Valencia CF managed to beat CA Osasuna in the second match of the round of 16 of the Copa Del Rey for an aggregate score of 4-1 and moves on to the next round, the semi final to most likely face Real Madrid, if they don't loose to Celta De Vigo of course, but I seriously doubt it.
Valencia CF and CA Osasuna played a fairly equal game tonight with both sides equal in ball possession and for two thirds of the match in chances and opportunities as well. Valencia CF coach decided to shuffle the team for this match and started with a whole set of different players than in the last La Liga match and he gave a chance to all of the bench players so they can try to stake a claim for a starting position. The biggest claim was probably made by Juan Bernat who put in a very good performance, quite mature performance and was active all match long on the right side of the field and I think this side fits him better as he was very good.
The defense was having troubles all match long, starting from the beginning Ruiz and Rami not communicating well, to Ruiz being out of position on few occasions and being at fault for the goal Valencia CF conceded, although Guaita should have done better as well.
But first thing is first, after quite a boring match with battle in the middle of the park, Valencia CF got a free kick some 35 meters away from goal and Tino's direct shot at goal seemed to surprise the Osasuna goalkeeper and the ball ended up in the net, making it 1-0 for Valencia CF vs Osasuna.
The lead would not last long though, as Valencia's defense was caught in a counter attack and Ruiz was way off position and unable to close down Llorente who scored the equalizer. Vicente Guaita could have also done a better job, but it was Ruiz poor positioning and poor closing that allowed that goal.
The bright spark for Valencia CF in the first half was Juan Bernat who was having a great match, being involved in most of the chances Valencia CF created.
CA Osasuna came out with a lot more fervor in the second half and started pressing harder and higher on the field, forcing Valencia players into mistakes and stealing the ball effectively in the middle and starting attacks. Ernsto Valverde saw this problem and took off the ineffectual Viera and replaced him with Ever Banega. This change would prove key as the game instantly shifted with Banega on the field with Valencia CF controlling the ball a bit more and Ever Banega providing some great passes and spreading the play.
The Soldado came in for Valdez and that lifted up the team even more, with the last third of the match belonging to Valencia CF as the team was having chance after chance that Jonas kept ruining and missing. In fact he had 3 great chances that he pretty much ruined. One in particular was when Soldado lobbed the ball over to Jonas, but this one's first touch failed him miserable as he basically kicked the ball to the goalkeeper. Then later on he had another chance, against provided by Soldado that he failed to convert.
Ultimately after a lot of probing and prodding, Valencia CF would manage to get another goal, this time courtesy of Ever Banega and Roberto Soldado. This was one amazing through pass by Banega, one of several great passes he provided in this game.
Next stop is Sevilla and I hope Ever Banega will be at this level of performance for that match and hopefully with the first team back playing we'd have more solidity in the defense as well.
Valencia CF (2): Guaita; Barragán, Rami, V. Ruiz, Cissokho; Albelda, T. Costa; Viera (Éver, min.57'), Jonas, Bernat (Guardado, min.87'); Valdez (Soldado, min.67').
C.A. Osasuna (1): Andrés Fernández; Echaide, Rubén (Miguel Flaño, min.69'), Arribas, Nano; Lolo, Timor; Cejudo (Onwu, min.), Oier (Puñal, min.62), Lamah; Llorente.
Goals: 1-0 Min 33’, Tino Costa. 1-1 Min 36', Llorente. 2-1 Min 92' Soldado.
Guaita 5.5 -Didn't have much to do all night, but could have done better for the goal and was rather insecure at the start, making some suspect decisions.
Barragan 6 - He had a good time, unlike the other defenders at the back and offered big help to Barragan going forward.
Rami 4.5 - Poor performance by the Frenchmen, he was better than Ruiz, but the partnership between them didn't work out very well at all in this game.
Ruiz 4 - Terrible defending and was guilty of poor positioning at least 3 times, failing to cover properly for the goal and generally being a weak link the defense.
Cissokho 5.5 - Did decent at the back, not great and offered a lot of support forward, making some great runs, but to little to no effect.
Albelda 6 - Good performance by the captain, offered enough protection to the defense and provided some good short passes.
Tino 5.5 - Not one of his better performances. Failed to exert any influence in the middle and failed to provide any kind of forward momentum. Scored the first goal, but that was his only contribution.
Bernat 6.5 - He was the only one in attack that worked and provided some good crosses and passes, beating his marker often and creating one man advantage for the team.
Jonas 3.5 - What terrible performance by Jonas, his long range shots are terrible and they aren't even that long, like 25 meters shot is too hard for him and made all the wrong decision in this game and missed several opportunities.
Viera 5.5 Was ineffectual as a winger and often overshadowed by Cissokho, he did try some through balls and had some sucess, but Valdez wasn't on the same level as Viera.
Valdez 5 - Very ineffective performance, mistimed many of his run and didn't contribute anything of significance.
Banega 8 (MotM) - Came in and instantly changed the game, providing energy, ball control, accurate passing and some good positional play. Provided some terrific passes and one of them found Soldado for the goal. Just amazing performance.
Soldado 7 - Came in and instantly made an impact, having more chances in 10 minutes than Valdez has all game and he timed his runs so perfectly and found himself in all the right places, definitely showing his top qualities and managed to score a goal.
Guardado N/A - Not enough time, but he was very active in the short 5 minutes he was on the field.