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UEFA Europa League
27 April 2012
• Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
Referee: D. Skomina
• Attendance: 35000
Atlético Madrid win Aggregate 5 - 2
An unbelievable first half performance from Valencia has come to nothing, as a wonder goal from Adrian means Atletico Madrid will play Athletic Bilabo in the Europa League final. I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me.
90' + 4'
And that's it! The referee blows for full time, and the score here at Mestalla ends Valencia 0-1 Atletico Madrid (Agg: 2-5).
90' + 3'
OHHH. Still Valencia can't score! Tino Costa slipped in Mathieu down the left-hand side of the box, and the Frenchman caressed it in past Courtois. Godin though, gets back, and clears the ball off the line.
90' + 1'
We'll have three minutes of added time here.
Great run by Salvio down the right. He dances past Alba, then Rami, and gets a shot in from 20 yards. It's a faily weak one though, and Diego Alves catches easily.
It's Tino Costa again for Valencia. 25 yards from goal, he looks to play Jordi Alba in down the left, but Juanfran comes across, and shepherds the ball out of play.
Yellow CardAritz Aduriz Zubeldia
It's Jordi Alba now down the left. He comes over the halfway line, and gives it to Tino Costa infield. The Argentine brings the ball forward, and strikes it fantastically at goal. Courtois though, is more than equal to it, and tips the ball away.
The corner comes very much to nothing, but Atletico break up field. Falcao is chasing on to a long ball, but he can't quite get there, as Diego Alves plays the sweeper-keeper and clears.
We're back playing now, as Rami floats in a cross from the right. It's headed out by Godin, but only as far as Mathieu, who's strike on goal is deflected out for a corner.
And after all that, the referee hasn't given a penalty! I don't know what's going on here. Madness.
Yellow CardJordi Alba
Yellow CardRoberto Soldado
And Tiago's been sent off!!!!
The Atletico players are not happy. They're surrounding the referee, and it is all kicking off. Even Diego Simeone's getting involved: he's run on to the pitch.
Barragan comes forward again though down the right. He gets to the byline, and puts in a deep cross. It's towards Albelda, but Tiago puts his hand up, and the referee points to the spot for a handball.
Barragan, who was so good in the first half, comes forward with the ball now. But just to show how much Valencia have changed since going a goal down, he doesn't try and get down the outside of Filipe, and instead plays it inside, where he misplaces his pass.
30 yards from the Valencia goal, Diego gets caught in possession. Tino Costa breaks, and plays it out to Soldado on the left-hand flank. The forward comes over the halfway line, but isn't being supported by any runners. He slows the ball right down, and gives Simeone's side enough time to get back and catch the number nine on the ball.
Tino Costa, with his first touch, gets the ball 25 yards from the Atletico goal, and looks to play a chipped through-ball into Soldado's path. It's overhit though, and Courtois comes out to collect the loose ball.
Valencia just look like a completely different side now. The tempo's gone. Their heads have gone. The atmosphere inside Mestalla has gone.
OHH. That should be two. Tiago saunters up to the edge of the area, and slips the ball through to Falcao. The Colombian lets the ball run across his body, and strikes it first time from 15 yards. Diego Alves makes himself big though, and uses his feet to tip the ball away.
Valencia seem to have lost all confidence, in an instant. Diego lays Adrian in again. This time, the Spaniard takes it to the right-hand byline, and fires a cross/shot at goal. Diego Alves though, tips it away for a corner. A corner that comes to nothing.
Valencia will have to score three now to go through, and on tonight's finishing, that doesn't look likely.
OH MY WORD!!!! WHAT A GOAL!! Diego plays a delightful ball over the top for Adrian, who, on the bounce, hits it from the right-hand side of the area into the top left-hand corner of the net. 1-0 Atletico on the night. 5-2 on aggregate.
Canales has gone down inside the area, and it doesn't look good. A stretcher has been called, ans he's being brought off. That is sad. He's been marvelous tonight.
Aritz Aduriz Zubeldia
Falcao receives the ball with his back to the Valencia goal. Rami doesn't give him a second though, and forces him out to the left flank. The Colombian then tries to play through Arda Turan, but the linesman has his flag up.
Jordi Alba, AGAIN, comes down the left with the ball, and wins a corner off of Juanfran. It's played in by Parejo, and is cleared by Miranda. I promise I'm not copy-and-pasting these entries.
The Atletico Madrid wingers Diego and Adrian are certainly starting deeper in this half, looking to quell the threat of Barragan and Jordi Alba. Unfortunately though, that doesn't seem to be working as Alba gets round the outside of Adrian, and puts in a deep cross from the left. For what seem the umpteeneth time tonight though, no one's on the end of it for Valencia, and Godin clears.
Jordi Alba flies forward again down the left, and wins a corner off Juanfran. It's whipped in by Parejo, but Courtois comes and collects easily.
Albelda gets caught in possession in the centre circle, and then immediately tackles Gabi to retain the ball. He play up into the feet of Soldado, but the Spaniard goes down under a challenge from Miranda. The referee though, waves play on.
Just as in the first half, Valencia are attacking straight away down the left. This time though, Juanfran comes across, and tackles the ball out of play for a throw in.
We're back, and it's Atletico Madrid who get us underway, kicking from right-to-left.
I have no idea how, but we're goalless here in Spain. Jordi Alba, Sergio Canales and Antonio Barragan have been magnificent. Valencia's finishing though, has been nondescript. I'll be back in 15 for the second half, but in the meantime, @alexjmott is where to go on Twitter to send all your comments.
And that's it. The referee blows for half time, and the score here at Mestalla is Valencia 0-0 Atletico Madrid.
Jordi Alba and Canales team up AGAIN, as the full back puts in a marvellous cross from the left. It's fired in towards Soldado, but Godin manages to clear.
Atleti come forward now though. Arda Turan breaks down the right, and spots the run of Falcao inside the area. He plays it square to the Colombian, but the ball has no pace on it, and Diego Alves comes out and pumps the ball clear.
Canales comes forward into the area. He takes a touch on the left-hand side of the box, and fires it first time at Courtois' near post. The Belgian keeper is equal to it though, and pushes the shot away.
Valencia just keep coming forward, but Atletico are not letting them through. I've counted nine men behind the ball there, as Canales has it 35 yards from goal.
Valencia play the ball along their backline and into the feet of Diego Alves. I think he'll be happy of something to do. Atletico just haven't been anywhere near the Valencia goal this half.
Yellow CardThibaut Courtois
Valencia just keep coming. Barragan, again, comes forward, and puts in a great cross from the byline, all the way across the box. No one is there though, and Juanfran clears at the far post.
OHHH. Another chance for Soldado. A deep cross from Barragan on the right, is flicked on 12 yards from goal by the Spaniard. His header though, can't creep into the far corner, as Courtois is left motionless.
Jonas has the ball now by the right-hand corner flag. He's surrounded by two Madrid defenders and goes down. The referee though, waves play on.
And don't forget, I'm @alexjmott on Twitter, and I'd love to hear your comments.
The corner is floated in, but the referee blows for a foul on Courtois.
Jordi Alba and Canales have been terrific so far. The Real Madrid man gets the ball on the left, draws two defenders, and plays in Alba on the overlap. The full back looks to cross, but Juanfran gets back and blocks the ball for a corner.
It's not working though, as Soldado makes a break for it down the right. He skips past Filipe, and on the byline, cuts the ball back to two Valencia players waiting on the penalty spot. Jordi Alba looks the favourite to strike it first time, but Canales gets his foot on the ball first, and tries his luck. Godin though, gets in the way of his shot, and Madrid clear.
Atletico are just trying to slow the game down now. They've got the ball for this first time in a while, and they're looking to quell this Valencia momentum.
It's yet another chance for Valencia. Barragan comes forward down the right-hand side, gets to the byline, and plays a low ball into the six yard area. Soldado is there, but stretching for it, he puts the ball over the bar. Valencia have to make the most of this pressure.
Feghouli strikes again, as he plays a one-two with Soldado on the edge of the area. The Algerian shoots first time on the return, but his strike goes over the bar.
It's whipped in by Parejo to the far post, where Feghouli hits it first time at goal. It takes a deflection, but gets deflected on target, and forces Courtois to make a fantastic stop.
The two bright-young-things of the Valencia side team up there, as Canales and Jordi Alba team up down the left and win a corner.
Barragan, coming forward again, receives the ball from Parejo and wins a corner off Filipe. It's whipped in by Canales, and gets headed out to the edge of the area. Parejo goes for the first time shot, but he miscues it wildly, and Madrid get a throw in. Yes, a throw in.
Barragan comes surging forward for Valencia now. He plays a one-two with Jonas on the edge of the area, but his touch on the return was heavy, and Godin was there to clean up.
Valencia have impressed going forward early on, but they look suspect at the back. That time, Arda Turan had it 25 yards from goal, and with no one around him, the Turkish international struck at goal. The shot though, went well over.
This is relentless from Emery's men. Canales again comes forward, this time down the left. He gets to the edge of the area, cuts inside and draws a challenge from Miranda. The man on-loan from Real Madrid goes down, but the referee waves play on.
Again, it's Los Che who come forward with the ball. This time, Canales brings it up to the edge of the area, and looks to slip in Jordi Alba down the left. His pass though, is too strong, and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
Valencia come again with Feghouli. 30 yards from goal, in the centre of the pitch, he plays a delightful ball out to Jordi Alba on the left. The full back manages to keep the ball in, and from the byline, puts in a cross in towards Soldado. Courtois comes out though, and collects well.
It's Valencia now, with Barragan down the right. He comes over the halfway line and plays a ball down the touchline towards Jonas. Filipe comes across though, and clears the ball out for a throw in.
Tiago comes forward now for Madrid. He gets over the halfway line, and plays into the path of Diego. The Brazilian looks up, and has a shot from 30 yards which goes crawling towards the arms of Diego Alves.
The set piece is taken quickly, but the long ball over the top of the Madrid defenders towards Soldado is overhit, and the ball runs away for a goal kick.
Albelda gives it to Feghouli in the centre circle, and the Algerian draws a foul from Tiago, winning a free kick.
Juanfran plays a two-three with Diego, but the former Wolfsburg man gets caught in possession and gives the ball away to Albelda.
Atletico have it now, as Tiago lays the ball down the right-hand side for Juanfran. The Spanish full-back comes over the halfway line and wins a throw in off Canales.
Albelda gives to Rami at centre back, who plays a long ball out to the right-hand side and Jonas. Unfortunately for the Brazilian though, his touch is a poor one, and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
Valencia will get us underway, kicking from right-to-left.
Here we go then. The players are leaving the tunnel, with kick off just moments away. Do not go anywhere.
There's just under 15 minutes to go here at Mestalla, and the atmosphere is bubbling under nicely.
As always, you can hit me up on Twitter @alexjmott with all your questions/comments/predictions.
Atletico Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe; Mario, Tiago, Arda Turan; Diego, Adrian, Falcao.
The teams for tonight: Valencia (4-2-3-1): Diego Alves; Barragan, Rami, Ricardo Costa, Jordi Alba; Albelda, Parejo; Feghouli, Canales, Jonas; Soldado.
The winners of this tie will, of course, play either Athletic Bilbao or Sporting Lisbon in Bucharest on May 9.
History suggests though, that Diego Simeone's side may struggle tonight: they have never beaten Spanish opposition away from home in Europe. And Valencia are unbeaten at Mestalla against a La Liga side.
Both of tonight's sides have won the Uefa Cup/Europa League just once in their history: Valencia beating Marseille back in 2004, whilst Madrid beat Fulham, of course, two years ago. Atleti incidentally, beat Los Che in the quarter-finals that year.
The first leg at Vicente Calderon ended Atletico 4-2 Valencia, with Falcao and Adrian scoring a pair of wonder goals. Unai Emery's side though, will fancy their chances tonight with two away goals under their belt.
Good evening everyone, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, play-by-play coverage, of Valencia vs Atletico Madrid from Mestalla. I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your commentator for this Europa League semi-final second leg.
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