Friday, August 11, 2023

Sevilla 1-2 Valencia

 Well, I didn't expect that. I expected to lose by a couple and my best hope was that we could somehow park the bus and get a dour draw. The line-up looked like a 5-3-2, but that was deceptive as Diakhaby was actually in midfield and the set-up was more like a 4-3-1-2 with Almeida more advanced. The team started well though on the front foot but were not able to capitalise on a couple of half chances for Diego Lopez and Duro. Sevilla grew more into it and had a few better chances, but few on target. They looked off the pace a bit, surprising for a team that just won a European trophy. The closest we came was a backheel flick by Lopez which nearly deceived Bono.

In the second half Valencia took the lead through Diakhaby, even though it looked like he may have mishit it. Either way, we led and Diakhaby was actually having a great game in his new position. 

Sevilla equalised 10 minutes later when En Nesyri got ahead of Cenk to head home a cross. Where we going to throw this away? No, as it turned out. Sevilla had a player sent off and then a Sevilla player made a mess of clearing and was closed down by Duro, who made up for earlier misses by squaring for Guerra, who finished well inside the near post. 

This makes up somewhat for the painful game in Seville last season when Gaya missed an injury time penalty and ends a miserable run of 3 draws and 6 defeats against them, with the last win coming in March 2019. I am still not optimistic about this season as the squad, despite some promising youth, looks threadbare and the inevitable injuries will kill us if we don't have reinforcements. My main worry from this result is that Meriton will draw the wrong conclusion and decide we don't need additions. For now, I'm still expecting a tough season, but it's 3 points gained, 40 more needed. If the club would see sense and bring in reinforcements, at least a striker, midfielder and winger as minimum, I'd be a bit more confident of the season.