Sunday, January 20, 2013

Valencia CF 0-5 Real Madrid Match Report

As I wrote in my quick half time report Valencia CF played terribly this in the first half and even though the second half was better, by that time Real Madrid had the huge lead and were preserving their stamina, content to just sit back for most of the time. This was mostly the case in the first half as well, with Valencia CF attacking and Real Madrid sitting back and catching Valencia CF on the counter attack, but they were pressing more in the first half and were playing differently in the second half.

What to write about the first half. Four of the five goals came from a counter attacking situation, most of them on the right side of the field, though some through the center as well, with Gago failing to provide sufficient cover for the defense.

First goal Di Maria passes the ball to Higuain who is quick to react and scores past Valdez, with the goalkeeper not being able to do anything.

For second goal Cristiano Ronaldo was pretty much playing games with R. Costa and easily tricked him to put him out of place, passes the ball to Di Maria who was better positioned than Guardado and scores.

Just a minute later a mistake in the midfield grants the ball to Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo is quickly released, as Ricardo Costa try to block the ball fails and Ronaldo runs in the penalty, outmaneuvers Rami and scores. Diego Alves was also quite terrible for this goal, although he did save the net several times, so overall he had a good match.

Then again from the right side, from a cross by Ozil I believe it was to Higuain, who just touches the ball to lead it to Cristiano Ronaldo and this one completely unmarked scores.

Then the fifth goal came from a simple header by Alonso in the middle of the park, it was a dead ball situation and Di Maria easily outruns Ruiz gets the ball, runs towards goal and completely unchallenged scores.

I'm just going to sum up what I wrote in the half time report. Basically it all came down to Ricardo Costa who just failed miserably to cover on the right wing and most of the goals came through there. Second was Guardado's terribly positioning for 2 of the goals in the defense and finally Gago failing to provide any sort of cover for the defense.

Overall the first half was just terrible, with absolute horrific defending.

Second half started and it was like a different match. Valencia CF went on to dominate proceedings, had several decent chances as well, but Real Madrid were content to sit back and defend with their huge 5-0 lead from the first half.

Ernesto Valverde saw his error and instantly changed Gago for Barragan, who went on to the right back position, R. Costa went to center defense and Ruiz went in midfield to play as defensive midfielder and actually provided a lot more cover than Gago did.

In fact I've talked about Ruiz being able to play defensive midfielder quite a lot of times, especially knowing his great and accurate passing and it seemed quite good. We'll have to evaluate him at a more stressful match, where there is more pressure, like say the Real Madrid of the first half, but for his time spend there in the second half he was good.

Of course Barragan easily dealt with Cristiano Ronaldo and again I just wonder why start Ricardo Costa there over Barragan? It just didn't make any sense. In fact I guarantee that with just that change Valencia CF would have probably been down only one goal and not the five. Because if you look at when the goals came in, its in a matter of 10 minutes, after the players lost morale and conviction after the second goal and who wouldn't? Ronaldo was playing games with R. Costa, he could have juggled his way into the goal.

Here are some of the chances for Valencia CF in the second half and I only took notes until about the 70th minute, since there was no point taking for the whole match.

49 minute Piatti shoots from long range and hits the bar.
52 min. Conetrao saves Real Madrid net from the line, after a good header by Rami.
58 min. Tino Costa shoots after a rebound, from just outside the penalty area, but Cassilas saves.
60 min. Barragan passes Conetrao and goes into the penalty area, passes the ball to the lone Jonas, but this one shot is inaccurate and goes above the goal.
63 min. Jonas leaves the ball to reach Soldado and runs into the penalty area, Soldado instantly passes the ball to Jonas, but once again Jonas shot is poor and the ball goes wide off goal.
68 min. Cross by Barragan to Valdez, but Valdez shot just goes wide.
76 min. Good pass by Banega to Valdez, but Cassilas was alert and comes out of goal to block Valdez shot/pass and the ball goes into corner.

Technical details:
Valencia CF  (0):  Alves; R. Costa, Rami, V. Ruiz, Guardado; Gago (Barragán, min.46'), T. Costa; Piatti (Bernat, min.77'), Éver, Jonas; Soldado (Valdez, min.64').
Real Madrid (5):  Casillas; Arbeloa, Varane, Albiol, Coentrao; Khedira (Callejón, min.74'), Alonso (Essien, min.58'), Cristiano, Özil (Modric, min.66'), Di María; Higuaín.
Goals: 0-1 Min 9’, Higuaín. 0-2 Min 34', Di María. 0-3 Min 35', Cristiano Ronaldo. 0-4 Min 40', Cristiano Ronaldo. 0-5 Min 45', Di María.

Player Ratings:
Diego 6.5 - Not much he can do about the goals, he was left hanging by a terrible defense in the first half. Even so, he actually had several great saves to keep Valencia CF loosing by only 5 goals.
R. Costa 3 - I mean come on. He was just terrible as right back. Slow, cumbersome, bad positioning, you name it. Was good in the central role in the second half, but the damage was already done.
Rami 4.5 - Made some interceptions, but was played by Ronaldo and Ozil and Higuain time and time again in the first half.
Ruiz 4 - Terrible positioning, was slow as seen by his race to the ball against Di Maria that caused the 5th goal, it was just bad defending overall. Did a better job in the second half as defensive midfielder.
Guardado 4.5 - Not troubled too much from the left wing, but when it came down to him defending in the penalty area he had terrible positioning.
Gago 4 - Completely failed the team, was invisible in the midfield, failing to provide any cover for the defense or get the ball from defense and into offense.
Tino 6 - Worked very hard, was simple in his passing and what little Valencia CF could do in the first half came mostly from him. Very good in the second half, having few shots on goal as well.
Banega 5 - Lost the ball so many times, was overly confident and just strutted around doing nothing. Improved in the second half, but the match was already over by then.
Piatti 6 - Was the most active player in the fist half, tried to do stuff, cut back in the middle and tried to make things happen. Had a few shots, provided some good passes, but the teammates were just not there to help him out.
Soldado 5 - Completely shut down, he barely saw the ball all match long.
Jonas 5.5 - Did find himself into dangerous positions and tried several through balls, most of those failed though, but was active, had at least 2 good opportunities, but his shot accuracy is zero.
Barragan 6.5 - Completely shut down Ronaldo and provided much needed support to Piatti, providing few good crosses and passes into dangerous positions, one pass finding Jonas alone. Why wasn't he a starter?
Valdez 5 - Was more dangerous than Soldado and was a nuisance to the Real Madrid defense, but didn't get a chance to score.
Bernat N/A - not enough time.