First Division - Day 18

Atlético Madrid 0 - Valencia 0

Atlético: Falcón; Velasco, Perea, Pablo, Antonio López; Zahinos, Colsa; Mario Suárez, Ibagaza, Petrov (Maxi 71'); Fernando Torres. 4-2-3-1.
Valencia: Cañizares; Miguel, Raúl Albiol, Marchena, Moretti; Albelda, Fabio Aurelio; Angulo (Rufete 84'), Aimar (Mista 65'), Vicente (Regueiro 72'); David Villa. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Atlético: Falcón, Velasco, Zahinos, Ibagaza for Roberto, Valera, Gabi, Maxi / Valencia: Fabio Aurelio for Baraja.

Goals: None.

A 0-0 draw in the last game of the evening between Atlético Madrid and Valencia, a result which keeps the visitors in third place and leaves the hosts floundering in mid-table. All but two (Petrov and Ibagaza) of the home team players had only just recovered from the stomach upset which caused their midweek cup game against Zaragoza to be cancelled, and Carlos Bianchi instructed his side to sit back and try to score on the counter-attack. The plan almost worked a quarter of an hour in to the game when Ibagaza and Fernando Torres combined to set up Petrov, but Cañizares was on his toes and made the save.

Valencia were all too aware of Atlético's midweek problems, moving the ball around to try and tire out their opponents, and David Villa and Fabio Aurelio both brought good saves out of Falcón before half time. But the home side started the second half well, and Fernando Torres came close with a couple of efforts as the clock ran on.

Surprisingly though Bianchi decided not to rest some of his more exhausted players, only replacing the fully fit Petrov with Maxi, and the crowd started to lose patience. Fabio Aurelio could have won it for the Chés when he hit the bar late on, and although the locals held on to the final whistle, there were calls from the home fans for the coach to resign. This was their ninth game without a win, and if the side don't do well in the cup this week there could be a new man in charge by the weekend.