Saturday, May 7, 2011

Valencia CF 3-0 Real Sociedad - Match Report

After two disappointing matches to say the least, Valencia CF has come back and won convincingly against Real Sociedad. But lets not get carried away as Real Sociedad's defending was terrible and two of the goals Valencia scored should have been stopped if the defense was a little bit better. Still a win is a win and Valencia is right now 6 points clear of Villarreal again, but they play tomorrow and a win for Villarreal will once again put them only 3 points behind Valencia.

Anyways the match against Real Sociedad started very good for Valencia, as there was a chance right from the first minute when Joaquin released a powerful shot after a combination with Jonas, but unfortunatelly the shot was not accurate and went above the goal.

Then in the fourth minute Valencia Cf had another chance, this time Dealbert had a decent header after a corner kick, but the ball went above the goal once again.
Just two minuted later though Soldado had a good chance to open the scoring for Valencia after a good pass by Joaquin, but again it wasn't to be.

After a complete domination by Valencia the goal would come in the 16th minute after a superb through ball by Albelda to Mata who assisted Soldado for the goal. It was a great combination between the players that resulted in a goal.

Sociedad tried to counter and two minutes later Xabi Prieto had a great cross than found Aranburu I think who's shot went straight into Guaita, but then from the rebound there was another shot, but someone from the players managed to block the shot and clear the danger.

Valencia pushed forward again and had few more chances, but nothing particularry serios until the 25th minute when after a poor defending from the Sociedad players the ball found its way to Miguel who's cross found Joans who in turn managed to head the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net. It was 2-0 for Valencia CF.

In the 31th minute after a free kick Arnaburu found himself alone in front of Valencia's goal and with just Guaita to beat, but somehow managed to shoot wide of goal. Minutes later Sociedad had another shot towards goal from a free kick, but this time Guaita saved. After that free kick for Sociedad, Mata had a chance to score, but was brought down in the penalty area, though there was little reason for the referee to blow for a penalty.

The third goal came in the 37th minute, Mathieu crossed from the left wing and Soldado managed to get past a Sociedad defender and then easily head the ball into the net.

With this lead Valencia slowed down the match a bit and carefully closed it out till the half time whistle.

The second half saw Valencia throttling down the gas and playing slowly and with less intensity. Basically the match was already won so the players were conserving energy for the newxt match, which will be played mid-week.

Anyways there were few chances on both sides, though nothing really serious and the vast majority of the play was happening in the middle of the field. Real Sociedad were slightly more dangerous, but their shooting was terrible and even what little half-chances they got, they just ruined them.

Long story short, Valencia really slowed down towards the end and the last 10-15 minutes were all about Sociedad who had few chances to score. First there was a threat on the left side by Prieto who was Sociedad's best player in this match, then there was a slip-up by Guaita who almost gave away a free goal, but managed to recover in the last second.

Ultimately the second half was very boring, with very few chances with no concrete chances for both sides and endless passes in the middle. In the end the 3-0 from the first half was enough for Valencia CF to win and get the much needed 3 points and get back to 6 points difference against Villarreal.

Technical Details:

Valencia CF (3): Guaita; Miguel, Dealbert, Ricardo Costa, Mathieu; Albelda (Topal, min. 80), Éver, Joaquín (Pablo Hernández, min. 63); Jonas, Mata y Soldado (Aduriz, min. 63).

Real Sociedad (0): Bravo; Martínez (De la Bella, min. 45), Demidov, Mikel, Estrada; Markel, Aranburu (Elustondo, min. 62), X. Prieto, Zurutuza, Griezmann; Tamudo (Ifrán, min. 68).

Goals: 16th min. 1-0, Soldado; 25th min. 2-0, Jonas; 37th min. 3-0, Soldado.

Player Ratings:
Guaita 6 - Not the most assured performance from him, had two or three questionable responces.
Miguel 6 - Not troubled much at the back went forward a bit and did reasonably well.
R. Costa 6 - Not much to do, generally took care of everything that came on his way.
Dealbert 6 - Same a R. Costa, pretty good performance.
Mathieu 6.5 - Had a little bit more difficult time against Prieto, but ultimatelly did a good job and provided an assist as well.
Albelda 7 - Superb performance from the veteran who provided great cover for the defense and really accurate passing, had a great through ball to Mata that lead to the first goal.
Banega 6 - Kept possession well as usual, was more reserved to defending this time around and rarely venture forward.
Joaquin 5.5 - Not the best display from him, had few runs and a shot on goal, but his contribution ended there. Really needs to work on his vision and final ball.
Mata 6.5 - All over the pitch, good combinations with every player and provided an assist, but needs to be a little bit more on his own position at left wing to help out Mathieu more.
Jonas 6 - Some nice combinations with Joaquin, Soldado and Mata, scored a goal, but his movement was rather poor at times and should have been in better positions at crucial moments.
Soldado 7 - Two goals, for the first one he found himself in the right place and the right time and for the second he past a defender and headed the ball into the net, good performance overall.
Aduriz 5.5 - Came on for Soldado and failed to follow in his footsteps with a rather poor showing.
Pablo 5.5 - Came for Joaquin and he pretty much the same effect with few runs and a shot which he missed terribly.
Topal N/A - Not enough time.

Unai Emery 5 - Obviously directed the players better this time around and a good change in defense, but he was lucky that Topal got injured and wasn't fully fit so he started Banega and VCF won, otherwise it would have been a draw or loss for sure. So quite lucky that destiny/random chance/luck made the decision for him to start Banega instead of Topal.