Valencia CF first match of the new Spanish season is over and Valencia CF is off to a scoreless draw against Rayo Vallecano. The team played well, especially in the first half, but several missed chances, a bit weaker second half and they were held to a scoreless draw.
The first half started with Valencia CF taking on the initiative and going on the offensive, the midfield trio of Fuego, Danilo and De Paul worked as they were able to press high and quickly retrieve the ball if it was lost, while allowing Valencia CF to attack in numbers up front.
Valencia CF did have few chances, Mina found himself in two of those, thanks to the good work of Negredo, but unfortunately he would miss two times, what were quite good chances. Valencia CF would come close to sciring again this time Pablo Piatti with the opportunity, after some chaos in Rayo's penalty area the ball would come to Piatti, but Rayo's goalkeeper just barely touched the ball and managed to keep in out.
This was most of the first half, Valencia CF having decent chances and the initiative, but unfortunately all of those chances were wasted and the result was 0-0. Valencia CF would continue to try and score till the end of the first half, but Rayo Vallecano would resist the attacks.
The second half would start in a similar fashion, with Valencia CF initially having the initiative and control of the match, but as the time went on and Valencia CF players started to tire Rayo started to control possession more and more and become more and more dangerous. Several changes for Valencia CF won't really change the tide of the game, in fact I think they had the opposite effect as Bakali, Barragan and Moreno were less effective than the players they replaced.
Basically towards the end of the second half Rayo would threaten Valencia CF quite often, in fact getting very close at one opportunity, which thankfully Mustafi managed to clear at the last moment. They continue to attack as the game was coming to a close and it seemed as though Valencia CF just didn't have the necessary energy and power to be able to score a goal.
Overall I liked how the team player in the first half, considering some of the first team key players were not playing I think the team did well, but in the second half things changed. Whether it was stamina or just inconsistency the team was unable to create enough pressure and were unable to create any meaningful chances! I think if players were more precise we could have won at least 2-0, if Mina and Piatti scored, but it wasn't to be.
Now on to the champions league second leg against AS Monaco and with Parejo, Feghouli and Gaya back for selection and obviously Enzo back in contention as well after being rested tonight, we should have good chance to get a positive result against Monaco.
Rayo Vallecano: Toño; Tito, Zé Castro,
Diego Llorente, Nacho; Ebert, Raúl Baena, Trashorras, Bebé (Fariña,
m.72); Miku (Lass, m.66), Manucho.
Valencia CF: Ryan; Joao
Cancelo, Mustafi, Vezo, Orban; Javi Fuego, Danilo, De Paul (Rodrigo,
m.73); Santi Mina (Barragán, m.69), Piatti (Bakkali, m.60), Negredo.
Ryan 6 - I thought he did okay, didn't have too much direct shots to deal with and dealt with crosses and some long range shots well.
Cancelo 6.5 - Really great attacking display and rarely troubled at the back, was one of the standout performers.
Mustafi 7 - Stable throughout the match and had two crucial blocks to keep a clean sheet.
Vezo 6 - Good overall performance, but did gave away the ball once by trying to pass to Mustafi even though he had a player on him just next to him. Had to be bailed out by Mustafi.
Orban 5 - Poor in attacking sense and didn't fare much better defensively when ran at directly. Can't keep up with high paced players and did lose several balls at dangerous positions.
Fuego 6 - Decent performance, brought the ball out of defense nicely and passed with great accuracy for the most part.
Danilo 6.5 - Great first half performance, started off brightly in the second half as well, but then went missing.
De Paul 6 - Full of energy, covered every inch of grass, but his final ball is completely lacking as is his decision making. Was positioned great in few cases, where he was able to really do something, but always chose the wrong option or made a poor pass.
Mina 5.5 - Found himself in good positions, but his inexperience and rash thinking showed as he scrambled two good opportunities to score. Need to be more prolific in front of goal.
Negredo 6 - Great start to the match, in fact he gave Mina two great balls, putting him in great position to score, but Mina couldn't score. Was quite active in the first half, but barely even touched the ball in the second half.
Piatti 6 - Full of running, involved in most of the attacks, great movement on and off the ball, but unfortunately couldn't quite provide the final pass or score a goal.
Bakkali 5.5 - Clear downgrade over Piatti, couldn't hold his own and wasn't involved in the action as much. Had one amazing moment late in the game, just before the end when he provided an amazing pass to Negredo, but his shot was saved.
Barragan N/A - Really don't understand this substitution. Sure Barragan is really attack minded, but wouldn't it would be better to just put in maybe an attacker?
Rodrigo 5.5 - The match was kind of in Rayo's control by the time he entered and his introduction didn't change the match at all. Didn't contribute much.