Monday, January 8, 2024

Copa del Rey news and draw

Yesterday felt very deja vu in the Copa. For the second time in 3 seasons Valencia played at Cartagena and Alfredo Ortuno scored against us, just as he did 2 seasons ago. Our first half was really poor with the game only tilting in our favour after 45 minutes when Cartagena were reduced to 10 men and we started bringing in the subs. The result was exactly the same as then too, an unconvincing 2-1 win for us. Probably the brightest spot of the night was the debut of David Ortobi, a local boy from Valencia's port neighbourhood who became our youngest debutant at 16 years and 2 months, breaking the record set by Diego Ribera in February 1994. Otorbi has been tipped for big things and looked very assured. Of course, given what's happened with in the last decade with other exciting youth products like Alcacer, Fran Villalba, KangIn, Ferran, Musah etc probably the likelihood is that he'll be sold at some point, so hoping for a good fee is probably the best we'll get. Other than that, this game reinforced what we already knew: the squad is thin and the back-up players not that great.

So in the last 16 the draw was made by our ex-loanee Mario Suarez. We avoided the lower division sides and instead got

Celta at home. In a way, that's good for us, Celta are in poor form and battling against relegation. They also haven't won against us at Mestalla in 7 years. That win came, ironically enough, in the Copa when an injury and suspension crisis for Valencia meant we had to start a central defence of Mario Suarez and Javi Jimenez.

The game will take place next midweek, either on 16th or 17th.