Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Real Zaragoza 0-2 Valencia (Copa del Rey)

A quick summary, since it's late here. Valencia did manage a comfortable enough 2-0 victory which basically puts the tie in the bag, which is for the best, as the second leg will be on 29 November, a few days after the game against Barcelona.

Marcelino went for nearly full rotation in the end, with only 2 players continuing from the previous game: Parejo and Gabriel. Maksimovic and Nacho Gil started for the first time and both had a good game. Vezo returned from his injury and was solid enough. Orellana was recalled, though in a more centre forward position which didn't suit him, however, he didn't perform badly. On the flip side, Mina and Pereira really didn't take the opportunity provided to them as starters as both were a bit wasteful.

The game wasn't the most inspiring. The first half saw Valencia clearly dominant and mostly camped in Zaragoza's half, but the final balls were lacking and disappointing. Zaragoza had a bit more of a go in the second half, with their attack led by our ex-player Vinicius Araujo. He created their best chance in the 59th minute and it's hard to see how they didn't score from the cross. It was easier to hit the target than miss. Either side of that, Orellana had nearly scored twice, the first with a shot well saved and the second a shot just over. Zaragoza also nearly gifted us a goal with a bit of lunatic defending, the defender nearly scoring a comical own goal.

With Valencia frustrated by defence in depth, Marcelino rolled out the big guns, bringing on Rodrigo, Guedes and Soler for Mina, Pereira and Orellana and we finally broke the deadlock in the 81st minute. A short corner routine ended with Parejo centring for Rodrigo to head home. Rodrigo had had a really good game after coming on and this was a good reward for his efforts. In the 90th minute Valencia sealed it. Guedes and Gil combined well, with Gil bundled over in the area for Parejo to convert the penalty. Even the Valencia of the previous two seasons wouldn't have thrown the tie away from this position so this one should wrap it up with ease in 5 weeks' time.