Thursday, December 17, 2015

Valencia 2.0 ( 5.1 ) Barakaldo Copa Del Rey

                                                                 FRANCISCO JOSE  VILLALBA

I know people will say we shouldn't get too excited about beating a team like Barakaldo  however a win is a win and many other La Liga teams over the seasons have slipped up playing the lower clubs and underestimating them.  So a night for some young new faces to prove themselves and for some not so young to prove a point.
With the game starting with Wilfried Zahibo from the youth team lining up with the first team including Negredo up front we were in line for an interesting night.  The game started lively enough with chances at both ends and with the pressure on the away team to come out for goals. It was Valencia that opened the scoring in the 8th miinute with Santi Mina heading home intelligently after a great shot was parried out to him from Piatti. He picked his spot like a seasoned pro heading back across goal.  Chance after chance came and went but it wasn't until the 31st minute that Valencia made it 2.0  A great dummy by Negredo allowed Gomes the chance to slip it back to him for him to poke it home for a great goal.  Negredo had looked to have added another when a fine nod on by Zahibo allowed him to head home but he was ruled offside. It wasn't all one way and Barakaldo managed to force Ryan to a number of good saves to keep the score safe.

Overall a good performance but once again the missed scoring opportunities was a bit disappointing as was the performance of Barragan who was replaced by Diallo at right back in the 61st minute. I noticed Gary Neville having a real go at him in the first half. If anyone knows what a right back should be doing it's Neville.  Diallo looked safe and reliable and surely it cannot be long before he comes in on a more permanent basis

As for Zahibo,  he looked confident and had a really impressive game. Maybe in the second half he was getting a bit too confident and instead of doing the simple passes tried to do a little too much. However, I am sure that Gary Neville will have a word and he is still young.

OK and what about this kid Villalba ?  he came on at half time to replace Andre Gomez and what a performance he gave.  Gary Neville has compared him with David Silva and I think if Silva saw him play he would be quite flattered with the compliment.  We have seen cameos of Villalba before and I have seen him play for the youth team where he looked good but last night he was a revelation I.M.O.
He was wanting the ball all the time, doing little flicks through ( take note Parejo ) and has such quick feet it is incredible. He did not do one bad thing in the whole half he was on. Every ball he passed and every move he made was excellent.  This guy is going to be a top player very soon if bought on at the right pace. I would certainly be putting him in against Getafe at the weekend at least for another half hour.

The game petered out in the second half and it was apparent that Valencia eased up and saved themselves and eventually we won with ease.  A little disappointing 10,000 crowd even though stand tickets were going for 5 euros but the early rounds of this cup are never going to be a top draw.

Player Ratings

Ryan  6.5   A couple of good saves and showed why he is so highly regarded.  A difficult decision will have to be made in a few months perhaps
Barragan 4  Awful performance against a weak team.  An opportunity he wasted to show what he can do but only managed to highlight his deficiences.
Vezo 5   Not a great game for him tonight. He was caught out a few times and seems to be lacking a bit recently.
Santos  6   A solid performance IMO  didn't make any real errors and was busy. The game would have been good for him.
Orban  6.5  That's better.  Good to see Orban showing again what he is capable of after the disaster at Eibar last weekend.
Zahibo  6   A good game for the young player. Big solid lad that we need, Definitely a player with good prospects for the future for Valencia.
Parejo 6   A truly class player and some of his passes are of top quality and seem effortless. Fairly quiet game but did enough and knows he will be needed again at the weekend so nothing to prove.
Gomes 6  Found oceans of space on the left side and made some great runs.  Started the move for Mina's goal with a lovely through ball.
Mina  6.5   A great goal and a good performance, missed a good opportunity in the second half when miss controlling a great Negredo through ball but improving all the time.
Piatti  6   Much better from Pablo,  I and other have written him off too many time but tonight he had a good performance and showed, at times some of his old attributes.
Negredo 7  Neville wants to see the old Negredo that he saw in England.  Well,  he saw it tonight with this performance. Full of running and class,  needs to keep this up and he will be back in the goals soon.

Villalba 7  (on for Gomes 45 mins)   The guy has magic in his feet and just as important, in his brain, An amazing performance and could he one day be the player we all crave at Valencia, the star, the player we all want to see, the player people are talking about, the player we are disappointed when he doesn't play.  A player we will definitely be talking about a lot more very soon.

Diallo 6.5  (on for Barragan 61 mins)   A really good game and a massive improvement to Barragan. Really cool under pressure and ready for the first team in my opinion.

De Paul  6  (on for Mina 65 mins)    Did fine when he came on, always full of running and energy and surely he must get a goal soon as he gets himself into some good positions but fails to take advantage. Picked up a yellow card for silly dissent

Goals  Mina 8 mins
Negredo 31 mins