Monday, March 24, 2014

Valencia CF 2 - 1 Villareal CF Match Report

In a game that Valencia needed to win to help stay in the race for next year's Europa League, Valencia just scraped by.

 The first half started out very evenly between the two sides with Valencia getting the greatest chance after a superb through ball from Parejo split the Villareal defense and found Barragan, the right winger for the night, who couldn't finish. Valencia started to dominate possession and chances helped by the poor passing from Villareal. The two goals from Valencia came from an unlikely source as CDM Javi Fuego scored a brace with a well placed long range effort and an open net rebound from Mathieu's shot.

The second half, Villareal stepped up but was let down again by their poor passing. They could've cause some real problems had they played at the same level they usually do. Their goal came from Giovanni dos Santos after a failed clearance from Joao Pereira left him in space in the box. A mistake that should not be happening at this level especially if Valencia wants to compete at the highest level in any sort of competition.

Overall, it's a victory that Valencia will claim against a rival. This win will keep Valencia at 8th place, 6 points behind Villareal at 7th and 16 points from Atletico Bilbao and a Champions League spot. It's been known for a while that Valencia will not be in the Champions League and thus are fighting for the Europa League spots. We also lost Diego Alves and Victor Ruiz through injury because of this game. While Victor Ruiz has many available to replace him, Diego Alves is quite a hefty loss and I don't know how Guaita will fill such big shoes. I hope he steps up and proves himself during this period. This win is good though in that Valencia are back to winning ways after losing out to Real Sociedad last week.

Goals:
 1-0 Javi Fuego, 35'
2-0 Javi Fuego, 44'
2-1 Giovanni dos Santos, 83'

Squad:
Valencia CF (2): Diego Alves (Guaita, 21'), Pereira, Barragan, Victor Ruiz (Vezo, 45'), Mathieu, Bernat, Parejo, Fuego, Keita, Fede (Vargas, 83'), Alcacer
Villareal CF (1): Asenjo, Costa, Musacchio, Dorado, Jokic, Oliver Torres (Aquino, 62'), Pina, Bruno, Cani (Gomez, 79'), Uche (Perbet, 69'), Giovanni dos Santos

Ratings:
Diego Alves 6.5 - In the short amount of time he was on made a couple of good saves.
Pereira 5.0 - Decent runs forwards, but serious attitude problem that gets him booked every game. Terrible mistake which prevented a clean sheet.
Ruiz 5.0 - Haven't seen him do much around the field
Bernat 7.0 - As usual good runs and crosses, tracked back well
Barragan 6.5 - Got himself in good positions and made some decent crosses
Keita 5.5 - Had a clear chance at goal that he missed, still wastes possession but slowly getting back to the level required
Parejo 7.5 - Great all round performance, good interceptions, superb passes, and controlled the pace of the game well.
Fuego 7.0 - Was opportunist this game taking any chance that came to him and it paid off twice, once from long range and once for being in position of the rebound. Great cover for the defense as well
Fede 7.0 - Explosive down the left hand side and linked up almost perfectly with Bernat. Cause lots of trouble at the beginning of the game, slowly dwindled near the end possible due to ankle uncomfort.
Alcacer 5.5 - Didn't get much time on the ball or any chances to be of significant impact. Dropped back a couple of times to link with the midfield and had exactly one shot in the game which was on target but straight to the keeper.

Subs:
Guaita 6.0 - Wasn't required to do much saved what he could, couldn't do anything about the goal since it came by surprise after Pereira's error
Vezo 5.5 - did his job decently, like Ruiz didn't have much presence
Vargas N/A - not enough time

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