Sunday, July 25, 2010

Al Hilal vs Valencia CF first preseason match

Valencias first preseason match against Al Hilal has finished.
Valencia had this starting line-up:
GK: Moya; Def: Ivan Rubio, Navarro, Dealbert, Jeremy Mathieu; Mid: Pablo, Fernandes, Costa, Vicente; Att: Isco, Paco.

As you can see coach Unai Emery opted to include 3 youth team players in the starting line up.
The game started and Valencia immediately started pushing and it almost immediately paid off, as Jeremy Mathieu scored an early goal in the 4th minute of the match. After the goal the game calmed down a bit and continued with sporadic attacks and chances for both teams.
At half time coach Unai Emery made 11 substitutions
46′Substitution Jérémy Mathieu Asier Del Horno
46′Substitution Pablo Hernández Aarón Ñíguez
46′Substitution Paco Alcácer Soldado
46′Substitution Manuel Fernandes Mehmet Topal
46′Substitution Isco Alejandro Domínguez
46′Substitution Vicente Sofiane Feghouli
46′Substitution Alberto Costa Ever Banega
46′Substitution David Navarro Jordi Alba
46′Substitution Dealbert Alexis
46′Substitution Iván Rubio Hedwiges Maduro
46′Substitution Miguel Ángel Moyá César
Most new players were included with the exception of Aritz Adrius of Mallorca. Few players are still not with Valencia as they've participated in the Fifa world cup and are on vacation.

The second half was played normal also, few chances here and there and mostly half baked counter attacks. The game spiced up towards the final minutes when Ever Banega landed one of his leg in the face of an opposition player and players sprung into argument, physical contact was narrowly avoided and Ever Banega was not given a red card. 
In the duying moments of the game Valencia had a chance, I think Dominguez shot the ball towards the goal, but the goalkeeper deflected the shot and it came right to the legs of Roberto Soldado who calmly slotted the ball in the net. It was 2-0 for Valencia and they won their first preseason game.

It was not an impressive play by any means, but they did the job by winning. There are still some way to go, before the team starts functioning properly, but Valencia has a lot of games left to prepare.

David Albelda surprisingly did not play today and that could be a hint that he is there only as a replacement for injured players. With so many options in the midfield though it would be hard to put the aging Albelda, but he can still contribute with his massive experience to the newer players.