Thursday, February 7, 2019

Betis 2-2 Valencia Copa match thread

Another draw! Valencia's 15th of the season but definitely one that the team will be more satisfied with than Betis. It looked like we'd screwed it up, conceding just before half time, with poor communication between Gaya and Jaume and the second was poor, Joaquin beating Jaume at the near post directly from the corner. There was debate before the game whether Neto should start instead, given that he has been in great form this season and that goal did Jaume's claims to start no favours.

So, 0-2 down, over and out? We hadn't even been bad, Rodrigo and Mina had come close to scoring before their first goal. To their credit the team rallied. The substitutions helped, with Kondogbia and Gameiro coming on and the latter was instrumental. Rodrigo fed a good pass to Gameiro in space to centre for Cheryshev to bundle a header past the keeper in minute 70. The game opened up, with Betis seeming to be unsure whether to push for a third goal, mindful of our away goal, or defend their lead. A defensive mistake nearly cost them, Gameiro getting on to it and making a good decision, centring the ball for Cheryshev whose header hit the bar. In the final minute of injury time we got a deserved equaliser with an excellent counter attack. Gameiro feeding Rodrigo on the left and the latter's pass was perfect for Gameiro to use his speed to get ahead of Sidnei to make it 2-2.

Plenty to improve. Dead balls, especially corners, remain our weak spot. Jaume and Soler among others had disappointing games (Gamiero should surely start instead of Mina) but the team did well to not give up and now has the edge of away goals, but has only half the job done.