Monday, January 31, 2011

Racing Santander 1-1 Valencia CF - Match Report

Another match, another thriller and another exciting match. While we lost 2 points at least the match was fun to watch and on the positive side we increased our lead over Espanyol.

The first half was not the best, Valencia had possession, but could not convert it into chances, not to mention goals. In fact Racing was quite more dangerous on the counter attack and R. Costa was caught twice out of position. Statistically looking Valencia had only one shot towards Racing goal, while they had 4 shots towards Valencia goal, one of which went in.

The goal for Racing was the luckiest thing I've seen this season, after a corner was cleared the ball was crossed back into Valencia penalty area only for Tino Costa to misjudge his jump and assist Ariel to score a goal in the 32nd minute. Guaita probably should have done a bit better, but its hard to judge since he was alone with 3 opposing players.

The first half was nearing and Valencia wasn't taking advantage of all the possession it had. Tino Costa was making bad pass, after bad pass, Joaquin dribbling too much and loosing the ball too often and Pablo ineffective over the left wing and was making too many inaccurate through passes.

Second half started with two substitutions as Chori Dominguez went in after a long pause from competitive game for Pablo and Soldado went in for Joaquin.

The formation now transformed to 4-3-1-2 with Chori playing just behind the strikers. This seemed to work and instantly you can see improvement in Valencia's play. In fact the reason why Valencia didn't win is probably because Mathieu and Aduriz failed to convert few good passes/crosses.

The trio of Banega, Tino and Chori was functioning well and Tino was playing significantly better in the second half. He actually scored the only goal for Valencia in the 77th minute after a corner with a superb shot. He also made 2 good passes to Mathieu and Aduriz who failed to use the passes to good effect.

Valencia was pressing all the way to the end, but just couldn't find the winning goal. In the meantime R. Costa got a second yellow and automatically a red card, undeserved one actually and then in stoppage time Mehdi from Racing got a second yellow card and automatic red too.

Valencia and its fans are left wishing for the 3 points and if Valencia played 90 minutes like it did in the second half a victory would have been more probable. But anyways we must now look forward towards our next match and hope we win then.

Technical details:
Valencia CF (1): Guaita, Bruno (Miguel, min. 71), R. Costa, Stankevicius, Mathieu, Maduro, Ever, Tino Costa, Joaquín (Soldado, min. 45), Pablo (Chori, min 45) y Aduriz.

Rácing Santander (1): Toño, Francis, Torrejón, Henrique, Christian (Cisma, min. 65), Lacen, Colsa, Adrián, Kennedy, Ariel y Rosenberg (Arana, min. 65).

Goals: 32min 1-0 Ariel; 77min 1-1 Tino Costa;
Player Ratings:
Guaita 6 - Maybe he could have done better for the goal, but its hard to say really. Didn't have much work otherwise and apart from stopping a shot early in the first half was barely tested.
Bruno 6 - Good defensively and covered his side well, but did not offer anything in attack.
R. Costa 5 - Had two mistakes early in the match as he was beaten for the ball first time and then caught out of position. Had two good intervention as well and made some interceptions that keep his score at 5.
Stankevicious 6 - The best defender tonight as he intercepted several balls and defended really well.
Mathieu 5 - Had at least one good chance, but he failed to snatch the ball, maybe was thinking he was offside though. Anyways not the most productive going forward and too many times caught in attack and left the left defensive position vulnerable.
Maduro 5.5 - Had an early blunder as he passed the ball slowly to the goalkeeper and was almost caught by Racing attacker. Also felt down later on, lost the ball and that could have resulted in a goal. Improved in the second with the rest of the team and was more active and actually useful.
Tino Costa 5.5 - Poor first half, great second half. How to rate such performance? Made numerous inaccurate passes in the first half, lost the ball way too often and didn't prove much of anything. Second half he was like another player with a lot more accurate passing, scored the goal and made two brilliant passes. 
His assist to Ariel weighs down a lot though and if it wasn't for that mistake Valencia may have celebrated a win tonight.
Banega 7.5 - The only consistent performer in the first and second half. Was forced to come back and get the ball in the first half as he was not getting the ball from Tino or Maduro. Even better in the second as the whole team improved and was spreading the ball very well, great linkup with Tino and Chori and made several creative passes to get something going.
Pablo 5 - Really ineffective on the left wing. Made several through passes that were too obvious and inaccurate and apart from that nothing more.
Joaquin 5 - Similar performance to Pablo, but this one dribbled until he lost the ball. Not much creativity or energy.
Aduriz 5 - In offside position 3 times, failed to control the ball twice and ruined the potential chances. Improved somewhat in the second, but largely useless.
Chori 6 - Better than Pablo and Joaquin certainly and ran well creating spots for the attacking players, had few good passes, but few bad judgements also and seems a bit rusty.
Soldado 7 - Twice in a row a match changer. Came in and instantly provided an attacking threat. Very active, seeked out good positions and provided a much needed attacking threat.
Miguel 6 - Had one good cross and one more cross that became more of a shot. He also had a real shot on goal and did quite better in attack than Bruno.