Sunday, April 18, 2021

Real Betis 2-2 Valencia CF Match Report

The game played out as expected, Real Betis was considered the favorite coming into this match and they affirmed that position by playing slightly better. They had more possession and a little bit more attacks, though overall Valencia CF was pairing them fairly well.

Valencia's troubles started due to terrible defending once again, Real Betis with a throw in to a player, this one finds Joaquin alone and unmarked on the left flank and passes the ball to him, Joaquin runs forward and towards the goal, gets a cross and finds Fekir who is also unmarked for some reason, gets a shot in and the ball goes into the net. 

Valencia CF would fire back through Guedes who's thankfully playing some solid football, really impressive stuff and has scored or provided an assist in the last 5 matches in a row I believe. He got the ball from Uros Racic, ran past his marker and as he was being pulled to be brought down on the ground he managed to fire a shot and scored. It was a very impressive goal. 

Unfortunately Valencia CF wouldn't even last the first half with that result and towards the last moments of the match Sergio Canales would score for Real Betis to put them ahead. It was a well done free kick, clearly something they've practiced a lot, series of short passes to Canales who also scores a really impressive goal.

Second half was pretty much a mirror of the first half, with Real Betis dominating possession, but not being able to create too many opportunities, with Valencia CF usually defending and then when in possession slowly building from the back. 

In the 59th minute Guedes received the ball in the penalty area and as he was juggling the ball in the air, it touched a Betis defender on his arm and the referee gave a penalty kick for Valencia CF. Soler took the penalty and was precise from the spot.

Soon after Javi Gracia replaced 3 players at once, his plan was only 2, but Soler got injured and was also replaced. Alex Blanco, Cutrone and Piccini all went in and this was Piccini's first match since returning from injury.

Valencia CF would have a huge chance in the 72nd minute as Yunus Musah dribbled past 4 players, but unfortunately his shot was directly at the keeper who punched the ball, though only towards Cutrone who was pretty much alone in front of an empty goal, but he rushed to head the ball and missed the goal. This should have been the winning goal, but it wasn't to be.

Real Betis would also have a few good chances, thankfully Jaume was on form today and made some good saves.

Overall a good effort by Valencia CF, finally they put an end to this away curse and manage a draw, which is an improvement. Goncalo Guedes once again the standout player, scored a very impressive goal from a really difficult position and was again the most active player in attack. Still has a tendency to overdo stuff at times, but at least he is scoring goals and providing assists now as well.

First Half:

1: Start of the match, lets see if VCF can do something today

4: Correia lands badly and injures his leg, is taken out for treatment, hopefully he can continue

7: Correia can't continue, he landed really badly, seems like a sprained ankle to me

7: Yunus for Correia, Wass is going to be slotting as right back and Yunus as a winger

11: Goal for Betis, good cross from the left side as Joaquin was left unmarked, he finds Fekir who is also unmarked and its an easy finish. Jaume also slow to react, he touches the ball, but not enough to block the shot.

21: GOOOOAAALLLL! Guedes with a goal to equalize the score!

21: Racic with a short pass to Guedes, he passes his marker, is pushed and just as he starts falling down releases a last ditch shot, which somehow manages to find its way into the net. Good stuff.

25: Very dangerous chance for Betis, Tello dribbles past Wass and sends a powerful shot that just barely goes wide

34: Diakhaby makes a blunder, thankfully he is bailed out by Hugo, that would have been a disaster

41: Sergio Canales with a goal for Real Betis. Nicely done free kick with a combination of few passes, Canales ultimately gets the ball and releases a powerful shot, no chance for Jaume to stop it.

42: Valencia CF responds immediately, develops a decent attack, Cheryshev shoots, but it goes wide

45+: End of the first half. Valencia CF with a decent effort, but terrible defending for the first goal is costing us again. The second goal for Betis was an outplay, really well done combination with an amazing goal by Canales. I've not seen Gameiro's contribution at all, I think he should be changed at half time and bring in someone like Kang-In Lee or Cutrone in and see if we can salvage a point here. Real Betis are stronger, but not by much, there is a good chance to gain a point.

Second Half:

49: Juanmi with a long range shot, punched by Jaume and the follow up goes wide and high

55: Late offside call, Real Betis scored, but thankfully it was ruled offside, though the call was really late

59: Penalty for Valencia CF!!!Guedes was dribbling in the penalty area, some Betis defender blocked the ball with his hand and penalty for VCF.

60: Soler prepares to take the penalty and is precise from the spot. 

66: Soler seems injured, he is taken out and replaced. Hopefully nothing serious

72: Yunus dribbles past 4 players and manages to send a shot towards goal, Bravo saves, but the reflection comes towards Cutrone, this one heads the ball, but misses an empty goal. Big chance here for Valencia CF, unfortunately Cutrone misses. Should have been 3-2. 

77: Cutrone scores, but Gaya is offside, the goal doesn't stand

81: Oliva in for Racic, as he limps off the field, though its just muscle cramps and should be fine

83: Chance for Betis, but Jaume saves

87: Ruibal with a huge chance, solo against Jaume, but Jaume manages to save. Good positioning and reflexes by Jaume.

91: Wass makes a tackle and brings down a Betis player, and the referee gives him a straight card, fortunately he consults with his assistants and Var and changed it to yellow card. 

Player Ratings:

Jaume 6.5 - Reacted a bit slow for the first goal, hard to say if he could have saved if he reacted sooner, but had several good saves too.

Correia N/A - Injured early on

Diakhaby 5 - Weakest link in defense, we really need to find a replacement for him in the summer. Almost had a huge blunder again as he gave the ball away, but was bailed out by Hugo who managed to tackle the ball back and clear. Caught out a few times and failed to properly mark.

Hugo 6 - Good performance overall, didn't make any mistakes, good positioning and bailed out Diakhaby in the first half, preventing a goal.

Gaya 5.5 - Improved performance over his past 2 matches, but did not communicate well with Cheryshev and they failed to cover properly for the first goal. I'm partially blaming him for the goal. Had some good good crosses in attack though was generally more useful on that left flank.

Wass 6 - Unspectacular but good performance once again from him, he is very consistent and doesn't make many mistakes. Played mostly as a right back and did very good. Was caught out once or twice, but recovered nicely.

Soler 6 - Did well in this match, provided much more defensive cover, sat back deeper and spread the ball forward more, though with that his offensive contribution was diminished. Scored from the penalty spot to level Valencia

Racic 5 - Mixed performance from the Serbian, he was quite good in midfield and had some really good passes forward, but once again is lacking in defense and should have been on top of Fekir to block his shot for the first goal. Provided the "assist" to Guedes, but it was just a pass back, so I'm not rating that as a real assist. 

Cheryshev 6 - Did quite good, especially in attack, provided several crosses in the penalty box, had a shot that went wide, covered in defense very well, except for the first goal, where the lack of communication between him and Gaya left that left flank open and exposed.

Guedes 7 - I'm giving him man of the match again, really lively performance, dropping back to get the ball and move it forward, running at the defense and causing Betis all sorts of trouble. Scored a fantastic goal from a very difficult position.

Gameiro 3 - Invisible for all of the time he was on. Never dropped back to try and get the ball, never ran channels, you would be forgiven if you forgot he played.


Yunus 5.5 - Tries to do too much and losses the ball very often without nothing to show for it, needs to learn to pass the ball more often and combine with other players. He did almost score on one of his solo runs, he dribbled past 4 Betis players and sent a shot towards goal, his effort was blocked, but the rebound should have been a goal if Cutrone scored from his header. Impressive dribbling and ball control, but does way too much and ends up giving the ball away or wasting chances.

Cutrone 5 - Much better positioning than Gameiro and instantly found himself in few scoring opportunities, one of which had him solo with no defenders near and an empty goal, but rushed a bit to head the ball and was imprecise as his header went wide off goal. 

Blanco 5 - Decent performance, did not have too much time to make a bigger impact, but had a few runs on the left, combined well with Gaya and others.

Piccini 5 - Slotted as right back when he came on, moving Wass to the center of the midfield and even though he hasn't played for so long due to injury, he did well for his first ousting in such a long time.

Oliva N/A - Not enough time