Valencia 1-1 Atletico Madrid: 5 Talking Points
Atletico Madrid's new league campaign got off to a rocky start after being held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia at the Mestalla. With both title rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid comfortably clinching all three points on the opening day, Los Rojiblancos were dealt an early blow, though an opening day fixture at one of the toughest places in La Liga was always going to be daunting.
Yet, Angel Correa put the visitors in the driving seat with a neat finish just before the half-hour mark after a spell of amazing passes. Valencia, who were only restricted to long shots for much of the opening half, levelled the matters soon after the break when Diego Godin misjudged the flight of the ball, allowing Rodrigo to latch on to the cross.
Both sides then pushed for a winner but cancelled each other out in an entertaining duel. Let's discuss the major talking points:
#1 Atletico and Valencia trade blows in a show of might
Both teams have made some shrewd business in the transfer market this summer in a combined outlay of almost €165 million to bolster their squads. And the fierce intensity with which the sides traded haymakers on the night was a testament to the same.
Atletico were the better side during the opening exchanges, patiently building up the pressure with sweet passing game and opening up Valencia. There were numerous opportunities for the visitors after the opener to extend the advantage, while Los Che tested at the opposite end with long-range scorchers that narrowly sailed over the bar each time.
It was a sign of things to come, and the home side's persistence paid off when Godin's miscalculation allowed Rodrigo to send Griezmann's cross home for the equaliser. Atletico immediately scrapped their counter-attacking ploy and started to push bodies forward in search of the winner. At that time, Valencia too were guilty of squandering some good opportunities to seal the tie as the visitors' hell-for-leather approach left gaps behind.
Despite best efforts at either ends, it ended all square and quiet honestly, it was a fair result to both sides, who demonstrated their might and can look forward to a positive league campaign again.