Friday, March 12, 2021

Levante UD vs Valencia CF Match

  •    Levante UDLevante UD
    Valencia CFValencia CF

Valencia CF are coming into this match off of an uplifting victory over Villarreal CF, especially as they are coached by former Valencia CF coach Unai Emery and have 4 former Valencia CF players playing for them as well. In fact Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin joined them last season after a massive clear-out triggered by Peter Lim sold of or gave away some of our most veteran players. Villareal CF have also been playing really well in the league and quite higher than Valencia CF on the table, so it was a surprising, but welcomed win over them!

Valencia CF has won 2 of the last 3 matches, while Levante UD has lost 2 and draw one, so a slight advantage to Valencia CF if we go from recent results, in the last two years Valencia CF has won 3 and draw 1 of their games with Levante UD, so a slight advantage there as well and the matches have generally had more than 3 goals in the last three years, so I'm expecting a similar game, probably with 2+ goals and slightly bigger win probability for Valencia CF.

A year ago, Valencia CF were number 7 in the table with 41 points. Now they are number 12 with 30 points.

Valencia CF will be without several key players for this match, but this is an opportunity for other players to step up to the challenge and establish themselves. Uroš Račić, José Luis Gayá, Maxi Gómez, Carlos Soler, Denis Cheryshev and Cristiano Piccini will be unavailable for selection for Javi Gracia.

Valencia CF squad: Chillessen; Correia, Hugo, Paulista, Lato; Wass, Jason, Christian Oliva, Wass, Alex Blanco; Kang-In, Vallejo. 

Winning probability: Levante UD 23% win, Draw 50%, Valencia CF 27% win.

First Half:

10: Ruben Rochina fails to find the target with a shot from outside the box

12: Jorge de Frutos with a huge opportunity, but his shot hits the post

14: Morales with a good chance for Levante UD

15: Levante UD looking the more solid team so far

17: Goal for Levante UD

17: Long range pass to Roger, who easily tricks Diakhaby and goes for a low shot in the corner of the net, with Chillessen failing to catch the ball

20: Levante UD with 4 total shots and looking way more dangerous

22: Corner kick for Levante, shorts pass, but comes to nothing

23: Guedes with a shot, but is blocked and Valencia CF get a corner

25: VCF showing more initiative now, Correia manages to get a corner kick. 

27: Finally some attacking football from VCF, few probes, but nothing comes out of it

33: Guedes falls at the edge of the box, but play is continued

34: Guedes with a great long ball to Gameiro at a dangerous position, but he just dribbles himself and loses the ball (pathetic)

41: Valencia CF with more possession now(57%), but not doing much with it

45: Half time. Levante looking the better team overall, even when VCF took the initiative there was no credible threat. They seem like they could "attack" for weeks and not score even a single goal. 

Second half:

50: Guedes with a nice solo run, but shit shot is blocked

51: Guedes with a good cross to Correia who then crosses into the box in a dangerous position, but he is ruled offside.

56: over 10 minutes into the second half and Valencia CF doesn't look like it can score a goal

62: Ruben with a shot right in front of the goal, but Diakhaby blocks the shot and saves what would have probably been a goal

63: Vallejo in for Kang-In. Barely saw anything out of him, but that could be said for pretty much all of the players so far

69: Counter for Levante, Morales through on goal, but his shot is saved by Chillessen who bounces the ball short range and thankfully Paulista manages to get to the ball first by a millisecond and pushes it away from Roger

73: Valencia CF defenders definitely can't pass to save their lives. 

74: Gameiro sends a dangerous pass to Manu Vallejo who rushes towards the goal, but his shot is saved by the goalkeeper

75: Alex Blanco and Cutrone in for Hugo and Gameiro

84: Two more substitutions for Valencia CF, Musah and Jason in for Oliva and Correia. Last ditch effort by Gracia to try and salvage a point

87: Chillessen with a nice save after a dangerous counter attack by Levante UD

88: Sergio Leon scrambles a chance as he dribbles himself to lose the ball

93: Final time, Valencia CF with another terrible loss. The team didn't look capable of scoring

Match Report:

Levante UD started the match the more lively team and immediately started attacking. Valencia CF seemed asleep on the wheel and basically allowed Levante UD to make all sort of plays. They would have several shots on goal in the first 10 minutes of the game and were clearly the better team, which would pay off in the 17th minute when Diakhaby literally passed to the ball to Ruben, who then provides a long pass to Roger who then easily tricks Diakhaby to go in the wrong position, side steps and easily slots the ball into the net. 

Levante would continue with the initiative and try their luck few more times, before essentially pulling the foot off the pedal and sitting back with numbers and defending. By the 25th minute Valencia CF had started attacking and had few shots and probes, but noting substantial, it was all long shot tries. Guedes would shoot few times from short and long range, but his shots were blocked, Correia would cross the ball into the penalty area few times, but no one was there to intercept or the crosses were wildly inaccurate and basically nothing worked. 

The most dangerous chance for Valencia CF and I'd say the only real chance came in the 34th minute when Guedes send a long range cross to Gameiro in a dangerous position, but unfortunately Gameiro dribbled himself and lost the ball. 

Anyways I don't remember a chance better than this, until the end of the match all Valencia CF could muster is some long range shots that were mostly blocked. Valencia CF could have been allowed to field +1 player today and they still wouldn't have scored, they did not look capable of scoring a goal. 

Do I see any positives from this match? No! There is literally no positive that I can take from this match. Will the returning players make a difference? No! I don't see a name that didn't play today that would have made a difference today! If we went back around 13 years ago, I could say put in Aimar, put in Baraja, put in Kily, Rufete, etc... today I see no player that wasn't available today that would have made a difference if they were available. 

Player Ratings:

Chillessen 5.5 - Had two decent saves, nothing major, but his saves were dangerous blocks that ended up near him again

Paulista 5 - Bad passes from the defender, between him and Diakhaby VCF probably lost the ball 10-15 times

Diakhaby 3 - Gives the ball away to Ruben who passes to Roger who then easily tricks him and he goes flying, while Roger calmly slots the ball into the net. Pathetic! Saved a certain goal from Ruben, but doesn't excuse his terrible pass and defending for the first goal.

Hugo 5 - Didn't do much, wasn't at fault for the goal though

Lato 5 - Went forward to the best of his ability, worked quite well with Guedes, but nothing substantial, no impact on the match

Oliva 5 - You would be excused if you didn't know he was playing. There, not there, didn't matter.

Wass 5.5 - Sat slightly deeper back and spread the ball reasonably well, did intercept few balls here and there, so a slightly better performance than the other players

Correia 5 - Provided some crosses into the penalty box, so it wasn't a completely useless performance, but failed to track back enough and didn't offer much in midfield or attack either.

Guedes 7 -The most active player on the field, had several good passes in dangerous positions and tried few shots that were unfortunately blocked.  

Kang-In 5 - Invisible for most of the match, had few flashy moves, but mostly lost the ball and didn't threaten Levante at all.

Gameiro 4 - Scrambled two good opportunities, he is very clumsy when moving the ball with him. Had a good pass to Guedes I believe, but that was his only decent contribution.


Vallejo 5.5 - Was energetic when he came on, had a good shot at goal and was probing around to find an opening, but it wasn't to be.

Alex Blanco N/A - Not enough time

Cutrone N/A - Not enough time

Musah N/A - Not enough time

Yason N/A - Not enough time