Antoine Griezmann netted to help Atletico Madrid battle to a 2-0 La Liga victory at Valencia, despite earlier seeing his penalty saved by Diego Alves.

In eargerness to impress new manager Cesare Prandelli who was sitting in the stands at Mestalla, Valencia nevertheless risked defeat when Nani brought down Angel Correa in the area.

Griezmann stepped up to take the penalty kick but Alves made a brilliant save high to his right from Griezmann’s spot-kick with the Frenchman now having missed his past three Atleti penalties.

Griezmann was unsurprisingly Atleti’s most lively attacking outlet early on and the forward stung a fierce 25-yard drive forcing a palm save from Diego Alves.

Valencia, who had offered little going forward, then enjoyed a spell of pressure and former Atleti midfielder Suarez bent a left-foot shot wide from the edge of the box.

Valencia introduced Santi Mina at the break and the pacy winger almost made a swift impact when he bore down on Jan Oblak’s goal, only to be denied by Lucas Hernandez’s superb last-gasp challenge.

But Atleti took the lead in the 63rd minute when their two substitutes combined well, with Torres racing onto Yannick Carrasco’s through-ball.

Although his shot across goal was saved by Alves, Gameiro recycled the ball to Griezmann , who thumped high into the Valencia net.

The drama continued when Gameiro raced through one-on-one only to be foiled by Alves, but from the follow-up Suarez was penalised for a crude trip on Griezmann.

Once again Alves came to Valencia’s rescue, diving low to his left to parry away Gabi’s poor effort.

The veteran then hit the post with a low drive from distance, before Valencia should have restored parity when the unmarked Eliaquim Mangala headed Zakaria Bakkali’s pin-point cross straight at Oblak.

And Atleti made sure of the points in additional time when Gameiro raced into the area before cutting inside Aderlan Santos and drilling low past Alves.

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