La Liga: Valencia Stun Atletico Madrid 3-1

Valencia scored three goals inside the first 13 minutes to jolt Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid early on Saturday.

Updated: October 05, 2014 09:21 IST
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Valencia celebrate after scoring an early goal vs Atletico Madrid


Valencia moved top of La Liga with three goals in the opening 13 minutes to beat champions Atletico Madrid 3-1 at the Mestalla on Saturday.

Atletico paid for their efforts in beating Italian champions Juventus in midweek as Miranda gifted the hosts the opener with a comical own goal before Andre Gomes and Nicolas Otamendi rounded off a dream start for Los Che.

Mario Mandzukic reduced the arrears on the half hour mark, but any hopes of an Atletico comeback were halted when Diego Alves saved Guillherme Siqueira's tame penalty just before half-time and they ended the match with 10 men as substitute Alessio Cerci was sent-off in stoppage time.

"Valencia started very strongly and we made mistakes that we don't usually make," said Atletico boss Diego Simeone.

"After that Atletico played very well and they didn't have any more chances. If we had scored the penalty, perhaps it would have been different."

Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo refused to specify what would classify as a success for his side come the end of the season, but believes they can get even better with star summer signing Alvaro Negredo set to return from injury after the upcoming international break.

"Our objective is to keep growing and keep improving as individuals and as a team.

"Today is a great day for us, but I am very optimistic and I think we will improve."

Miranda inexplicably tried to intercept Shkodran Mustafi's cross which was sailing easily into the arms of Atletico 'keeper Miguel Angel Moya and only succeeded in turning the ball into his own net after just six minutes.

A minute later things got even worse for Miranda as Gomes turned the Brazilian as he rampaged through the heart of the Atletico defence before smashing the ball low past the helpless Moya.

Atletico were even struggling at their normal forte of set-pieces as Otamendi then rose unchallenged to power home the third from Pablo Piatti's corner.

The visitors showed some heart to end the half the stronger and were back in the game when Alves could only parry Tiago's powerful effort and Mandzukic was on hand to nod home his fourth goal of the season.

And Simeone's men could even have got back to 3-2 before the break as Jose Gaya was harshly penalised for a handball inside his own area, but Alves continued his fine penalty saving record with a comfortable stop from Siqueira's weak effort.

That save punctured Atletico's momentum and Valencia were able to keep Los Rojiblancos at bay in a far less eventful second-half.

Indeed the best chance fell to Valencia as Spanish international Paco Alcacer fired just over at the near post as he latched onto Gaya's low cross.

Atletico's bad day was rounded off in injury time as Cerci had a goal ruled out and was shown a second yellow card for deliberate handball meaning he will miss Espanyol's visit to the Vicente Calderon in two weeks' time.

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