• Spain's news in English

Atlético miss chance to move into second

AFP · 1 Apr 2013, 08:37

Published: 01 Apr 2013 08:37 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Real Madrid's 1-1 draw at Real Zaragoza on Saturday had given Atlético the chance to overtake their city rivals and move back into second place, but despite having to settle for a point Simeone was happy to have maintained their 15-point advantage over Valencia who remain in sixth.

"They have one of the best squads in best, the third best behind Barcelona and Real Madrid," he told a press conference.

"Therefore we are proud of our players at this moment. In the first-half Valencia played very well. They have a very talented and competitive squad and they played like that. 

"We were lucky to have created danger in the few chances we did have and in the second-half we took they game to them and tried to win."

The game got off to a flying start with both goals arriving in the opening six minutes.

Valencia took advantage of a nervy start from the hosts as Jonas prodded through Thibaut Courtois' legs from Joao Pereira's cross.

Simeone's men were level within a minute though as Arda Turan's cross was expertly guided in at the far corner by Radamel Falcao for his 22nd league goal of the campaign.

Despite that setback Valencia went on to control the first-half as Atletico struggled to contain the midfield trio of Dani Parejo, Ever Banega and Tino Costa.

Parejo saw a long-range free-kick fly just over the bar before Courtois was forced into a fine double save by efforts from Pablo Piatti and Jonas.

However, for all their dominance Valencia could easily have gone into the break behind as Diego Alves did well to parry Gabi's free-kick.

That effort seemed to galvanise Atletico who dominated the second period.

Filipe Luis saw a goalbound shot deflected into the side-netting before Alves had to be quick off his line to deny Diego Costa a clear run on goal.

The home fans were then angry when Jonas appeared to have clearly handle inside his own area, but referee Javier Estrada Fernandez waved play on.

But without the injured Arda, who was replaced by Raul Garcia, they lacked the guile needed to unlock a well-organised Valencia backline.

And indeed the visitors nearly took all three points three minutes from time as a thumping long-range effort from Parejo whistled just past the post.

The point ensured Valencia didn't lose any ground in the race for the final Champions League place as fourth-placed Real Sociedad also drew 2-2 at Espanyol on Sunday.

Story continues below…

Sergio Garcia fired the hosts into an early lead and after David Zurutuza had briefly levelled for the Basques, Cristian Stuani restored Espanyol's lead six minutes before the break.

However, the introduction of Ruben Pardo proved key in the second-half as two minutes after he replaced Asier Illarramendi he fed Antoine Griezmann and the French winger's poor first touch rebounded fortunately off Espanyol defender Javi Lopez into his own goal to secure Philippe Montanier's side a point.

At the bottom, Deportivo La Coruña gave their chances of survival a boost as they beat second-bottom Mallorca 3-2.

The Galicians remain at the foot of the table but are now just four points off safety.

Osasuna meanwhile eased their relegation fears as they too came from behind to win 3-1 at Valladolid.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Spain worries about tourism future
Photo: Josep Lago / AFP file picture

After basking in its best tourist summer season in 15 years, Spain now sees dark clouds on the horizon as popular destinations reach saturation point and holidaymakers are more thrifty, industry experts say.

Spain's Socialists lift veto on Rajoy to break deadlock
The Socialists have decided to lift their veto on the minority conservative government or not. Photo: Gerard Julien/ AFP

Spain's embattled Socialists on Sunday voted to lift a long-standing veto that has prevented the conservatives from forming a minority government, in what should finally end a ten-month political impasse.

Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
jobs available