Another away match and another loss for Valencia CF and this is becoming the norm this season. Real Betis didn't really outplay us or create great chances, but their first good chance and they scored in the 10th minute. No one covered Sevilla and Diego Alves failed to stop the shot as well, even though he got to the ball.
The problem was with Valencia's response to the goal or lack thereof. In fact I don't remember Valencia having a chance of goal at all in the first half, maybe a shot off goal, but that was about it. Even though the streams were quite bad quality and lagging a bit the problem was with the wings. We just didn't have the width on the pitch and all our build up play and attacks were tunneled in the center of the field, which Betis players covered very good.
In fact the wings were so bad that I rarely saw Bernat and Viera in the first half and the times where they did got the ball they'd return in backwards or to the middle, which does nothing to bring us in attack.
The midfield on the other hand was packed and it seemed like the players are playing against each other and trying to get out of each others way. Tino Costa for example played too deep, he should have been just behind the striker and not allowed to fall back more than the middle, while Albelda and Gago should have been more wide to each other in order to spread the ball more and support the wings.
Overall very ineffective play, especially in the first half and even though we improved a little in the second half and had some good chances even, we still lacked width and penetration on the wings, with Soldado being forced to go wide himself, which then left us with no striker at the penalty field. So it was just bad play after bad play individually and collectively.
Now I don't know if this is because of lack of tactics from Pellegrino or maybe the players don't get the tactics or maybe several were tired and fatigued from the Champions League match just few days ago, especially Tino Costa who's played pretty much all of the matches so far and to a certain extent Gago.
Its obvious there is a problem and we can all see it, question is now to what extent is it the coach fault and would another coach be able to fix the problem? Now I said we should be patient and not come to conclusions too fast, but time is ticking and while we need to have cool heads still, Pellegrino must be given an ultimatum of winning the next 3-4 games in a row or being sacked. We just can't afford few more losses like this, especially against weak opposition like Real Betis, I mean since when does Valencia CF have trouble beating Real Betis?
So yeah my thoughts are that Valencia CF president should give Mauricio Pellegrino an ultimatum that he needs to win the next 3-4 games in a row (CL excluded) or be sacked. We are already 7-11 points behind the top 4 and possibly to go 10-14 points behind, which we be really hard to make up the difference later on.
Again I'm not for sacking Pellegrino immediately, but he needs to be given an ultimatum and he needs to deliver in order to keep his job.
R. Betis (1): Adrián, Mario, Álex M., Paulao, Salva S. (Nono, min, 76), Joel (J. Molina, min. 69), Juan Carlos (Nacho, min, 86), Nosa, Cañas, Nelson y R. Castro.
Valencia CF (0): Diego Alves, Cissokho, Rami, Gago, Albelda (Ever, min. 46), Soldado, Pereira, Viera, R. Costa, Tino Costa (Guardado, min. 84) y Bernat (Valdez, min. 61).
Goals: 1-0, 8th min Salva S.
Diego 5.5 - Could have done more for the goal, had one good save in the second half.
Joao Pereira 6 - Not really troubled defensively, went forward to a certain extent, but not too active in attack.
Rami 5 - Decent in defense, though not good. At times shaky.
R. Costa 5 - Again no where to be found for the goal and not particularly secure.
Cissokho 5.5 - Had one blunder in the second half and almost gifted Betis a second goal, but other than that he was secure and went forward to a great extent.
Albelda 5 - Failed to cover or mark Sevilla for the goal and wasn't very effective otherwise.
Gago 5 - Wasn't really bad as much as he was shut down by Betis. Had some suspect passes though and some really bad crosses.
Tino Costa 5.5 - The better of the midfield trio, but that doesn't say much. Had a good free kick that the Betis goalkeeper saved.
Viera 5.5 - Invisible for most of the match, tried few through passes, but Soldado failed to pick them out and use them.
Soldado 5.5 - Had two good chances and failed to score from both, on one chances his first touch failed him and lost the ball. He did have good movement, but no end result.
Bernat 4 - Completely invisible, its obvious he needs to develop a lot more. Loaning him out in the winter would be a good idea.
Banega 5.5 - Lifted up the team a bit and made some good combinations with players, tried few through passes as well, but wasn't particularly effective.
Valdez 5 - Came in on for Bernat and actually provided Soldado with one good chance and was more visible, but nothing of real substance.
Guardado N/A - Not enough time