Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Valencia CF 0-1 Manchester United FC match report

The worst game we've played so far. Lots of possession for nothing and in the end 10 players forward and 1 back, how can you expect not to take a goal on the counter attack.

It was Manchester United who stole the victory from Valencia at the Mestalla. The hopes were high and players confidence beaming, but I think the strategy failed us and its probably Unai Emery's fault.
We went all-in attack from the 60th minute when Emery introduced Aduriz for Chori Dominguez, that attacking mentality fortified with the introduction of Fernandes for Tino Costa. It was mostly 9 man in attack and just 2 defending and we were made to pay for it.
We were surprisingly bad at attack, while we had most of the possession and initiative we could not muster up good chances and the few we had, Soldado missed them.
Maybe Aduriz should have played from the start as he has been very energetic and deadly finisher for most of the time.
Anyways it was 2 Manchester subs that combined to score the wining goal in the 86th minute.
Perhaps this is a lesson for the team and Emery not to go all in attack, especially in a Champions League match. A point is always better than no point.

Valencia missed Ever Banega so much in this match, its obvious. Tino Costa can perform against lesser opposition, but in the 2 big games we had against Atletico Madrid and Manchester United he was nowhere to be found. Valencia need a leader in those cases on the pitch, someone who can take the initiative and dictate play. Pablo Hernandez tried to be that man, but he is a winger and although he tried to be everywhere on the pitch due to lack of Tino Costa, he couldn't do it as he is not a central midfielder and works best as a winger.
Fernandes was way more active than Tino and Valencia got even more dangerous, but it was too late and opened up lots of holes in the back.

Player Ratings:
Cezar 8: Did excellently to deny Berbatov and made all saves he could made.
Miguel 7: Excellent in defense and in attack, linked up magnificently in attack with Pablo.
Navarro 5.5: Made two blunders that could have been goals.
Maduro 6: Better than Navarro and in the end almost defended alone.
Mathieu 5: Pretty good in defense but offered nothing going forward, until the very end and it was too late.
Pablo 7.5: The most lively member of the squad, made numerous runs and passed, though he lacked that one killer pass.
Albelda 8: Great performance from the veteran, broke up Manchester play and also organized the midfield and attack.
Tino Costa 4: Virtual spectator for the whole time he was in, rightfully substituted and its clear he doesn't have what Banega has.
Mata 2: Did nothing, he had few runs and could have done way better with them, but always gave away the ball to the opposition or when he gets the ball he immediately returns it back. He can't get a pay rise with these kind of performances, he is an attacking player and needs to attack and not return every ball back. Guess he idolizes Giggs way too much and lost focus from the game.
Chori 2: Same as Mata, run around, passed a few balls, but nothing concrete or dangerous.
Soldado 5: Had several chances but could not convert them, all of them except one though not very good.
Aduriz 6: Really spiced up the attack, was positioning himself well and had an excellent cross for Soldado.
Fernandes 6: With him in Valencia did attack a lot more and seemed more threatening in attack, but the game opened way too much and with just 1 or 2 defenders at the back we received a goal.
Topal NA: Not enough time.