Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Valencia CF 0-2 Juventus FC Match Report

Talk about a bad start to the season, it doesn't get worse than this. We knew coming into this match that it's going to be very difficult as Juventus have had almost the perfect start to their season, while we've had a terrible start and they are an established quality club who've won the Italian domestic title 7 times in a row and have been challenging for Champions league glory for the past few years as well.

So we knew it was going to be a tough match and we've be lucky to manage a draw against such a powerful side, but things started in a very positive fashion for Valencia CF as Cristiana Ronaldo threw her primadona temper tantrum and got sent off within 30 minutes of the match. I couldn't believe my eyes, this meant that Valencia CF now had a chance to get a result, a real and credible chance to actually win at home in their first champions league match.

Unfortunately Juventus playing with 10 men for 60 minutes didn't change anything, and from the one serious chance Juventus had after being down to 10 men, towards the late stage of the first half, they caused major issues for us. One chance after the 30th minute and they caused Valencia CF a heap of trouble which led to the penalty. I couldn't believe my eyes at the terrible defending from the midfield, where I don't remember which player it was, but he easily moved pass 3 of our players rushing towards him and trying to take the ball, coming at an angle towards him and he'd just move the other way and leave them in the dust, allowing plenty of space down the right side, he passed it down the wing, I think it was Matuidi who had plenty of time and space to setup perfectly and provide a really dangerous cross, it wasn't cleared by our defense, the ball fell further behind and they got a shot on goal, it hit the bar and the rebound was traveling left, Parejo rushed towards the ball, lift his leg way too high and hit Joao Cancelo in the face. It was a clear penalty due to dangerous play and hitting Cancelo.

Okay, we've got the whole second half, we are man up, we can do this I'm thinking. Second half starts, decent start to it, until just five minutes into it, Juventus with their first attack in the second half and they cause a ruckus in our penalty area yet again, then Jeison Murillo concedes a penalty for pushing Leonardo Bonucci.

Second penalty shot for Juventus and second goal, just five minutes in the second half. I didn't want to watch after this point on, all hope was lost for me and I knew we wouldn't be able to do anything, I knew it would finish pretty much 2-0 for Juventus. I still watched the game somewhat, had to minimize the video player at least 10 times because of frustration and the inefficiency of our play,

Ultimately we did decent in attack, had some half decent opportunities, we did pressure them and put them on their back foot several times, but nothing concrete, nothing that you know would result in a goal, we were fishing for a goal, basically just throwing the net wherever and hoping to catch something, it didn't work.

Our midfield was miserable, before Cristina Ronaldo being sent off, they had 68% of possession, they had control, they had the initiative, they were move concise and decisive, etc... Once they were reduced to 10 men they still had so much possession, they still had the more precise attacks, the most dangerous attacks, they defended well, positioned well, run so much and so hard to makeup for one less player.

They played pretty much one level above us with one player down. Would they have won without the two penalties? I don't think so, but the fact is they did earn two penalties, they were justified penalties, I'd be the first one to admit it. They deserved the penalties, our defense was way too shaky and insecure and scrambling to defend, a recipe for disaster.

All this said, I still think we have solid chances in the league, we have a solid squad with a lot of depth, we have enough quality, we still have Kondogbia who will return from injury soon, we also have Coquelin who is actually training and slowly gaining fitness after his season long injury last year, he proved solid when he played last season, we'll have to wait and see if he was reach his full potential after such a long injury and he is rather injury prone, this isn't his first long term injury, he's already had one major injury previously as well, but my point is we have solid players and the potential to be really good.

Sometimes you are mentally in a bad place, when you have several bad results in a row it puts your in a mental block, but the players need to get out of it, one win can change things completely and shift things in our favor.