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Sport

Valencia 0-1 Atletico Madrid: Lato own goal takes Simeone’s side joint-top

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Toni Lato’s unfortunate own goal 11 minutes from time gave Atletico Madrid a hard-fought 1-0 win at Valencia on Saturday.

Atleti dominated throughout yet struggled to create opportunities in the second half after Jaume Domenech had stood tall in the Valencia goal prior to the break.

After following up last week’s victory over Barcelona – the first in LaLiga during Diego Simeone’s tenure – with a goalless Champions League draw against Lokomotiv Moscow, the visitors looked set to suffer further frustration.

However, substitute Yannick Carrasco’s low cross bounced off Lato’s knee and into the net to finally beat Domenech and take Atleti level on points with Real Sociedad at the summit.

The highlights of the first half were superb stretching saves at either end, Valencia captain Domenech punching the air in delight after getting down to his right to expertly repel Thomas Lemar’s deflected 13th-minute drive.

Jan Oblak had to be alert to touch Uros Racic’s awkward half-volley – seemingly a mishit cross – onto the post, before Domenech was again tested by Lemar, parrying a precise effort away from the same corner as his earlier attempt.

Atleti dominated after the restart, hogging more than 70 per cent of the possession until late in proceedings while facing only a single shot, though they scarcely threatened and needed a lucky bounce to snatch the points.

Carrasco advanced down Atleti’s left and sent in a low ball that evaded Domenech, as well as two tussling players from either side, catching Lato unaware as the ball skipped up off his leg and in.

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