After Wednesday evening’s Champions League results left Group A finely poised on matchday two of Europe’s elite competition, attentions turn to domestic action for the Bianconeri’s Eurorivals this weekend.
Hot on the heels of a 1-0 victory over Massimiliano Allegri’s oufit in Madrid, Diego Simeone’s side travelled to the Mestalla Stadium to face Valencia on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams - who were locked in joint-second position in La Liga with 14 points prior to kick-off- wanted to try and steal a march on each other to keep up with early pacesetters Barcelona.
Los Che began like a train as they raced into a 3-0 lead inside the first 13 minutes. Centre-back Miranda turned into his own net before Andre Gomes’ solo effort and Nicolas Otamendi’s header had the home faithful in dreamland.
Diego Simeone’s reigning champions reduced the deficit on the half-hour mark when Mario Mandzukic headed in and it looked like a comeback was on the cards when Los Rojiblancos were awarded a penalty a minute before the half-time interval.
But Guilherme Siqueira’s tame spot-kick was saved by penalty king Diego Alves – who has kept out 13 of the last 27 he has faced – and Atleti were left to rue that missed opportunity.
The away side’s misery was compounded further when Alessio Cerci was sent off in stoppage time after handling the ball before putting it into the net.
That result saw Simeone’s side slip into third place while Valencia temporarily went top before Barcelona regained the initiative this evening as they beat midtable Rayo Vallecano 2-0.
Sunday’s action sees Malmo journey to fourth-placed AIK Stockholm with only four games to play of the 2014 domestic campaign.
Age Hareide’s men sit top of the Allsvenskan, nine points above closest challengers IFK Goteborg and could effectively win the title before the next round of Champions League matches providing results go their way.
There is no Greek Super League action this weekend following the death of Ethnikos Piraeus supporter Kostas Katsoulis last Monday.
Olympiacos' scheduled game with Paok Salonika has been postponed to a later date yet to be decided.