Saturday September 10, 2011 (21.00 UK)
Valencia came out on top after a tight battle between two of this season’s top four contenders.
The home side had the better of the first half, moving the ball quickly and playing a counter-attacking game, and they should have taken the lead after 14 minutes when Pablo Piatti calmly finished Roberto Soldado’s through-ball but was wrongly adjudged to have been offside.
Soldado himself looked a threat from the start and had a couple of good chances to put his team ahead before the break but the game remained goalless at half-time. The stalemate didn’t last long however and unsurprisingly it was Soldado who broke the deadlock after 51 minutes with a coolly taken header after a superb cross from Miguel.
Atletico couldn’t find an equaliser despite the inclusion of their €40m Columbian striker Radamel Falcao and they looked surprisingly short of ideas in front of goal. As a result the team from Madrid were unable to capitalise on their much-improved possession later in the game.
Valencia Coach Unai Emery will be delighted with gaining maximum points from their opening two games which keeps them in touch with Real Madrid at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Atletico’s stuttering start continues and veteran Coach Gregorio Manzano will be looking for a quick improvement from his team in next weekend’s game at home to Racing Santander.
Valencia (4-2-3-1): Guaita; Miguel, V