Saturday, December 8, 2018

Valencia CF 1-1 Sevilla FC Match Report

Valencia CF has looked out of sorts this season and most of the games have been goalless borefests that haven't brought us many points. Draws are better than losses, but when most of your games are draws with barely any wins, you don't gain a lot of points.

So this was the situation going into this match and you can rest assured that this is still the case after the match against Sevilla FC. Marcelino fielded the usual team, replacing the out of sorts Kondogbia with Coquelin as this is an easy choice, everyone who's seen these two play in the last few matches knows Coquelin is in way better form right now. Everything else was standard and I'd say our strongest team right now. Maybe he could have benched Parejo and started Soler in mid, but we don't actually have any options on the right wing other than Soler, Feran is just not ready yet, Cheryshev has been injured for a long time and he is a left winger, always has been, so no real options there.

Knowing its most likely our best team and going into this match on a semi decent note having went through in the Copa, we had a good chance to win at the Mestalla against a good, but quite leaky Sevilla at the back.

Valencia CF started out strong with the team having a series of great chances from the start. In the 2nd minute Garay headed a free kick ball dangerously towards goal, only for Sevilla's goalkeeper to punch it only into the incoming Santi Mina who's shot was also at the hands of Sevilla's goalkeeper. Once again our inability to score this season rearing out its ugly head.

Valencia CF would have a few long range efforts throughout the first half, with Sevilla only having 1 shot on goal which was also a long range effort. It was a tight match, mostly fought in the final third on both sides, but neither side had clear cut chances. Valencia CF should have scored in that 2nd minute, it would have made the game look much different and would have given us a big confidence and moral boost. Unfortunately that did not happen and the second half looked much more favorable for Sevilla.

After some ineffective moves up front for Valencia CF and loosing the ball a bit too much to be caught out in counter attacks, one such counter would prove fatal as Sevilla would score a goal. While the initial threat was cleared by Garay, the follow up shot was a weird one, bouncing off of the ground and acting as a sort of pass to the oncoming Pablo Sarabia who's light touch flicked the ball just enough to slot it past Neto and into the net.

Valencia CF were now on the back ropes and tried to attack as much as possible, but nothing was coming together and we had discombobulated attacks with no real danger. Marcelino brought in Michy for Santi in a bit to shore up the offense, but I would have liked to see more steel in Marcelino's decision and Gabriel's injury earlier should have served as the opportunity to bring in Michy in place of Gabriel and make a statement that we are going after the win. In this case he chose Diakhaby to replace Gabriel, which in a turn of faith would actually prove right as he scored the equalizer in the final minutes of the match.

Either way, in 99 out of 100 cases that decision would have proved wrong, but today's was Marcelino's lucky day. Earlier on still he added Cheryshev for Guedes, who even though was not particularly effective, would have been smarter to leave him and replace Parejo, move soler in the middle and have Guedes play on the right.

I've been seeing Emery's Arsenal and he seems to be making bold decisions and big statements with his aggressive substitutions and has been working wonders for him and Arsenal. I'd like to see Marcelino be a bit bolder and aggressive with his subs.

Ultimately it was Diakhaby who scored the equalizing goal, it was masterful goal, no chance for the keeper to do anything about it and we get to draw and still be kind of relevant as we are still lingering close to the top teams in the table, but obviously a win would have been obviously better, but also a sign of a changing tie, a sign that the team is becoming more decisive and frugal, being able to win these scrappy games.

That is my 2 cents, tell us what your thought are for this match in the comments section, I'd like to hear everyone's thought's on this match.