Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Juventus 1-0 Valencia post-match

Seems like it's only me interested in writing posts here these days.....

Valencia's Champions league campaign ended as it started, a useless attacking display ending in a defeat to Juventus.

Just one change in the line-up, Soler was dropped, Kondogbia returned and Coquelin shifted to right wing. Overall, I was mostly satisfied with the team's play and would give them 6/10 collectively. Neto did very well, the defence too. Wass is not the long term right back solution, but handled his side well, I remember one moment when Ronaldo threatened to go one on one and Wass made a key tackle. Gaya similarly. Paulista continues at a good level, got beaten for the goal but it was a moment of skill by Ronaldo so I can forgive it. Diakhaby I rate as a good pick-up given his age and potential, but he still has areas to improve. His aerial game is decent but could be better and he still doesn't look 100% confident releasing the ball, but he was the closest of our players to scoring with a great header just before half time. Coquelin was good as usual and deserves a starting place. Guedes better this game, but still short of last season's level, Marcelino recently put it down to the fact that he hasn't totally recovered from injury.

The let down was in central midfield and attack. Okay, Parejo wasn't a disaster. He remained calm and got us out of a few jams with his passing but he also screwed up twice, leading to breakaways which could have cost us a goal, one from a rubbish corner.... I said in the last post that he's been poor at set pieces. Kondogbia, on the other hand, was just rubbish. Offered almost nothing, don't know what's happened to him since last season?

Rodrigo and Mina were totally anonymous and bossed out of the game by the Juventus defence.  Rodrigo's substitution was due to injury worries, but it didn't matter as Gameiro and Bats offered nothing after coming on to suggest they'd have been better. Soler, similarly was poor and he looked tired same as the last game.

Final criticism is that I thought we were too negative. I could accept us sitting back in the first half but after going a goal down, we may as well have gone for it: losing 3-0 would have been the same. It's frustrating to lose out to a mediocre Man Utd team who qualified due to a handball goal, but in the end I don't think we can complain too much. The performances this season have not been those of one of the best 16 teams in Europe.