Valencia CF won a tough match against FC Lyon and now sport 3 points from 2 matches in the Champions league. This was a positive surprise, I was expecting a loss in this match and then try and turn it around against Gent with two wins against them and get at least one more win at home, but this is just amazing, a positive result finally.
I predicted a 2-1 loss for Valencia CF, but the team surprised and managed a win against a very tough Lyon side playing on their home terrain. Lyon definitely had their fair share of chances and came close to scoring on several occasions, but what was luck, what was good saves by Jaume, they just couldn't place the ball in the net.
The match started with Lyon more on the offensive, though generally both teams were interchanging in attack and defense, it was one of those games where Lyon would attack for a while, then Valencia CF will get the ball and attack for a while and back and forth like that.
Olympique Lyon had one great opportunity through a free kick, the ball was heading into the net, but a wonderful parade by Jaume saved the goal barely. Lyon had few more chances, mostly through some mistakes by Mustafi who lost several one on one duels when coming a bit forward, but Valencia CF were lucky that Lyon couldn't capitalize.
Valencia CF had few chances as well, with Aymen Abdennour coming close to scoring on two occasions as he headed the ball just wide the first time and then headed the ball into the post, though unfortunately the rebound was ultimately cleared.
Pablo Piatti also had a shot on goal, but he sent the ball directly towards the goalkeeper, makingit easy for Lopes to make a save.
After breaking up a Lyon attack, Valencia CF would get a quick counter attack opportunity with Pablo Piatti moving the ball forward, he sort of moved in centrally, looked at who was available and sent a pass to the oncoming Feghouli who released a powerful long range effort that managed to beat the goalkeeper and end up in the net, giving Valencia CF the lead.
The second half was mostly Lyon attacking relentlessly and Valencia CF defending almost all the time, with the exception of few occasional forward drives, mostly counter attacking tries. In fact Lyon came close to scoring several times, they had several shots barely blocked at the last moment, with Aymen usually barely making that final block. Unfortunately Aymen got injured and had to be replaced by Santos who right off the gate made a crucial mistake as he lost his target and allowed a dangerous chance for Lyon, that thankfully wasn't converted on.
Lyon's most dangerous player was definitely Valbuena, causing all sort of troubles for the Valencia CF defense on both sides of the pitch as he was playing all around the pitch and changing positions often.
There would be a huge scare in the final minutes of the match as Lyon had a header and a shot saved by Jaume one after another, all coming from corner kicks from the left side. Thankfully the danger was cleared on the third corner in a row and Valencia's defense had a slight breathing room.
Ultimately Valencia CF would win the match 1-0, thanks to the goal from Feghouli in the first half. This is a crucial win for Valencia CF and one that gives the team good chances of making it through the group, though for this result to count the team would have to win twice against Gent.
Olympique Lyon: Lopes, Jallet, Bisevac, Morel (Ghezzal, min 78), Um, Darder (Ferri, min 43), Gonalons, Tolisso, Valbuena, Kalulu, Lacazette (Beauvue, min 74)
Valencia CF: Doménech, Cancelo, Mustafi, Abdennour (Santos, min 59), Orban, Javi Fuego, Enzo Pérez (Danilo, min 84), Parejo, Feghouli, Negredo (Rodrigo, min 71), Piatti
Sofiane Feghouli 0-1, 42 min. Assist Pablo Piatti
Jaume 8 - Make one great parade in the first half to keep the ball out of the goal, after a dangerous free kick and then made several saves in the second half, including two saves in stoppage time one after another to give Valencia CF the win.
Cancelo 7 - Improving with every game, was secure and confident when defending and went forward to a great extent in the first half.
Mustafi 5.5 - Was overall okay, but lost few one on one battles when coming out of the penalty area and that created danger for Valencia CF
Aymen 6.5 - Once again great one on one marking and tackling, had much better positioning and crucial with few blocks in defense before leaving injured.
Orban 6 - Was fairly good defensively and had one or two good forward movements.
Fuego 6 - Had a good game and his positioning was spot on all game, covering defensively superbly.
Enzo 6 - Mixed performance, had some good runs forward and some nice passes, tactically sound, but unable to play with Parejo in order to control the midfield.
Parejo 6.5 - Accomplished performance from the captain, led the front line and always tracked back and defended firmly.
Feghouli 6.5 - Scored a nice long range goal and was dangerous on occasions, but his forward drive was a beat weaker than usual as he wanted to slow down the game often.
Negredo 4 - Might as well been playing without him, barely touched the ball few times.
Piatti 6.5 - Good performance overall, made the best he can out of his runs and provided the assist for Feghouli's goal.
Santos 4.5 - Made two giant mistakes both when he covered at the left back position as he lost the man he market twice. Don't know if he wasn't fully warmed up as Aymen had to be quickly replaced, but this wasn't a good performance.
Moreno 5 - Didn't really one up Negredo in any way, though he did track back a lot more and was playing in a more midfieldish role.
Danilo N/A - Not enough time