Sunday, October 25, 2015

Atletico Madrid 2-1 Valencia CF Match Report

Valencia CF failed at their first major test this season and although I expected a loss, I didn't expect Atletico Madrid to be so much better and pretty much control the game and at almost all times have the upper hand.

I was expecting a slow start and expecting Nuno to focus on a slow and meticulous game and he had the players for such a game, but the opening moments of the match were really fast paced and back and forth. In fact the first big chance came for Valencia CF, but Cancelo's shot was stopped by Atletico's goalkeeper and ultimately nothing came from that chance. Maybe better finishing would have completely changed the match if Valencia CF were to score early, but that wasn't the case and as usual Valencia CF was punished.

Nuno Santo had setup 4 midfielders in order to control the midfield, but that failed miserable and even though the ball possession was similar, it felt like Atletico Madrid were doing so much more with their possession and being a lot more threatening than Valencia CF.

So it didn't took long for Atletico to take advantage of Valencia's poor play, especially in the defense as Martinez was running into space following a clearance at the back of Atletico's side and a simple long ball was failed to be cleared by BOTH Mustafi and Santos. Jackson Martinez basically got a gift and alone on goal he easily slotted past Jaume who stood no chance. One of the worst defending I have ever seen, its so bad to have it placed in highlight of terrible plays.

Anyways Valencia CF couldn't fight back after that goal and such a weird goal as well, its surely to demoralize anyone, its something that should never happen, but it did.

The second goal was once again a result of terrible play by Valencia CF players, its like all the players are in 3rd league or lower, its like watching under 16 team play, the memo was similar, Atletico Madrid clear from their back, one of Atletico players so easily went past Cancelo as he sort of fall on his own and basically allowed a very dangerous situation, Danilo was fast to react and track back though, but if he had any defensive credentials before, he won't and can't have now, he was tricked so easily by Carrasco as he was barreling down towards him, he didn't think to actually stop and position himself in front of him, he went diving for the ball, but Carrasco just moved to the other side, went a bit forward, no one was marking him and his shot ended up in the back of the net. Jaume should have done better personally and I think he is a good goalkeeper, but not world class like Diego Alves and losing him last season was horrendous and we are seeing how important a goalkeeper like Diego was to Valencia CF.

In the second half Valencia CF just couldn't react, the team pushed forward, but quickly lost the ball and the chances were at a premium as always with Valencia CF managing only 6 shots, and only one on target which was basically the first half save from Oblak.

You can't score goals when you can't create chances and you can't keep a clean sheet when you make such amateur mistakes in defense, those were amateur level mistakes and I can understand if the team is playing a very weak opponent and not taking it seriously and not concentrating hard, but they are playing one of the best opponents in Spain and Europe and making those mistakes, they are going to punish you and they did and realistically we should be lucky that they didn't score more goals, they certainly had the chances to do so.

Paco Alcacer made it more interesting in the 72 minute after converting from the penalty spot. Mustafi got the ball in the penalty area and even though he wasn't a threat at all Atletico defense made the mistake on going to aggressively on him and brought him down, making for an easy penalty call. 

Overall the result is not that bad, I mean a 2-1 loss at the Vicente Calderon is okay, but what is more worrying was the play, the mistakes the players were making, the lack of chances created, the lack of cohesion in the midfield, even with 4 classical midfielders Valencia CF was still unable to control the tempo and flow of the match, still didn't have higher possession, it was just a complete fail. Sure the midfield was not at fault in general for the goals, with the exception of Danilo for the second one, but it didn't create anything.

At this rate the winter transfer market can't come soon enough so that Valencia CF can offload some of the extra personnel and bring in some quality reinforcements. 

Technical Details:
Atlético Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran, Giménez, Godín, Filipe; Carrasco (Oliver, m. 67), Gabi, Tiago, Koke; Griezmann (Correa, m. 81), Jackson (Fernando Torres, m. 57). 
Valencia CF: Domenech; Cancelo, Mustafi, Santos, Gayà; Parejo (Bakkali, m. 55), Danilo, Enzo Pérez (Piatti, m. 80), André Gomes; Rodrigo (Paco Alcácer, m. 23), Santi Mina.

Jackson Martinez 1-0, 32 min. Assist Felipe Luis
Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco 2-0, 40 min.
Paco Alcacer 2-1(p.g), 72 min.

Player Ratings:
Jaume 6 - Did well overall, was kept busy on the night and had no chance for the first goal, but could have done better for the second one.
Cancelo 5 - Went forward to a great extent and was decent overall in defense, but his mistake for the second goal was too big, you can't make such mistakes on this level.
Mustafi 2 - What was that? At fault for the first goal and was suspect the whole match, often times beaten and ran jagged.
Santos 2 - As if he didn't want to be outdone by Mustafi in absurdness he flaunted at clearing a basic long ball. Was weak all match long.
Gaya 6 - Did well overall, went forward to a good extent and defended well, considering some of the mistakes that were made on the night.
Danilo 3 - Failed to protect the defense, partially at fault for the second goal and didn't add much to the midfield, he was just floating around as an extra player.
Enzo 5 - Back in the squad after a long injury and did okay, was fit enough, but even when fit he falls off significantly in the second half. Did have some good movement forward and was aggressive off the ball, but didn't create anything of note.
Parejo 5 - Pulled the strings in midfield as best as he could, though really lacks other players to exchange the ball with, so he is forced to do too much sometimes and takes on dribbles that end up in lost balls.
Gomes 4 - He is supposed to be the creative midfielder, someone that runs the channels, pops up everywhere and causes chaos in the opposition ranks, but was completely shut down tonight and didn't leave a big mark.
Mina 4.5 - Was not very effective and one can't blame him as the whole team was lethargic in attack and lacked ideas. Didn't have anyone to target in the penalty box.
Moreno N/A - Had to be replaced with an injury and preliminary reports say that he is going to be missing at least few months.
Paco 5.5 - Introduced for the injured Moreno and did okay, ran into space and tried to get on the back of defenders, but he was starved for chances and he didn't help himself either. Well placed penalty shot though to make it 2-1.
Bakkali 5.5 - Introduced for Parejo and he did add some urgency to Valencia's attacks, did add some pace and bigger threat, but the way the game was going he didn't have a big impact.
Piatti N/A - Late addition and not enough time to make an impact,