What a fizzling end to what has been a very disappointing campaign in the Champions league, though truth be told this Valencia CF team doesn't deserve to go to the next round, we are just not good enough to be with the best.
Now of course this loss can't be blamed to the new manager, he's barely had 2 training sessions, so it will take time in order for him to instill his philosophy and game play, I'd say we'd probably start to see his input after two weeks and overall at least a month.
The team didn't play terribly and at the start of the first half Valencia CF dominated possession and looked really determined and scary going in attack, it seemed as if it was going to be just time when the team started scoring goals. In fact Mustafi actually scored one goal, but erroneously it was negated as the referee awarded a non-existant foul, so pretty much robbed out of a legitimate goal, once again terrible refereeing working against us, if anyone really has a cause to complain about biased or bad refereeing its Valencia CF and I don't think the coaches, players and administration have complained enough! If Mourinho can complain for every little minor refereeing issue, I'd think being the victims of "bad" calls 9/10 times is a reason enough to be pissed off and call it out!
Our defenders were booked by minute 30, basically all our defense was put on notice and threatened red every other foul, so right there its a huge refereeing impact on the game.
Apart from garbage refereeing against us, we also had bad luck, well maybe not so bad luck, it was clear that Enzo Perez was suffering from some muscle tear, but the coach took his chance with him and played him and again call it bad luck or just inevitability or whatever, Enzo got injured and was forced to leave the pitch.
After that our game really took a shot, the intensity and control instantly dropped and we were unable to put the same type of pressure and aggression towards Lyon. I think the biggest reinforcement in the winter should be a new defensive midfielder that has amazing technique and play making skills. We can't rely on the aging Javi Fuego who is of the old rigid defensive midfielders, he doesn't move over the midfield line, he doesn't participate in attacks, its really bad when we need attacking power.
Second I was really disappointed and frustrated with Aymen, I had a bad feeling about him, I generally don't like one season wonders with inflated prices, I'd rather have us buy a player that has been constantly good, rather than one season amazing, I'd rather them be 4/5 seasons good or very good, rather than have 1 season of greatness. I can't even count how many mistakes he did and I understand he was on a yellow card and had to be careful, but so did Mustafi and he still was doing great and marking properly.
Aymen was just like a headless chicken, he lost his marker, he failed to anticipate balls, he failed to tackle so many times, he was completely outclassed and destroyed by Lyon's players, it was extremly bad by him. One of the worst defending I've seen and I've seen a lot of it!
Second half was average, I didn't like our play, we were forcing too many runs, no one was playing smart, no one was returning the ball backwards and restarting attacks, all of our attacks seemed rushed, even though we had a full second half to try and score 1 goal. After you score one goal, you gain a new life and its easier to score a second, the team should have been patient and meticulous in the build-up, rather than rash and direct.
I liked the change to bring in a striker in for Danilo, he wasn't contributing much anyways so it made perfect sense, unfortunately it was with the out of fitness, out of form Negredo who just played for the first time after more than two months being sidelined through injury and for technical reasons by our previous coach Nuno! So the substitution did make sense and I liked it, but it was with a player who wasn't going to make much of a difference.
Then came the second Lyon goal, it was started after a terrible mistake by Piatti who passed backwards into space where there was no Valencia player and Lyon started a fast counter attack that led to the second goal. Once again Aymen was caught sleeping on the wheel as he didn't anticipate the pass and allowed Lacazette to pass him and get to the ball. I mean to me it also seemed suspicious that it might have been offside, but the refereeing being garbage isn't new, so it wouldn't surprise me if it was a big offside, either way I didn't like how terrible Aymen's marking was.
Long story short even if Valencia CF would have won, it wouldn't have mattered ultimately, but at least we would have went away from the competition with style, but it wasn't to be.
Jaume 7.5 - Saved us several times, he had a great game, but was completely and utterly let down by the defense.
Cancelo 6.5 - Tireless performance from the full back, was almost always in attack and put in some good crosses and passed into the penalty area.
Mustafi 6 - Average performance, I'd like to see him improve considerably and with Gary being a defender maybe he'd improve and become a better player.
Aymen 3 - Terrible performance. Yes the yellow card did affect him, but it shouldn't have and he should be smarter in his challenges to avoid getting yellow cards, especially that early in the game.
Gaya 6.5 - Big contribution in attacks, was a big danger for Lyon and provided some good crosses and passes, but was rather weaker in defense than Cancelo, but only by a little bit.
Danilo 4 - Last match he might have been good, but this time he was back to his old unimpressive self. No contribution that I saw on either side of the pitch.
Enzo 6.5 - Very short time on the pitch, but I really liked what I saw and we played 2x times better with him on the pitch.
Parejo 6 - He seems to be the only player in midfield, just didn't have anyone to play with, often forced to make the risky passes which then also put us in danger, but he has no choice. He really needs more players to come forth and open up to receive the ball.
Mina 5 - Overshadowed by Cancelo in an attacking sense and didn't contribute much at all.
Paco 6 - He was moving in good positions and had some small chances, but nothing concrete for him to convert. He needs more supply up front if he is to score, he barely gets one or two scraps per game.
De Paul 6.5 - Was really lively and most likely to create something out of all the other forwards and midfielders, but couldn't quite find that final pass.
Fuego 3 - Worthless defensively as Lyon didn't attack too much in an organized way and they scored twice with him on the field "shielding" the defense.
Negredo 4 - Completely out of form and out of shape and out of fitness. Didn't look capable of just receiving a ball, let alone scoring.
Piatti 3.5 - Way worse than De Paul, lost the ball every time he got it, including a terrible back pass that led to the second Lyon goal.