Sunday, December 23, 2018

Valencia 2-1 Huesca post-match

Valencia end 2018 with a win. So, all good, right? As anyone who watched it will tell you, far from it. It was more of the same turgid rubbish with the team achieving the miracle before Christmas of a win due to a goal with the last kick of the game in the 93rd minute. Remember this is at Mestalla, against Huesca, the bottom team and relegation favourites, who haven't won since 19 August and who have 4 points from their last 14 games. Valencia did their best to give them a Christmas gift and it looked like Huesca could seriously win it towards the end.

There had been some good Valencia moves and the team hasn't lost the knack of transitioning to fast counter-attacks, but this season, the final product is always lacking. The opening goal for us may even have been a mistake. It looked to me like Parejo was aiming for the other side, where a defender or the keeper probably would have blocked it, but instead he scuffed his shot and it looped over the keeper into the other side.

With our attacks showing the usual incompetence, you could almost have written the script for what came next. Soler was the culprit this time, giving away yet another soft penalty. The end was nervous stuff, Huesca had a breakaway that another team would have scored and a penalty shout but it was Piccini at the death who stole the points.

Weirdly, that win ensures that Valencia will finish the year in at least 9th place (could be 8th if Levante don't get a point in Vallecas later) and that's the first time this season that we've been in the top half, just 3 points away from the Europa league spots (but still only 5 ahead of relegation.) It feels undeserved and the mood of dissatisfaction and questions about the manager will persist into the New Year, though these 3 points have almost certainly saved him till January.