MADRID, Aug 21: Atletico Madrid failed to get their La Liga title bid off to a winning start, as Rodrigo earned Valencia a 1-1 draw at the Mestalla Stadium.
Angel Correa gave Diego Simeone�s visitors a 26th-minute lead yesterday, but Rodrigo struck in the second half for the home team and last season�s runners-up Atletico failed to find a winner.
There are high hopes at the Wanda Metropolitano that Atletico can muster a serious title challenge, after keeping their key players in the close season and claiming an impressive extra-time win over city rivals Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup last week.
But they were given a tough test to start the campaign at a strong Valencia outfit who will be playing in the Champions League this season for the first time since 2015 after finishing fourth.
�It�s a shame because we wanted to bring the win home and we didn�t manage it,� the 23-year-old Correa, who also scored in Atletico�s opening league game 12 months ago against Girona, told BeIN Sports Spain.
�The effort we put in for the Super Cup isn�t an excuse for us, we know how to repeat that kind of effort. There is a long way to go before talking about it (the title), we must continue to work.�
Simeone gave a La Liga debut to Thomas Lemar, who joined from Monaco for 72 million euros ($84 million) in July, but the French World Cup winner struggled to make an impression and was hauled off in the 63rd minute. � AFP