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Valencia 1-1 Atlético Madrid: LaLiga 2018/19 week 1

Rodrigo Moreno's fine equaliser cancelled out Ángel Correa's well-taken opener in a highly watchable draw at Mestalla.

VALENCIA, SPAIN - AUGUST 20:  Gabriel Paulista of Valencia and Diego Costa of Atletico Madrid in action during the La Liga match between Valencia CF and  Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Mestalla on August 20, 2018 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by David R
David RamosEL PAÍS

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Valencia vs Atlético Madrid: match report

Valencia and Atlético Madrid gave the spectators at the Mestalla stadium their money’s worth this Monday night, in a highly charged game that finished 1-1.

It started slowly, with neither team on top or capable of creating any clear-cut chances for the first 20 minutes. Unable to break down the Atletico defence, Valencia were resigned to a couple of long range efforts, the closest of which came from Rodrigo Moreno, whose low and hard shot in the 16th minute sailed just wide of the far post.

Atlético on the other hand managed to penetrate the Valencia defence on occasions and eventually scored in the 26th minute through Correa, who easily slotted a shot past Neto after being a fed a beautiful through ball from Griezmann. After the goal, the visitors were the notably superior side until the end of the first half. Costa had a couple of opportunities but he could not capitalize on them and the first 45 ended 1-0 to Atletico.

Whatever Marcelino said to his Valencia players at the break seemed to have an impact, as the momentum of the game swung in their favour. And the Mestalla erupted as the hosts finally got on the scoreboard in the 56th minute. An unmarked Rodrigo chested down a beautiful first time pass on the volley from Wass (who had an impressive LaLiga debut for his new club), and smashed it into the top corner with the second touch about 10 yards out, sending Oblak the wrong way.

From there on in, Valencia continued to create chances and looked the more likely team to score the next goal, but it never came and the game finished 1-1, a result neither manager will have reason to complain about.

Valencia vs Atlético Madrid: live updates

Valencia vs Atlético Madrid: LaLiga match preview

After watching eight fixtures this weekend, Atlético Madrid and Valencia will be eager to get their league campaigns underway at Mestalla this Monday evening.

Atlético travel to Valencia after their impressive 4-2 victory over rivals Real Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup last Thursday. Diego Costa found the back of the net twice in that game and is set to start up front with strike partner Antoine Griezmann. Atlético were one of the most active LaLiga teams on the transfer market this summer. New signings Gelson Martins and Thomas Lemar are likely to start on the wings, with the old guard, Koke and Saúl, in the centre. With such firepower on display, Atlético will be tipped to clinch a valuable away victory, as they look to mount a serious title challenge this year, along with Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Valencia, meanwhile, have enjoyed somewhat of a revival under coach Marcelino, finishing fourth last season to secure their place in the Champions League. If they have any chance of beating high-flying Atlético this evening, they will be hoping their Spanish talisman, and top scorer last season, Rodrigo Moreno can find a way past Atlético’s Jan Oblak. He could be joined up front by new loan signing Michy Batshuayi. Another summer arrival, Denis Cheryshev, had an impressive showing at the World Cup for Russia and will add strength to Valencia’s central midfield alongside stalwart Dani Parejo.

Marcelino’s team are more than capable of making life difficult for Atlético but Los Rojiblancos are favorites to take this one.


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