Monday, March 7, 2016

Valencia 1 - 3 Atletico Madrid

Not good enough, that is the lasting impression after the dust has settled.  Today we played a team with eleven good quality players, plus their subs,  whereby we had maybe six or seven and I will leave it to you all to argue who they are.

For 70 minutes we were doing fine and matching all that Athletico had to throw at us. They had numerous opportunities but so did Valencia.

It was the 24th minute when they went in front when Javi Fuego got himself in a tangle with the ball in a dangerous position in a situation normally reserved for Parejo. He was easily robbed and that man Greizman slammed the ball into the bottom corner to put the visitors in front,  This is a situation that as Valencia supporters we are well used to, going a goal behind in the league. But within 3 minutes we were back in the game. A great cross from the left from Siqueira found the head of Alcacer who cushioned a great header for Cheryshev to blast home putting us back on level terms.

Enzo Perez had to be replaced at the break by Danilo after suffering discomfort in a game that was pretty even at that time.  Athletico though continued to press for the winner but Valencia were giving a good account of themselves. Cheryshev was then replaced by Rodrigo in the 61st minute and with the inclusion of Fernando Torrres for the visitors the game changed against us. A corner from the right was headed on to the back post where Torres was left totally unmarked to poke the ball home.  The question is, where was Gomes, where was Cancelo.  both or either should have been covering but failed the simple test yet again.

Things got worse when 10 minutes from the end Santos was sent off for his second yellow card after a silly trip and then came a strange moment. As Fuego was being replaced it appeared that Abdennour was to come on. Then the crowd went crazy shouting fuera ! fuera !,  which roughly translated means,  "We don't wholeheartedly agree with this decision"  therefore Abdennour was told to sit back down again and Negredo, " the saviour "  was introduced to the proceedings. The crowd reaction was amazing as if the 'Messiah' had come to get the 2 goals in the final 10 minutes to save the day.  Unfortunately all he really contributed to the game was to give us all a few laughs by clumsily falling over like a Liverpool drunk on a Saturday night on Merseyside and then Carrasco put the game beyond reach with their third goal beating a very slow Alves.

So many more goal incidents to talk about but too many to mention really but the overall feling I have is that you cannot play Atletico Madrid when half the team are under performing or just not good enough. A right back is needed together with central defender, another striker and midfield playmaker of top quality. It will be up to the new manager to make a clean sweep and start again next season.

After seeing the game again on tele. We could have lost 2 more players with red cards.  The high foot from Siquiera on Vietto which nearly ripped his shirt off his back and left stud marks down his back was deserving of a red card in my opinion. Also the yellow card that Feghouli received could well have been a red on another day as his foot was very high and it was a dangerous tackle.  We complain about the refs giving us a hard time but we were a bit lucky for sure. Also watching the performance of Santos again  I think the 5 I gave him was generous and therefore I have adjusted it.  Also the three subs today were embarrassing in my opinion.
I thought the band at half time played well and I would like to award them with  8

Player Ratings

Alves 4.0  I never thought I would ever see him play so badly, he was awful and should have saved all the goals. .  Why is Jaume not in the team, he has never let us down and has to be reinstated soon, not soon, NOW!
Siquiera 6.5  After a shaky start I was really quite pleased with his performance, he put in the cross for the ball and gained confidence as the game progressed.
Mustafi 6.0  Too many bad passes for a higher mark but worked hard and needed to be on his toes with the tough opposition.
Santos 4.5  Not a good game today and the 2 yellows were costly to us. Also gave the ball away too many times when not under pressure.
Cancelo 5.5  As a defender he would have scored a 3 but his attacking was far better. We have needed right back for so long now, why are we playing him there when he cannot defend.
Fuego 5.0  Really awful performance tonight after a positive display in his last game and responsible for the first goal along with Alves.
Perez 6.0   Why can he not finish a game ?  he was looking ok and playing reasonably well and working hard as usual but needed to be replaced yet again.
Gomes 6.0  Had some great runs with the ball but as usual no real end result. I would really like to see more end result from him.
Feghouli 6.5  Had a good game and set up some chances for others but no real opportunities to score himself.
Cheryshev 7.5   Such a shame he went off as he looked a class apart tonight. Looked like he might score every time he went forward. He has to stay next season.
Alcacer 6.5  Laid on the goal with a nice header and worked hard but not too many opportunities as we was well shackle by the defenders.

Danilo 5     46th min  for Perez  gave the ball away too many times and really weekend the team.
Rodrigo 5  61st  min  for Cheryshev contributed totally zero to the cause.
Negredo 5  83rd minute for Fuego the third sub to come on and do nothing although he did nothing in less time.

Greizmann 24 mins 0.1
Cheryshev  27 mins 1.1  Assist Alcacer
Torres  71 mins       1.2
Carrasco 85 mins    1.3

Santos 2 yellows RED
Feghouli  Yellow