Atletico miss two penalties in 2-0 win at Valencia to go top

Atletico Madrid stumbled to the top of the Spanish Liga on Sunday in an eventful 2-0 win at lowly Valencia, in which local keeper Diego Alves saved two penalties from the visitors.

Antoine Griezmann continued his penalty nightmare by having one saved by specialist Alves just before half-time.

It was Griezmann's third straight penalty miss for Atletico - carrying on from his miss on Wednesday against Bayern Munich - and his fourth miss in six attempts.

However, the France striker made amends by giving Atletico the lead in the 63rd minute with a left-foot drive, after Alves had failed to hold onto a drive from Fernando Torres.

Alves then saved a second spot-kick, from Atletico's veteran captain Gabi, as he raised his all-time record for penalties saved in La Liga to 19.

Valencia pressed manfully towards the end, but Kevin Gameiro sealed Atletico's win in stoppage time by making it 2-0 on the break.

"Alves is a wonderful keeper. The fact that we managed to put two goals past him speaks volumes about just how good we were today," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said.

Simeone refused to become euphoric about taking top spot, saying: "We should not look for too long at the table and become too excited about our position, before the other teams play their matches.

"We just have to take this one game at a time, as we have always done."

On the Valencia bench was caretaker coach Voro, with new signing Cesare Prandelli watching up in the stands. Prandelli will on Monday take over the 16th-ranked team which has lost five of the seven Liga games.

"We did not play too badly today, but Atletico are a very tough and professional team," Valencia striker Santi Mina said.

Unbeaten Atletico now have 15 points from seven games, which is one more than a Real Madrid side which will host modest Eibar later Sunday.

Real are currently level on 14 points with Sevilla. In fourth place, on 13, are Barcelona, who were due to visit Celta Vigo in Sunday's late game.

The day's other matches are Espanyol v Villarreal and Malaga v Athletic Bilbao.

Last update: Sun, 02/10/2016 - 16:01
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