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PHOTOS: Atletico held by Valencia in La Liga thriller

February 15, 2020 10:46 IST
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Thomas Partey celebrates scoring Atletico Madrid's second goal with Angel Correa and Santiago Arias during Friday's La Liga match against Valencia.

IMAGE: Thomas Partey celebrates scoring Atletico Madrid's second goal with Angel Correa and Santiago Arias during Friday's La Liga match against Valencia. Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters

Atletico Madrid's disappointing season continued as they shared the spoils with Valencia in a thrilling 2-2 draw in La Liga at Mestalla on Friday.

 

Marcos Llorente put Atletico ahead after 15 minutes when he stabbed home from close range, with Gabriel Paulista equalising five minutes before the break.

Atletico went back in front three minutes later when Thomas Partey smashed home a low drive from distance but Valencia's Geoffrey Kondogbia bundled the ball past goalkeeper Jan Oblak in the 59th minute to level the scores again.

Kevin Gameiro should have put Valencia ahead but lashed a golden chance over the bar after the electric Ferran Torres's brilliant run and cross.

Sixth-placed Valencia finished by far the stronger, with the draw putting them on 38 points. Atletico, in fourth, have 40 but are 12 adrift of leaders Real Madrid having played a game more.

Geoffrey Kondogbia celebrates scoring Valencia's second goal with teammates.

IMAGE: Geoffrey Kondogbia celebrates scoring Valencia's second goal with teammates. Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters

The hosts were thrashed 3-0 at Getafe last weekend but bounced back strongly with an energetic display against Diego Simeone's side to satisfy their demanding fans.

"I don't know if the draw is fair, we had a great game against a tough opponent but we had the chances to win," said Valencia coach Albert Celades.

"We had a great second half and made the chances to win but it was a draw. Everyone wants to move forward, everyone wants to win, we put in good performances at home."

Atletico, who host Liverpool in the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday, were able to bring on striker Alvaro Morata in the second half for his comeback from a muscle injury.

The Spaniard almost snatched a goal for the visitors but Jaume Domenech made a good save to keep out his header.

"We understand in the world of football when you're on a bad run, doubts appear, questions appear, when you win three or four in a row it all disappears," said Llorente.

Simeone, who insists this is a transition season for his team, was pleased with the draw.

"Valencia are very strong at home, haven't lost all season and tonight came back twice. I leave with very good feelings, we made a great effort," said the coach.

Dortmund cruise past Frankfurt to go second

Lukasz Piszczek scores Borussia Dortmund's first goal against Eintracht Frankfurt during Friday's Bundesliga match.

IMAGE: Lukasz Piszczek scores Borussia Dortmund's first goal against Eintracht Frankfurt during Friday's Bundesliga match. Photograph: Leon Kuegeler/Reuters

Borussia Dortmund scored three second-half goals as they crushed Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 in the Bundesliga on Friday to take over second place.

Dortmund spectacularly bounced back from two consecutive defeats in the German Cup and league last week, filling up on confidence ahead of Tuesday's Champions League Round of 16 first leg at home to Paris St Germain.

Defender Lukasz Piszczek found space to drill home for the lead in the 33rd minute with the hosts having to stay patient against a hard-working Eintracht.

But the visitors, who had enjoyed their best start to a year in half a century with three wins out of four games, only put up a fight for 45 minutes and threw in the towel after the restart.

Jadon Sancho latched onto a pinpoint Axel Witsel pass to score with a fine finish in the 50th and Erling Haaland tapped home four minutes later for his eighth goal in his fifth league game, a Bundesliga record.

With the Eintracht defence in disarray, Raphael Guerreiro, who hit the post with a first-half free kick, made amends in the 74th, scoring with a powerful shot from 20 metres after a sloppy clearance.

Dortmund had suffered a shock 3-2 German Cup defeat by Werder Bremen 10 days ago before losing 4-3 to Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.

"It was extremely important to keep a clean sheet today," said Dortmund defender Mats Hummels. "We also did not give them many chances. This was not a clean sheet for the defence but for the entire team."

The Ruhr valley club have 42 points and are above third-placed RB Leipzig, who host Werder Bremen on Saturday, on goal difference, while also moving within a point of Bayern Munich before the leaders visit Cologne on Sunday.

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