Sunday, March 21, 2021

Valencia CF 2-1 Granada CF Match Report

What a match. First time in a long time I felt good watching Valencia CF play. I think that early 3rd minute goal changed so much, it allowed Valencia CF to settle in very well and get really comfortable and play some really good football. Valencia CF was attacking and controlling the match for most of the first half, it was really good.

The first goal came really early in the third minute, when Gaya got the ball on the left flank, rushed forward, got away from his marker and send a good cross into the penalty area, Wass fought away his marker and managed to get a leg to the ball sending it into the net. 

Valencia CF would have several quite good opportunities throughout the first half with Gomez, Alex, Racic all having opportunities to score, but unfortunately nothing else will go in. The most disappointing player was definitely Gomez who has good chances to score in the first half, but failed to make the best of them. 

Second half started a bit slower than the first one, with both teams starting sluggishly, but Valencia CF was definitely a gear down as they tried to sit back more and defend, but several good opportunities from Granada woke them up and they started playing football again. As I was thinking how we are playing worse than the first half and wanting the team to go up a gear, bam they score another goal.

Goncalo Guedes gets the ball and starts running forward with it, manages to pass and run away from few Granada players and send a solid through ball to Alex Blanco, this one perfectly controls the ball, runs a bit more forward and a bit sideways, sets up and releases a powerful shot that ends in the back of the net. 

After the second goal it was good back and forth football, with both teams having some nice chances, but I think Valencia CF had more chances, but unfortunately they didn't manage to convert them. Once again the main culprit was Maxi Gomez who was presented with plenty of chances in this match, but he failed to convert all of them. 

Towards the end Granada stepped up their tempo and started attacking in numbers, this scared Valencia CF and we started to see some really silly mistakes, ultimately resulting in a goal from former Valencia CF player Roberto Soldado. It was nerve racking 5-6 minutes from there on as Valencia CF closed out the match.

Overall a very nice match, nice performance by the team, plenty of chances created and two goals scored. The most disappointing things were the end game play, where they got scared and started playing badly, and Maxi Gomez who was presented with a lot of chances today, but failed to convert them. He's been unconvincing since arriving and I think its time to give other players like Kang-In more time in the place of Gomez.

First Half:

3: GOAL! Daniel Wass with a goal early on

3: Jose Luis Gaya with a cross from the left side, finds Wass and he scores to put Valencia CF 1-0 up early on

9: Gaya with another good cross from the left, this time to Alex Blanco, who's shot is blocked by the goalkeeper. Good chance! 

12: Maxi Gomez tried a long range shot, but is blocked and the ball goes for a corner kick

14: Valencia CF is the better team so far, but they need to keep up this tempo and not let up. If we get up two goals then they can slow down the game and ease up, otherwise they need to keep up the tempo

16: Chance for Granada, but fortunately they lose the ball in the penalty area

18: Granada with a shot towards goal, but the ball goes wide

22: Soler with along range cross towards the penalty area, the ball gets to Guedes who shoots and Granada's goalkeeper punches the ball away, but it falls close to goal with Alex Blanco and then Racic trying shots, but being blocked. Should have been another goal

29: Diakhaby with a great ball towards Wass, but this one scuffles with a defender and falls, but the referee rules play on

32: Sanchez is forced to bring down Maxi Gomez near the penalty area, as it was a dangerous position for Granada, yellow given to Sanchez

33: Soler with the free kick, but into the wall

36: Maxi with a good opportunity, but instead of going forward and shooting in what was a fairly clear path for him, he passes poorly towards Guedes and gives away the ball, disappointing

45: Half Time, Valencia CF slightly the better team

Second Half:

47: Goncalo Guedes releases a shot, it's parried by Rui Silva

58: Victor Diaz from Granada sends an effort wide of target

58: Roberto Soldado(former VCF player) with a good header, but Chillessen saves

62: Series of fouls and injuries the past few minutes, a lot of stopped play

63: Weaker showing from Valencia CF so far, but neither side has shown quality football in the second half so far. Valencia CF need to step it up

64: Good chance for Valencia CF, after a few good passes the ball is sent to Racic who tries a shot, but goes wide

65: GOAL!!! Alex Blanco with a goal for Valencia CF

65: Goncalo Guedes with a solid run towards Granada's goal, passes few a players and then sends a through pass to Alex Blanco who slots the ball into the net. Valencia CF up 2-0

66: Was just saying Valencia CF need to step it up and we get a goal, good job

76: Yangel with a dangerous shot on goal, but Chillessen saves and punches the ball away

78: Kang-In in for Alex Blanco

81: Good cross for Granada, but the cross is cleared

82: Chance for Valencia CF as Granada's goalkeeper finds himself out of position, Maxi passes him and tries to shoot, but is kind of blocked, still sends a weak shot, but Duearte runs after the ball and saves in the last moment

85: Soler passes to Wass, he runs forward and passes to Gomez, Gomez shoots, but his effort is weak and easily saved by Rui Silva

87: Quini with a very dangerous shot, but fortunately goes just wide

88: Kang-In passes in the penalty to Maxi, he shoots, but his shot is straight at the keeper. Disappointing game from Maxi Gomez

89: Molina provides a through pass to Soldado, who finds himself alone at goal and doesn't miss. Goal for Granada

89: Valencia CF is punished for all the misses and waster opportunities

92: Dangerous situation in front of VCF goal, ultimately Chillessen claims the ball, nervous play by Valencia CF in the last minutes of the match, they need to stamp some authority on the match

97: Final whistle. Deserved victory for Valencia CF, but very shaky last 10 minutes of the match

Player Ratings:

Chillessen 6.5 - Had few nice saves, seemed to deal with what was thrown at him by Granada, had no chance for the goal as Soldado was clinical. 

Correia 6 - Good defensive play, covered his position well and provided a good outlet on the left wing.

Diakhaby 5.5 - Had a better game than last one, didn't make any major mistakes, but will be disappointed to have conceded a goal in this match.

Paulista 6 - Slightly better than Diakhaby, blocked and recovered more balls, was generally a solid presence in the back

Gaya 7 - Very dangerous on that left flank, bombarded Granada all match long, provided the assist for the first goal and would have had another assist if other player were more clinical in their finishing.

Wass 6 - Fought to get himself in position for the first goal and even though under pressure, still managed to score. Had few more passes and crosses, but fell off as the game went on.

Racic 6 - Good midfield presence, had a decent shot at goal and generally well positioned to move play in the midfield

Soler 6.5 - The engine of the team, brought the ball from the back to the front, had some very good crosses and passes, as well as some crucial interceptions.

Alex 6 - Was mostly invisible before the goal, but was in good position for the goal and his shot was superb to find the back of the net. 

Gomez 4 - Had four good opportunities, but chose the wrong option two times and his shots were weak the other two times. Least effective of the attacking players.

Guedes 6.5 - Hit and miss for most of the match, but did really well to provide the assist for the second goal, passing few Granada players and providing just the perfect pass to Alex.

Subs:

Kang-In N/A

Yunus N/A

Vallejo N/A