Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone insists both sides had desire to win the game

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Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone said that his side’s desire to beat Valencia led to the game boiling over at the end.

Spain striker Rodrigo cancelled out Angel Correa’s first-half effort, with Valencia holding them a 1-1 draw at the Mestalla.

Speaking after the game, Simeone said: “Both teams went to win, the match was open at the end and there was a lot of chaos which I didn’t like.

“A match with Valencia will always have a strong profile, we are similar teams with different nuances.

“I’m left satisfied, we put in a controlled performance after playing 120 minutes.”

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Antoine Griezmann believes Atletico Madrid should have beaten Valencia

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Antoine Griezmann believes Atletico Madrid should have beaten Valencia, but they failed to execute the perfect game plan.

Spain striker Rodrigo cancelled out Angel Correa’s first-half effort, with Valencia holding them a 1-1 draw at the Mestalla.

Speaking after the game, Griezmann said: “It was a match that we should have won, but we didn’t do things perfectly. We played a good first half, we were fine in the first 20 minutes in the second half but then we lost a bit of order.

“We had a chance, we didn’t do well enough and they levelled the match, we have to watch the match and improve.”

Los Rojiblancos are expected to fight both Barcelona and Real Madrid for the La Liga title, but Monday’s draw means they have already fallen behind their rivals

“We want to improve on last year, we’ll see how far we can go,” he said.

“We want to win all of our matches.

“At the end of the season we’ll see where we are.”

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Atletico Madrid and Valencia both hold serve and other talking points from 1-1 draw

Andy West 21/08/2018
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Valencia and Atletico Madrid played out a thrilling 1-1 draw at Mestalla on Monday night, with Rodrigo Moreno cancelling out Angel Correa’s opener to deliver a fair result on the night.

The contest more than lived up to expectations as two high-powered teams pushed hard for victory in the latter stages, and here we look at three key talking points to emerge from the action.

Heavyweights on the ropes

This was a breathless game between two excellent sides played in front of a pulsating atmosphere with the energy-sapping August heat contributing to a ding-dong battle which, by the end, resembled a heavyweight boxing bout with both fighters reeling on the ropes but refusing to go down.

Both teams had their chances to win it, with Atletico excelling in the opening period and regularly threatening to add to the lead provided by Angel Correa’s well-taken strike from a beautiful pass by Antoine Griezmann.

Valencia rallied after the break and were good value for their leveller through Rodrigo Moreno, fashioning the best late opportunities for a winner as Daniel Wass and substitute Kevin Gameiro – playing against his former team – given the chance to shoot from the edge of the box.

By that stage, the pace of the game had drastically slowed as the heat took its toll, but strangely none of the substitutes – who should have been physically far fresher than everyone else – were able to make much impact, perhaps struggling to adjust to the intensity of the action when they entered the fray.

Ultimately both teams can be happy with the outcome. Not many teams will beat Atletico this season, and not many visitors will triumph at Mestalla. And on the evidence of this game, both look set for exciting seasons.

Atletico unveil an added dimension

Over the past few years we have become more than accustomed to seeing Diego Simeone’s Atletico grind out their successes with dogged and disciplined defensive displays, earning them a reputation as a brilliantly efficient but less than exciting team to watch.

But they have started the new season with a new dimension to their play, with last week’s Super Cup win over neighbouring Real and this thriller at Valencia containing some fabulously pacey and purposeful passing play.

The best example came after 32 minutes, when Jan Oblak threw out the ball to Filipe Luis, who combined with Thomas Lemar before passing back into defence. An immediate long pass to Griezmann allowed the French striker to swiftly swap passes with Correa before advancing down the right and sliding a low ball into Diego Costa, who stepped past a challenge before unleashing a fierce strike which demanded an excellent save from home keeper Neto. Simeone

It was a thrillingly precise and incisive move, the likes of which are regularly seen from Pep Guardiola’s teams but never normally associated with Simeone. Right now, though, Atletico aren’t only a mean defensive machine: they’re also oozing attacking menace. If they can maintain that, this could be Simeone’s best side yet.

Rodrigo in the shop window?

The main unfinished business in this month’s transfer window is the question of whether Real Madrid will add another striker to their squad rather than committing themselves to an entire season with just Karim Benzema in the forward role.

If they do decide to add greater depths, one of the chief candidates – along with Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi – is Valencia frontman Rodrigo, who was previously brought into the international fold by now-Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui and has repeatedly been linked with a move to the Bernabeu in the last few weeks.

Rodrigo

Rodrigo’s performance in this intense encounter will have done nothing but enhanced his value, with the Brazilian-born frontman working ferociously hard – often feeding on scraps of service against an excellent defence – and showing his sky-high confidence with a pair of fierce first-half strikes which flew just off target.

His crowning moment came with a superbly taken equaliser, controlling a difficult ball with his chest before swivelling to smash an unstoppable left-footed strike high into the roof of the net. It was a goal to make anyone stand up and take notice – and perhaps especially Real Madrid.

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