Saturday, August 7, 2010

preseason match report: Aston Villa 0-0 Valencia CF

Valencia played Aston Villa on Friday at Villa Park which ended in a 0-0 draw.

Valencia started with a 4-2-3-1 formation and the starting players were the following: Cezar; Alexis Ruano, Hedwiges Maduro,  Ricardo Costa, Jeremy Mathieu; David Albelda, Manuel Fernandes; Sofiane Feghouli, Isco Alacron, Artiz Aduriz.

The game started slow, with a lot of cross balls, back and forth moving and mostly unimaginative play from both sides. Feghuoli had the best chance when he did a 360 rotation to leave 2 Villa defenders standing behind, than made a great pass towards Aduriz who unfortunately did not collect the ball as he should have had and lost all chance of scoring, even though he did fire a shot at Aston Villa's goal, but it was too little too late.

Aston Villa also had one or two half chances, so did Valencia CF, but the first half ended in a draw.
Second half did not start any better, both sides going back and forth, but never coming close to scoring chances. Mathieu as always has been a great influence going forward and provide a good option in attack, but the back-line didn't cover for him too well. Maybe Albelda needed to drop down deep in defense and cover Mathieu position when he was forward. Anyways there were very few chances on both sides, the most dangerous one coming from a corner kick from Villa in the 90th minute when the free kick taker hit the bar, but the danger stopped right there and the match ended in a 0-0 draw.

I was once again impressed with Cezar Snachez who did a great job saving the goal and its clear he is returning to top form. Positioned well and was quick to respond to any danger, his one on one skills and instincts are top class.
Jeremu Mathieu was great going forward once again, he provides huge support for the attacking trio and is a pretty good crosser. Again his defense needs to improve, but otherwise he is very good.
Ricardo Costa had a great showing, but its clear he will need more time to adopt to the teamplay. Never the less he good and hopefully he can impress when the season starts.
Pablo was once again great when he came in, great determination and constant running from him.
The rest were average, nothing special, but no big mistakes either, Manuel Fernandes was a little bit more than average with some good passes and few shots going forward.