Two goals in injury time secured a comeback victory for Atletico Madrid over Valencia at the Wanda Metropolitano.
First-half goals from Yunus Musah, a fine drive from outside the box, and Hugo Duro, with a poacher’s finish, gave the visitors a deserved two-goal half time lead.
Substitute Matheus Cunha reduced the deficit nudging home Yannick Carrasco’s corner form close range but though Atletico dominated the second half they could not force parity until just into added-on time.
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Then, another replacement, Angel Correa hit home after Jaume parried away Carrasco’s cross into his path.
Two minutes later, Cunha’s cross-shot was turned in at the back post by centre back Mario Hermoso to send the home crowd and their under-pressure manager into ecstasy.
The result sees Atletico pull within four points of third-place Real Betis. Valencia remain ninth.
Back from the dead – It felt like Diego Simeone’s obituary as Atletico Madrid boss was being written (it certainly was in the first draft for this space). The first half was as impotent as Atletico can have ever looked under the Argentine supremo: the result of the artists he now presides over unwilling to ply their trade like his former charges. Four substitutes in the first 15 minutes after the break seemed signs of a man in panic, but to his credit his side upped their intensity as the second half went on and the result was just about a deserved one in the end. If the players now realise that matching the effort of opponents will likely be too much for every team in the division bar their city rivals, the season should end a bit happier and Simeone can look towards lasting a lot longer into his second decade in charge.
Les joueurs de l’Atlético de Madrid exultent après avoir renversé le FC Valence (3-2) en Liga, le 22 janvier 2022
Image credit: Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid) – While many of his team-mates didn’t show up for much of the match, Carrasco was impressive throughout and almost dragged his side into the side in the closing stages. On numerous occasions he found team-mates in dangerous areas inside the penalty area but they could not take advantage of his good work, until injury time when, unsurprisingly, he was involved in both goals.
El Atlético de Madrid le da la vuelta al partido del Valencia.
Image credit: Getty Images
Atletico Madrid: Oblak 6, Vrsaljko 6, Gimenez 6, Hermoso 7, Renan Lodi 6; Koke 6, De Paul 6; Lemar 6, Carrasco 8, Joao Felix 6, Suarez 6.
Subs: Correa 7, Cunha 7, Felipe 6, Herrera 6, Serrano 6.
Valencia: Jaume 6. Thierry Correia 5, Alderete 6, Diakhaby 6, Toni Lato 6, Foulquier 6, Guillamon 7, Musah 7, Soler 7, Guedes 7, Duro 7.
Subs: Koindredi 6, Mosquera 5, Vazquez 5, Gomez 5, Racic 5.
24′ GOAL FOR VALENCIA! A fine finish from Musah. He cut in from the left flank and drove low powerfully past Oblak inside the neat post.
44′ GOAL FOR VALENCIA! Duro pokes the ball home past Oblak from close range. It was a little fortunate how Lato’s ball slipped through Soler and set up the striker perfectly and he made no mistake.
64′ GOAL FOR ATLETICO! This didn’t look like coming and did so in a strange manner as Carrasco’s corner found Cunha alone three yards out and he just tapped the ball.
90+1′ GOAL FOR ATLETICO! A fine ball from Carrasco almost finds Suarez in the box and the keeper can only push the ball into Correa’s path for the equaliser.
90+3′ GOAL FOR ATLETICO! Hermoso wins the game for Atletico. Carrasco backheeled through to Cunha in the box and his cross-shot was turned in at the back post by the centre back.
16 – The number of games since Valencia have beaten Atletico Madrid.
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