the exchange for Costa. Let say the deal will be Costa = Courtois + Ba + 30 million euros

  • Jose

    Negredo is pretty good shout too considering he has fallen behind dzeko now.

  • piserakos

    Disagree with Ba… Totally agree with Negredo!! He was my first goal at the summer!

  • Dircil

    Problem with Negredo is you have to pay at least 25 million of euros to have him and he’s already 28! I’d rather pay 20m for Lukaku than Negredo.

  • EC

    Negredo is a good striker, not great though. He will cost at least €25 mil and will be on high wages. I wonder if Juventus would Sell has Llorente pretty cheap? Like maybe under €10 mil

  • starvs

    I’d love Llorente, was mad we didn’t get him for free when he moved to Juve…

  • EC

    IMO Llorente is just as good as Negredo, if not better and if Juve sign a new striker in the summer maybe we could get him very cheap. After all Juve got him for free. He is also only a few months older than Negredo

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    “Feliz Cumpleaños Cholo .. Happy 44th Birthday

    I wish you health and good luck .. and a lot of trophies
    I wish you resist all the temptations and become Atleti’s Ferguson, or at least Atleti’s Wenger
    as we will never forget that you made Atleti a great club again, I wish you never forget that Atleti made you a great coach
    I wish you never forget that before coaching Atleti, you had to change the club 6 times in 5 years
    I wish you keep fighting for the poors and the less fortunate against the football tyranny
    I wish you never break our hearts.”

    Sincerely, a faithful, proud and a little anxious rojiblanco

  • Ali

    Ciro immobile is best replacement for costa and juventus want david villa so they can have villa and then we only need to pay 10 million to torino.
    And another replacement for costa will be Giuseppe rossi that guy is just awesome and he can come cheap atleast 18 m and believe me it’s highly unlikely that costa will leave yesterday he told that he’s very happy and don’t want to leave even if costa is not leaving I would prefer that we can exchange villa with immobile and we can keep courtois for another season so that we can have 12 months to find a replacement for courtois!!