Saturday, July 28, 2012

Valencia CF 1-1 FC Porto PG(2-0)

Valencia CF won the self hosted tournament Naranja or Orange, though it took penalties to do so.

It was a fun match for a preseason match, Pellegrinho starting with the strongest squad, while Porto started with a little bit possibly weaker squad than normal. Match started slowly with Valencia CF having more possession and using the speed on the flanks to penetrate Porto. The duo of Parejo and Tino Costa seemed good, with both dropping in and out of defense, so obviously no clear defensive midfield and while it seemed to work against Porto at a preseason match, its yet to be tested against strong competition in a competitive environment.

Guardado was very active on the right flank as expected and we managed to see several of his penetrating runs with good dribbles to go along with it. He did have few good crosses and decent play with Jonas, though nothing to brag about, on the other side Feghuoli was a lot more suppressed and wasn't able to influence the game as much, although he did have some good runs, especially just in the start when he managed to intercept and then steal the ball from Porto's defense. He also had one good opportunity of goal, but poor shooting skills destroyed the opportunity and one amazing cross for Soldado that should have been a goal.

The defense seemed decent, but clearly not played-in and baked so to speak, you need regular defense and players to know each other, so right now even with Pellegrinho as coach the defense seems shaky, although as a defensive unit we do seem somewhat improved.

Jonas wasn't very active and had some poor ball control and some wasted passes, so even though he scored the goal, he wasn't particularly effective. Soldado had received great cross from Feghuoli, putting him alone on goal and he completely missed the goal, that was very poor shoot and overall a very poor performance from him.

The second half exposed some more defensive mistakes, including the one that lead to the Porto goal, though Valencia CF would instantly return the favor and equalize with a good assist from Guardado for Jonas, who headed the ball into the net.

Then Viera, Bernat and Pablo came in, though not much changed and the play stayed the same. After a ton of changes on both sides the play became more chaotic and Bernat had 2 good chances, first a run alone, but failed to deliver the last pass and then a shoot opportunity, but his youth and inexperience showed.

Ultimately the match was decided on penalties in which Porto didn't score even once. Diego Alves had some comedy time though and that was fun to watch.