Monday, January 25, 2016

Deportivo La Coruna 1 v 1 Valencia La Liga

Negredo saves the day from what could have been a disastrous evening in Coruna.

With Zahibo making a start in defensive midfield and Ryan retaining his place in goal Gary Neville was looking for his first win in La Liga.

The game began well enough with Valencia making the better of the chances and Negredo was unlucky when firing just wide of the far post.  Unfortunately though, as has been the case too many times recently we fell behind.  To be fair it was a well worked goal with dangerman Lucas Perez putting the home side ahead after catching the Valencia defence out with a smart through ball. Maybe Ryan should have stayed on his line and maybe Mustafi was caught in two minds, maybe Zahibo gave his marker too much space, however, it was a goal and we were one down in 27 mins.  It could have been much worse when a short time later Perez was adjudged offside when he was clearly not and it would have been 2.0 but for a very dodgy linesman decision.  If that was not a bad enough decision, he made an even worse one when again flagging Perez offside when he was a good 3 metres in his own half.  Maybe our luck is changing.

In an open game chances were being made at both ends but Barragan had to be taken off after a clash of heads when Mustafi inexplicable ploughed into him as he was about to head the ball away. Why Mustafi didn't just hold back to cover if Barragan missed it, only he can say.  So Barragan now has a broken nose and will be out for at least 3 weeks.

Vezo came on for Barragan but looked uncomfortable as usual in that right back position. Gary, that was your position surely you can see he is not a right back, for f'#ck sake. Bakkali replaced Zahibo and Rodrigo came on for Mina who was having a poor evening.

When all looked lost and the time was clicking away, a great cross from Parejo managed to pick out Negredo in a crowd of players and he made no mistake with a powerful header to rescue a well needed point. It silenced the noisy crowd and sent the Valencia bench into a frenzy.  It really seemed like we had won the game and I would say that in normal circumstances a point away to Depotivo is not a disaster but 3 points were needed today.  However after last season's 3.0 defeat, it has to be seen as an improvement I suppose.

Player ratings:
Ryan 5   Maybe should have stayed on his line to prevent the goal but mad a few easy saves and was not troubled too much.
Barragan 5  Just OK but we really need to replace him soon and maybe this week is a good time to bring somebody in because Vezo is a disaster.
Mustafi 5.5  What has happened to him, he really has dropped his level recently, but still a good player needing to get back to form.
Abdennour 6  The last 2 games he is looking like the good player he is in my opinion. I am not surprised on the rumours that Chelsea are looking at buying him.
Gaya 6  First game back and looked a little rusty but overall he had a reasonable game.
Zahibo 5  A little disappointing after his good game in midweek against Las Palmas.  Maybe should have got tighter in midfield to prevent the through ball for the goal but he is learning but I expect he will be replaced when Perez is fit this week.
Danilo 5  I can't quite make up my mind about this guy, he can win the ball well but then gives away possession too much in my opinion. Sees good openings but the his passes are just not sharp enough.
Parejo 6  Takes a lot of criticism but would be missed if not in the side.  Sprayed the ball about effortlessly and lovely cross for Negredo to score.
Mina 4.5 A poor game again tonight.  He is so inconsistent it must be a worry for Gary.  I hate the way he keeps falling over trying to win free kicks when he loses possession.
Gomes 5  Not a good night for Andre Gomez,  lost possession far too often and gave the ball away. He is another player who needs to find some of his old form.
Negredo 6.5  Maybe the loss of Alcacer is a blessing in disguise if Negredo is given a longer run in the team. It may be all he needs to find some goal scoring form. Took the goal well to steal the point in the final minute.
Vezo  4.5 for Barragan   Looked out of his depth again. Where has his past form gone
Rodrigo  5.5 for  Mina   Definitely an improvement on Mina tonight but needs the final touch improving.
Bakkali 5  for Zahibo   He always seems to liven things up in the final minutes of a game. Often runs into dead ends but causes panic in defences and draws players to him away from the middle when he gets the ball.

Perez  27 mins
Negredo 93 mins

Yellow Cards
Gomes and Vezo