Sunday, October 05, 2014

Valencia-Atletico Madrid

After a lovely morning in Brussels with running, museum and coffee, I decided to go into a pub to watch Valencia and Atletico Madrid, defending Spanish champions, play in the Spanish League. The bar was full of Atletico Madrid fans, who were being loud, obnoxious, and annoying. They are just like me, who fifteen minutes into the match could smile satisfied to myself, as Valencia was leading 3-0 after playing like a whirlwind and facing an Atletico defense that had not really realized that the match had started. Miranda scored an own goal, which would have been a great goal had it been in the opposite side, while newcomers Andre Gomes and Nicolas Otamendi scored the other two.
The sudden lead would perhaps have made many other teams fall apart, but one must respect Atletico Madrid, who fought their way back into the match, and dominated the remainder of the first half. Mario Mandzukic scored, but just before halftime Diego Alves saved a penalty from Guilherme Siqueira. Diego Alves is set to become the goalkeeper with most penalty saves in the Spanish league.
3-2 at halftime would have further unnerved Valencia, who second half were pressed back, and only had occasional counterattacks, but surviving Atletico Madrid's pressure.
3-1, and with this victory Valencia has shown that their newly-found resurgence is meant seriously; that they are ready to challenge the big ones in la Liga, and that they intend to return to Europe.

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