Friday, February 26, 2016

Rapid Vienna 0.4 Valencia CF

It is easy to overplay a win like this and it is easy to underplay it. However we must not forget that Rapid beat Villareal 1.0 here then drew 1.1 in Spain a a few months ago and have also beaten Ajax this season and they were fighting to restore a bit of pride in front of their fervent fans.

I would imagine that both managers told the players not to go out and risk injuries in this game but to play for their pride and hopefully get a win.  This reflected in the first half with both teams seemingly intent on not going too mad to try to win.  There were very few chances made and little to excite the surprisingly large 38.000 crowd in the Austrian capital.

With Ryan surprisingly in goal when I would have expected to have seen Jaume play.  Gaya was left back because Siquiera, who would have played was ineligible. Negredo was recalled and Feghouli was playing a more central midfield role.  Mustafi and Vezo occupying the central defence.  A little surprised to see Mustafi play as it suggests he may not play against Bilbao at the weekend.

Tropi replaced Gaya at half time obviously for him to be fresh to play on Sunday. The scoring began when a delightful through ball from Javi Fuego found Rodrigo to cooly lob the out rushing goalkeeper to make it 1.0 in the 59th minute. It would be hard to see a better through ball than that anywhere.  Until then Rodrigo was having an awful time as is so often the case recently.  This seemed to liven the game and in the 64th minute Danilo obviously trying to prove my comment wrong also played a sublime defence splitting pass to set up Feghouli to make it a more respectable 2.0.   Then it was Feghouli, playing an unfamiliar central role, himself to also compete for the pass of the game after making ground through the middle before setting up Piati to make is 3.0 on the night.
Meanwhile  Mira had replaced Negredo on 65 mins and Tropi had come on for Feghouli in the 79 th minute.  Vezo rounded off an impressive night by heading home firmly a corner from Piati in the dying seconds to round off an impressive night for Valencia.

 A very good performance, there will be those who say that Rapid are a rubbish  team but maybe we just made them look rubbish. We have set a record of the highest aggregate win in a Europa League game. I have to say though to be honest Rapid looked really rubbish on their two games against us and would definitely not survive in La Liga.  We will face a stiffer test on Sunday from hopefully a slightly tired Athletic Bilbao after their tough match against Marseille last night.  Good to see the new boys given a chance but none really stood out to me apart from Lato who looked a safe bet. Also very nice to see through balls being played resulting in goals. The previous time we played them we scored with low crosses and now defence splitting passes through the middle. That is really reassuring for the future.


Player Ratings
Ryan  6.5  Mainly for staying awake apart from a couple of saves from shots straight at him. Why didn't Jaume play ?
Gaya 6.5   A good performance and getting back to his old self a bit now, although was not pressured too much.
Mustafi 6.5  Bossed the back 4 well and was not troubled all night.
Vezo 6.5   Played well enough and scored a fine goal from the corner, Like to see him get a few more corner goals.
Barragan 6   Even Barragan looked good tonight and did what was needed.
Fuego 7  I thought he had a really good game tonight and nice to see him performing again after his dip this year. Also great ball for the goal.
Danilo 6.5   Nice set up for the goal and worked hard as usual in the midfield
Feghouli 7   Playing in an unusual central role scored a nice goal and made one and generally looked comfortable in the role he plays for his country
Piatti 6.5  Awful first half where he was pushed about too much but despite being fouled every time he got the ball he scored a nice goal.
Negredo 6   One of his best forgotten games really,  had a couple of half chances early on which he didn't make the best of.
Rodrigo 6   Nice goal but didn't do much else to prove his ridiculous price tag that seems to be hanging around his neck.

Lato 6.5 for Gaya 46 mins  Looks like a decent prospect
Mir 6  for Negredo 65 mins Seen him a few times now and he hasn't impressed me, yet.
Tropi N/A   Not enough time.

Rodrigo 59 mins from Fuego
Feghouli 64 mins from Danilo
Piatti 71 mins from Feghouli
Vezo 88 mins  from Piatti corner

No yellow cards for us whoooopee !