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Deportivo La Coruña
8 March 2015
• Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid
Referee: Santiago Jaime Latre
• Attendance: 49500
S. Mustafi 78'
Thank you for joining me today. I hope you have enjoyed the action. Farewell until next time.
It remains as you were in the La Liga table for these two following a 1-1 draw at the Vicente Calderon. A win for Valencia would have lifted them above Atletico, but in truth they rarely looked capable of claiming the win and were somewhat fortunate to get a draw. The champions will see this as a disappointing result considering their general dominance, though they at least move a point close to bitter rivals Real Madrid.
90' + 4'
90' + 4'
Parejo's delivery fails to reach the centre of the area as Atletico clear and the referee's whistle for full-time blows almost immediately.
90' + 3'
Valencia win themselves a free-kick out on the left flank now for what will surely be the last action of the match.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Mario Suárez
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Nuno responds by introducing Orban for Piatti.
Yellow/Red Javi Fuego
RED CARD! Less than two minutes after picking up is first yellow, Fuego gets his second. Atletico charged forward on the break with Jimenez and the Mexican darted inside the midfielder, who ultimately tripped him.
That's three yellow cards inside a minute. Fuego gets booked for the initial foul and then both Godin and Barragan join him in the referee's book after clashing off the ball.
Yellow Card Diego Godín
Yellow Card Javi Fuego
Yellow Card Barragán
That's a nasty tackle from Fuego, as the midfielder lunges in and cynically scrapes his studs down the back of Arda's leg. This is a good position now for the hosts.
Good play again from the visitors, this time down the left. Negredo rises highest to meet the cross and he gets a header away, sending his effort over the crossbar. He is adamant that he should be given a corner, though, as the ball appeared to take a flick off Godin.
We are well into the final ten minutes now. Atletico's stranglehold on this match seemed to be loosened after the substitution of Koke and they are running out of time if they want to go ahead once again.
And now for another Atletico change. Jimenez is on and will go up alongside Mandzukic after replacing Gabi.
Goal Shkodran Mustafi
GOAL!!! VALENCIA ARE LEVEL! Disaster for Atletico! Gaya wins a free-kick out on the left and Parejo's overhit free-kick crashes against the crossbar after Moya failed to deal with it, and Mustafi is on hand to nod in from close range!
This is a good spell for the visitors. They are pressing for an equaliser, with Atletico forced back into their own half. They must concentrate for these final minutes now, otherwise their faltering title bid could suffer another blow.
A couple of nervous moments for Valencia there, as Gimenez slices a Piatti cross behind and into the side-netting, before Godin almost plays his clearance straight to the Argentinian with Moya out of his goal. Luckily for the champions, they escape unscathed.
It's all going fairly well for Atletico at the moment. Valencia are still failing to offer much going forward, with Moya yet to make a real save, while the hosts themselves continue to lok threatening.
Yellow Card Mario Mandzukic
Yet another yellow card. This time it is Mandzukic, who has barely been on for 10 minutes, as he gets into bit of a shoving match with Otamendi and earns a booking.
OFF THE BAR! Atletico should be two up! Koke's corner is brilliantly headed back into the danger zone by Godin at the back post and Tiago is on hand two yards from goal, but he inexplicably hits the crossbar. What a miss!
Changes for either side now, as Gomes replaces Perez for Valencia and Mario Suarez takes the place of Koke.
Enzo Nicolás Pérez
After a brief delay, Koke takes the free-kick and drills a low pass in towards the edge of the box. Tiago steps over it and Arda meets it, seeing his shot blocked. Gimenez then pounces and goes for goal from long range, missing the target by some distance.
Fine run by Juanfran, riding two challenges up the right flank before eventually being hauled down by the third, leaving Atletico with a free-kick to the right of the penalty area.
Good idea by Rodrigo, as the substitute cuts in from the left and drives a cross towards the back post. It is too high for Negredo and Piatti tries to collect, but the ball just about goes out of play before he can get it under control.
And now a first change for Atletico, as Mandzukic replaces Torres, who has run himself into the ground today.
Excellent defending by Godin. Piatti raced clear of Juanfran's attempted tackle and burst into the Atletico half, making ground down the left, but along came the Uruguayan centre-back to shepherd him up the flank and eventually clear the danger.
There is Nuno's first chance. Feghouli has been poor and unsurprisingly goes off, with Rodrigo on in his place.
Yellow Card Guilherme Siqueira
Alves saves! Koke hoists the free-kick into the area and the ball is flicked on towards goal by Torres. Garcia is on hand to try and direct it at the goal, but his tame effort is easily held by the goalkeeper.
Yellow Card Nicolás Otamendi
And now Atletico have themselves a free-kick, as Garcia is adjudged to have been fouled in the air by Otamendi, who has his name taken by the referee.
The delayed free-kick delivery from Piatti is poor, though, and while it does beat the wall, it is headed clear by Arda on the edge of the area. That was a bit of a waste from the visitors.
Valencia are seemingly seeing more of the ball now, as Atletico sit back and invite pressure on to themselves. The visitors win themselves a free-kick on the right flank, after Parejo is hauled down by Garcia.
Excellent covering from Gabi. Negredo dropped deep towards the left in his own half to pick up possession and he squeezed a pass up the line for Piatti, who tries to jink inside. The Atletico captain is there, though, sweeping up and clearing the danger.
Yellow Card Negredo
Another Valencia player goes into the referee's book, as Negredo struggles in a physical battle with several opponents and eventually handles the ball. It is his angry reaction which secures the card.
Valencia are already looking to produce something of an improvement, as they go on a rare venture into the final third. Gabi is robbed of the ball and Piatti tries to get a shot away, though the Atletico captain wins a free-kick.
Off we go. Valencia get us started for the second half.
Atletico 1-0 Valencia: The hosts take a 1-0 lead into the break and few would argue that isn't a fair reflection of proceedings so far. The visitors looked bright in the first 20 minutes, but offered little since. Koke got the goal which separates the two sides, while Fernando Torres' tireless running and great work rate have proven particularly effective for the champions. Nuno's side have much to improve on.
45' + 2'
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Enzo Nicolás Pérez
45' + 1'
Out comes the yellow card once again, this time for Enzo Perez, who crashes into Tiago on the follow-through. The Argentinan can consider himself a little unlucky there.
There will be a minute to add on here.
Valencia's final pass really has not been good so far. On this occasion it is Feghouli who is presented with the opportunity to cross from the right, but his delivery is well overhit.
Great hassling from Torres. Godin clears the ball up field and sees his pass fly beyond Otamendi, who is forced back towards his own goal. The Argentinian ends up losing possession to the Atletico forward, though the eventual cross from Garcia isn't great.
That Otamendi-Garcia duel is starting to heat up. The two go in to claim a loose ball and the Argentinian goes down a little easily, before immediately springing back up and hurling some choice words at his Atletico counterpart.
Excellent play by Juanfran, as the right-back takes up possession and charges up the right flank. He holds off one challenge and then lures in two more defenders, eventually winning a throw-in by the corner flag.
That goal has to be good for this match, forcing Valencia out of their shell. Nuno's men began quite brightly and were seeing plenty of the ball, though in the last 15 minutes or so they have been rather quiet.
Yellow Card Pablo Piatti
GOAL!!! ATLETICO HAVE THE LEAD! The hosts' free-kick is hoisted into the area and Torres manages to nod it on into the danger area. Tiago subsequently chests the ball down towards the edge of the box and Koke is there to slam home from 18 yards, finding the bottom-right corner.
Good battling from Koke, as the midfielder steals the ball back from Valencia, races forward and wins a free-kick from Fuego. Good play by the Spaniard and Atletico have themselves another set-piece.
Yellow Card Shkodran Mustafi
The ref brings the yellow card out on this occasion, though, as Mustafi cynically blocks off Raul Garcia when the midfielder was looking to charge into the Valencia half, and unsurprisingly sees his name taken.
Gaya is in some pain here. The young full-back slid in to beat Juanfran to a loose ball but he was caught late by the Atletico defender. The referee awards a free-kick, though he keeps his cards in his pocket.
Koke produces a decent delivery from the corner and Gimenez rises to meet it, but he can't quite reach it and is ultimately penalised for colliding with Otamendi in the air.
Atletico do, however, win themselves another corner, as a cross from the right is deflected behind. Their set-pieces have not mustered much so far today, can this one buck the trend?
There is little flow to this match so far, with neither side really dictating things at the moment. Both teams are committing a number of fouls, somewhat disrupting proceedings.
Atletico try to catch Valencia out with the free-kick, as Koke plays it short for Gabi, who then turns and crosses towards Torres. Once again, though, Otamendi is there to nod clear.
The home fans clearly aren't impressed with the referee on this occasion, as Fuego gives Torres a bit of a kick on the heel just inside the visitors' half. A free-kick is awarded, but nothing more.
Excellent corner delivery from Koke, but no one can get on the end of it and the ball ends up with Gabi on the left, who brings it under his control. The captain curls a fine cross into the danger area, though Alves collects in commanding fashion.
Good defending by Gaya. Atletico are hoisting the ball into the danger zone quite a lot at the moment and Otamendi misses it due to a flick-on right in front of him. Arda pounces and tries to get a shot away from a tight angle, but the Valencia left-back is there to block.
Torres is causing a nuisance again, this time barging into Otamendi as the pair contest a long ball from the back. The players clash again just after and the Argentinian is caught in the face by his counterpart's elbow, resulting in a yellow card.
Yellow Card Fernando Torres
Better from Arda now, following the Turk's muted start. He skips away from the tackle of Gaya and crosses left-footed from the right. Otamendi heads it away ahead of Torres, but the hosts remain on the front foot.
That's easy for Diego Alves, as the Valencia goalkeeper plucks the ball out of the air with ease. He then releases it quickly, eyeing a counter-attack. Parejo then brings it forward, but the move ends swiftly when the midfielder tries to release Piatti beyond the defence.
Atletico have been excellent from set-pieces this season and they now have themselves an opportunity from a corner, as Torres' delivery is knocked behind. Gabi comes across ready to fire into the danger zone.
Good defending there by Godin. Valencia try to exploit the pace of Feghouli down the right, with the Algerian released behind Siqueira. Nevertheless, the Uruguayan centre-back comes across and shepherds the ball out of play.
Valencia are really knocking the ball around well now. Perez drops deep and links with the two centre-backs, before then inviting Barragan forward from right-back. He in turn finds Feghouli, who loses his man and prods a pass towards the edge of the area for Parejo, but his first-time effort in towards Negredo is cut out by Gimenez.
Valencia do appear to have settled into this match now. Atletico's frantic start looked to be making them uncomfortable, though they are starting to see a little more of the ball themselves. There's no reason why they shouldn't be confident.
More pressure from the hosts now, with Atletico attempting to exploit their visitors down the left. Siqueira charges forward and manages to squeeze a cross in towards Torres, though it is slightly overhit and Valencia clear.
Audacious effort from Negredo there! Piatti, who has really hit form recently, attacks Atletico down the left, jinking this way and that to lose Juanfran, before crossing to the back post. The Spain international striker meets it with a scissor-kick, but it is blocked well by a defender.
Lively start from the hosts so far. They are first to every ball at the moment, pressing high and with great intensity. Again Atletico rob Valencia of possession in the final third and Arda tries his luck from the edge of the area, though his effort is dragged horribly wide and it ends up going out for a throw-in.
There is the first look of the Otamendi-Torres duel. The Spanish forward looks to race on to an advanced pass played in behind the centre-back, but the Valencia man wins a free-kick after going down very easily.
Off we go! Atletico get us underway at the Vicente Calderon.
The players are now out on the pitch as kick-off approaches. This should be feisty!
Valencia, despite their recent form, will of course be seen as slight outsiders today. They have not won any of their last five matches at Atletico, with the champions going out with something of a point to prove. Today's visitors are able to name Nicolas Otamendi in their starting XI after being doubtful and Nuno will undoubtedly be happy about that, with Torres starting on the back of a very lively and encouraging cameo against Sevilla last time out.
Valencia, on the other hand, come into the match full of confidence. Nuno's men have won four on the bounce in La Liga, a run which had seen them stretch seven points clear of Sevilla in the race for the final Champions League place. A 4-3 victory over Deportivo La Coruna yesterday saw Unai Emery's men shorten that to four points, but a win in Madrid today can restore that lead and, more importantly, see Valencia move above Diego Simeone's side and up to third, with a late title bid not out of the question.
Atletico welcome Valencia to Madrid in a somewhat indifferent mood. The champions have won just one of their last four games in all competitions, with defeats to Bayer Leverkusen and Celta Vigo followed closely by a 0-0 draw at Sevilla last week, a result they were rather fortunate to secure. On top of that, they are without star man Antoine Griezmann due to suspension, while Miranda and Saul also miss out, and Mario Mandzukic settles for a place on the bench once again. However, Koke is welcomed back to the starting XI after overcoming his fitness problems.
Valencia subs: Yoel, Joao Cancelo, Felipe Augusto, Orban, Rodrigo, De Paul, Andre Gomes.
Valencia starting XI (4-3-3): Diego Alves; Barragan, Otamendi, Mustafi, Gaya; Fuego, Parejo, Perez; Feghouli, Negredo, Piatti.
Atletico substitutes: Oblak, Hernandez, Mario Suarez, Jesus Gamez, Jimenez, Mandzukic.
Atletico Madrid starting XI (4-2-3-1): Moya; Juanfran, Godin, Gimenez, Siqueira; Tiago, Gabi; Arda Turan, Raul Garcia, Koke; Torres.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Hello and welcome to the LIVE coverage of the Primera Division clash between Atletico Madrid and Valencia. My name is Ryan Benson and I shall be taking you through the action today, as these two sides go head-to-head at the Vicente Calderon, with plenty at stake towards the top of the Liga table.
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