Thursday, December 2, 2021

Valencia 3-3 Atletico Madrid: Late Duro double stuns Simeone in Mestalla thriller

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Nov 2021

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Hugo Duro scored twice in second-half stoppage time as Atletico Madrid threw away a two-goal lead in a remarkable 3-3 draw away to Valencia on Sunday.

Atletico looked to be well on track to bouncing back from a disappointing midweek defeat to Liverpool but Valencia showed commendable spirit to peg them back right at the end.

The visitors had dominated the first half and led through Luis Suarez’s sublime goal, only for Valencia to improve after the break and level through Stefan Savic’s own goal.

A quick-fire double from Atletico, courtesy of Antoine Griezmann and Sime Vrsaljko, looked as though it would be enough for the champions, only for Valencia substitute Duro to clinch a late brace that incredibly rescued a point.

Atletico’s early loss of Kieran Trippier to a shoulder injury did not inhibit the champions’ ability to dominate.

A deserved opener arrived just after the half-hour mark as Suarez received Angel Correa’s incisive pass and left Mouctar Diakhaby for dead with a wonderful first touch that preceded a left-footed finish going in off the post.

Valencia improved after the break and quickly equalised – Goncalo Guedes seeing a shot find the net via Jan Oblak and Savic.

But the parity did not last. Griezmann robbed Hugo Guillamon just inside the Atletico half and embarked on a solo run that culminated in a sensational 25-yard strike arrowing into the top-left corner.

It was 3-1 two minutes later, with Suarez bundling the ball past Jasper Cillesen and Vrsaljko was on hand to nudge over the line, but Valencia were far from finished.

Duro guided an excellent volley beyond Oblak from Jose Gaya’s cross with 92 minutes played to leave Atletico nervous, and then the striker headed in Guedes’ free-kick delivery to complete a brilliant comeback.

What does it mean? Atletico’s defence a cause for concern again

If there is one thing you expect from Atletico it is that their backline is practically impenetrable, but that just has not been the case this season.

In their past seven matches across all competitions, only twice have Atletico not conceded at least two goals in a match, which is frankly absurd given the usually high standards. Luckily, they are still firing going forward, but Simeone needs to get his head around their struggles quickly if this is to be a successful season.

Hugo’s boss

What a cameo. Duro was only introduced from the bench in the 85th minute, yet he managed to score two goals from just two attempts. It was a brutally efficient appearance from the youngster.

Griez lightning

Since returning to Atletico, Griezmann’s form has been hit and miss, but he was simply excellent here. The France forward was so effective at knitting together the visitors’ attacks with clever passes between the lines and he got a deserved goal, a stunning piledriver – his sole shot on target. A wonderful display, though that will be overshadowed by Valencia’s late comeback.

What’s next?

Atletico host Osasuna in their first game after the upcoming international break on November 20. Valencia go to Real Sociedad the following day.

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