Adrian further established his growing reputation with a stunning goal for Atletico Madrid, as the club secured their place in the Europa League final in Bucharest, running out 5-2 aggregate winners against La Liga rivals, Valencia.
The striker added a ninth Europa
League goal to his tally in this year’s competition, helping the club
reach the final, where they will now meet Athletic Bilbao. Madrid are
clear favourites for the victory in the Europa League odds.
into the second-leg at the Mestalla with a 4-2 lead from the first leg,
Atletico always looked as though they were all but booked into the
final, and never really looked in danger of being overrun.
hosts started the game well and had enough chances to ensure Atletico
had to maintain their full focus, without ever really managing to show
the sort of clinical attacking that they have been producing every week
in La Liga.
With an hour gone, the visitors effectively
ended the tie as a contest through the in-form Adrian. The striker cut
in from the right, and fired a stunning shot past the helpless Diego
Alves, in the Valencia goal.
That was all it took for
Valencia to realise this was not going to be their year for Europa
glory; Unai Emery’s men looked dead and buried with half an hour to go.
the game all but over, Atletico midfielder, Tiago, decided he did not
want to be available for the final. He aimed a needless slap towards the
face of Valencia striker, Roberto Soldado, resulting in a red card and
suspension for the final against Bilbao, later this month.
sending off may have taken some shine away from the result. However,
when the final whistle went, the Atletico players and staff showed just
what it meant to them to have secured their place in the final.
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