Sunday, April 7, 2013

Valencia CF 2-1 Valladolid Match Report

Valencia CF score an important win this weekend and just in the nick of time as the match was just about to finish and goes closer to securing that 4th place that leads to the Champions League. Valencia CF still needs few more wins to secure 4th place and with fewer and fewer matches it has to win the next 3 in order to even have a chance. The crucial match will be against Malaga in two weeks time and a win against them could mean Valencia CF takes a significant lead over them, before facing Real Sociedad the 4th places team right now and scoring a win there as well would for the first time this season put Valencia CF in a good position to finish 4th and secure that Champions League spot.

This match against Valladolid started slow as most of the play was in the middle of the pitch with the occasional forwards runs for Valencia CF. The biggest action would come in the 20th minute from the left with Canales racing down the left wing and crossing the ball into the penalty area towards Soldado and Jonas. Then minute later Canales once again with a chance, but his shot was blocked and the rebound going to Soldado as well.

Jonas would poke here and there in the penalty area, but nothing concrete and then in the 31st minute Soldado heads the ball from a cross wide off the goal. Valencia CF had the initiative and ball control, but none of the players were creative enough to make something happen, with Canales and Jonas sporadically having decent chances.

Then in the 38th minute own goal by M. Balenziaga to put Valencia CF 1-0 up against Valladolid.

Towards the end Soldado would find himself with a good chances after a great pass by Feghouli, but his shot was blocked by the goalkeeper. In the few minutes to the half time break nothing happened and Valencia CF went into the break with a small 1-0 lead.

The second half started much like the first with slow play and mostly in the middle, though Valladolid did seem more active the starting 10 minutes, before falling back again and defending. Soldado would receive the ball in the penalty area in the 56th minute, but he was brought down and penalty awarded. He stepped up and took the penalty, only for his shot to be saved by the goalkeeper.

Valladolid would punish Valencia CF for the missed penalty and wasted chances and they would score an equalizer in the 70th minute with a goal by Oscar, after a fast counter attack by Valladolid on the left wing.

Ernesto Valverde would bring on Viera for Canales and Banega for Tino Costa and this would have a positive impact on the match as Valencia CF started playing with more urgency and Viera was providing good support and passes, especially the one to Soldado who only managed to shoot wide from the chance.

When all seemed lost and Valencia CF destined for another poor result and falling further behind in the fight for Champions League football, then after a failed attack by Valladolid, Ever Banega brought the ball out of Valencia's side, started a counter attack and gave the ball to Viera who ran on the right wing and his crossed found Jonas who headed the ball into the net to win the game for Valencia CF.

Player Ratings:
Guaita 5.5 - Rarely called into action and had very little chance to stop the goal.
Joao Pereira 5.5 - Went forward as he had very little to do defensively, but wasn't as effective as he usually is.
Rami 5.5 - Very little to do, but still made one or two mistakes.
Mathieu 5 - Out of position for the goal and had another blunder when he failed to head clear the ball, allowing a chance for Valladolid.
Guardado 5.5 - Rarely troubled at the back, but his forward arrays were limited and not dangerous.
Tino Costa 5 - Didn't contribute much to the match and apart from few defensive runs was ineffective. Had several poor shots from long range as well, killing off what could have been good actions.
Parejo 5.5 - Little better than Tino Costa and spread the ball better, but was also limited and played overall mediocre.
Feghouli 5.5 - Few runs down the right and few decent combinations with Joao, but that was it. I really wonder if Feghouli is our best right winger and if he is, we have poor competition.
Canales 6 - One of the more effective players on the field and most of the actions went through him, but didn't have they key pass to really make a difference.
Jonas 7.5 - Was very active throughout the match and was the main goal threat for Valencia CF, having few chances and shots from difficult positions. Scored the winner.
Soldado 5 - Poor performance by Soldado and I question his inclusion in the team, especially so soon after recovering from injury. Missed a penalty and scrambled few chances that went his way.
Subs:
Viera 7 - Great game by Viera, getting in on the action immediately and providing few very good passes, particularly one to Soldado, before providing the assist to Jonas for the goal.
Banega 5.5 - Was more involved in the match than Tino was and started the action that lead to the winning goal. Apart from that had few misplaced passes, but added more urgency to the game.
Valdez N/A - Too little time.

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