Sunday, February 3, 2013

Valencia CF 1-1 FC Barcelona Match Report

The match ended 1-1 in what was an exciting match and one that yet again, for the 4th year in a row a referee helps Barcelona. In fact if it wasn't for that non existent penalty Valencia CF would have won.

The match started with a strong battle in the middle of the park as Valencia CF players were positioned high up the pitch and pressuring the Barcelona players all the way to their own goal basically, this start created some dynamic play in midfield with neither team managing to control possession for long periods of time and frequent mistakes and bad passing on both sides.

Valencia CF would have a decent chance in the 7th minute as Bernat and Joao Pereira combine well with one-two pass, enabling Joao to found space and crosses into the penalty area, but the Barcelona defense is alert and clears.

We would see a fierce battle in the middle of the park for the next 10 minutes, with neither side having any chance, until once again Joao Pereira sends in a cross to Soldado, Soldado's shot is blocked, but the rebound goes to Guardado who shoots, but his shot is blocked as well.

Then in the 22nd minute Soldado is fouled in a dangerous position, after he received the ball in an empty field and got away two players, but he was ultimately fouled just outside the penalty area in order to prevent him to come to a good shooting position.

33rd minute goal Ever Banega after a dangerous cross in the penalty area by  Soldado is headed by Dani Alves, but only to Ever Banega who find himself in a good position and scores.

Just two minutes later another big chance for Valencia CF after some good work once again from Joao Pereira on the right wing, Soldado doing the scissors move, but just barely being successful.

38th minute the referee comes to the rescue of FC Barcelona as he awards them with a non existing penalty. Pedro's theatrics and the referees suitcase with money he surely had received was enough to whistle a penalty. If these were the types of situations penalties were awarded for, then we'd be seeing 3-4 penalties being awarded every game.

Anyways Guaita guessed the position of the shoot, but Messi's shot was just too good and he scored to equalize the score to 1-1.

44th minute Guardado finds himself with good space around him and tries a long range shoot, but Valdez saves.

The first half ended with Valencia CF being the better team and getting once again beaten by the referee, just like the first match against Barcelona this season, just like last season, just like every time we've played Barcelona the past 4 years.

The second half started with Valencia CF dominating once again and in the 50th minute great cross by Guardado to Soldado, but his header goes just wide.

54th minute huge chance for Fabregas as he is released from the middle and finds himself alone on goal, but his shot goes just wide.

59th minute Soldado fins himself in a similar situation as Fabregas, but is a little bit more of an angle and his shot goes above the goal.

65th minute chance for Soldado once again as he gets a hold of a long range cross and finds himself in a similar situation as previously, but this time again his shot goes wide.

The newly arrived Canales on for Banega finds himself in a chance instantly after a great solo run by Guardado sets him up for a shoot, but Valdez saves.

Barcelona would start controlling the match more from around the 65th minute and becoming more dangerous, but it was still Valencia CF with the chances and in the 74th minute after a great solo run by Cissokho, beating few Barcelona players and passing the ball to Soldado, he doesn't quite get it, but the ball goes to Tino Costa, but his shot just wasn't powerful enough.

82nd minute Pedro finds himself in a good position inside Valencia's penalty area, shoots, but Guaita saves.

88th minute huge chance for Valencia CF, but Valdez saves Barcelona from a loss, first from Canales and then saves a shot from Soldado. This action was once again created by Cissokho who passed the ball towards Canales, his shot was blocked by Valdez and the rebound found his way to Soldado who shoots, but Valdez was up already and saved the goal.

Barcelona did have a decent chance by Villa and Messi, but nothing concrete and the match ultimately ended 1-1.

Line Up

 -Guaita -Valdés
 -A. Cissokho40' -Dani Alves
 -A. Rami -Piqué
 -João Pereira -Jordi Alba
 -Víctor Ruíz -Fàbregas72'
 -Ricardo Costa -Xavi90 (1)'
 -É. Banega33'64' -Iniesta
 -A. Guardado76'86' -J. Mascherano23'55'
 -A. Costa -Busquets
 -Juan Bernat70' -L. Messi39'
 -Soldado47' -Pedro
flagCoach: Ernesto ValverdeflagCoach: Tito Vilanova
  • 64'- Canales ON for É. Banega
  • 70'- P. Piatti ON for Juan Bernat
  • 86'- Jonas ON for A. Guardado
  • 55'- Puyol ON for J. Mascherano
  • 72'- David Villa ON for Fàbregas
  • 90 (1)'- Thiago Alcântara ON for Xavi

Player Ratings:
Guaita 6 - Didn't have too much to do, was lucky on few occasions as Barca players missed the goal and had two good stops as well as good positioning to prevent a goal early in the first half.
Joao 7 - Was a constant presence forward making some marauding runs and linking up superbly with Bernat, was less confident in defense and was beaten several times.
Rami 7 - Great defending from the Frenchmen who was rock solid all night and made several key blocks and interceptions.
R. Costa 6.5 - Had one key block when he seemed to injure himself to do it, but returned to the match and did very well in defense, dealing with the Barcelona players confidently.
Cissokho 7.5 - Superb defense and had some amazing runs down the left, completely beating Dani Alves and Pique often and providing at least two great passes that Soldado and others failed to convert. Was solid all night in defense.
Ruiz 6.5 - Solid defensively and provided some much needed cover for the defense. Made simple and short passed, but he was accurate in them and never lost possession.
Tino Costa 6.5 - Was a bundle of energy in the middle, providing cover for the defense and helping out in the offense as well, having few good crosses and one good shot from free kicks.
Bernat 6 - Impressive performance from Bernat who linked up really well with Joao as well as the midfield, providing some good passes and additional body to pass to. Wasn't as penetrative himself, but did put in a few decent crosses.
Banega 6.5 - Scored the goal for Valencia's lead and was very dangerous when given a bit of space, starting up few attacks. Was wasteful sometimes in possession and didn't track back as much as he could and should have.
Guardado 7 - Great presence on the left side and was a key player in the match, providing some great passes, crosses and much of all cover for the defense as well. Had one particular solo run towards the end.
Soldado 6.5 - Was very active all night long and found himself in good positions  having at least 3 good chances, but wasn't at his best tonight and really should have scored a late chance from a rebound that happened off Valdez, but his shot was too in the center of the goal and Valdez saved his shot.
Canales 6 - Instantly involved in the actions, had some good moves and two good passes to start attacks, tracked back a lot more than Banega, but didn't have the presence and ball retaining skills like Banega.
Piatti N/A - Not enough time to make an impact.
Jonas N/A - Not enough time.