Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sporting Gijon 1-2 Valencia CF Match Report

Cesare Prandelli starts off his new coaching job with a significant win as Valencia CF look to get away from the relegation zone and move closer to the middle of the table. The coach had about two weeks to prepare the team and install some of his ideas to the squad, obviously not nearly enough time to make any big difference, but enough to make some small changes.

From the minute the whistle blew it was clear that this was a much more defensively oriented side, even though Cesare Prandelli said he didn't want the side to be defensive and would focus on attacking, it was a more defensive side. First he started with Mario Suarez and Enzo Perez and both sat deep on midfield, with only Parejo slightly forward in what looked more like a 4-2-3-1 formation, rather than a 4-3-3 one.

Apart from positioning and what seems might be a formation change, we also saw more restricted movements from Enzo and Suarez, time and time again both literally stopped running forward beyond a certain position, they would pass the ball and literally stop where they were, sitting significantly deeper. Only Parejo and the three forwards were allowed to be further forward. We also saw a more rained back Gaya and Martin Montoya who both rarely ventured forward and it seemed like it was a tactical decision, they both had chances to go forward and on 2-3 occasions they did, but overall they just sat back, somewhere around the middle of the pitch.

Valencia CF scored an early goal through Mario Suarez, who had a good game tonight, considering he was playing really defensively, but managed to score both the goals that led Valencia CF to victory. For the second he caught on to a headed ball by a Gijon player and volleyed past the keeper.

Sporting Gijon equalized at 41'st minute, it was a defensive mistake, think it was Santos who sort of stumbled all over, and allowed Carlos Castro to score past him. Clearly no amount of tactics can compensate for just poor defending, but hoping these individual mistakes get ironed out eventually in time as Prandelli focuses more and more on the defense and building up the team from there.

Overall it was an average performance, Valencia CF did create several chances and overall defended decently, clearly not a polished or great performance, but as long as the team is getting results, I don't care what type of play we have, I'd rather us playing badly and winning, than playing great and losing.

So again as I've started this article several visible changes to the team, to the tactics, to the position and formation, overall all of these were much more defensive and were meant to keep the team from conceding goals, which the team failed to achieve, but thankfully still achieved victory. Overall the defending wasn't bad for most of the match, though again there are clearly some individual mistakes in defending and positioning that need to be sorted out, these mistakes can cost us goals in other matches.

Player Ratings:
Diego 5.5 - Couldn't do anything about the goal, not too troubled other than that, had one good save in the second half.
Montoya 6 - Defensively sound and didn't venture much forward.
Garay 6 - No obvious mistakes from him and had a good game overall.
Santos 5 - Had one mistake and that cost us the goal, overall did well enough.
Gaya 5.5 - Caught in a bad position few times and didn't contribute much at all in offensive sense.
Suarez 7 - Scored two goals and was much improved from his previous games. Sat back deep and recycled possession.
Enzo 6 - Some nice tackles in the middle and defensive cover, didn't contribute in attack though at all.
Parejo 5.5 6 - Slow on some passes as he lost possession few times, though he did probe and prone throughout the match in the opposition third and it was his free kick that led to the second goal.
Cancelo 6 - He was a nuisance to Gijon defenders all match long and he was a threat at times, but again in most cases the final ball was missing to have a bigger contribution.
Moreno 6 - Involved in the first goal and found himself in two good opportunities after that, but just couldn't quite score himself.
Mina 4 - Not particularly effective and it seems as if he is not comfortable operating from the left side.
Bakkali 6 - Big improvement over Mina and caused Gijon tons of problems with his direct running and enthusiastic play.
Medran N/A - not enough time