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Atletico Madrid failed to follow up their victory over city rivals Real in the UEFA Super Cup as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia in their LaLiga opener.
Diego Simeone’s men triumphed 4-2 after extra time in Tallinn last week but threw away a one-goal advantage to pick up just a solitary point from their trip to Mestalla.
The lively Angel Correa gave Atleti the lead after 26 minutes, before Rodrigo Moreno drew Valencia level in the early stages of the second half.
Rodrigo's goal marks the first time Valencia have scored against Atleti in their last five league encounters.
Valencia have been busy in the transfer market during the close-season and new recruit Daniel Wass almost made an instant impact when he went close with a dipping effort from distance after four minutes.
Diego Costa was the first man in an Atleti shirt to get a proper sight of goal but saw goalkeeper Neto get down well to keep out his left-footed shot from the centre of the box in the 15th minute.
The visitors’ opener arrived 11 minutes later when Antoine Griezmann split the Valencia defence with a throughball that Correa latched on to and slotted past Neto.
Rodrigo's attempt to produce an immediate response from 20 yards flew over the crossbar, but he was not to be denied after the interval.
Wass lifted a superb volleyed cross into the box, which Rodrigo took down on his chest and blasted into the back of the net.
It could have been 2-1 moments later, when Gabriel Paulista arrowed a header at the right-hand post from a corner, and Atleti may be relieved to take home anything from a tricky start to the campaign.
Valencia kick-starts their La Liga campaign by welcoming high-flying Atleti to the Mestalla on Monday evening. As ever, you can watch Valencia Vs Atletico Madrid Live & Exclusive via beIN SPORTS CONNECT.
Los Murciélagos are heading into their centenary year having been founded in 1919 and will be looking to get a big win under their belts. Valencia finished fourth last season to seal Champions League football, and Marcelino has been backed heavily in the summer transfer window as a result.
After impressing on loan, Geoffrey Kondogbia’s deal has been made permanent. Whilst youngsters Mouctar Diakhaby & Uros Racic will bulk up the side. Marcelino has also added experienced La Liga campaigners in Denis Cheryshev & Daniel Wass for more creativity in midfield. Providing the new signings can gel, then Valencia could be more than capable of battling it out for trophies in Europe and at home.
Former Atletico Madrid striker Kévin Gameiro moved to Valencia in the summer and will have a point to prove against his former employers. Gamero found opportunities limited last season in Madrid, and a move to Valencia should guarantee more time on the pitch. The French striker is more than capable of scoring 15 goals this season and will be looking to open his account on his full La Liga debut with Valencia.
Fresh from their UEFA Super Cup win, Atletico will be looking to kick-start their La Liga campaign with a victory but will face a stern test against a Valencia side who have Champions League ambitions.
Diego Simeone has been busy in the transfer window strengthening his side for a title push. Both Antione Griezzman & Lucas Fernadez have signed improved contracts with the club, whilst winger Gelson Martins and Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic have been brought in to bulk up the squad which was a little light towards the end of last season.
Atletico is expected to line up in a familiar 4-4-2 formation on Monday evening, with Diego Godin anchoring the central defence and Griezmann & Diego Costa looking to break on the counter-attack.
Summer signing Thomas Lemar made a big money move to Atletico from Monaco, and the World Cup winner will be hoping to make a splash in what will be his La Liga debut. Lemar looked impressive in his cameo in the UEFA Super Cup and will be looking to strike up an understanding with Diego Costa & Antionne Griezmann in the Atleti attack.
As ever, you can watch Valencia Vs Atletico Madrid Live & Exclusive via beIN SPORTS CONNECT.