Valencia substitute Hugo Duro scored twice in injury time to salvage a 3-3 draw against Atletico Madrid, who threw away the chance to go second in the table.
Kieran Trippier was forced off after just eight minutes with a shoulder injury. An early battle between the Atletico defender and Helder Costa resulted in Trippier falling awkwardly on his side and left him hobbling down the tunnel clutching his shoulder.
Atletico came close to breaking the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Yannick Carrasco drove into the box, cut inside on his dangerous right foot but fired his effort into the side netting.
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Luis Suarez opened the scoring minutes later. The Uruguayan picked up the ball just outside the Valencia box as he drove towards Mouctar Diakhaby, who couldn’t contain the former Barcelona man who eased past him and slotted the ball beyond Jasper Cillessen.
Antoine Griezmann came close to doubling the visitors lead, he popped up unmarked in the box to latch onto a cross fired in from Angel Correa, but his header from close-range was guided over the bar.
The hosts were on level terms early in the second half. A dangerous ball was palmed away by Jan Oblak but only as far as teammate Stefan Savic who couldn’t do much other than watch the ball bounce off his stomach and into the net.
Greizmann put the away side ahead just before the hour mark with a spectacular effort from 20 yards. He drove forward from deep, completely unchallenged, before unleashing a controlled strike into the top left corner.
Atletico had their third after a scrappy goalmouth scramble resulted in the ball trickling over the line courtesy of Trippier's replacement Sime Vrsalijko. The referee originally disallowed the goal for handball but, after a lengthy check, overturned his decision that saw Atletico extend their lead to two goals.
Valencia replied almost instantly, Goncalo Guedes’ effort clattered the bar from close-range.
Seven minutes of injury time were added at the end of normal time, and Valencia pulled a goal back through substitute Duro in the 90th minute.
With less than a minute to spare, Greizmann conceded a lazy foul by the corner flag to present one final throw of the dice from Valencia. The free-kick was fired in and Duro met the cross to notch a dramatic equaliser right at the death.
TALKING POINT - ATLETICO THROW AWAY CHANCE TO GO SECOND
The obvious talking point from this one was the fact Valencia were 3-1 down with 91 minutes on the clock and somehow managed to salvage a draw, but looking at the bigger picture, what does this mean?
Atletico would have applied further pressure on their biggest rivals and league leaders Real Madrid with a win, but instead of closing the gap to two points and jumping to second, they’ve only gained a point on their neighbours and remain in fourth, four points off Los Blancos.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Hugo Duro (Valencia)
It’s not often a player gets man of the match after coming on as a substitute in the 85th minute, but how often does a player come on with five minutes on the clock and drag their side from 3-1 down to earn a draw? Exactly. He changed the game after his introduction, scoring Valencia’s second shortly after the fourth official announced seven added minutes will be played on top of normal time, and this got those in the Mestalla on their feet. In the 97th minute, he was first to meet Goncalo Guedes’ cross from a set-piece and headed in from close range for a phenomenal equaliser.
It’s safe to say without him, Atletico would have headed back to Madrid with all three points.
Valencia: Cillessen 7, Foulquier 6, Diakhaby 5, Guillamon 6, Alderete 6, Gaya 7, Soler 5, Racic 6, Wass 5, Guedes 7, Costa 6. Subs: Andre 6, Musah 5, Duro 8, Koindredi 5, Vallejo 6.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak 6, Trippier N/A, Giminez 6, Savic 5, Hermoso 6, Correa 6, Rodrigo 5, Koke 6, Carrasco 7, Greizmann 6, Suarez 6. Subs: Vrsaljko 7, Kondogbia 6, Herrera N/A, Felix N/A
35’ GOAL! Valencia 0-1 Atletico Madrid (Luis Suarez): Luis Suarez puts Atletico ahead! Suarez picked the ball up as he was driving towards Diakhaby, took on his man and slotted the ball beyond Cillessen.
47’ CHANCE! - Atletico come close to adding to their lead! Antoine Griezmann, who has been relatively quiet so far, pops up unmarked in the area to latch onto Correa's inviting cross, but his header from close-range is guided over the bar.
50’ GOAL! Valencia 1-1 Atletico Madrid (Stefan Savic og): Valencia are level! It's gone down as a Stefan Savic own-goal! A ball is played in from the right and Oblak gets a hand to it but can only push it on to his team mate, who can't really do much about it but watch it bounce off his stomach and into the net, game on!
57’ GOAL! Valencia 1-2 Atletico Madrid (Antoine Greizmann): That is special from Greizmann, Atletico lead again! He drove forward from deep completely unchallenged, and guided a left-footed strike into the top corner from outside the box, brilliant!
61’ GOAL! Valencia 1-3 Atletico Madrid (Sime Vrsalijko): Atletico have a third after a scrappy goalmouth scramble resulted in the ball trickling over the line courtesy of Sime Vrsalijko.
63’ OFF THE BAR! Valencia reply almost instantly but Guedes' effort from close-range clatters off the bar!
90’+1 GOAL! Valencia 2-3 Atletico Madrid (Hugo Duro): That's what they were looking for! Valencia have one back, this could be some finish!
90’+7 GOAL! Valencia 3-3 Atletico Madrid (Hugo Duro): Would you believe it! Valencia score from the free-kick conceded by Greizmann and it’s 3-3!
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