Valencia 1 Atletico Madrid 1: Rodrigo strikes to deny Simeone's side

Valencia held Atletico Madrid to a 1-1 draw in their LaLiga opener, with Rodrigo Moreno netting a second-half equaliser.

Valencia's Rodrigo Moreno.   -  Getty Images

Atletico Madrid failed to follow up its victory over city rival Real in the UEFA Super Cup as it was held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia in its 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 has 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 visitor’s 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.


What it means: Atleti lose ground

It may be the first weekend of the season, but Atleti will not take kindly to losing ground on title rivals Barcelona and Madrid so early.

Barca got off to a winning start against Alaves on Saturday, before Julen Lopetegui's men saw off Getafe on Sunday.

Pat on the back: A Wass act

Wass has been a star man for Celta Vigo over recent seasons and he appears to have instantly settled at Valencia. His ambitious early effort may have been slightly wayward but his volleyed delivery from a Geoffrey Kondogbia crossfield ball to set up Rodrigo was superb. He could even have capped his performance with a winning goal, but Jan Oblak kept out his low drive at the end of a quick counter attack two minutes from time.

Boot up the backside: Godin loses his head

Diego Godin will certainly feel he could have done more to preserve Atleti's lead. There was little wrong with his general performance but it was his missed header that allowed Wass' cross to reach Rodrigo for the equaliser, as he appeared to misjudge the ball in the air.

What's next?

Atleti will look to maintain its momentum when it hosts Rayo Vallecano at the Wanda Metropolitano next Saturday, while Valencia visits Espanyol the following day.


Key Opta facts

- Angel Correa has scored Atletico's first goal in each of the last two LaLiga seasons. 
- Antoine Griezmann has been involved in 31 goals in 31 games for Atletico in 2018 in all competitions (22 goals and nine assists). 
- Valencia scored with its first shot on target of the game (four in total). 

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