Valencia Vs. Atletico Madrid, 2012 Europa League: Final Score 1-0 Atletico, Visitors Advance To Final

Atletico Madird are through to the Europa League final after a 1-0 win in the Mestalla against Valencia. Having set the stage with a 4-2 win at home a week ago, the visitors knew that keeping the game tight would see them progress, and they managed to keep Valencia at bay fairly comfortably for the first half, despite being by some distance the lesser side. Thibaut Courtois' goal probably should have been under siege, but although the young goalkeeper did make some big saves the expected onslaught never quite materialised.

The second half was more of the same, until a five minute spell essentially crippled Valencia's hopes. First Sergio Canales went down in the box without contact, looking to have done himself a major injury in the process (he was stretchered off with his face covered) and then Adrian smacked in an absolutely magnificent right-footed shot from the edge of Diego Alves' box after chesting down a long diagonal from Diego. That made it 5-2 on aggregate, and meant that Valencia needed three goals to advance.

It looked like they were going to get one when Tiago was penalised for handball in the area - despite it being a Valencia player who touched the ball. After a few minutes of madness, however, it was the visitors who emerged with a free kick. The original decision was overruled, but Tiago was sent off anyway for a silly slap on Roberto Soldado when he still through the penalty was being given.

It was an ugly moment, but I'm not sure Atletico will care too much - they were able to hold out with ten men to advance to the Europa League final with a 5-2 aggregate win. They will meet Athletic Bilbao in Bucharest.

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