Friday, 27 April 2012

Adrian the Man for Atletico

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.

Going 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.

The 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.

With 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.

The 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.

For the best coverage of the Europa League, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment