Saturday, May 9, 2015

Real Madrid 2-2 Valencia CF Match Report

Wow what a match. This was an extremely exciting and nerve racking match at the same time, with both teams coming close to winning, but ultimately ending in a 2-2 draw.

Valencia CF had the first big chance of the match, Paco Alcacer was released by a through pass alone on goal, but unfortunately he missed the shot and headed the ball wide off goal, this could have easily been 1-0 for Valencia CF had he had a little bit more composure and perhaps a bit more experience.

After some battle in the midfield Valencia CF would go on to score the first goal of the game, with Gaya running down the left flank, going past his marker and heading a cross towards the oncoming Paco who jumped to the ball and headed it past Cassilas and into the net. Valencia CF had taken the lead in what was a solid performance all the way building up to the goal.

Real Madrid would try to stage a comeback, but an injury to Toni Kroos would have him leave the field, with Valencia CF winning a free kick on the left side. Parejo took the free kick and crossed deep into the penalty area with Javi Fuego finding himself at the right place and heading the ball into the net, making the score 2-0 for Valencia CF.

After the two goals Real Madrid tried to come into the game, managing to hit the post and bar once and getting a few saves off of Diego Alves. Just before the final whistle though, Gaya brought down Bale into the penalty area and the referee immidiately called to the spot, giving Real Madrid an easy way in to get them going.

Ronaldo took to take the penalty, but he stutter stepped before taking the shot and heading his shot in the direction Diego Alves jumped, Diego punched the ball away, but the rebound felt to Ronaldo again, but once again he missed the shot.

The second half was really bad for Valencia CF, Carlo Anceloti made two changes with replacement of the two full backs, opting for more offensive power and it worked. Valencia CF were shut down on the flank, mostly due to Real Madrid constant attacks and Gaya and Barragan having to sit most of the time deep in defense.

Real Madrid would have several big chances, but fortunately Diego Alves had one of his best matches in a Valencia CF shirt and was able to save Valencia CF several times with astounding goalkeeping.

Unfortunately the good luck and amazing skill of Diego Alves wouldn't be enough and after a barrage of constant attacks by the Madrid side they scored a goal in the 56th minute, with Pepe outjumping the Valencia CF defense and heading the ball into the net, giving Real Madrid a lifeline.

I think Nuno needed to make a change about this time, I think Piatti was quite ineffective, Feghouli wasn't doing much better either, remove one of those and bring in Enzo Perez, establish more control in the midfield as Real Madrid were dominating possession and were able to use and abuse their possession dominance to create constant chances.

Unfortunately he waited until the 70th minute to bring in Negredo for Paco, which made sense, but didn't change the dynamic of the match. Before that though, Paco had one more chance to score, again on a cross from Gaya, Parejo and Gaya both had a shot on goal as well and Mustafi did come close as well from corners to scoring.

Real Madrid would score again unfortunately in the 84th minute as Isco was dribbling around the 25th meter mark, he escaped Barragan for a second there and decided to shoot, releasing a powerful shot that went into the top corner of the net, with Diego Alves having no chance of reaching it.

Until the end Negredo actually had two wonderful chances to score, both times alone against the keeper, one was a failed shot and the other a failed header, he really seems terrible, lacks confidence, lacks practice, he should have scored twice, possibly even scoring a hat-trick.

He had one more good chance, but he decided to pass to De Paul, who was in a good position as well, but his shot was terrible and basically just passed the ball to Casillas who had no problems scooping it in easily.

Exciting match, both teams could have won it, for Valencia CF Diego Alves was man of the match and the reason why Real Madrid didn't win, but Negredo, Paco and De Paul will be kicking themselves for their huge missed opportunities.

Technical Details:
Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa (Carvajal, m.46), Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Coentrao (Marcelon, m.46); Kroos (Illarramendi, m.26), Isco, James; Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale y 'Chicharito'.

Valencia: Diego Alves, Barragán, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gayà, Javi Fuego, Parejo, André Gomes (De Paul, m.77), Feghouli, Piatti (Orbán, m.89) y Alcácer (Negredo, m.69).

Paco Alcacer 1-0, 20 min. Assist Jose Luis Gaya
Javi Fuego 2-0, 26 min. Assist Daniel Parejo
Pepe 2-1, 56 min. Assist James Rodriguez
Isco 2-2, 84 min.

Player Ratings:
Diego Alves 10 - One of the best games in a Valencia CF shirt, made couple dozen astounding saves. Goalkeeping of the year.
Barragan 6 - Was okay in defense, its expected to lose some battles, but he gave the ball away one too many times and his forward contribution was severely lacking.
Mustafi 7 - Solid defending, good headed clearances, was a threat going forward on set pieces and one of the better players tonight for Valencia.
Otamendi 6 - Some good defending, some not so good. Went down way too easily in few challenges, leaving the Valencia defense vulnerable,  was not that strong in the air as he was beaten by Pepe and Ramos several times.
Gaya 7 - Average defending, had way easier time in the first half against Arbeloam found it way more challenging in the second half. Provided an assist though and was dangerous going forward.
Fuego 6 - Did well enough defensively, organized the midfield pretty good and tracked back fine, but was lacking when going forward, missing several passes under pressure.
Parejo 6.5 - Overrun in midfield, had some decent passed in midfield and involved in one or two chance, but overall didn't contribute too much in midfield and mostly relegated to defending. Did provide the assist to the second goal though.
Gomes 5.5 - Ran a lot and covered defensively, had some counter attacking moves initiated, but his final ball was lacking.
Feghouli 6 - Non threatening in attack, slow on the ball and his major contribution is his defensive cover. He needed to do more though and provide some threat going forward.
Piatti 5.5 - Again mostly defensive play, the few times he did get forward his final ball was lacking and he wasn't his usual speedy, fighting self.
Paco 6 - Scored the first goal, was generally in decent positions, had several opportunities, unfortunately he missed two great chances to score.
Negredo 3 - Wat a miserable performance. He could have had a hat-trick if he wasn't afraid to shoot, but he seems to lack confidence and doesn't seem sharp at all in front of goal. On this performance he is worth more like 2.5 million, rather than 25 million.
De Paul N/A - Didn't have enough time to influence the match, though he did have an amazing miss to give Valencia the victory.
Lucas Orban N/A - Not enough time.