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Valencia's Spanish goalkeeper Jaume Domenech (L) jumps for the ball during the Spanish league football match between Valencia CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on February 14, 2020. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP)

MADRID: Atletico Madrid were twice pegged back in Friday’s 2-2 draw at Valencia to keep Diego Simeone’s side in fourth in La Liga ahead of Liverpool’s visit next week.

Atletico host the runaway Premier League leaders at the Wanda Metropolitano in the Champions League last 16 first leg on Tuesday.

Twenty four hours later Valencia are in Italy to take on Atalanta in Milan.

Atletico’s Real Madrid recruit Marcos Llorente right-footed the visitors’ into an early lead before a close range header from Gabriel Paulista got Valencia back level five minutes before the break.

La Liga Santander - Valencia v Atletico Madrid - Mestalla, Valencia, Spain - February 14, 2020 Valencia's Geoffrey Kondogbia in action with Atletico Madrid's Vitolo. - REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Three minutes later Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey had Atletico back in front only for Geoffrey Kondogbia to earn Valencia a share of the points off a set piece after the restart.

This was Atletico’s 10th stalemate of the season and it left them on 40 points, with Valencia in sixth, two points adrift.

“We’re on the right path. It was an important match with lots of goal-scoring chances for both sides,” commented Simeone.

La Liga Santander - Valencia v Atletico Madrid - Mestalla, Valencia, Spain - February 14, 2020 Atletico Madrid's Marcos Llorente in action with Valencia's Geoffrey Kondogbia. - REUTERS/Sergio Perez

La Liga conveniently brought the game forward to Friday with their Champions League opponents both playing league matches on Saturday.

Barcelona, trailing Real by three points, host Getafe, the surprise occupants of third place, on Saturday. Real are in action Sunday against Celta Vigo. - AFP

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