Sunday, August 18, 2013

Valencia CF 1-0 Malaga CF Match Report

Valencia CF 1-0 Malaga CF
Goals: Ricardo Costa
Possession: 64%-36%

Valencia CF won its first match of the new 2013/14 season against the significantly weakened Malaga CF in what was a grind of a match with low amount of chances, low amount of shots and barely one goal.

The match started with Valencia CF taking control of the ball and mostly controlling possession with Fede having an early run through the right wing as well as some try hard balls from Ever Banega that mostly just ended up giving the ball away to Malaga.

Since the start the match looked as it will be a long and drawn out affair with little to no goals as at about 20 minutes of playing time there were barely few forward forays by Valencia CF and even fewer by Malaga, with most of the play happening in the midfield and Valencia CF at one point controlling 68% percent of the ball possession. All that possession and there would be nothing to show for, with Joao Pereira being the most dangerous person and trying some crosses and penetrations on the right.

On the left side of the pitch Viera wasn't having any better time either, with only forward array and a try at a shot, but not much else. Ever Banega was trying out some really hopeful passes and plays that mostly ended up giving the ball away. 

The one bright spot for Valencia CF was Mitchel though as he was very cool, collected, very energetic and orchestrating play from the middle of the field, moving a bit more backward and more forward as it was needed and always being available to accept a pass. Javi Fuego was mostly sitting deeper and was the anchor from defense who then mostly provided simple and short passes, usually to Banega or Michel. 

Second half wasn't very different, although Valencia CF would have more chances, particularly through Helder Postiga who would fail to convert two decent opportunities, both from close range and both times he was either unable to reach the ball or just barely touch it. One of the best opportunities came when Joao crossed the ball from the right wing to Postiga, but this one was unable to quite reach the ball. 

The first goal would come after a big mistake by Malaga's goalkeeper Willy who completely missed the ball in the air, allowing the ball to basically fall to Ricardo Costa's feet and he was able to score. Very lucky goal and Valencia CF should be very happy to get it, since the game was destined to finish in a draw.

Overall not much happened even after the goal, with Valencia CF having the incentive and trying to score a second goal, but the chances were few and far between and everything was going wrong for Postiga, even having the referee award fouls by him when he didn't touch any player or the ball, so overall he was having a difficult time and wasn't likely to score.

Technical Details:
Valencia CF (1): Diego Alves; Joao Pereira, Rami, Ricardo Costa, Bernat; Javi Fuego, Míchel, Banega (Canales, m. 85); Fede (Feghouli, m. 66), Viera (Guardado, m. 78) and Postiga.
Málaga CF (0): Willy Caballero; Jesús Gámez, Chen, Angeleri, Antunes; Tissone, Morales (Anderson, m. 70), Darder (Sebas Fernández, m. 80); Duda (Samuel, m. 70), Fabrice and Santa Cruz.
Goals: 64min. 1-0;  Ricardo Costa

Player Ratings:
Alves 6 - Pretty much a spectator for most of the match, he was required to catch several balls, but those were easy balls and he had no problems dealing with it.
Joao 6.5 - Very active in attack and was awarded the space as Malaga was on the back foot for most of the match, so he was able to combine well with Fede and provide few crosses into the penalty area.
Rami 5 - Not a very secure performance, failed to block twice that I counted and against a better opposition would have been punished.
R. Costa 6.5 - Good defensively, albeit had one pretty big mistake, but scored the sole goal for Valencia CF, securing the win.
Bernat 6 - Impressive debut at left back by Bernat, somewhat reserved going forward, but on the few occasions showed quality and was generally secure at the back.
Fuego 5.5 - Wasn't of too much notice, mostly basic short passing and securing the space defensively.
Michel 7 - Very impressive performance and he was the engine for Valencia CF this evening, everything starting from him. He was also solid defensively, overshadowing Fuego in that department as well.
Fede 5.5 - Energetic performance by the youngster and tried some things on the wing, but mostly failed, so he started cutting inside which was okay, but not too effective.
Banega 5 - Sloppy performance by the Argentinian with some try-hard passes in the first half that failed bad, improved performance in the second half, but he was mostly bullied off the ball every time he got it.
Viera 6 - Not the most remarkable performance by any means, but he did have two or three solo runs that were dangerous and fairly impressive. Linked decently with Bernat, Michel and Banega, though still leaves much to be desired.
Postiga 5 - Fairly anonymous performance and the few times he was in the spotlight he failed to get the touch or position to make it work and possibly score a goal.
Feghouli 5 - Got involved in the action, had two good opportunities, but he scrambled them both with bad decision on how to proceed and what to do.
Guardado 5 - Didn't have much time to showcase anything.
Canales N/A - Not enough time, though he did provide one great pass from the right to Postiga I believe, but the striker failed to score.