Sunday, January 28, 2024

Atletico Madrid - Valencia match thread

 A tough one today after a good run. To illustrate what a tricky away game this is, when Valencia last won at Atletico Madrid, it was our first season without David Villa, Diego Simeone wasn't even manager and only 3 of the 14 who played for Valencia that day are still active (Tino Costa in the French second league, Guaita at Celta and Alba in Miami.) February 2011 is a long time ago and in the time in between we've found it one of our most barren grounds, losing 7 of the last 8 with only a Parejo free kick breaking that sequence. The team came frustratingly close 2 seasons ago, taking a 2-goal lead only for Atletico to score 2 in injury time to win 3-2.

In our favour, we've had more rest as Atletico played Sevilla in Copa on Thursday, winning 1-0. The scoreline is deceptive since it was easier for them, with Greizmann skying a penalty after slipping and 2 goals narrowly ruled out for offside. Valencia also scored a surprise 3-0 win over Atletico in Mestalla earlier this season with Duro scoring twice, same as he did 2 seasons ago. In team news, bad news for us, as Thierry has a long term injury and it's unlikely he'll play again this season. 

On the winter transfer front, it's very much a case of "move along, nothing to see." Valencia was linked with deals for Rafa Mir and Peter Federico of Real Madrid, but nothing has come of those. The hold up seems mostly because the Koba deal hasn't happened, but also because Meriton are too dumb to see with a couple of additional bodies on loan with buy options we could qualify for Europe and that would repay the loan fees with a nice profit.

That was painful to watch. Atleti totally dominated us and apart from a half chance at a corner we did nothing in an attacking sense while they missed at least 3 good chances. One of the biggest weaknesses is on the right where we really miss Thierry, as Fran Perez and Foulquier have struggled. Getting in at half-time would have been a good result but I've no idea what we were doing at the end. Lino was in acres of space and scored the opener. Annoyingly, he even celebrated. As it's late here I'm probably going to switch off, so use this to comment.