This has to be one of the best performances of the season so far. It can be said that Elche are not one of the strongest teams in the league but neither were Deportivo when they defeated us 3-0 earlier in the season. It is plain to see for even the most ardent critics that we have come an awful long way since that day. Right from the start Valencia took control and roared on by their large contingent of fans who had made the relatively short journey, soon began finding openings in the Elche defence. After 30 minutes we could have been 3 or 4 goals in front when chance after chance went begging and but for bad luck or the linesman's flag it could have been all over much earlier. Alcacer had 2 chances ruled out for offside marginally and also had a goal bound effort cleared after rounding the goalkeeper. Otamendi was also unlucky as was Feghouli and Piatti. Elche were struggling to get in to the game with only the Brazilian Jonathas showing any actual threat or effort. Andre Gomes broke the deadlock after 44 minutes When Feghouli managed to retrieve the ball from the goal line and cross for Gomes to fire home.
The second half continued much like the first half but Valencia were now showing even more confidence with the one goal cushion. The second goal was not long coming when it was the turn of Gomez to put in a great cross from the right for Alcacer to finally have a change of fortune and stab the waist high cross home in the 56 minute. Goal 3 came when Barragan broke on the right and centered. With Negredo well placed on the penalty spot and totally unmarked the cross was too deep for him but the unfortunate Roco managed to help out by steering the ball past his helpless goalkeeper for the third goal. Possibly this is a good example of Negredo's problems in not getting the right ball. He found oceans of space but the ball was not played to him. Arguably he could have gone deeper where Alcacer probably would have been and claimed the goal. However, a goal is a goal. Paco, who had replaced Negredo was taken off as a precaution over his knee problem and was seen having ice applied to his knee. Otamendi rounded off the night with a powerful header in the dying seconds from a corner from the left side rounding off an amazing performance from the Argentinian and the whole team on the night. Good to see Tropi also getting on the pitch if for only a couple of minutes. A great run by him shows a glimpse of what we may see in the future .
A great team performance and nice to see the ball kept and passed around with confidence. It is much to early to make predictions on our end placing but it is looking good now for an automatic Champions League place if we can keep up our performances. Also it has to be said, just looking at the players who did not start the game: such as Orban, De Paul, Perez, Rodrigo and Vezo. The future looks really good. Also good news, no yellow cards for us
Alves 7.5 Not much to do on the night but what he did what he always does with his usual brilliance
Barragan 6.5 Still looks the weak link in the chain but was not called on too many times
Mustafi 7.0 Good solid performance as usual, is always in the right place when needed
Otamendi 8.5 Fantastic all round performance culminating in a great goal at the end. It is obvious why Man Utd offered such a high price for him .. Go away Man Utd. he is ours.
Gaya 7.5 Another solid performance, he is just so boringly good every game (I mean it as a compliment)
Parejo 8.0 Hardly put a foot wrong and his passing sometimes devastating. Nice to see no silly wayward passes. he is just so calm and controlled and will be one of the greats in the future, I think.
Fuego 7.0 Did his job well and helped the team to another clean sheet.
Gomez 7.5 Had a really good game and blended in well with Parejo, nice goal to round off a good performance.
Feghouli 7.5 Very busy and involved in all the good moves helping set up the goals and was unlucky not to score himself.
Alcacer 7.5 Nice to see Paco back and getting on the score sheet, let's pray he stays fit as I believe he is our best chance of gaining C.L. status with his goals.
Piatti 7.5 What a revelation this season he has been. To think that people were calling for him to be transferred, what a mistake that would have been.
Negredo 6.0 for Alcacer 67 mins Hardly touched the ball.
Cancello 7.0 for Feghouli 82 mins Would walk into most teams in La Liga
Tropi N/A for Gomez 89 mins One nice run. Good luck for the future.
Elche: Tyton; Damian Suarez Lombán, Enzo Roco, Domingo Schism; Pasalic (Cristian Herrera, 59 m.), Adrian Gonzalez (Mosquera, 77 m.); Garry Rodrigues (Corominas, 74 m.), Fayçal Fajr, Victor; Jonathas.
Valencia: Diego Alves; Barragán, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gayá; Javi Fuego, Parejo (Tropi, 89 m.), André Gomes; Feghouli (gates, m. 82), Piatti and Alcácer (Negredo, m. 67).