Champions Atletico beaten 3-1 at resurgent Valencia

Monday, 6 October 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Atletico Madrid failed to build on Wednesday’s notable Champions League success against Juventus when they were beaten 3-1 at a resurgent Valencia in La Liga on Saturday. Valencia’s stirring victory at their Mestalla stadium briefly lifted them above Barcelona to the top of the standings before Lionel Messi and Neymar struck in a 2-0 success at Rayo Vallecano, who had two players sent off, to restore Barca’s two-point advantage. The Catalan club are the first La Liga team to avoid conceding a goal in their opening seven matches of the season. Valencia last won the Spanish league title in 2004 but have started their latest campaign in impressive form and made a thrilling start at the Mestalla to race into a 3-0 lead by the 13th minute. Atletico centre back Miranda put the ball into his own net in the sixth minute, Andre Gomes finished superbly after a fine run a minute later and Nicolas Otamendi nodded in at a corner to leave the champions reeling. Mario Mandzukic pulled a goal back in the 29th when he followed up a Tiago effort to head home before Atletico squandered a chance for a second on the stroke of halftime. Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves, a penalty specialist, saved Guilherme Siqueira’s weak spot kick, the 13th the Brazilian has stopped out of 31 faced in La Liga. Showing little sign of fatigue after their 1-0 success against Juventus at the Calderon, Atletico pushed hard to get back into the match but the home side comfortably held on and Alves was barely tested in the second period. Atletico’s Italy winger Alessio Cerci had a miserable afternoon when he came off the bench in the second half, picked up two yellow cards and was sent off. The second card was awarded in added time when he sprung the offside trap and put the ball in the net but the referee ruled he had used his arm to control it. Valencia, who failed to qualify for European competition last season, have 17 points from seven matches, with Barca, who are unbeaten and yet to concede a goal, on 19. Atletico have 14 points in third and can be overtaken by Real Madrid, Sevilla and Celta Vigo if they all win on Sunday.  

 Liverpool end frustrating week with first league win since August

Reuters: Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson scored as Liverpool registered their first Premier League win since August by grinding out a hard-fought 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on Saturday. Lallana’s first Liverpool goal was cancelled out by a controversial Saido Berahino penalty before Henderson’s driven winner helped last season’s runners-up climb to seventh. “It was vital (we won). We needed to find a way to win today against a side that is really high on confidence,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told Sky Sports. “An excellent result on the back of a disappointing European result. Their penalty was outside the box but the players showed their character and resilience to keep going and find a winner. It was an outstanding win for us.” Papiss Cisse struck twice to ease the growing pressure on underfire Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew with a 2-2 draw against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium. Steven Fletcher scored a brace as Sunderland beat Stoke City 3-1 to claim their first win of the season following five draws from their opening six games. Leicester City were held to a 2-2 draw by fellow promoted side Burnley, who grabbed their second equaliser through Ross Wallace deep into stoppage time. Elsewhere, Neil Warnock suffered his first league defeat since returning to Crystal Palace in a 2-0 loss to Hull City, who won for the first time since August.