Sunday, September 14, 2014

Valencia CF 3-1 RCD Espanyol Match Report

Valencia CF continued with the good start to this season with another rather big win, but the result is a bit misleading, similar to last game. While Valencia CF won 3-1 over Espanyol, it was a rather lucky win as the linesman ruled a perfectly legitimate goal offside and damaged Espanyol. At the time the results was only 1-0 for Valencia CF, so if the goal stood it could have been a different match.

I think that offside call saved Valencia CF, just as Espanyol were becoming more dangerous and overallValencia CF has to improve rather drastically. Valencia's midfield is just terrible, they all play like individuals, rather than a team and no one is really available to receive a pass. Misplaced passes, lost possession, complete lack of understanding, etc... are just some of the midfield problems.

We are winning these games based on luck and individual strength of the players, rather than good team play or things of that nature and sooner or later the luck will leave and players won't always be in great form, the team play will have to improve if the team is to finish top 4.

I hope Nuno understands that the midfield is terrible and works specifically in that area to try and improve it. Its clear that the team is very good defensively, we also have the talent up front with Paco and Rodrigo able to score goals, Negredo is also a proven goalscorer so we have the canons up front as well, but its the midfield that is holding back our game. Its a major weak spot right now and Nuno needs to change something, before this weakness is exploited by better teams.

I liked what I saw from the defense, its very solid and generally secure, with Otamendi impressive with his blocks and tackles, but then having a blunder later in the game where he kept the ball too long and was fought off of it, that could have easily cost us the game as well, Valencia CF was very lucky.

Vezo was error free though, he didn't make any mistake, Barragan was very solid defensively providing good blocks and interventions and Gaya was very good as well, though this was his weaker performance this season, hopefully he has amazing performance in the next games like before.

I don't think the defense will change anytime soon based on the performances so far and in fact its likely to get even stronger as the understanding between Vezo and Otamendi grows. I know people want to see Mustafi play, so do I, but we shouldn't tinker with a winning formula and Vezo and Otamendi should start as long as we are conceding minimal goals. If that changes, then give Mustafi a chance.

I've already written about the midfield, this is the reason I wanted Enzo Perez or someone of his quality to join in midfield so we could have a more stable game, more organized game. Hopefully our midfield improves though, if not we can bring in some reinforcements in the winter, though I'd like to give the young players we brought in midfield few chances before we make any purchase.

I think the biggest issue is that Parejo and Gomes are too similar, if I was to describe it, its like playing with two Iniesta's at Barcelona. You need a Xavi type player and we don't really have him, we we are playing two players who are the same in play style and they are crowding each other and doing the same thing.

Technical Details:
Valencia: Diego Alves, Barragán, Vezo, Otamendi, Gayá, Javi Fuego, André Gomes, Parejo, Piatti (Carles Gil, m.82), Rodrigo (Feghouli, m.67) and Paco Alcácer (Robert, m.87).
Espanyol: Kiko Casilla, Javi López, Colotto, Álvaro, Arbilla, Víctor Sánchez (Cañas, m.78), Abraham (Lucas, m.46), Salva Sevilla, Stuani (Caicedo, m.65), Montañés and Sergio García.

Pablo Piatti 1-0, 7 min.
Daniel Parejo 2-0, 63 min.
Paco Alcacer 3-0, 73 min.
Sergio Garcia 3-1, 90 min.

Player Ratings:
Diego 6 - Had nothing to do most of the game, but was forced to make few saves and did well. Couldn't save a late game penalty though.
Baragan 6 - Good match for Baragan, defensively solid, making few good tackles and blocks. Didn't provide much going forward though.
Vezo 6.5 - Error free performance and good understanding with Otamendi.
Otamendi 6.5 - Had several crucial interceptions and blocks, though had one huge mistake that could have resulted in a goal had Espanyol finishing been better.
Gaya 6.5 - His "weakest" performance this season, but this was still very good. Solid defensively, went forward as much as possible and provided few crosses, but wasn't very effective in attacking sense.
Fuego 6 - Gave away a last minute penalty with a very nave foul in the penalty area. Provided good defensive cover though, but as always he was invisible in the middle of the park and serves more as a fifth defender than a midfielder.
Parejo 5 - If the linesman wasn't blind his mistake could have costed VCF the game as Espanyol would have equalized to 1-1. Wasn't his only big mistake either. Scored the second goal, but apart from that it was a very poor performance.
Gomes 4 - I swear him and Parejo compete who would be the worst player. Lost the ball so many times I can't even count that much. Apart from the one action he started that lead to the first Valencia goal it was a very poor performance.
Moreno 7 (MOTM) - Lively performance as he provided the assist for Piati's goal and was generally a threat throughout the match.
Paco 6.5 - Scored the third goal to secure the match and was generally good, finding himself in few dangerous positions.
Piatti 6 - Scored the first goal for Valencia CF, but apart from that he was rather invisible on the pitch. Had few runs, but lost the ball all the time.
Feghouli 6.5 - Instant thereat down the right side and provided the assist for Paco's goal. Combined well with Parejo and Barragan in his short time on the field and is close to his best form judging by this performance.
Gil N/A - Not enough time
Robert N/A - Not enough time

Man of the Match: Moreno
Flop of the Match: Gomes
Best offense: Moreno
Worst offense: Gomes
Best defense: Vezo
Worst defense: None
Best possession: Feghouli
Worst possession: Parejo and Gomes