Thursday, February 16, 2012

Stoke City 0-1 Valencia CF - Match Report

Stoke City 0-1 Valencia CF
possession:
Attempts on target: 2-2
Attempts off target: 3-7
fouls: 13-11


Match started with Stoke City pressuring hard and forcing Valencia CF to loose the ball fast in the middle and then quickly try to cross the ball to Peter Crouch and hoping he would score with a header.

Stoke City was more dangerous in the first 15 minutes and controlled the tempo of the match and in those 15 minutes had few good crosses and throw-ins, but once the starting energy wore off Valencia CF began to control more of the ball and keep possession.

21st minute Jonas with a chance after good one-two play with Piatti, but his shot goes straight to Stoke City's goalkeeper.
Few minutes later Jonas and Piatti with a good combination once again, with Piatti shot being blocked, but winning a corner kick.

After some midfield battle and back and forward Valencia CF would start threatning Stoke City goal a lot more seriously and would have few chances and tries on goal and then in the 36th minute Topal releases a bomb, a missile towards Stoke's goal and the goalkeeper has no chance to stop it and Topal scores a goal, giving Valencia CF the lead.

38th minute Tino Costa has a shot towards goal, perhaps influenced by Topal, but his shot goes wide. Just a minute later Stoke would have their chance through Crouch who hits a volley, but it goes wide.

In the last seconds of the first half Feghuoli with some dribbles in Stoke's penalty area, but he does too much and ultimately looses the ball and wastes a good opportunity.

Second half started with Stoke City the better team with more of the ball control and more of the initiative, while Valencia CF were the ones trying to catch Stoke on the counter attack.

For the first 20 minutes it was pretty much all Stoke City with a lot of tries through crosses and long balls, but Valencia's defense would stood firm.

70th minute starts a counter attack, passes to Piatti and this one to Feghuoli who's shot hist the post.
Just few minutes later chance for Stoke City after a corner kick, but shot goes above the goal.

93rd minute free kick for Valencia just outside the penalty area on the right side with Tino Costa taking it, but his shot is too powerful going wide and above goal.

Final time and Valencia CF wins 1-0 over Stoke City and going into the second leg with a clear advantage.

Line-ups:
Stoke City (0): Begovic, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Wilson(69, Shotton), Pennant, Delap, Etherington, Palacios(53, Whitehead), Walters, Crouch(69, Jerome)
Valencia CF (1): Guaita; Bruno(81, Miguel), Rami, Dealbert, Mathieu; Topal, Tino; Feghuoli, Jonas, Piatti(88, Bernat); Aduriz(79, Soldado).

Player Ratings:
Guaita 6.5 - Very confident dealing with Stoke's dangerous crosses, throw-ins and corners and did his job well.
Bruno 5.5 - Good in defense and helped out well enough in attack, but got tired towards the end and lustfully replaced with Miguel.
Rami 6.5 - Good positioning and very strong in the air, but once and a while has this crazy runs and dribbles and that needs to stop.
Dealbert 6.5 - Great performance from Dealbert who was in charge of subduing Crouch and did a great job at it.
Mathieu 6 - Good defensively and made some nice and clean tackles. Did well going forward as well.
Topal 7 - Good game by Topal who had some key defensive interventions and scored the only goal with a magnificent shot.
Tino 5.5 - Started well and very involved in the second part of the first half, but was gone in the second half and did very little.
Feghuoli 6 - Had some nice chances and did decently to find himself in such positions, but really made the wrong decisions in what to do when he got in dangerous positions.
Jonas 6.5 - Great match by Jonas who combined really well tonight with Piatti to cause Stoke all sorts of problems.
Piatti 7 (MotM) - Man of the match performance and was a thorn for Stoke's side, causing them all sorts of problems and combining really well with Jonas for come good actions.
Aduriz 5 - Not too involved and failed to get into dangerous positions.
Subs:
Soldado N/A - Not enough time

Miguel N/A - Not enough time

Bernat N/A - Not enough time

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