Showing posts with label match report. Show all posts
Showing posts with label match report. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Getafe CF 1-0 Valencia CF Match Report

New coach same old Valencia, same old issues, same old results! This time it was Baraja's turn to try out his luck, after Gattuso's luck ran out and Voro's magic didn't manifest. Peter Lim chose to act quickly and change Voro with a club legend, hoping to appease the fans and try and lift morale in the dressing room. 

The thing is NO ONE believe in this "project"! No one believes in Peter Lim, no one wants Meriton, in fact most fans at this point hate, absolutely hate Peter Lim and all of his cronies! 

I had no expectations from this match, and I had no delusions that we can get a decent result considering we've slandered much better opportunities for victories. At this point I don't even care about the matches and results; I just want Peter Lim gone at all costs! He needs to go, everyone needs to stop buying tickets, whether its seasonal or individual, everyone needs to stop buying Valencia CF merchandise, and everyone needs to pressure the Valencian government to start a financial investigation into Meriton! They are in breach of contract, they have not yet finished the new stadium, they have not acted on their responsibilities and no matter how much the club sells and reduces its expenditures there never seems to be enough cash in the club's bank accounts! 

The match itself was pretty much a repeat of the last 5 matches, the team plays decent football, nothing special, but certainly not relegation level if you look at it objectively, but there is no consistency, there is no confidence with the ball, there is way too much individual errors, etc....

At this point I think Ruben Baraja needs to figure out a super defensive team that sits back, soaks attacks and tries to get results from drawing. We need about 11 points to theoretically avoid relegation and there is still plenty of games to go, but we need to start gaining points immediately! We have 16 more matches till the end of the season, if we are able to get 11 points from 16 games out of a potential of 48 points, we should theoretically be safe from relegation! 

Lim and his cronies didn't bring any reinforcements in the winter transfer window even though Gattuso was demanding it and even though there was obviously a need for it! There were several good options to get on loan deals, so it wouldn't have cost the club a penny, but they couldn't manage even that! 

We seriously lack a winger, we seriously lack a central defender, and we even lack a defensive midfielder! Hugo Guilamon has been terrible since the start of the second half of the season, a big change from the first half when he was relatively good. I don't know what happened to him, but it's not good. 

Illaix Moriba is not really the defensive type, I don't even know what type he is, seems like the busy type, running channels and stuff, but we actually need a defensive minded one, a midfield destroyer the likes of Albelda, Fuego, Topal, etc...

What do guys you see that needs to be changed in order to improve our results? What can Ruben Baraja do to turn things around? 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Real Madrid 1-1 Valencia CF Match Report (4:3p)

Unfortunate loss for Valencia CF who fought very hard against Real Madrid and gave them a hard time for most of the match, only to lose on penalties. 

Real Madrid started the match with high tempo and looking to take the lead over Valencia CF as early as possible. Their first big chance came in the 9th minute when Valverde released a through ball to Rodrygo who latched on to the ball, ran forward a long distance, entered the penalty area and shot, but it went wide.

Few minutes later it was Valverde who took a shot at goal from long range, but once again it went wide. Valencia CF would have a chance on their own in the 18th minute after Gaya's cross found Cavani who headed the ball, but Courtosis was alert and saved the goal. Only a minute later Toni Lato would fall in the penalty area and claim a penalty, but the referee waved play on.

On the other side of the pitch a similar situation would arise when Benzema went down in the penalty area and the referee immediately without any deliberation awarded Real Madrid a penalty. I would say this was likely a penalty if not for the reverse situation where Lato was fouled in the same way, but no penalty was awarded. Two almost identical fouls, what I'd call light fouls, but one was given and once was not. To me this is clear corruption, but whatever, we are used to this by now. 

Benzema would go on to score the penalty and give Real Madrid the lead. Thankfully their lead would not last long as Lino would go on to equalize the score after he intercepted a solid cross from the other side of the field by Lato. He anticipated the cross well, ran forward to position himself just right for the cross and then with a simple shot scored the goal.

The second half was subdued, not too many attacks as there were more fouls and stops to the match with both teams vying for control of the midfield and play becoming scrappier.

In the dying moments of the match Vinicius would have a big chance to score and give Real Madrid the victory, but Giorgi was alert, came out of his goal and blocked the shot giving Valencia CF a fighting chance in extra time and later on on penalties.

Real Madrid were the better team in extra time, they were the one looking for the win, they were the ones with the desire to win and Valencia CF goal was to survive essentially till the penalties and try and win it there. They would create several opportunities, some quite solid ones, but usually it was Giorgi that would save the goal time and time again.

In the penalty shootout both Valencia CF defenders blundered. Eray Comert shot above the goal and then for the must score penalty Gaya shot straight at the goalkeeper. A valiant effort by Valencia CF but felt short of winning. This could be a somewhat positive take as the team played some good football, generally competed well against Real Madrid and created some good goal scoring opportunities that could have punished Real Madrid. The defense is still generally kind of shaky, they still allow too many opportunities for the opposition and rely too much on the goalkeeper to get them out of trouble, to save the goal over and over again. 

I'd say I'm pleased with the performance; I didn't go in with any expectations into this match so I'm not disappointed, I can't be disappointed, I actually think if our team can play like this most of the time, we can actually win most of our matches and move up the table. This was overall a much better display than our previous two matches in La Liga. 

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Valencia CF 0-1 Cadiz Match Report

What a bad start to the second half of the season and to the new year, with back to back loses for Valencia CF. This team can be so frustrating to watch sometimes, as we can often lose even against the worst opposition with the worst stats in La Liga, but then two matches down the line we manage to beat a Real Madrid or a Barcelona. 

Just 8 minutes into the game and Valencia CF was already losing at home against one of the worst teams in La Liga with one of the lowest scoring records in the league. Someone needs to explain this to me as I just don't get it.

Valencia CF started attacking from the get-go with them controlling possession and looking to go forward and attack, but this also left spaces at the back and opportunities for Cadiz to counterattack. This is exactly how Cadiz managed to take the lead, as they intercepted a pass from Valencia CF, passed the ball to R. Sobrino who ran from his side's own third to Valencia's own third, managed to outrun and get past Ilaix Moriba and assisted the ball to R. Alcaraz who was just outside of the penalty area, took a long range shot and managed to score. 

Valencia CF 0-1 Cadiz CF

As the game progressed Valencia CF controlled most of the possession at around 75% percent, but most of it was in our own third, just passing the ball in circles, instead of forward and when they did manage to pass forward it was often blocked or intercepted by the opposition. Hugo Guiliamon was the most responsible for this as time and time again he passed inaccurately and straight into the opposition players, no forced errors or anything of the sort, just terrible passing. 

The best Valencia CF came to scoring in the first half was a claim for penalty, other than that it was mostly ineffective attacks with no finish. 

Gennaro Gattuso decided to change things up for the second half and introduced Andre Almeida for Hugo Guillamon and Justin Kluivert for Ilaix Moriba. An obvious and right decision, considering they were the weakest link in the squad. Hugo misplaced so many passes and put Valencia CF in bad situations and Ilaix was just completely ineffective in doing anything, the game passed by him as he was a spectator.

The changes brought some much-needed energy and urgency in Valencia's play, with Almeida doing a much better job in bringing the ball forward and spreading it around with precision! Its baffling since stats wise Hugo Guillamon is one of Valencia's most accurate passers with a high rate of passing, but tonight most of his passes were inaccurate and back to the defense. 

Valencia CF did play much better in the second half as a result and created more opportunities and chances, forcing Jeremias Ledesma to react and save his team on few occasions. While the effort was there, and more chances were created it just wasn't quality enough. There were barely any goal scoring opportunities, with most of the threat towards Cadiz goal being from low probability opportunistic shots, rather than clear cut goalscoring opportunities. 

The best chance for Valencia CF was probably Gaya's long range effort on goal that was saved by their goalkeeper. Valencia CF also had few claims for a penalty, but the referee wasn't having it and wasn't going to serve them a goal opportunity on a platter. The claims were realistically farfetched, and most referees wouldn't entertain them! 

Player Ratings:

Giorgi 6 - Questionable positioning for the goal, seemed a bit out of position and thus couldn't quite reach the ball, but barely at fault here. Had few other saves that make up for that suspect positioning.

Correia 5.5 - Defense wise it was an okay performance but going forward he was lackluster and scrambled few good opportunities. Overall, not an impressive performance.

Diakhaby 6 - It was an average performance by his standards, industrial performance with few clumsy moments, classic Diakhaby stuff.

Comert 6 - Not a great defensive showing considering he was playing against one of the weakest attacking teams but did not make any sort of big mistakes.

Gaya 7 - He was mostly absent in defense, but he was always on the other side of the field and attacking. Most of the attacks came through him and he had the best chance of the night to score. 

Yunus Musah 6 - Better than the other two midfielders in the first half, but that is not saying much. He was mostly accurate with his passes and did try to create something on that right flank but was hardly effective and didn't cause Cadiz many problems!

Hugo Guillamon 3 - One of the worst performances I've seen from him, inexplicable passing errors and lazy mundane passing. He was also lackluster in tracking opposing players and breaking up their play.

Illaix Moriba 3 - Possibly the guiltiest player for the goal, got overrun so easily, but he could have made a foul and stop the attack, back in the days an Albelda or Topal or Fuego type if they lost the duel, they would foul out the opposing player to prevent a dangerous counterattack. 

Samu Castellijo 5.5 - Was lively during his time on the pitch and had some good movement and dribbles but was unable to make a difference.

Edinson Cavani 5 - Not given much to play with, had few penalty claims and arguments with the opposing players, but did not contribute much to this match and was left without any goal scoring chances. Not to blame, but clearly not a game in which he can be a threat! 

Lino 6 - Combined well with Gaya on the left flank and was generally very active in attack, had some good movements and passes, but like the whole team he just could not muster up an end product.


Andre Almeida 7 - Justified substitution as he brough in better quality over Hugo and was key in moving the ball forward and spreading it around with precision. He has good playmaking abilities and seems to have huge potential for the future. I was impressed by his performance even if VCF lost and overall played poorly.

Justin Kluivert 6 - An upgrade over Illaix Moriba as he was much snappier and often run channels, something we lacked before his introduction, but like all others was unable to provide something concrete, to really change the course of the match. Decent effort but fell short. 

Hugo Duro 5.5 - Came on for the injured Samu and played decently, I liked his energy and combativeness, he wants to win, he wants to do good, so points for that, but in terms of finding himself in goal scoring positions or providing the key pass he was lacking.

Foulquier N/A - Not enough time 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

La Nucia 0-3 Valencia CF Match Report

Valencia CF won its Copa Del Rey cup match against La Nucia in convincing fashion with no unexpected surprises.

It only took Valencia CF 3 minutes to score the first goal through Kluivert on an assist by Ozkacar, though it was Kluivert that did all of the work as he dribbled past several La Nucia players, went inside the penalty area and when he found space for himself managed to shoot and score. Valencia CF continued with its attacks, though La Nucia were not pushovers and did manage to combat Valencia CF for the most part. 

Then at 30 minutes in Ilaix Moriba would score Valencia's second goal and allow the team a sigh of relief as this match looked secure. Jesus Vazquez received a long ball on the left flank, immediately passed the ball into the penalty area reaching Ilaix who was between two players but managed to get his foot to the ball and score.

Finally, Hugo Duro would score the 3rd and final goal of the match to set the result at 3-0 for Valencia CF. 

Good win for Valencia CF even if it was against a much weaker opponent and some great play by Justin Kluivert who seems to be becoming better and better and could be a key player for Valencia CF in the future if the team plays its cards right and is able to secure the player from Roma. 

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Villarreal CF 2-1 Valencia CF Match Report

Valencia CF started the second half of the season and on the brink of the new year with a painful loss. The game was headed towards a draw, but then in the 88th minute Villarreal CF scored a goal and managed to snatch all 3 points for themselves. Valencia CF has no one to blame but themselves as the team has been conceding last minute goals in a lot of matches this season. I don't know what it comes down to, maybe fatigue, maybe deconcentration, maybe nerves, but whatever it is making us lose points needlessly. Reminds me of the Valencia CF from 7-8 years ago or so, when we had a similar issue where inexplicably they would start playing badly the last 5-10 minutes and throw the match. 

Valencia's defense this season has been in shambles and this match was no different, Villarreal CF had two huge chances in the first 7 minutes of the match, with our defense caught sleeping. 

Valencia CF would counter in the 15th minute with a good chance on their own, as Cavani would head a ball crossed by Gaya from the left flank, but the goalkeeper was alert and managed to save his goal. Then just several minutes later Edison Cavani would score and give Valencia CF the lead. It was a bounced ball from the goalkeeper and Cavani was first to it, making himself enough space to shoot and managing to score! 

Villarreal did up their pressure and attacks after that 21st minute and had several decent chances, but it wasn't until he 44th minute when they would score. Samuel latches on to a good cross from the right flank, there is no one covering him and is able to lead the ball into the penalty area, set himself up and shot past the goalkeeper. 

I think Giorgi made at least 5 saves in this match, that is how many shots on target Villarreal CF had and they also scored two goals and hit the bar. So, way too many chances and opportunities that they were able to create and execute. 

Villarreal CF would win this match in the 88th minute as Juan would score with a header after a well delivered corner kick by former Valencia CF player Daniel Parejo. He was pretty much left alone in that area and was the only one jumping to head the ball. Giorgi rushed out to punch the ball out, but he kind of got blocked by Diakhaby and fell to the ground.

Villarreal CF were allowed to create too many opportunities, they had too much space given to them, and all of their goals were easy ones. They scored easy goals they could have scored more goals if not for the efforts of Giorgi who saved Valencia's net on at least 5 occasions. 

If Valencia CF are to do better in La Liga then the defense needs to improve drastically, we need to be more cohesive at the back, we need to be organized better and we also need better individual performance and please have Gaya anywhere else except in our penalty at corner kicks. He is way too short and gets outjumped by everyone. He needs to be somewhere else and we need our taller guys in there jumping and defending. 

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Espanyol - Valencia match thread

 After a solid win over Celta 2 weeks ago, Valencia come into this game with the age old question of whether decent home form can be translated into results away. That has often been the club's problem.

Evaluating Gattuso's start so far, with 9 points, it's mixed in relation to former managers. A win today would produce a start bettered in the last 11 seasons only by Nuno and Marcelino's debut seasons. A draw or a defeat would mean the same average start we've seen far too often and leave a struggle for the European places ahead.

Espanyol come into the game in poor form. They needed a 98th minute goal to get a draw at Celta on the opening day, lost at home to Rayo and R. Madrid, got a surprise win at Bilbao before losing at home to Sevilla and away to Sociedad. The pressure is also on them to get results.

For our line-up, Musah remains the main injury doubt so the only questions are 3 positions in the centre. Will Paulista partner Diakhaby or will Comert be preferred? Which 3 of Guillamon, Almeida, Ilaix or Nico will start? Up front will Cavani start or will Marcos Andre or Duro start instead?

Line up and updates will follow.


And we have the line-up and it's one free of surprises.

Let's hope for the 3 points!

10 minutes in and Espanyol had the better start, pressing us, but we had the best chances. First Gaya's cross was missed by Cavani and then Lino dribbled well to leave himself one on one, though with a defender on him and from an angle and was saved by the keeper.

12: good work again from Lino. He lays it off to Cavani who shoots over.

16: Uff. Guillamon, who's been shaky so far, gives it away. There's a 3 on 3 break and Mamardashvili has to turn away Braithwaite's shot.

23: Nice! Diakhaby, Almeida and Lino with a great link up but the shot is just wide.

28: We've looked in control but only the Lino chances to show for it.

45: most of our attacks have come down the left. It looks like Lino and Castillejo have switch sides. 57% possession but without too many threats. Cavani has been disappointing. 

46: Kluivert is on for Castillejo who was invisible the first half, though the right side saw almost nothing in passing. Hopefully Castillejo isn't injured as he was good in previous games and earned a player of the month nomination.

47: penalty claim for Espanyol but looks like the ball just missed Thierry's hand.

50 break on for Espanyol but great work by Gaya to cut it out. Guillamon, whose passing has sucked gives it back.

52: GOAL! Through ball finds Ilaix, who puts in a good centre for Cavani who can't get there. Espanyol put it out for a corner, nice header down from Paulista, the keeper gets a hand but it creeps in at the post.

55: FFS. 1-1. It's very close, Joselu is just about level when he gets the ball and he curls it past the defender and keeper off the post.

62: close again from Espanyol, Braithwaite gets and forces a save, the ball pings around and reaches Darder whose bouncing shot goes out off the bar. We're on the back foot now.

67: chances for both teams. Cavani hits a free kick just over, Joselu gets in but Diakhaby and Gaya do enough to put him off and he shoots over.

72: Espanyol have looked the more likely to score, sadly. Triple substitution. Comert on for Paulista, Andre for Cavani, Nico for Almeida.

77: first Valencia chance in a while, centre from Gaya, Kluivert just can't get to it, comes to Andre who blasts over.

80: excellent from Guillamon who makes space and force a great save from their keeper as it was going in.

82: Losing 2-1. Comert did well to cut out a pass, but we're clumsy in midfield possession, give it away, Darder is allowed to run freely and his shot from out of the area goes on. Unusually poor from Mamardsashvili who was wrongfooted.

83: Duro on for Ilaix.

84: Going from bad to worse, Marcos Andre tussles with their defender. Looked like 6 of one half a dozen of the other to me, but he puts his hand on the defender's face and he goes down like he was hit with a baseball bat. Red card for Andre and we're down to 10 men.

91: 10 men each as Braitwaite is sent off for fouling Thierry. 7 minutes left of added time to rescue something.

92: Valencia really pushing. Mamardashvili is even on their half to make a pass. Nico, who gave it away for their 2nd hits a good shot which their keeper fumbles but just managed to push off the line.

95: GOAL! Lucky, but it counts. Valencia put a throw in, it's knocked out. Comert puts the ball into the box looking for a colleague but somehow it sails over the keeper, who totally misses it.

FINAL: 2-2

Somewhere between disappointment and thinking that a draw is a fair result. Valencia looked in control for much of it but gifted a goal to Darder, then had to rely on luck to fluke an equaliser. After 7 games the feeling would still be that we're more exciting to watch but are going to have a similar finish to last time, a mid table irrelevance.  

Mamardashvili 5.5: made a few important stops but at fault for their goal.
Gaya 6.5: good game in defence and attack, his crossing was better here.

Diakhaby 6.5: another solid game and his passing continues to improve.
Paulista 6: apart from Espanyol's opener, handled Joselu well. Looked better this game and scored.
Thierry 6: a quiet first half, saw more action in the 2nd and provoked the dismissal of Braithwaite.
Ilaix 5: needs to get forward more and stop going for the foul, but had few mistakes.
Almeida 4: very quiet game where he saw little of the ball
Guillamon 6: After a shaky start when he was gifting possession improved in the 2nd half and was unlucky not to score.
Lino 7: a constant threat to their defenders in the first half, though ran out of steam in the 2nd.
Cavani 3.5: disappointing game and so far he's been rusty it's been a case of Uruguayan up front with nothing happening, same as last season.
Castillejo 2.5: worst game of the season. Totally anonymous and barely touched the ball.

Kluivert 5: lively at times, but lacking experience
Nico 4: guilty of gifting possession for them for their second, nearly made up for it with an equaliser.
Comert 6: has been this season's most improved player. Now looks sound in defence and got a lucky goal.
Andre 2: improvement on Cavani, and the red card was dubious, but you're asking for trouble when you put your hands in someone's face. He really should know better and could have cost us the game.
Duro: not enough time.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Valencia 3-0 Celta match thread

 After a disappointing and poor performance last week, the pressure is on to get something from today against Celta. They're just above us in the standings following a mixed start. They began in disappointing style dropping 2 points to a 98th minute penalty equaliser at home to Espanyol. They also lost 1-4 at home to Real Madrid and by the same scoreline away to Atletico Madrid. However they beat relegation favourites Cadiz 3-0 at home and won 1-0 at Girona. Brais Mendes was a big loss for them in the summer, but they've retained Iago Aspas who has scored 5 goals in 5 games so far. His inexplicable omission from the Spain squad can only be down to personal disputes with Luis Enrique.

For Valencia, Jaume is out for many months and Yunus is an injury doubt for this game. On the plus side, Cavani has been training with the full squad and may make his debut tonight, though I'd expect him to come off the bench rather than start. Mamardashvili, Gaya and Thierry should all start. The biggest question is the defence. Diakhaby has been our best defender for a while now and it remains to be seen if Paulista will get another chance after being awful last week or if Comert will get the nod instead. If Yunus is unavailable then it most likely means a midfield of Guillamon and Nico, which means we may get to see Almeida start for the first time. I'd expect to see Duro or Andre start, flanked by Lino and Castillejo, with Cavani maybe coming on for last 20 minutes.

Our recent form against Celta has been good, 6-2-2 over the last five seasons, including winning both last season. Unfortunately, that counts for very little and if we have any hopes of a top half finish nevermind Europe, this is a must-win game.


So, Cavani starts to my surprise. Comert plays instead of Paulista and Ilaix instead of Nico. Both changes totally justifiable benching 2 of the worst players from last week. Also good to see Almeida, who has shown brief flashes start instead of injury doubt Yunus.

Let's hope Cavani can find his best form!

26 minutes in and both teams have mostly cancelled each other out. Our best chance has actually come from Diakhaby hitting the post from a corner. We've been trying to get the ball in to Cavani but the accuracy just hasn't been there. Thierry and Moriba both had great bits of skill but nothing resulted. Celta have had a couple of half hearted penalty shouts. Their best chances were when Comert mishit a pass and Guillamon had to commit a tactical foul and take a yellow for the team Guillamon was the villain for the second, giving it away when we were trying to play it out from the back. We've been careless in posession.

We improved in the later part of the half and lead 1-0. It was a good goal. Great work from Lino on the left holding off two defenders. He tried to beat the keeper who parried and Castillejo was quickest to follow up and finish well. Didn't see much of Cavani but I think our midfield has handled them well. Moriba has been especially good. Diakhaby, Mamardashvili and Thierry have been solid. A bit disappointed with Gaya's passing. As in previous games we've dominated possession. The main issue is that while we've done better than last week against a high press, we don't look very comfortable. Giving the ball away in risky positions hasn't hurt us so far but it will if we keep doing it. Unfortunately our team still looks unbalanced and inexperienced and seems to have mistakes waiting to happen.


49: A bit of humour. Lino's shot is blocked by the Celta player with his elbow. It was in a natural position so no foul. But the commentator says "it came off his elbow, it was beside his arm." Yes, that's where elbows usually are found.

54: Insane. Lino is clearly brought down in the box. One of the most obvious penalties you'll see this weekend and he's booked for non-existent simulation. Disgraceful decision. What's the point of VAR?

59: The referee balancing it out for his poor call? Cervi of Celta gets a straight red for a dirty challenge on Thierry.

63: Celta get a rare corner, on the break Moriba is elbowed off the ball. Nothing doing says the ref, who's been poor this half. Moriba has been constantly fouled.

68: Moriba goes off for Nico after a very solid game.

71: Cavani goes off to a round of applause. Castillejo too. Kluivert and Andre are on. Celta get a free kick in a dangerous position and Mamardashvili produces a point blank save to deny them.

74: Good few minutes for us, with Gaya's shot from range forcing a save. But we need to bury this.

79: Chance! A good break, excellent through ball from Andre, but from an angle, Kluivert just can't beat the keeper. He forces a save from a header a minute later too.

82: Marcos Andre! Another Valencia break and this time there's no mistake. With the ball played forward, Gaya is strong to challenge and the ball falls to Andre who beats the keeper with a low drive.

84: Gaya and Comert off for Lato and Paulista.

93: 3-0! Celta look tired, we've been threatening  and after our cross is cut out, Guillamon threads it through to Almeida in the box and he finishes well for his first goal.

After an even first 30 minutes Valencia grew into the game and got a deserved win to chase away the disappointment of last week. Win or lose the team is just far more enjoyable to watch this season. There are definitely areas to improve. The passing can be careless, the final ball often is too rushed. Playing out from the back is clearly the game plan but we struggle with presses and the players often make mistakes in these situations. It's hoped they'll improve with experience.

Mamaradashvili 7.5: deserved clean sheet, only suffered with a couple of mistakes in distribution
Gaya 5.5: a little disappointed with his crossing and final balls, but he redeemed himself with a key role in the second goal.
Comert 6: much improved this season though can be a bit careless with passing under pressure
Diakhaby 7: enjoying a really good run in the team. Never misplaced a pass and his positioning is always correct.
Thierry 7: Had a good day. Strong in defence and in attack with even a few flashy moments.
Guillamon 6.5: helped the team well with a tactical foul and assist, but can be a bit too carefree on the ball in dangerous positions
Almeida 6.5: his first full game and it was a solid one with good passing and a goal
Ilaix 7.5: probably his best game for us, a commanding presence in midfield 
Lino 7: a flair player, good involvement in 2 of the goals. Can still be too selfish but given his contribution can be forgiven for that today.
Castillejo 6.5: a continual threat on their wing and moved well. Took his goal confidently. He's now the team's top scorer!
Cavani 5: a quiet, almost disappointing debut. He worked hard but had little of the ball to work with.

Nico 5: filled the hole in midfield but wasn't that productive 
Marcos Andre 6.5: good sub appearance, making their defenders work and taking his goal well
Kluivert 6.5: very lively presence. Didn't get a goal but it's coming, needs to maintain this level.
Paulista 5: late sub, didn't have much to do but looked better than last week
Lato 5.5: late sub but covered well 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Rayo Vallecano 2-1 Valencia match thread

Valencia come into this game after a morale boosting thumping win over Getafe. Prior to that game, many questions had been asked about whether the team could, for all the improved play and possession the previous game, actually get shots on target, let alone score goals and they answered in emphatic fashion. But in the end this is only one game and the team in fact still has 4 points less than Bordalas did after his first four games which included a 4-1 win at Osasuna, so we need to see this sustained across several games before we can get excited.

Rayo's start has been patchy. They started well against the Barcelona teams, getting a draw in Nou Camp before winning at Espanyol, but then they lost at home to Mallorca, with Kangin Lee getting a goal and assist. The last game they lost to a 90th minute winner at Osasuna. It's been an unproductive ground for Valencia to play at, our last win there came in December 2014 in the Copa del Rey while the last league win was in May 2013. 

In team news, Jaume got a serious injury and may miss most of the season. The club is evaluating the option of signing ex-Bilbao keeper Iago Herrerin as cover for the season. As one of the only free agents with La Liga experience, he's the obvious choice. Diakhaby and Marcos Andre have recovered from their injuries and are available, while Paulista and Gaya are back. On the other hand, Ilaix is suspended after his sending off last week. 

Gaya and Paulista come back today replacing Lato and Comert. Cavani is still training and not involved yet.

4 min: And Valencia are behind already. We tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick but got dispossessed, we gave away a soft foul in a dangerous position and poor defending meant they scored.

10 min: we've struggled with Rayos' press and have given the ball away too cheaply leading to them having the better chances.

14 min: shambles at the back. We lose the ball easily in midfield, Trejo totally owns Paulista with a turn and has the whole goal to aim at. Mamardashvili parries, Rayo have the chance again but Thierry blocks on the line. So nearly 2 down.

17 min: Alvaro Garcia accelerates, beats Thierry and Paulista (who's had a terrible game so far) but his centre is cut out by Diakhaby.

18 min: Musah gives it away with a sloppy pass in midfield, they're in again all too easy, and Mamardashvili has to put it behind for a corner.

25 min: Valencia have a rare spell of possession, but for the second time, Gaya overhits his cross which sails out for a goal kick.

28 min: cooling break and Valencia need to work something out. Midfield non-existent, getting totally overrun, mentally slow and getting easily dispossessed and rarely able to break out of our first third.

32 min: no change. Rayo still have us pinned back. They get their 5th corner (we've had none) and Mamardashvili punches away.

34 min: the ball bounces over Paulista and Rayo are in. Thierry body charges the Rayo player over in the box. Correctly not a penalty though I've seen ones like that given.

36 min: Valencia's first corner, but Nico flicks well over.

37 min: Valencia move it about well, but yet again Gaya messes up with his cross. They've been awful today.

39 min: Lino needs to learn to pass the ball. He gets it in a good position but dribbles into trouble. Needs to be more of a team player.

40 min another good chance for Rayo. Dangerous free kick and they head just over.

42 min: Castillejo fouled. I nearly forgot he was playing as, like Duro, he's barely had a touch

45 min: better! Valencia's corner is pushed out, we keep possession, Nico's shot is well charged down. It falls to Duro who volleys over though it was probably offside.

HALFTIME: We're lucky to be only one down. There were few positives there with Mamardashvili and Diakhaby saving a couple of dangerous attacks. It's hard to believe we've had 56% possession as they've dominated us.

46: Lino loses it but Thierry is strong to cover.

47: Valencia with the best chance yet, good work by Castillejo in taking out 2 defenders, Musah's cutback gives Nico the whole goal to shoot at but he puts it over.

51: Terrible. Trejo gets past 3 of our players. Nico brings him down. We give away an unnecessary corner and with no danger, Nico slices it into his own net. Why isn't Almeida on instead? 0-2

54: Heart in mouth as Paulista gets owned yet again. Camello with a good chance blocked. We get the corner clear but after the ball spins across our area, luckily no Rayo player there to get a touch but they're pushing for a third.

57 Thierry is brought down in a dangerous position. Commentator thinks we'll be missing Soler. Why? He never hit a useful free kick that I remember. Gaya hits it and at least gets it on target but it's easy for the keeper. Marcos Andre has come on for Nico.

61: Valencia have a couple of corners without creating anything. Lino, as usual, dawdles on the ball, tries to dribble a bit and loses it, there's a dangerous counter on which Mamardashvili has to come way out to clear. Someone with the initials GG needs to have a word with Lino.

64: Good free kick put in which Paulista heads just over. Kluivert and Lato on for Duro and Gaya.

70: We move it up the field well, but Lato overhits his cross with Andre waiting in the centre.

72: Cooling break. It looks like we've switched to a 4-4-2 with Kluivert and Andre up front but nothing much happening. Rayo at least have run out of steam a bit but they should be ok with a 2-goal lead.

76: good interception and pass from Diakhaby finding Andre but a poor first touch lets him down and the danger passes.

78: Mamardashvili saves us again, that's Rayo's 6th shot on target, we've had 1. Almeida on for Guillamon.

82: A good run from Lino but again, instead of centring it, he selfishly takes a shot which the keeper easily covers.

92: DIAKHABY! A good few minutes from Valencia. Almeida centres from a free kick and Diakhaby knocks it in at the back post. Too little, too late.

A poor and really flat performance after the high of last week. The team showed their inexperience against a high press in the first half and got overrun. Really a 1-goal loss flatters us. Rayo hadn't won at home in 9 months but beat us so easily. The questions being asked before the previous game return.

Mamardashvili 6: saved us on a couple of occasions. Without him it would have been more.
Thierry 4: mostly covered his side well, but also lost possession in some dangerous areas.
Paulista 1: awful return to the side, constantly out of position and failed when needed, hard to believe that Comert looked better.
Diakhaby 5: best of the defence, cut out a number of dangerous balls and grabbed a consolation at the end.
Gaya 3: sluggish return and his crossing was abysmal in this game, ruining some promising chances.
Guillamon 4: overrun with the rest of the midfield, needed more presence this game.
Nico 0: poor in midfield, missed one of our best chances and scored their winner. Can it get any worse?
Musah 4: was full of energy but his passing was off and never got a chance to link up in any meaningful way
Castillejo 3: had a couple of good link ups at the end after an invisible first half.
Lino 3: has ability and is a good dribbler but way too selfish. PASS THE BALL!
Duro 3: forgettable day, though he was starved of any service.

Andre 4: more lively than Duro and posed more of a threat but the final touch wasn't there.
Lato 4: an improvement on Gaya, especially in the passing sense.
Kluivert 4: limited time generated some moments of danger and forced a save from the keeper
Almeida 5: limited time but performed well in the brief period he was on and got a good assist.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Valencia 5-1 Getafe match thread

 It's half-time in the Mestalla as I write this. In terms of playing style Valencia had started the season much better, unfortunately only 1 win and 2 defeats were the results. A big question before this game was if Valencia could actually create anything, as we'd only created 3 shots on goal from open play. 

The answer so far has been an emphatic yes. Valencia have dominated Getafe, blitzing them with 3 goals in the opening 16 minutes. Besides the good result so far, the team looks to be playing with bags of confidence, stringing passed together and generally looking very with it. Castillejo and Lino, 2 players who've been criticised so far in the season, have played well and contributed with goals. Whatever the result today, it's much better to watch this version of Valencia play.

The match finished 5-1, a deserved result. Super performances from Lino and Musah and it was good to see the youngsters doing one touch and accurate passing rather than the "kick it upfield and hope" anti-football we saw last season. A few negatives, with both Marcos Andre and Diakhaby going off injured and Musah limping around a bit at the end, though in the case of him and Diakhaby it didn't look so serious. I only counted one Diakhaby mistake from a misplaced pass and he went off to a round of applause. Comert also made a couple of important interceptions. A run of mostly winnable games coming up. Let's hope we can maintain this level

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Borusia Dortmund 1-3 Valencia CF Match Report

Valencia's first preseason match starts with a surprising win over a solid opponent in Borusia Dortmund, who finished second in last seasons Bundesliga just behind Bayern Munich. Of course it has to be said that this is just a preseason friendly match and doesn't mean anything, but its enough to entice me to write my first article since April. I was done with Valencia CF since then, but this little bright spot got me interested just slightly. 

Valencia CF were first on the scoresheet, getting the lead through Goncalo Guedes in the 40th minute, with Borusia Dortmund equalizing the score in the second half through a penalty. 

Just minutes after the equalizer Valencia CF would get in front again, this time through Marcos Andre after a good team play by Guedes and Soler. 

Finally Goncalo Guedes with a long range screamer in the 62nd minute would decide the match and give Valencia CF a 3-1 win over Dortmund.

Impressive first preseason performance, but I'll need to see similar performances and results the whole preseason to get excited about next season.

Valenica CF next preseason match is against FC Saint Gallen on Wednesday 20th of July at 19:00 O'clock

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Getafe CF 0-0 Valencia CF Match Report

Leading up to this match we knew what to expect and we got exactly that, a match with two fairly equal sides who play similar football and not a lot of goals or goal chances for that matter. Getafe CF started the match in a more dominant fashion and generally were the more attacking team on the night, but Valencia CF defended well and on occasions hit them on the counter attack. 

Jose Bordalas chose pretty much the same team that has been getting decent results in the last few matches with the only real big difference being Hugo Guillamon in midfield over Uros Racic or Illaix Moriba. I think if we had Uros Racic in midfield from the start we might have been more attack oriented, but I guess Jose Bordalas just wanted another stable game with no surprised even if it meant we played for a dry draw. 

This is a decent result in the grand scheme of things, though obviously a win here would have been amazing, but considering how the match played out I think Valencia CF should be happy with a draw here. Getafe CF managed to score a goal in the 70th minute, but it was overruled by VAR and the match ultimately ended in a scoreless draw. 

With the return of Gabriel Paulista our defense has been much better, which shows how an experienced leader at the back can change things around and I think this is our 3rd game out of the last 4 where we haven't conceded a goal. Hopefully this solidity at the back is here to stay and Bordalas can now focus on improving the midfield and making our game play more dynamic. We still need to improve immensely and matches like this one we have to win 9 out of 10 times if we are to battle for European football again. We are having pretty much the same issues we've been having all season, with our midfield still being almost non existent and our play still feels disjointed and too individualistic. 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Valencia CF 1-0 Athletic Bilbao Match Report

Valencia CF goes to the Copa del Rey final after beating Athletic Bilbal 1-0 at home and will await the result between Real Betis and Rayo Vallecano to see who is the second finalist. Real Betis has an advantage leading up to the match and they are the favorites to go to the final, they are also realistically the stronger team so Valencia CF is cheering that Rayo Vallecano manages to surprise Betis.

We saw Jose Bordalas start with pretty much the same formation from the previous match in the league, with the difference being Jose Luis Gaya starting the match, but as is often the case we force these early recoveries and we end up getting the players injured for worse and longer. Even Lato was available for selection and he was the fitter of the two, but Bordalas risked it and played Gaya, only for it to backfire as Gaya got injured in the 33rd minute and was replaced by Toni Lato.

The other change for the match was Goncalo Guedes for Maxi Gomez and he was the one who scored the only goal in this match, leading to Valencia's victory. Gabriel Paulista was also in the lineup and we have another clean sheet with him in the squad in back to back games! 

Valencia CF was contesting the match much more in the first half and trying to get something going, fighting for midfield control and having few chances created on goal. This would pay off in the 43rd minute when Goncalo Guedes scored a goal from a long range effort and gave Valencia CF the lead. 

The second half would have Athletic Bilbao controlling the match for long periods of time with Valencia CF mostly sitting back and defending and occasionally hitting on the counter attack. They had several long range efforts, but we were fortunate enough to not concede.

Ultimately its a mixed bag game, some positives, some negatives, Valencia CF falling into their standard play to sit back and defend in the second half, but we were lucky enough to win this time. So yeah, a good result, but there is a lot of work needed to be done. 

Saturday, February 26, 2022

RCD Mallorca 0-1 Valencia CF Match Report

Valencia CF achieved a much needed win, but its a bitter one as there was nothing in this match to be happy about except for the lucky result. Valencia CF continued to play terrible and ineffective football and its a miracle how we won this match, considering RCD Mallorca made us look like relegation team or rather I should say Valencia CF made Mallorca look like Barcelona of old. 

Its just inconceivable how we have no midfield and how we can't string more than few passes together, its mind boggling. Why can't we retain possession, why can't we string couple dozen passes together, why is no one passing backwards or sideways to retain the ball in our possession? Its aimless crosses and passes forward and 99% of these don't result in anything. 

The one good thing from this match is Gabriel Paulista as even when returning from back from a long hiatus after a repeated long term injury he seemed fit and relatively in good form to get back right into the action. Again this is RCD Mallorca so we shouldn't take too much from it, but he seemed solid and he also scored the goal and gave Valencia CF the victory. 

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Valencia CF 1-4 FC Barcelona Match Report

Excitement turned to dread just 37 minutes into the game as Valencia CF undid itself and allowed an impotent Barcelona to score 3 goals in just over 30 minutes. FC Barcelona's big issue this season has been creating opportunities and scoring goals, but Valencia CF made sure to fix those issues for them! 

I listened to the commentators say how Barcelona played well in the first half, but they didn't, they played rather poorly and their attack was terrible, but it was Valencia's defense that was even worse and it allowed ridiculous goals. Looking at the stats Barcelona had just 4 shots on goal in the first half and 3 of those ended up being goals, that is a conversion rate of 75% which is insane, if everyone scored goals like that pretty much all games would have over 5 goals all the time. Just shows you how an impotent Barcelona attack can be so potent against piss poor defending. 

Not to berate the defense too much, the midfield was terrible in covering as well, Hugo Guillamon and Illaix failed to cover properly so many times and allowed so many crosses, but the last line of defense was also terrible. Foulquier, Alderete, Diakhaby, Gaya were all caught napping time and time again. 

Jose Bordalas took off Hugo Guillamon and brought Maxi Gomez at the start of the second half in a bid to chase the game, and it paid off almost immidiatelly as Valencia CF started attacking and one of the attacks from the left side resulted in a goal. Bryan Gil got the ball wide, ran a bit forward, positioned himself well and provided a dangerous cross into the penalty area to which Soler was the fasters to react and headed the ball past Ter Stegen and into the net.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Valencia CF Match Report

That was a positive surprise, I came into this match thinking that it was all but lost from the start, with Valencia looking to take its chances at home, but this was really surprising. Not only did we manage a draw against a very tough and solid opponent, but at least in the second half Valencia CF showed up to play football and were the better team with several chances to actually win the match. 

As I mentioned due to work I missed the first half, but was able to catch the second half and I liked what I saw. It was an attacking Valencia CF who wanted to compete and fight for every ball, run every channel. This is the type of Valencia CF I want to see all the time no matter what, and what luck that we managed to land Bryan Gil he is a class act. The guy has lightning pace, incredible dribbling skills and absurd ball control. We should pull all strings to try and purchase him in the summer, though its going to be extremely hard as these types of performances are sure to raise his price or convince Tottenham to keep him.

Anyways Athletic Bilbao took the lead in the first half thanks to R. Garcia who scored the goal after I believe it was a free kick. Valencia CF dominated the second half and went on the hunt for a goal of their own and it would come in the 65th minute after an attack from the right flank. I think it was Soler who crossed the ball into the penalty area, Bryan Gil intercepted the ball and sent a shot towards goal, but his effort was blocked and the rebound found its way to Hugo Duro who slotted the ball into the net to equalize the score. 

Valencia CF would have several more chances after that and a decent claim at a penalty from Hugo Duro, but ultimately the game ended in a draw. With this result Valencia CF now has a great chance to go to the final of the cup. 

Tell us your thoughts of the match in the comments section!

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Valencia CF 0-0 Real Sociedad Match Report

After an exciting finish to the match it ends in a draw, which is realistically the fairest result. Real Sociedad dominated the first half and were the better team, with Valencia CF dominating the second half and being the better team. Both teams had some decent chances to score, I'd say Valencia CF more so, with a great opportunity for Maxi Gomez in the second half when he was basically alone one on one with the goalkeeper, but his shot was straight into the goalkeeper.

Jose Bordalas chose a very defensive lineup for this match with a 5 man defense and a 3 man midfield and unsurprisingly Valencia's midfield got overrun and Real Sociedad dominated the whole first half and Valencia CF relegated to long range efforts that led to nowhere. Good thing is that Valencia CF held in the first half, although Real Sociedad did threaten the goal on a few occasions, with Giorgi having to intervene with a solid parade to save the goal. 

Jose Bordalas made changed on half time and introduced Carlos Soler in place of Cristhian Mosquera who was on a yellow card and seemed likely to get sent off if he continued. This change did wonders for the team and Valencia CF actually played some good football in the second half, going immediately on the offensive and threatening Real Scoiedad's goal. Few big chances would come up for Valencia as Jose Gaya first sent a powerful shot from long range, then Maxi Gomez found himself in a great goal scoring opportunity after a perfect through ball by Bryan Gil, but Maxi's shot went straight into the keeper. Later on it was Bryan Gil again with the attack this time he dribbled past a player and send a shot towards goal, though only through the center line and in the path of the goalkeeper. 

Valencia CF coach brought even more attacking options as he introduced Racic and Guedes and it was full force trying to score a goal, but for all of the attacking Valencia CF did there was no end result. Towards the end of the match the game became scrappy and neither team was able to string more than a few passes together with both teams relying on long balls and headers to move the ball around. 

The match ended in a 0-0 draw and this leaves Valencia CF 5 points bellow 6th placed Real Sociedad and 3 points off of 7th place, but a match down on Villarreal who play later today. I think its safe to say that Valencia CF is out of the running for European football and it would take a miracle for achieve that. Yes there is still plenty of matches left, but judging from our play and results it seems unlikely that we'll manage to gain more points over the higher placed team right now, especially as Valencia CF will be focused on the cup in the coming weeks as there we have a chance to place in the final and there is also very tough matches coming up in La Liga. 

The standout performer for me was Bryan Gil, I think he has a great future and showed today why he is valued so highly. I hope we get to see him play alongside Guedes more though as these are our two most creative players and I would think featuring them both in the lineup would benefit Valencia. 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Atletico Madrid 3-2 Valencia

So frustrating. Valencia's poor run against Atleti continues. We haven't beaten them since 2014 and haven't won away to them since the pre-Simeone days of 2011. This was a game we had in our hands. An excellent first half performance, taking advantage of their defence being all over the place. Guedes played a superb cross field ball to Musah who produced an excellent finish for the first. Duro took advantage of defensive confusion to sneak in and finish well.

The logical thing to do in the second half would be to keep the pressure on, try and exploit their poor defending but no, Bordalas chose to camp everyone back near our box and the outcome was predictable after that, despite our 2-goal lead. Poor marking from a corner led to them getting one back and then, with us doing nothing except defend and hoof the ball forward aimlessly rather than try and keep possession, they scored 2 in injury time to revenge us for when we did the same to them earlier in the season. Games like this raise serious question marks about Bordalas. It doesn't help that the team is very thin and is now down to relying on youth players.

Our transfer window as usual has been a farce. We had all of December to identify players to bring in to strengthen the team for this tough run of games, but as always, we're leaving everything to the last minute and far from strengthening are reducing the squad further by moving out players like Piccini, Vallejo, Blanco and probably soon Wass. Unless something changes, it's easy to see this being another write off season around 12th place. Top 7 looks very unlikely now, with only an unlikely Copa win being able to save us.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Real Madrid 4-1 Valencia CF Match Report

It was a high order from the start to get anything against Real Madrid, but hope dies last and tonight hope died. I was expecting a loss, but what we got was a trouncing, what we got was complete and utter dominance by Real Madrid and complete inferiority by Valencia CF. They were at least 5 classes above us and did not see anything positive from this match. 

Valencia CF was able to match Real Madrid for the first 20 minutes, high pressure, positioned high to close down Real Madrid players from the back, and it worked for 20 minutes or so and Valencia CF was on occasion outplaying Real Madrid, we had couple of attacks and were threatening to make Real Madrid's night hell. After 20 or 25 minutes had passed though Valencia CF just went to defend mode. Do nothing except for sit back and allow Real Madrid to do whatever the hell they wanted! How can we win games like this when our team isn't even playing? They are all standing and doing nothing, piss poor passing, piss poor defending, no attacks, no initiative, no ball control, nothing! Should have brought the Mestalla team to play against Real Madrid, they would have probably done a bit better. 

Yeah I can complain about the penalty they were awarded, it was most likely outside of the penalty area and it was a very soft foul as well, but zero response after the penalty, you'd think players would get angry and try and prove something, but no the team shut down even more. 

Second half starts and you'd think Valencia CF would be ready to challenge Real Madrid and try and score an equalizer, but no we were still defending as if we are leading 5-0 or something. They just used our passiveness and scored two more goals, both of them scored by Vinicious Junior. 

The frustrating thing is how easy they were able to score, how easy it was for them to shoot and create chances and find themselves in good positions, our marking and positioning at the back was atrocious, but even if it was impeccable we still can't expect to defend for 60+ minutes and not concede even once! Even the best Italian teams who played that kind of football a decade ago were not able to withstand an onslaught for 60-70 or more minutes, even they had to play some football. 

Valencia CF would score a condolence goal after a pity penalty was given to us. Guedes steps in to take the penalty, shoots straight into the goalkeeper, but luckily the rebound heads towards him and he heads the ball into the net. 

Real Madrid weren't even playing anymore at that point, they were just allowing Valencia CF to do whatever and hitting us on the counter, but even that wasn't enough for Valencia CF as they were not able to muster up any serious chance. Daniel Wass had few long range efforts that went wide and to make matters worse Benzema would utterly finish this match with a 4th goal for Real Madrid. Gaya tried to get to him and cover, but like a headless chicken just lunged towards the ball and Benzema with one simple move got rid of him and slotted the ball into the net.

This team can play 100 times against Real Madrid and lose like 99 of the matches, it was that obvious. In previous years even when they were considered much better Valencia CF has given them a much tougher time, on many occasion's relying on the referees to bail them out. We only have one similar loss to them in the past decade, but this was even worse as the team did not show up to play! After the first 20 or so minutes it was all Real Madrid. 

I hope they give Bordalas few reinforcements this winter, and believe me Diego Godin and Juan Mata would be 10x better than what we have now. They might be old now, but they have something called skill and experience and we would be much better with these players. I truly believe Diego Godin will be better than all of our defenders except for maybe Gabriel Paulista and only because he is 35 years old, few years back much better! Juan Mata can still probably run circles around a player like Wass or Racic or Hugo or Helder Costa, etc... 

So yeah bring in the elder ones, bring in the "grandpa" squad they are better than what we have now! 

Bring in David Villa, David Silva, Juan Mata, Diego Godin, bring back Ayala from retirement to run circles around these kids. 

Friday, December 31, 2021

Valencia CF 1-2 RCD Espanyol Match Report

Well I got the result right, but the other way around. I thought Valencia CF is going to win 2-1, but it was a 2-1 win for RCD Espanyol. It was a tight game as expected with Valencia CF starting the match livelier and more attack focused, but as expected after a while the tempo dropped and the match equalized with both teams battling it out in the middle with the occasional attack.

Valencia CF did have slightly more attacks and were looking for the win, but RCD Espanyol defended well and on occasions had some decent attacks as well. The first goal would come in the 50th minute as Omar Alderete powerful header ends up in the net. Valencia CF were attacking and trying to create something around the penalty area, Helder Costa got the ball on the left flank and sent a cross inside the penalty area, Alderete rushed towards the ball and jumped the highest even beating Hugo Guillamon to the jump as both were very near, heading the ball directly into the net.

With a goal up Valencia CF decided to fall back and defend and basically try and see through the match with this result, but RCD Espnyol had different plans. They started attacking and created few decent opportunities, but nothing came out of it, that is until Hugo Duro fouled a player in the penalty area and got himself sent off and a penalty awarded to Espanyol. Thing is he could try and do something or just let Jofre Carreras shoot and most likely allow a goal, so he tackled Jofre and got penalized for it. 

Then with one player down Valencia CF weren't able to hold out and in the 87th minute Javier Puado from Espanyol would score the second goal and secure the victory for RCD Espanyol. It was a solid header from the player who was essentially left alone and was able to easily head the ball into the net. Alderete was the one marking him and he allowed Javier to escape him and score the goal. 

I'm not convinced with Alderete's performances, I've found he makes this type of mistake very often, where his marking is extremely suspect and allows for opposition players to have chances on goal. 

It would have been great to start the new year with a win, and technically its still 2021, but still. This way we are set back and much of the good work from previous matches goes to waste, especially as we had this match in the bag all the way until the 80th minute. The team should have been more careful and not allowed Espanyol to take full control of the match in the last 20 minutes, where they would be able to create chances to score. 

Overall it was a decent performance, even though we lost we could have just as easily won and even in extra time the team had chances to equalize, coming so close with two dangerous headers towards goal, but it wasn't to be. 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Celta Vigo 1-2 Valencia CF Match Report

Finally a win for Valencia CF after a string of 3 draws with an unimpressive play. Tonight was different as the play was much better as the team created decent amount of chances, and from the key chances the players were previse and scored two goals. I would have liked for Valencia CF to have more ball control though, as I think 30% ball possession is way too low, even if we are focusing on counter attacks that is still too low possession, something like 40% seems more reasonable and would prevent a lot of attacks towards Valencia's goal.

The match started poorly for Valencia CF as they conceded a goal in the first 15 minutes of the match after a mistake by Omar Alderete. He managed to snatch the ball from Celta, but then kept it too long and was disposed of it, allowing for a dangerous attack to form which resulted in a goal. Hugo Guilamon tried to block the shot, but was a bit too short to reach the ball and Iago Aspas shot went past the goalkeeper and into the net to give Celta Vigo 1-0 lead.

It wasn't looking good for Valencia CF as an early goal was foreshadowing another failed performance and possibly even a loss, but Valencia players reacted well to being a goal down and immediately upped their game and they started attacking. Soon came a string of attacks and chances on the opposing half and it wasn't going to be long before Valencia CF managed to equalize the score.

In the 20th minute Hugo Duro managed to score a goal, after a fail from Celta Vigo's defense and goalkeeper. Matias Dituro made a short pass in his penalty area to some of his defenders, the defender ran a bit forward but was under pressure from Valencia CF players and passed the ball back to the goalkeeper, he then failed to react promptly and made a mess out of clearing the ball, allowing Hugo Duro to get the ball and score a goal. 

The match wsa fairly equal after that with both teams attacking on occasions and having few chances on goal, with Valencia CF being more defensive minded, but actually having the more dangerous chances on goal. Valencia CF took advantage of one of those opportunities after Jose Luis Gaya crossed the ball towards the penalty area to the incoming Maxi Gomez, who controlled the ball well, managed to escape his marker and release a precise shot into the goal.

Celta vigo started pressing harder after going down 2-1 in the match, with Valencia CF defending for the most part and attacking through counter attacks. Both teams would have few decent chances to score further goals, but ultimately weren't able to. 

Bordalas freshened up the team with in the 82nd minute with 3 substitutions at once, this added some fresh legs on the field and allowed Valencia CF to cover more ground. In the end Celta Vigo had a free kick and even their goalkeeper joined in attack to help out his team try and score an equalizer, but after some chaos in and around the penalty area Valencia CF was able to clear the ball and the referee blew the whistle for the end. 

Overall much better performance from our previous few matches, but I'm still worried about the low possession percentage, I think we should try to retain the ball for longer and try to pass it around some more, but this was overall in improvement. Apart from the silly goal that we conceded, which should not have happened it was a good defensive performance and when we attacked we did look solid as well. 

There is a lot to improve upon no doubt and we still played second fiddle to Celta Vigo, so much more work is needed, but I think tonight was overall a better play then our previous 3 matches. The big issue for me remains the aimless balls forward and losing possession way too quickly.