I do not believe in god but I can only imagine that the Sporting Players go to church every Sunday without fail and are very good to their mothers. How they won this game today should be added to one of the wonders of the world and they certainly had somebody looking over them.
Chance after chance came and went in a first half totally dominated by Valencia. It had to be only time when we would take the lead.
Negredo and Feghouli missed more than one easy chances and we could and should have gone into the second half with 4 or 5 goals, whilst Gijon had not one half chance. We have witnessed some frustrating games this season but nothing could compare with this. I cannot blame any particular player because it was, in my opinion a good all round performance even with Piatti and Barragan who have been taking a lot of criticism this season playing well. During the break the supporters were discussing how it was that we were not well ahead and surely the goals would come in the second period.
Not for the first time this season the away team sensing that we were getting a bit nervy began to have a bit more of the ball after the break and then the impossible happened. Danilo appeared to trip a Gijon player in the 49th minute, the ref awarded them a penalty and Sanabria stepped up to leave Ryan no chance. It was cruel and we all know how cruel football can be but this was cruelty at another level.
Still 40 minutes to go and plenty of time to get the 2 goals to give us the win we deserved. Time after time chances came and went and this is a game that Negredo will never in his life forget. If he has any sleep tonight I will be surprised as today he missed 3 or 4 chances that no professional footballer should ever miss. I just do not know what to say about Negredo. No player ever goes out on the pitch to play badly and miss open goals or give away own goals, it is a players worst nightmare but tonight Negredo will be waking up in cold sweats no doubt.
I am writing this still wearing my scarf having just got in from the match and therefore may need to make some alterations later but my feelings are that the players really went out with a will to win and played some really good football, some of the best this season in my opinion and the scoreline does not reflect this. However it will be seen as a disaster for the team and Neville to lose at home to such a poor side as Gijon, and they are a poor side. My thoughts are now is that we should stay focused and look forward to the games against Barcelona because believe it or not I see signs of improvement each week. Also lots of talk about a couple of new signings today. In my opinion they would have made no difference whatsoever today as we did not have GOD on our side that is for sure.
Ryan 6.5 No chance with the penalty and apart from that had nothing to do. He could have read a book in the first half he was so unemployed.
Barragan 6.5 Had a very good game today following his solid performance midweek against Las Palmas. Gary Neville is making a defender out of him possibly.
Abdenour 7 Showing some of his earlier season form again before his injury. now looking a lot more assured and making some great tackles. For some reason I really like this guy.
Mustafi 7 Showing again his best form and much more assured today hardly putting a foot or a head wrong.
Gaya 6.5 Getting back to his best again and linking up well with
Perez 7.5 He is the main reason the team is looking more balanced now with his tackling and bringing the ball out of defence. Proving to be worth the vast sum spent on him. Just hope he stays fit.
Gomes 6 Not one of his better games today, seemd to lose the ball to many times IMO and his passes were going astray too much.
Danilo 4 A bit of a disaster day for this guy, passes going wrong, caught out of position and then giving the penalty away. I think he is lucky with 4
Feghouli 6 Had some great runs considering he is just back from injury and will soon be back to his old self I am sure. However today he missed some easy chances.
Piatti 6 Half decent game compared to earlier in the season, but still not strong enough. Had a great first time shot that was well saved.
Negredo 2 An absolute nightmare of a game today, missing so many open goals that it was just unbelievable.
Parejo 7 Brought some added skills to the game that were, at times missing in the first part
Bakkali 7 Caused all sorts of problems when coming on and made a number of good openings that were wasted.
Rodrigo 6.5 Had a couple of headers that were just wide.
Gary Neville 7 Put out a good strong team and used the subs well. Cannot be blamed in any way for the outcome of this. We have to remember the adulation Negredo got from many supporters when he was left out by Nuno. Neville cannot kick the ball in the net for him, that is up to him. Another thing is when the supporters were canvassed as to where the team needed strengthening 90% said it was midfield and only 6% said we needed a new striker.
More to come later