Sunday, November 30, 2014

Valencia CF 0-1 FC Barcelona Match Report

Great performance by Valencia CF for 93 minutes ruined by a last second goal by Barcelona. Draw would have been a fair result, both teams had few chances on goal, in fact Valencia CF probably had the better and more dangerous chances with Negredo and Feghouli coming very close to scoring, but Barcelona's goalkeeper Bravo kept the ball out and kept Barcelona in the game.
Diego Alves did have two great saves as well in all honesty, but these were the more standard saves, one would expect those saves, while Bravo really did pull some miracles to keep the net clean.

Nuno Santos decided to start with 4-3-3 formation, with Feghouli playing on the right and Moreno on the left side with Negredo leading the front line. As expected Barcelona started the match with control of the ball and were the ones controlling the tempo, while Valencia CF looked to break their attacks and try to get a quick counter attack going.

This was pretty much the first half of the match, with both teams having few chances, on the Barcelona side Neymar had a close shot, Suarez shot at the keeper and on Valencia's side Moreno and Gomes both had very good chances.

The second half Valencia CF came out with more pressure in the midfield and started controlling the ball more in the middle of the pitch, which would pay off as there would be more chances, with Feghouli and Moreno really working hard on the wings and providing some good crosses and dangerous passes. Unfortunately though Negredo wasn't wearing his goal scoring boots, I think it might have even been a mistake to start him this game, I mean he did well enough and his physical presence helped, but he did have few chances that could have been converted to goals. For example there was the shot from Moreno that got reflected by Bravo, but Negredo wasn't positioned properly to get onto the rebound.

Barcelona did have what looked like an onside goal disallowed, but they don't have the right to complain too much as this was a rather close decision that could go both way and in the past they've had blatantly obvious offsides allowed as onsides and the opposite for Valencia CF who've had clear goals being ruled offside.

Anyways just as the match is about to end, disaster strikes. After some mess in the penalty area the ball comes to Messi on the left side, he crosses deep into the center of the box, someone heads the ball, but Alves saves the shot, only for the ball to bounce to Busquets who scored the goal.

Sergio Busquets 0-1, 93 min.

Player Ratings:
Diego 8 -  Amazing performance by the goalkeeper, had several good saves and was really unlucky to concede a goal.
Barragan 8 - Was pretty much always on point, good defensively, good offensively, no mistakes made.
Mustafi 7.5 - Good positioning all game long, made some good tackles and was generally solid defensively.
Otamendi 6 - Was exposed several times and had a huge gap where he operated. Some good blocks and tackles, but some poor positioning at times.
Gaya 7 - Marked Alves perfectly, completely shut him down and was very dangerous when going forward, providing dangerous crosses and good passes. Was exposed when going in more centrally though and didn't seem to communicate well with others who gets to cover what space.
Fuego 8 - Shut down Barcelona's midfield pretty hard, it was a collaborative effort with everyone else, but he always had good positioning and closed down spaces.
Gomes 8 - Great performance, really amazing movement when going forward, lost his markers with ease at times and provided some good passes and one dangerous shot.
Parejo 8 - Gave the midfield stability and presence, really held the ball well and was able to slow down the pace and retain possession for Valencia.
Feghouli 7 - Tracked back all the time and worked more as a defender than an attacked, but he did have some dangerous runs. Very threatening when running with pace at Barcelona's defense, should have scored a goal though. Had one clear chance, but his shot was poor and allowed Bravo to make a good save.
Negredo 6 - Had a good performance, really fought to get the ball and had some nice plays, but he did seem rusty at times when there were long balls coming towards him or through balls, he didn't quite knew how to intercept those.
Moreno 7.5 - Has amazing skill, quick thinking and good shooting ability. He was able to dribble past several Barcelona players and create opportunities for himself and others.
Paco N/A - Not enough time
De Paul N/A
Felipe N/A