Sunday, August 11, 2013

Valencia CF 2-1 Olympiacos CFP Match Report

Valencia wins the first trophy of the season. Although not a major trophy by any standards, it will provide a confidence boost for the league which will start next Saturday against Malaga at the Mestalla. The game featured new striker, Helder Postiga's, debut while also allowing Guardado, Fede and Canales to make a return from injury.

The first half began in a great fashion with Valencia dominating as they had been for the past few games. It only took 7 minutes for the first goal to come in. Banega found Postiga in the box with a through ball but his shot was saved by the keeper and the rebound fell back to Banega who had no problem in slotting past the keeper. Valencia continued their strong play but couldn't get another in the midst of Olympiacos's counterattacks. Diego Alves had a great role in stopping the counterattacks by making amazing saves when needed. Close to half-time, Bernat was side-lined with an injury but that wasn't going to stop Valencia when in the 41st minute they grabbed a second goal. Viera found provided the ball for Banega on the left flank who then drove the ball across the penalty box all the way to Postiga on the far end who finished it from close range.

The second half-featured the substitution of every player with the exception of Postiga. The performance was worse than the first half and Djukic expressed his unhappiness with the play in the second half. The chances that were made were terribly wasted, possession was lost quickly and the overall confidence was lower. The coach introduced two more substitutions by bringing on B-team player Chumbi and Guardado for Postiga and Cissokho respectively. A good chance was missed by Jonas about mid way through the second half when he hit the cross bar from point-blank range. The team would pay for this when, in the 84th minute, a cross was made by Olympiacos and an unmarked David Fuster calmly finished past Guaita. Olympiacos would grab a second goal a while later, only to be called offside but only by a fraction. Valencia managed to hold on to the lead for the remainder of the game and winning the match.

The Man-of-the-Match award was presented to Ever Banega at the end of the game and Ricardo Costa lifted the trophy. Djukic expressed that he was impressed with the first half but was disappointed with the rest of the game. He promised to iron out the mistakes before the league game.

Valencia CF (2): Alves, Bernat, Rami, Costa, Periera, Fuego, Banega, Michel, Viera, Fede, Postiga
Substitutes: Guaita, Cissokho, Guardado, V.Ruiz, Mathieu, Barragan, Romeu, Parejo, Canales, Jonas, Ibanez, Chumbi,

Olympiacos CFP (1): Roberto; Maniatis, Papazoglou, Fejsa, Mitroglou; Holebas, Medjani, Siovas, Campbell, Domínguez,Weis. 
Substitutes: Megyeri, Manolai, David Fuster, Machado, Saviola, Samaris, Fetfatzidis, Salino