Che fight back twice to earn draw

BY foxsports • April 1, 2010

All the goals were scored in the second half, with Atletico twice going ahead through Diego Forlan and Antonio Lopez, and Valencia equalising each time thanks to goals from Manuel Fernandes and David Villa. The only surprise was that it took until almost the hour mark to break the deadlock, with both sides creating a host of chances in the first half. In the opening 15 minutes Valencia went close three times through Spain duo Villa (twice) and Juan Mata, while Atletico also had two good efforts through Alvaro Dominguez and Simao Sabrosa. Dominguez brought a fine diving save out of Cesar Sanchez from a header, while Simao curled a 20-yard effort against the far post with the Valencia goalkeeper beaten. Both teams continued to fashion opportunities following that frantic start, with Fernandes bringing a save out of David De Gea and Jose Manuel Jurado's shot rolling along the line after squeezing through Cesar's legs. The match continued to entertain after half-time, and it was Atletico who drew first blood through Forlan. Cesar was left facing three Atletico attackers following a rapid breakaway and he was helpless as Aguero rolled the ball across for Forlan to tap into an empty net. Atletico only enjoyed their lead for eight minutes though before Fernandes drew Valencia level with a 25-yard thunderbolt into the bottom corner. Valencia's hopes of going onto to build a first leg lead suffered another setback in the 71st minute when they fell behind again. Simao's corner was headed into the six-yard box by Dominguez and the unmarked Lopez was on hand to nod past Cesar. Like before though, Atletico were unable to hold onto that advantage. The Rojiblancos enjoyed a let-off in the 74th minute when Bruno Saltor saw his brilliant long-range volley crash back off the crossbar, but there was no escape for Quique Sanchez Flores' men in the 82nd minute. Jordi Alba played Vicente Rodriguez into the area and the winger pulled the ball back for Villa to fire home a low left-footed shot past De Gea to level the scores up and leave the tie in the balance for the second leg.

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