Well after last weeks fiasco by the referees and significantly damaging Valencia CF, it was about time we won because of a referee. It was an average match with rather poor play by Valencia CF and only won because the referee saved us, no doubt compensation for last week's steal.
But what can I say we started decently with David Albelda and Tino Costa in the midfield and doing pretty well might I add, considering none are really ball possession types, but once again we have no working attack, we have no final third build up play, its all random passes that pose absolutely no danger.
I got to say Feghuoli and Viera seem very cut off, they have no real support and aren't penetrative enough on their own, there is no positioning in the forward center position, somewhere around 30 meters so we can chase for the ball if we loose it or something and this allows for quick counter attacks for the other side, in this case Espanyol.
The big break for Valencia CF came in the 16th minute where Viera latched on from Jonas body and scored a goal. As always my stream was really poor and can't see most stuff, why did Sopcast go down?
But anyways Espanyol would equalize through Longo in the 31st minute and put the game back into contention. Most of the match was played in the midfield, though I believe more in our side of the field than Espanyols. Overall the first half was quite equal, most noticeable for the two goals.
Second half started with Espanyol controlling the match and going on the offensive, as if they were the home team and favorites at that. I got to say I didn't like our play in the first half, but I didn't like our play in the second half even more. Then the changes came as Viera made way for Bernat and Albelda for Banega in what was an attacking move by Pellegrino. Sadly though this didn't improve Valencias play and in fact Banega was either way overconfident or had a complete lack of confidence as he pretty much missed every pass he was trying to make, giving the ball away few times in dangerous positions, so this was really a terrible performance by Banega, not to mention that he failed to keep possession and most of the time lost possession.
Bernat was the same, no penetration on the wing, no crosses, no attacks, receive the ball and instantly get rid of it, no cutting inside, no nothing. Jonas certainly wasn't helping out, completely irrelevant and useless. Apart from the assist that basically was the ball bouncing off of his body he was rather invisible. I mean that was one lucky assist and if he was in control it probably wouldn't even have been an assists, he would have probably wasted the chance.
Then the 88th minute came and the referee gave away a penalty that I didn't see, though again my stream was so bad I was barely seeing the ball. Anyways the two red cards were the big issue. Anyways Soldado stepped up to take it and as always with his penalties just absolutely nailed it and the keeper had no chance as he went the other way, though even if he guessed the side the shoot was so good he wouldn't have been able to stop it.
You'd think with 9 players Espanyol would hold for dear life and try not to loose by more, but with 9 players they pretty much outplayed Valencia and the game ended literally Valencia CF wasting time, that is how bad the play was.
Valencia CF (2): Alves; Barragán, Rami, V. Ruiz, Guardado; Albelda (Éver, min.67), T. Costa; Feghouli, Jonas (Valdez, min.79), Viera (Bernat, min.67); Soldado.
RCD Espanyol (1): C.Álvarez, R.Rodriguez, C.Gómez (Tejera, min. 71), Moreno, V.Álvarez; V. Sánchez, Forlin; S. García, Verdú, Wakaso; Longo (Christian, min.80).
Goals: 1-0 Min 16, Viera. 1-1 Min 31, Longo. 2-1 Min 89, Soldado (p.).
Diego 6 - Didn't have work to do, couldn't have done anything more for the goal.
Barragan 6 - Decent defensively, Espanyol attacks mostly came from the other side and center, failed to provide much support going forward.
Rami 6.5 - Secure performance and he is slowly improving, making some good interceptions in the air.
Ruiz 6 - Less secure and made few mistakes at the back, though had an overall decent game.
Guardado 6 - Terrible defending, especially in the second half, most of the time was out of position, but went forward to a good extent and was at times more forward than Viera and later Bernat.
Albelda 5.5 - Good defensively, but fails to add more to the team, especially when paired with Tino who isn't a big possession type guy either.
Tino Costa 6.5 - Can't hold possession for his life, but he does run a lot and spread the ball simply but accurately. Pressured Espanyol midfield and tracked back to defense fast.
Feghuoli 5.5 - Second match in a row after his amazing performance in the champions league that he's been rather poor. Complete lack of penetration from his side, was slow and cumbersome on the ball and failed to link up with pretty much everyone.
Jonas 4.5 - Completely lucky assist if you can call it that, was mostly anonymous the whole match and failed to do anything of notice, needs to be dropped from the starting eleven.
Viera 6.5 - Well scored a good goal and had some glimpse's of brilliance, but needs to be more consistent and needs to learn to work better with other players.
Soldado 6.5 - Superbly taken penalty and was always trying to get into positions. The lack of service he gets is amazing and needs chances to score, which he isn't getting.
Bernat 5 - Didn't add anything to the attack, didn't make any runs and always returned the ball backwards.
Banega 5 - Poor performance this time by Banega. After two promising matches this one was a regress and lost many balls and failed to solidify the midfield and hold possession.
Valdez N/A - not enough time.