Valencia move through to the next round of the Copa Del Rey thanks to a less than inspiring win at Granada. With already a 4.0 advantage from the first leg it was always going to be just a matter of not doing anything too silly to advance to the latter stages of the competition.
Time to give the B team players Zahibo and Villalba a start against struggling Granada and they stood the test reasonably well.
With a back line of Vezo Mustafi Santos and Orban, Zahibo defensive midfield and Villalba more forward in midfield and Piatti playing in what appeared to be a more central role, the team had a new look to it. However, it was Granada who had the better of the first half hour while our players were still getting used to the new system.
The scoring was opened by Zahibo heading his first senior goal on 42mins from a Piatti corner after Villalba had nearly scored his first goal. This was the end of Granada and the already near empty stadium began to look even more sparse as supporters perhaps hoping for a miracle finally gave up and went home or to a local bar.
We can criticize our players for a poor first half but just for a moment think about the home side's followers having to watch what was a dreadful performance by the men in the red and white stripes.
Bakkali came on in the second half for Cancelo and in the 63rd minute Paco Alcacer made it 2.0 on the night. A great through ball from Danilo found him in space and he made no mistake with his low shot. Paco had just replaced Negredo a minute earlier and took no time at all to get on the scoresheet.
Danilo was replaced by Diallo in the 70th minute.
A great run in the 83rd minute by Bakalli saw him tripped in the area and Piatti was allowed to do the honours by placing the ball in the bottom corner to make the score 3.0 on the night and take us comfortably through to today's draw.
Ryan 6.5 Made a few good saves but was not called upon too often. Looks very assured when used.
Vezo 4.5 Vezo is and never will be a right back. His tackling is dreadful and I am not sure what is to be done with him.
Santos 6.5 Looks to be improving all the time and is a no nonsense player, nothing to adventurous just gets the ball away.
Mustafi 6 Not a good night for the German and looked very slow at times and out of position. Never thought I would be saying this about our defensive rock
Orban 4.5 Another dreadful performance, what has happened to him, I do not know. made some good strong tackles but in my humble opinion he just gives the opposing wide players far too much space when they attack and allow them to run at him. Just not good enough
Zahibo 5.5 The game will have been good for him and it was right that he had the opportunity to play. I think he will be very pleased with his goal but his all round performance was a little disappointing.
Villalba 5 missed a good chance to score when robbed at the last minute. I thought he looked a bit nervous and although played a few nice balls is not ready for the big games just yet.
Danilo 6 A great ball to set up Paco for the goal and provided that bit of steel in the middle to help out the smaller players around him.
Cancelo 5,5 A game to forget really tonight. He seems to have lost his way a bit in the last couple of games since I gave him the 10 points a few weeks ago. Let's hope he gets back to form on Sunday.
Piatti 5 Playing a bit more central I thought it was a good idea as he should have been able to use his speed to cause problems down the middle but it didn't seem to work out that way. He got the chance of the penalty as Negredo and Parejo were not there and Paco was obviously feeling generous.
Negredo 4.5 Oh dear, not a night to remember for our 30 million euro striker. Hardly had any effect on the game against one of the worst teams we have played this season.
Bakkali 5 for Cancelo 45 mins
Alcacer 6.5 for Negredo 62 mins
Diallo 5 for Danilo 70 mins
Zahibo 42 mins Assist Piatti
Alcacer 63 mins Assist Danilo
Piatti pen 83 mins Assist Bakkali
Referee Estrada Fernandez 6 let the game run without too many silly cards
Gary Neville 6.5 Good to give the young boys a chance and I think he told the players to go out, not get injured and keep at least the 4 goal advantage.
Cards Orban Yellow