Thursday, September 25, 2014

Valencia CF 3-0 Cordoba CF Match Report

Fourth straight win, fourth straight game with 3 goals scored and fourth straight game with a solid defensive showing. Valencia CF have only conceded 2 goals from the last 5 matches and scored a total of 13 goals to put the team as the leader in La Liga ahead of Barcelona on goals difference.

I was safe with my prediction that Valencia CF would win by one goal, I was expecting for Cordoba CF to park the bus and they indeed did park the bus, but it didn't matter because Paco Alcacer scored a stunner of a goal very early on in the 22th minute and from then on Cordoba defense shattered, their tactic was no longer viable and they had to open up and this gave Valencia CF more opportunities on goal and Gaya would utilize one such opportunity and score the second goal for Valencia CF.

Cordoba CF were able to stabilize around the 35th minute and were actually pressing and attacking, this would allow them to create a very dangerous chance which Diego Alves just barely kept out of goal with a last ditch pounce with his left foot.

Overall the game was firmly in Valencia CF control and apart from one long range shot and the one dangerous chance Cordoba CF wasn't really threatening. Valencia CF on the other side were and the fast paced counter attacks and runs towards Cordoba's goal were causing all sorts of problems for their defense.

The second half Valencia CF would come out again in dominating fashion and would have complete control over the match, Cordoba CF had their fair share of runs and attacks, but they weren't really threatening and I don't think Diego Alves had to make a single save in the second half.

Valencia CF coach Nuno would make two changes in a quick fashion, taking off Piatti and then Gaya and replacing them with Carles Gil and Lucan Orban. Gaya having his deserved rest after a great performance which put him right back in his best form.

The game would finally be put in bed by Sofiane Feghouli who would score the third goal for Valencia CF on an assist by Carles Gil. That was the culmination of a great performance by Feghouli who seems to be back in top form and would be giving Nuno good problems to have of who to choose between Feghouli and Moreno.

Technical Details:
Valencia CF: Diego; Cancelo, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gaya(Orban 53 min); Fuego, Parejo, Gomes; Feghouli(Robert 76 min), Paco, Piatti(Carles Gil 49 min).
Cordoba CF: Juan Carlos; Crespo, Iago, Lopez, Adrian; Rossi, Borja Garcia(Fidel 70 min); Garai(Matos 51 min), Gomez, Fede Vico(Mike 60 min); Nabil

Paco Alcacer 1-0, 22 min.
Jose Gaya 2-0, 27 min.
Sofiane Feghouli 3-0, 74 min.

Player Ratings:
Diego 6.5 - Got his fingers on a long ranged shot to make sure it wasn't headed towards goal and then made a solid save with his left foot as a last ditch effort to keep the ball out of the net. Didn't have anything to do beyond those two saves.
Cancelo 6 - The jury is still out on the young right back, he was solid enough defensively and went forward to a great extent, but the final ball and the right decision making was lacking, often losing or giving the ball away as the end result.
Mustafi 6.5 - Solid showing from the German, this was his first start for Valencia CF and did himself proud, made few decent blocks and tackles and seemed to be in understanding of Otamendi.
Otamendi 6.5 - Continued his solid defensive work and it also goes unsaid how he brings the ball forward from defense and spreads it to the flanks or to the midfield.
Gaya 7 - Another great performance from the young left back who keeps delivering week after week, this time scoring a goal to celebrate his great performances so far. Was a constant danger going forward, his passing, crossing and vision are just superb and was taken off early to give him a deserved rest.
Fuego 6 - I think Fuego is going to have the 6 to 5.5 score for most of the matches and I don't think I even have to watch his play to know. He sits deep in midfield and mops up lose balls, tackles opposition attackers, this allows for the other players to be more adventurous, but he himself could be more involved at times.
Parejo 6.5 - Generally good performance, kept the ball well, good and precise passing, still a bit too easy to go down on occasions and still has a tendency to dribble sometimes when he should pass quickly.
Gomes 6.5 - Probably his best game so far, yes it was against a weaker Cordoba side, but that can't take away from his performance. Was really involved in the attacking play, started many of the chances in the team. EDIT: Seems he didn't provide the assist, so I'm changing the score.
Piatti 5.5 - Should have done more, was outshone on the flank by Gaya, was outshone in the penalty area by Paco and Feghouli on the other side has a brilliant and very impactful game, hopefully will come back stronger next game.
Paco 6.5 - Stunner of a goal, that may be goal of the weak in La Liga. Was active and dangerous throughout and perhaps could have done better on one occasion where he beat his defender but shot straight at the goalkeeper, still overall a great performance.
Feghouli 7.5 - What a great game for Feghouli. Provided a brilliant assist for Paco's first, he got rid of his marker and his cross was utterly precise. Was involved heavily in the attacks all game long and culminated with him scoring the third goal for Valencia CF.
Carles Gil 6.5 - Replaced Piatti and was more or less a similar threat as him, provided a different approach though and was able to hold the ball better than Piatti due to his stronger and bigger physique. Assisted Feghouli's goal.
Orban 6 - Replaced Gaya early on and continued his solid work defensively, great precise passing and always mindful of his position. Didn't venture too much forward, but did support Gil on the flank and was always available for a pass.
Robert N/A - Not enough time and Valencia CF had stepped into lower gear at that time.

Man of the Match: Sofiane Feghouli
Flop of the Match: Pablo Piatti
Best offense: Andre Gomes
Worst offense: Pablo Piatti
Best defense: Nicolas Otamendi
Worst defense: None
Best possession: Andre Gomes
Worst possession: Joao Cancelo