Valencia CF win against Malaga CF, but the score may be a little misguiding as the team struggled against Malaga CF and were the weaker team until Malaga were reduced to 10 players. Mostly the midfield failed as they failed to contain Malaga and to keep possession, though the defense, especially Vezo had few slip ups that could have easily cost us the game.
As the match started Malaga instantly had a chance as Vezo made a mistake and the ball fly by him, forcing Alves into a weird position, but luckily it didn't results in a goal.
Diego Alves was forced to save once again, again from a mistake by Vezo, though Barragan also allowed a lot of space as they both failed to cover a shot by one of Malaga's attackers.
Valencia CF were making many mistakes and most of the players kept losing the ball or giving away possession through bad passes. There were few good moments, for example Feghouli had few good runs on goal, Gaya and Piatti were combining well on the left flank and causing problems, but it wasn't until Malaga were reduced to 10 players that Valencia CF began playing better.
I got to say I wasn't satisfied with the play even with a man advantage, as Malaga seemed dangerous and had urgency in their play, while Valencia's play was sloppy and riddled with mistakes.
The positive is that individual performance is amazing from certain players, Paco and Piatti had great solo performances, Gaya was absolute beast, not one bad cross, all his crosses were precise and dangerous and his runs always caused problems, while keeping up defensively as well.
Diego Alves was in good form once again and made several great saves, Otamendi was solid at the back and Feghouli showed signs of his old self, significantly improving over the past few matches.
The big letdown and big worry for me right now is the midfield. 3 games now(including preseason) it has been very poor and the duo of Parejo and Gomes haven't clicked together, its like they both are playing on different teams. Fuego is so bad at creating play and receiving the ball, he might as well not play when Valencia CF have possession. Sure he works hard defensively and breaks down attacks before they start, but he plays in a bubble and is never available for passes, always extremely deep at the back.
The midfield was run over by a Malaga team that finished 11th last season and even had 2 red carded players from last match, Valencia CF desperately need the midfielders to improve and Enzo Perez would be a great addition if we can still get him. I know there are major troubles now, but whether he comes or some other great midfielder, its clear as day that we need a solid central midfielder.
Overall lucky win, the red card basically secured Valencia CF the win, though I have to give it to the players individually for their performance. Gaya, Paco, Piatti and Alves were the standout performers, with Otamendi being overall very solid and secure and Feghouli showing some signs of life with a good enough performance.
Paco Alcacer 1-0, 31 min.
Daniel Parejo 2-0, 45 min.
Pablo Piatti 3-0, 56 min.
Diego Alves 8 - Made several key saves and kept Valencia CF in the game and then later on in the lead and with a clean sheet.
Barragan 6 - Some good defending and then some bad defending. Too aggressive in the penalty area and could have easily given up at least 2 penalties with his aggressive defending. Decent contribution going forward.
Vezo 4 - His weakest performance so far, was caught out of position on few occasions and misplaced a pass once that almost resulted in a goal, if not for Alve's great goalkeeping.
Otamendi 7 - The more secure of the central defenders and was forced to cover for Vezo's mistakes, though he did a good job.
Gaya 8.5 (MOTM) - Absolutely super, just fantastic performance, way above any player on the field, looks to be one of the best players in the world in the not so distant future. Amazing defending, great crosses into the penalty area, amazing work all around.
Fuego 5 - Wasn't as influential in the back as his previous games, Malaga seemed to ran ragged in the midfield and constantly threaten goal when they were with 11 players on the field.
Gomes 5 - Quite isolated performance from the former Benfica player, wasn't able to get into the game and his contribution stopped at few interceptions and passes.
Parejo 5 - Not much better than Gomes, but he stayed because he is the captain now. Missed his penalty, though luckily scored from the rebound. Not very effective in midfield.
Feghouli 6 - Positive and reassuring performance from the Algerian, found himself in dangerous positions and was always out there and ready to push a counter attack and form an attack, had few penetrating runs and provided some decent passes. Much improved performance from last few games.
Paco 8 - This is the type of performance we expect from Paco, took a poachers goal after being released by Gaya and provided the assist for Piatti's goal.
Piatti 7.5 - Had a great game, was always a threat down the left side, always a willing runner, had few good runs dribbling past 2-3 players and of course scored an amazing goal from a pass by Paco.
Zucolini 4 - Not much involvements after he came in, very anonymous performance, though to be expected. He arrived very soon in Valencia and this is his first game.
Carles Gil 5 - Had one good run, provided a decent cross and seemed like he had a decent enough contribution.
Robert N/A - No time to make an impact.
Man of the Match: Gaya
Flop of the Match: Vezo
Best offense: Paco
Worst offense: Gomes
Best defense: Gaya and Otamendi
Worst defense: Vezo
Best possession: Gaya
Worst possession: Parejo and Gomes