There has been many different views on our new manager whether he is experienced enough and whether he can communicate with the players well enough but in the last week I think he has begun to answer a few doubters. This was never going to be one of our most difficult games this season but as we all know the games still have to be taken seriously if you want to win.
With Ryan back in goal, Orban and Barragan as fullbacks and Santos and Vezo central defence. Parejo and Perez midfield and Mina, Moreno and Negredo.
Valencia took control from the start and Negredo opened the scoring when he robbed a defender and calmly slotted the ball home in the 7th minute to put us ahead. It was pretty much one way play from then on with the home team creating chance after chance and it was no surprise that just after the half hour it was 2.0. Santi Mina calmly and unselfishly slotting the ball across goal to give Moreno the opportunity to open his scoring this year with an easy tap in. 2.0 at half time did not do credit to Valencia who totally dominated.
Piatti replaced Parejo at the break, that's how commanding we were. Negredo made it 3.0 from a penalty in the 63rd minute after Mina cleverly slotted the ball between two defenders and was fouled in the area when he tried to follow it through. In the 64th minute Perez was replaced by Zahibo and De Paul came on for the tiring Moreno in the 76th minute. Negredo himself was then assaulted in the area by a defender who tried to wrestle him to the ground and he made no mistake with his second penalty to make it a resounding 4.0 win.
To be honest the scoreline barely told the true story as it could have easily been 8.0. At last it makes the return game next week a forgone conclusion baring an absolute disaster. It will possibly give an opportunity for players to be rested and youth to be tested.
Conclusion An easy win and a certain style is now being seen with more consistency in the play. Our play no longer consists of crosses aimlessly pumped into the area but players are playing the ball through the defence more especially with Perez playing a more forward role. A few big negatives though that I will mention below i.e. some great performances but some really poor ones also.
Ryan 7 A faultless display, cleared his lines with strong punches when called upon. I don't know if we will run with 3 keepers till the end of the season but I hope that we do.
Barragan 4 Just not up to the standard that is required here in my opinion. Made so many mistakes and only really settled after the game was safe.
Santos 7 I am glad he is settling down and I believe he is looking better and more confident in every game now. A really reliable central defender in my opinion.
Vezo 6 An OK performance but gave the ball away in a very dangerous situation that nearly ended in giving a goal way.
Orban 4 Another poor performance, he is so easily beaten at times and made to make rash recovery tackles. Picked up a yellow that could have been red for an absolutely crazy lunge when just holding back would have been more sensible. Must be giving Gary bloody nightmares at times.
Fuego 3 Sorry to have to say this on which was his 100th appearance for the club but his contribution this season has been really awful and today typified this. Just did not contribute and gave the ball away so many times when not under pressure. Time for Javi to be replaced I think.
Parejo 6 Strolled around spraying passes in his usual casual way. Took command of the midfield without any real threat from Granada. Replaced at half time to rest for the Sociedad game.
Perez 6.5 Had a lively typical Perez game getting involved in everything and working hard for the team. Picked up his usual yellow for a bit of a tough foul from behind.
Moreno 7 Good to see him back but should have had a couple more goals. Made some great chances and was full of running. Surely his luck has to change soon and he will start scoring regularly, although I have been saying that for a long time now.
Mina 7 Had another great game setting up the goal for Moreno and winning the penalty. Since his goal against Barcelona, or if you like, when Gary Neville took over he has gained so much in confidence and endeavour. He is looking a real steal at 8 mill euros.
Negredo 8 I had a feeling before the game that this would be his day today after the miss on Sunday. He was involved in the the forward play and his one touch passes were causing havoc to the Granada defenders. I think we will begin to see the new Negredo now or the old Negredo more like. He has a lot to prove but I think this could be the start of a lot of goals from him.
Piatti 3 for Parejo 46 mins. A miserable afternoon yet again for the little winger. When you are small you have to be really good like Messi or Aguero but I am afraid Piatti is not Messi and his season has been a disaster. It is time for him to go and start again elsewhere.
Zahibo 6 for Perez 64 mins A great prospect, big and strong. He is a real one for the future and if Gary was brave he would use him again from the start next week on the return leg.
De Paul 6 for Moreno 76 mins. I like his confidence and strong running but like some of the others he needs to work on his weaknesses like running too much into players and losing the ball without winning free kicks for it. Great taker of free kicks.
Referee 7 No real howlers and I didn't really notice him, that's how it should be.
Gary Neville 7 He needs to see players to decide who to keep and who to discard. Hopefully he will have seen enough today.
Negredo 7 mins
Moreno 34 mins Assist Mina
Negredo Pen 63 mins Assist Mina
Negredo Pen 83 mins De Paul
Cards Perez and Orban Yellows
Please send your opinions so I don't think I am writing to myself. You don't have to always agree with me you are sure to be wrong sometimes. ( just kidding )