Sunday, August 19, 2012

Real Madrid 1-1 Valencia CF Match report

First match of the season and Valencia CF is off to a great start, drawing against last season's champions Real Madrid at their home stadium and in the first match of the season. Even though it didn't look like it found finish in a draw, Valencia CF managed to fight off Real Madrid attacks and secure a draw which is a great result for us.

The match started in a normal fashion with Real Madrid as the home team having the initiative and a little bit more of the ball possession. First minutes were played seizing out the opposition with both sides fighting mostly at the middle of the pitch.

Real Madrid would ramp out the pressure though and instantly got off to a flying start as Gonzalo Higuain would score a goal in the 10th minute after a nice cross by Di Maria put him through alone on goal and Ruiz and messed up thinking he could catch him in offside position. But the goal wasn't to come that easy, as Gonzalo needed 3 shots to finally put the ball in the net, as the first two shots were block by Diego Alves, but the rebound went to Higuain three times.

Having scored a goal Real Madrid seemed comfortable in possession, a little too comfortable I would say as they failed to really push their advantage.

Feghuoli would have a decent chance for Valencia CF at the 22nd minute as he tried to shoot, but ultimately failed.

Real Madrid would continue the attacks and would get a pretty good chance in the 34th minute as Ruiz was slow closing down again and would allow Madrid with an opportunity, but Coentrao who shoots, but sees his effort deflected into the side-netting.

Valencia CF would punish Real Madrid for their lack of intent and in the 42nd minute Jonas scores a goal, a header, after a free kick by Tino Costa. Iker Cassilas and Pepe misjudged the flight on the ball and fled into each other, leaving Jonas unmarked to head the ball in the net. Luckilly for Real Madrid both continued the match after some fast medical help, but Pepe was replaced in the second half for Albiol.

Roberto Soldado would score, but the goal won't stand for long after the line referee rules offside, even though by the not so good camera work it seemed like Soldado was at least half a meter before the last Real Madrid defender.

Real Madrid would have a chance to score in the 59th minute as Higuain shoots, but the shot is poor as he fails to hit the ball fully and the ball reaches Ozil, forcing the offside.

61st minute Joao Pereira is beaten by his countrymen Ronaldo, Ronaldo crosses dangerously low, but Costa is in the right place and clears the danger.

Real Madrid would have another chance just minutes later as a bad intervention by Diego Alves gives Real Madrid a chance, but Ruiz was faster than Higuain there and managed to clear the ball for the penalty area. As the action continues from the middle after the clearance by Ruiz Coentrao I think crosses the ball superbly to Higuain, he shoots, but the ball hits the bar and Valencia CF escape by the luck of the draw.
Minute later Ozil would also get a chance on goal and he shoots on goal, but Alves saves.

After a bit of a down time and plays in the middle, with both sides doing substitutions the new substitute for Real Benzema gets in a dangerous position with the ball, shoots, but Diego is well positioned again and saves.

Real Madrid would have one final chance in the 82nd minute as Callejon shoots at goal, after a good pass by Ronaldo, but once again Alves saves.

After that the game was a bit hectic till the end, but no side had any significant chances and Valencia CF managed to close out the game in a draw, which is a great result for Valencia CF and a bad result by Real Madrid.

Technical Details:
R. Madrid (1): Casillas, Pepe (Albiol, min. 46), Ramos, Coentrao, Ronaldo, Ozil, Alonso, Arbeloa, Higuaín, Di María (Callejón, min. 70) y Lass (Benzema, min. 62).
Valencia CF (1): Alves, Gago, Jonas, Feghouli (Valdez, min. 80), Soldado (Parejo, min. 70), Joao Pereira, Guardado (Piatti, min. 65), V. Ruiz, R. Costa, Mathieu y Tino Costa.
Goals: 10min, 1-0 Higuain; 42min, 1-1 Jonas

Player Ratings:
Diego (MotM) 7.5 - Fantastic performance by Diego Alves as he has dozen good saves and managed to defend 2 times on Higuains goal, but he was let down by the defense on that one in the first place.
Pereira 5 - Mixed bad performance. Started quite weak as his marking was quite off and wasn't involved in attack at all, improved later on and made some good interventions, but again he lacked in the marking department and was beaten few times.
Costa 7 - Calming presence in front of goal and he was a solid rock at the back, really showing Ruiz how to defend. Seems to become better with age.
Ruiz 4.5 - At fault for the first goal, allowed Higuain and Coentrao chances to score and while he improved later on and had few good interventions, it was not enough.
Mathieu 6.5 - Managed to restrain Di Maria for most of the time, was not supposed to mark Di Maria for the first goal and was further back, did few good runs in attack, but he obviously lacks communication with Guarado.
Gago 6 - Decent first match for Gago, was good all around with passing and defending, had few good interventions at the back and linked up well with Tino, considering they haven't played together much at all.
Tino 6 - Provided the assist to Jonas goal and was generally a nuisance to Real Madrid midfield as he ran a lot and covered a lot of ground, but couldn't impose himself on the game in more meaningful way, apart from the assist.
Feghuoli 5 - Seemed quite tired for his first match of the season. Last year he was one of the biggest runners, but he seemed out of steam throughout this whole match. Rather poor performance overall.
Jonas 6.5 - Scored the goal for Valencia CF, was not involved too much, but provide some good dangerous passes and would be happy to score the crucial goal for a draw.
Guardado 4.5 - Really lacked any intent and seemed afraid by the importance of the match. Had few decent runs, but couldn't provide the final ball and had suspect decisions like failing to pass quickly to Feghuoli and waiting until he was offside to then pass.
Soldado 5 - Issolated for most of the match, the one time where he got an opportunity he scored, but the referee deemed it offside, even though it looked like he was onside.
Subs:
Piatti 5 - Did not have any significant impact and apart from few short runs that he couldn't finish because no one else was there, he could not do much.
Parejo 5 - Did brings some more stability in the ranks for few minutes and tried some wild passed to get something going, but none payed off and ended up mostly defending.
Valdez 5.5 - Didn't have time to do anything of significance, but I liked his spirit and he seemed really determined and run the whole time after he went in, almost having one opportunity late in the game.

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