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

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Copa del Rey Second Round: Yeclano Deportivo 1 - 4 Valencia CF Match Thread

 NEWS

With regards to the transfer window, there were rumors that Lim approved two transfers in this window. Both will be loan deals without obligation of purchase. The positions to be reinforced are likely a central defender and a midfielder. Whether or not these two transfers include reclaiming Piccini from Atalanta is still uncertain. It also seems like Ruben Sobrino will be the first player out of Valencia in this window, with Celta and Cadiz both interested in his services.

There was also a report saying that Gracia is only being retained as coach of the club due to financials. If the club fires him, they would have to pay him compensation and they simply cannot afford to do so at this time.

Finally, there was one outlet that reported about Jorge Mendes advising Lim on club affairs, telling him that he should get rid of Anil Murthy and bring on someone with more sporting know-how like Mateu Alemany. Whether Lim takes that advice would be interesting.

PREVIEW

Yeclano's previous game was actually in the first round of the Copa del Rey where they narrowly beat Rayo Majadahonda with a 2-1 scoreline away from home. They took the lead a few minutes into the second half but the home team was quick with the response to equalise four minutes later. A red card late in the second half would set up a nervy extra-time period, eventually ending in Yeclano grabbing the winning goal in injury time of the second half.

Valencia played out yet another draw in their most recent game against Cadiz at Mestalla. Cadiz took the lead around 15 minutes into the second half with an overhead kick. Maxi Gomez would equalize around 10 minutes from full-time with great header following Gaya's cross

In the previous round of the Copa del Rey, Valencia struggled against Terrassa, going down 2-0 early but managed to level it up before full-time. In extra-time, they scored 2 more goals to finish the game with a 2-4 scoreline.

FORM (all competitions)

Yeclano: WLLLD

Valencia: DLLDW

SQUAD


FIRST HALF

7' - Goal for Valencia! 0-1! An initial attempt from Guedes on the right was blocked. Correia picked up the pieces and ran into the box. He pulls it back for Vallejo who scuffs the shot but it slips through for Kang In who makes no mistake in his shot
9' - Goal for Valencia! 0-2! Racic with a tame shot from range that the keeper made an absolute mess of and let it go through into the net.
16' - Really good chance squandered by Sobrino. Guedes threaded through a well-weighted ball behind the defender for Lato to run onto. Lato cuts inside, taking out his marker and draws another defender to him. He squares the ball to Sobrino who is unmarked since the penalty area but his resulting shot is skied. Should have been 0-3.
27' - Yeclano came close to a goal with a shot that struck the crossbar. A cross from a wide position found the forward who sets up Oca for a strike on goal just outside the box, resulting in the shot.
35' - Goal for Valencia! 0-3! Sobrino and Vallejo with great teamwork, exchanging passes between them several times before passing the ball into the net.

HALF-TIME

Dominant performance from Valencia. The team had a lot of success with stringing together quick passes along the ground to expose the defense of Yeclano. There was a lot of intent going forward, with Gracia clearly intent on putting this game to bed early and leaving no room for doubt as was the case with Terrassa in the previous round. There could have been 2 or 3 more goals had it not been for Sobrino's miss and a few efforts from Manu Vallejo that have been ruled offside.

Half-time stats. 4-9 shots. 0-5 shots on target. 29-71% possession, 65-86% pass accuracy

SECOND HALF

46' - Double substitution for Yeclano, Luis Castillo and Victor Sanchez replace David Martinez and Antonia Tormos
47' - Goal for Yeclano. 1-3. A defensive error by Correia gave the chance for Oca to score
52' - Yellow card shown by the referee to Manuel Ortega
53' - Goal for Valencia. 1-4! Thierry Correia plays a pass to Guedes and continues his run forward. Guedes plays an ambitious through ball for him to chase. Correia manages gets there ahead of the defender despite starting further back and picks his spot and the far post.
57' - Yeclano hit the woodwork yet again. Guedes was dispossessed in his own half to set up the shot from distance. It took a deflection on its way and hit the post.
60' - Double change for Valencia. Esquerdo and Jason replace Racic and Kang In Lee
61' - Double change for Yeclano. Carlos Martinez and Iker Larranaga on, Christian Moya and Alejando LaFuente off.
65' - Cristian Rivero with a fantastic save to deny a second goal for Yeclano. The corner from Yeclano was headed away by Thierry and then takes a deflection off Vallejo to find Pedro at the edge of the penalty area. He strikes the ball with a lot of power but Rivero is equal to it, punching it over the crossbar.
71' - Yellow card shown to Oca.
75' - Substitution for Valencia. Gaya on, Lato off. Substitution for Yeclano. Oca is replaced by Luis Romero
81' - Substitution for Valencia. Koba Lein appears to have picked up an injury. He is replaced by Carlos Soler.
86' - Yellow card shown to Theirry Correia for taking down Pedro after he got past him
90' - One minute of time added by the referee for stoppages

FULL-TIME

Valencia advance to the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey in convincing fashion. After a strong first half, the team regressed in the second and didn't build much on their lead. Yeclano got more into the game and created dangerous opportunities yet still Valencia finished the game with a good margin due to the first half performance. 

Full-time stats. 12-12 shots, 5-6 shots on target, 32-68% possession, 68-84% possession.

Valencia's next game is away from home against Real Valladolid on Sunday January 10th.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

La Liga Matchday #17: Valencia CF 1 - 1 Cadiz CF Match Thread

NEWS

The transfer window opens tomorrow (January 4th) and the speculations continue as to which players will leave and arrive at the club.

It was recently revealed that Maxi Gomez did not participate in the last game due to an attitude problem. To incentivize better performances from the team's main striker, Javi Gracia put him on the bench for the game. Maxi Gomez has taken to social media to say that he will work hard. 

Javi Gracia reassured fans in the pre-match press conference that he has no problems with Maxi Gomez. He also reaffirmed that he is absolutely committed to this project with his maximum capacity.

It was also announced today that Marcelino will take over at Athletic Bilbao until 2022 after their current coach was sacked.

PREVIEW

In the last round, Valencia suffered a 2-1 loss away to Granada. While Valencia did well to take the lead via a first half goal from Gameiro, he would later score an own goal at the end of the first half to level the game. The second half saw three red cards, 2 for Valencia (Guedes and Jason) and 1 for Granada (Duarte). With Valencia outnumbered they managed to hold on till the 88th minute before Molina headed in the winning goal.

Cadiz played out a 0-0 draw at home against Real Valladolid in their previous game. Although the away team had the bigger share of possession, the game was otherwise even in chances.

Valencia are currently in the relegation spots at 18th with 15 points from 16 games. Cadiz are 12th with 19 points from 16 games.

FORM (all competitions)

Valencia: LLDWD

Cadiz: DLLLW

SQUAD

Toni Lato has been recovered and has finally tested negative from COVID-19. Guillamon overcame his muscular injury. They are both available for selection. While Racic has somewhat recovered from his vertigo and participated in some training but will not be ready for this game.

Guedes has been handed a 2 game suspension following his comments to the referee last game, and Jason gets just the one game for his red card. Paulista and Cillissen are still dealing with their injuries.


FIRST HALF

15' - Yellow card shown to Cheryshev for a challenge on Iza
18' - Yellow card shown to Guillamon for a heavy foul on Negredo
23' - Good cross into the box from Correia is headed by Maxi Gomez on target but Ledesma taps it over the crossbar.
25' - Gameiro picks up an injury and is forced off the field. Look of frustration on his face having just returned from an injury.
26' - First substitution for Valencia, Kang In Lee replaces the injured Gameiro
35' - Yellow card shown to Lozano for a late challenge on Guillamon
38' - Soler picks out Wass with a forward pass. Wass finds Cheryshev nearby, he controls the pass with one touch and shoots with his left foot to the far post, narrowly missing
45' - One minute added by the referee for stoppages

HALF-TIME

Very tame half from both teams, no one really threatening or testing the opposing keeper. The introduction of Kang In for Valencia energized the team and sparked some improvement in play. Yet, the final pass is always lacking, preventing Valencia from taking the lead.

Half-time stats. 4-4 shots, 1-0 shots on target, 72-28% possession, 88-66% pass accuracy

SECOND HALF

46' - Substitution for Cadiz. Akapo replaces Isquierdo.
58' - Goal for Cadiz. 0-1. Espino beats Correia with a quick change in direction, cuts inside and puts in a cross, which is hit by Iza into the air and setting up an overhead kick by Lozano. Jaume gets a touch but cannot keep it out
64' - Double substitution for Valencia. Cheryshev and Musah are replaced by Vallejo and Blanco
67' - Soler takes a shot from distance and manages to test the keeper, who spills the save. No Valencia players are nearby to capitalize
69' - Yellow card shown to Negredo for an elbow to the face of Guillamon
72' - Corner for Cadiz is headed by Lozano and it strikes the post and deflects away from goal. Almost a second for the away team
74' - Double substitution for Cadiz. Alvaro Gimenez and Malbasic on, Lozano and Negredo off
76' - Final substitution for Valencia. Sobrino comes on for Wass
78' - Goal for Valencia! 1-1! Espino makes a mess of the clearing header and gives possession to Gaya on the left channel. Gaya looks up, takes a touch and picks out Maxi Gomez at the far post who heads it past the keeper.
89' - Final change for Cadiz. Perea off, Alex Fernandez on
90' - Four minutes added by the referee for stoppages

FULL-TIME

Another draw to maintain the point per game average for Valencia. Cadiz took the lead and Valencia equalized but there were many chances on the counter attack in the final few minutes of the game that would've given all three points to Cadiz. They failed to take those chances due to poor final passes, fortunately for Valencia.

Full-time stats. 11-9 shots, 4-2 shots on target, 72-28% possession, 86-67% pass accuracy

Next game for Valencia is on Thursday January 7th away to Yeclano for the second round of the Copa del Rey.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

La Liga Matchday #16 Granada CF 2 - 1 Valencia CF Match Thread

 NEWS

The transfer market will open on January 4th 2021 and there was some speculation as to who, if at all, will Valencia sign. There was a meeting reported between Javi Gracia and Murthy this week. Talks of signing Capoue resurfaced, and Villareal appear to be in contention as well. Diego Liete of Porto and Ferro of Benfica have been linked to the club to reinforce the central defenders. With Atalanta not keen on using Piccini and with the team already short-handed, it also appears that he could be on his way back to Valencia. Finally, as Diego Costa has been released from his contract at Atletico Madrid and with there being clauses deterring him from signing with teams in domestic teams in European spots, Valencia was mentioned as a possible (unlikely) destination.

PREVIEW

Granada suffered a 2-0 away defeat at the hands Real Madrid. The game was pretty one-sided as Real Madrid dominated possession and chances. Both goals were scored in the second half. The first was a headed goal by Casemiro 10 minutes into the half, and was individual goal by Benzema in stoppage time.

Valencia lost 0-1 at home against Sevilla. With the game being fairly even and Valencia squandering their good chances in front of goal, Sevilla took their chance late in the second half and grabbed the winner with a shot from Suso from the edge of the box

Granada currently sit 7th in the league with 21 points from 14 games and Valencia are 16th with 15 points from 15 games.

FORM (all competitions)

Granada: LWWDL

Valencia: LDWDD

SQUAD

Racic will certainly miss this game due to having a case of vertigo during training. He attempted to participate but simply couldn't finish training.

Lato will also miss this game due to testing positive for COVID a while back. 

Guillamon, and Cillissen are still in recovery from their injury. Paulista also suffered an injury in the game against Sevilla and will likely miss several games including this one. 

Kang In should be available for selection after missing last game with discomfort. Gameiro has also been recovered from injury.


FIRST HALF

9' - Yellow card shown to Jason for dissent against the referee
14' - Goal for Granada. 1-0. Counter attack from Granada ended in a shot from Kennedy at the edge of the penalty area and across the box, beating Jaume at the far post.
15' - Goal overturned by VAR as Foulquier fouled Jason with an arm to the face in the build-up. Yellow card shown to Foulquier
25' - A poor header back by Gonalons sets up Gameiro for a run at goal, although at a tight angle. He tests the keeper and forces a save with the rebound falling onto the head of Guedes, who hits the target but the keeper is quick to react and save it.
33' - Yellow card shown to Wass for a heavy challenge on Puertas
35' - Goal for Valencia. 0-1! A good tackle by Esquerdo wins possession for Valencia. Guedes receives the ball, pokes it to Cheryshev out wide, who then puts in a delightful cross to the far post for Gameiro to blast through from close range. VAR checks the initial challenge from Esquerdo on Suarez and confirms that it's not a foul.
44' - With Gonalons injured and Granada temporarily down to 10-men, Valencia start a counter-attack led by Jason. He has Cheryshev, Guedes and Gameiro in support yet opts to go the distance himself and takes the shot, it is high and wide. Wrong decision there.
45' - Three minutes of time added by the referee for stoppages
45+2' - Goal for Granada. 1-1. Kenedy beats Jaume from the free kick as his shot deflects off Gameiro and into the goal. The deflection confused Jaume and rooted him to the spot.

SECOND HALF

48' - Yellow card shown to Mangala for a rough challenge on Yangel Herrera
66' - First change for Valencia, Vallejo on for Gameiro
68' - First change for Granada. Jorge Molina replaces Roberto Soldado
70' - Red card shown to Jason after picking up a second yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Domingos Duarte. Valencia down to 10 men.
72' - Yellow card shown to Puertas for dragging down Vallejo
73' - Straight red card shown to Guedes for bad-mouthing the referee. Valencia down to 9 men
74' - Double substitution for Granada. Quini on for Foulquier and Soro on for Puertas
76' - Second substitution for Valencia. Musah replaces Cheryshev
77' - Red card shown to Domingos Duarte for a last-man challenge on Manu Vallejo to stop him from going through on goal
86' - Final change for Valencia. Koba Lein replaces Esquerdo who is struggling to continue playing
88' - Goal for Granada. Jorge Molina with a glancing header to meet Soro's cross and beat Jaume.
89' - Final change for Granada. Luis Suarez is replaced by Jesus Vallejo
90' - Five minutes added on by the referee for stoppages
90+4' - Yellow card shown to Gonalons for an arm to the face on Soler

FULL-TIME

Full-time stats. 24-16 shots. 5-6 shots on target. 53-47% possession. 75-72% pass accuracy

Next game for Valencia will be on the 4th of January 2021 at Mestalla against Cadiz.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

La Liga Matchday #15: Valencia CF 0 - 1 Sevilla FC Match Thread

NEWS

Following the previous fixture, there was some analysis of the game against Barcelona with articles questioning the penalty decision against Gaya and whether Messi's goal was offside.

From the management side, it is reported that Kim Koh has officially left his role at Valencia and will link up with Peter Lim in Singapore to take on a role in one of his businesses.

Finally, Javier Tebas gave another interview, this time with goal.com, and was questioned yet again about the situation of Valencia. He believes the current affairs aren't as bad as people make them out to be. He justifies the sales the club has to make by saying that Valencia was hit by two "pandemics", COVID and failing to qualify for the Champions League which together cost the team 90 million euros. He added that he knows Peter Lim to be on top of everything despite the fact that he runs the club from thousands of kilometers away. When asked about how Marcelino and Alemany were sacked, he said that it was to be expected when a coach challenges the owner's every step. About the fans, he said he is worried about the detachment of some fans, before saying that he understand their anger but the club is in a time is in a time of transition. Read more here.

PREVIEW

Valencia played a good game away against Barcelona in the previous matchday. They ended the game 2-2 but the scoreline doesn't tell the whole story as Valencia had the better chances of the two teams. Valencia took the lead from a set-piece routine right off the training ground, as Diakhaby lost his marker and connected with Soler's corner delivery to head it past the keeper. Barcelona would equalize after being awarded a controversial penalty which, although saved by Jaume, was converted to a goal by a Messi header from the resulting cross. Barcelona would grab a goal from an unlikely source with their defender volleying the ball past Jaume. However, Valencia would tie the game after Guedes and Gaya combined brilliantly to set up a chance for Maxi Gomez which was flicked past the keeper.

Sevilla played a 1-1 draw at home against Real Valladolid. Despite enjoying the majority of possession, the game was pretty much even in chances. Sevilla took the lead in the first half from the penalty spot. They would hold on to their lead for the remained of the game until Raul Garcia struck a stunning volley following a corner which was headed on towards him.

Valencia are currently 13th with 15 points from 13 games while Sevilla are 7th with 20 points from 12 games.

FORM (all competitions)

Valencia: DWDDL
Sevilla: DWWLL

SQUAD

Goalkeeping: Cillissen remains injured with expected return beyond the winter transfer market.

Defense: Toni Lato will miss this game due to testing positive for COVID. Guillamon is still in recovery from his injury.

Midfield: Racic was not feeling well and missed a training session with the team. Gracia waited for him until the last minute but he hasn't felt better so he is not part of the squad list. Kang In also felt last minute discomfort and trained separately with Guillamon but is expected to return to face Granada in the next matchday.

Offense: Gameiro is still in recovery from his injury with no estimated time of recovery available.

Lineup: Garcia opts for 3 central defenders. This could be 5 at the back with Gaya and Jason as wing-backs, Wass in midfield alongside Soler, with Cheryshev, Gomez and Guedes in offense. Alternatively, but more unlikely, that one of the central defenders will be used in a holding midfield role.


FIRST HALF

17' - First change of the game for Valencia, the injured Paulista is replaced by Guillem Molina
45' - Four minutes added by the referee for stoppages
45+2' - Yellow card shown to Wass for a heavy challenge on Luuk de Jong
45+4' - Guedes's cross takes a deflection of the defender but lands to the feet of Cheryshev. He hits it first time but straight at the keeper.

SECOND HALF

55' - Yellow card shown to Luuk de Jong for a foul on Guillem Molina
59' - First change for Sevilla, Luuk de Jong off, En-Nesyri on.
69' - Double substitution for Valencia, Gaya and Cheryshev are replaced by Blanco and Musah. Double change for Sevilla. Rakitic and Vidal replaced Oscar Rodriguez and Jesus Navas
71' - Yellow card shown to Carlos Soler for dissent against the referee
78' - Yellow card shown to Guillem Molina for a foul on Lucas Ocampos to stop the counter attack
81' - Goal for Sevilla. 0-1. Rakitic with the pass for Suso who takes a shot from outside of the box. Jaume got a hand to it but couldn't keep it out
82' - Yellow card shown to Joan Jordan for a tackle from behind on Guedes
84' - Final change for Valencia as Mangala is replaced by Vallejo
86' - Final change for Sevilla, Munir on, Suso off.
90' - Four minutes added by the referee for stoppages

FULL-TIME

Full-time stats. 10-19 shots, 4-3 shots on target, 30-70% possession, 68-84% pass accuracy

Next game for Valencia is the final one for 2020. It is away to Granada on the 30th of December.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

La Liga Matchday #14: FC Barcelona 2 - 2 Valencia CF Match Thread

 NEWS

The draw for the next round of the Copa del Rey has been made and Valencia drew Yeclano Deportivo. Valencia will play the game away from home on January 6th

In the pre-match press conference Javi Gracia was asked yet again about signings in the winter transfer window, to which he replied 'nobody knows'.

PREVIEW

Barcelona come into this game on the back of a narrow 2-1 home win against Real Sociedad. The away team took the lead, against the run of play, 27 minutes into the game from a set piece play that was poorly dealt with by the defense before being finished by Willian Jose. Barcelona managed to equalize before half-time with Jordi Alba finishing a good team effort, before a fortunate deflection set up Frankie de Jong for the second goal.

Valencia's previous fixture was mid-week in the Copa del Rey in which they struggled against 4th division Terrassa. Valencia went down 2 goals 50 minutes before Molina was shown a red card and could've easily could've gone 3 down if not for a horrible miss. A penalty from Carlos Soler and a stoppage time goal from Musah would tie the game and send it to extratime where Guedes scored 2 goals to finish the game at 2-4. 

Barcelona currently occupy 5th position in the league with 20 points from 11 games, whereas Valencia are in 13th position with 14 points from 13 games.

FORM (all competitions)

Barcelona: WWLLW

Valencia: WDDLD

SQUAD

Good news is Gaya is back in the squad and will start the game. 

In attack, Guedes will start next to Maxi Gomez. He scored 2 goals in the midweek fixture and this must have influenced this decision.


FIRST HALF

12' - Yellow card shown to Griezmann for taking down Guedes to stop the counter
24' - Cheryshev does well to catch Busquets off-guard at the back to set up a a counter-attack. The team exchanges passes with no one willing to take the shot. Cheryshev found Guedes, who takes a touch and finds Maxi Gomez who does the same and finds Musah. This gives enough time for the Barcelona defense to track back and set up their defense.
27' - Another chance for Valencia but Gaya and Cheryshev both attempt to take a shot from Yunus's pass but the shot is blocked by Araujo. 
29' - Soler with a shot from distance that forces a save by Ter Stegen. Corner kick.
30' - Goal for Valencia! 0-1!. Diakhaby loses his defenders in the box to meet the delivery from Carlos Soler and head it past the keeper.
33' - Barcelona with a counter attack off the Valencia corner kick. Pedri outpaces Wass and has space to run into. He finds Griezmann to his right in the box but the angle had closed down so much, he can only hit it straight at Jaume
41' - Musah is forced off the field with an injury. Valencia temporarily down to 10-men.
42' - First substitution for Valencia. Alex Blanco replaces the injured Musah.
44' - Good counter attack from Valencia. Carlos Soler finds Gaya in space. Gaya drives the ball forward, passes to Guedes who plays a through-ball for Cheryshev. It's a bit ahead of him but he managed to get a touch to cross for Maxi. The header is saved by Ter Stegen. Should've been a goal.
45' - Messi picks out Griezmann with a through-ball putting him clean through on goal. Gaya gets a shove on Griezmann who goes down. Referee shows Gaya a straight red card and awards a penalty. Risky play from the captain.
45+2' - After a VAR check, Gaya's red is overturned and a yellow given instead. Penalty still stands.
45+3' - Jaume saves the penalty! Messi is denied. 
45+4' - Goal for Barcelona. 1-1. The ball is still spilled to his right and the cross is put back to the far post where Messi gets the header to it into the open net.

HALF-TIME

Good start to the first half from Valencia. Barcelona were given the majority of possession, as usual, but they were reduced to just that. They had no chances at goal and Jaume wasn't tested. 

Barcelona mainly tried to exploit Valencia's right-side. Wass had to deal with Braithwaite as well as the overlapping runs from Jordi Alba. Even with Yunus Musah, tracking back to help out at times, Barcelona still got the ball to Alba and put in cross after cross. The defense was solid and did well to clear all these efforts away.

Valencia would get a few chances to counter-attack and threaten the two inexperienced Barcelona defenders. There was initially a lot of hesitation in going for a shot, but this wouldn't be the case for long with Valencia getting shot after shot on target.

The goal for Valencia would eventually come from a corner set-piece where Diakhaby cleverly his marker, Griezmann, to get clean contact on the Carlos Soler delivery and beat Ter Stegen.

Valencia would get another chance soon after from a counter-attack that ended with a Maxi Gomez header but he failed to beat the keeper.

Unfortunately, Yunus Musah picked up an injury and Alex Blanco was called off the bench to replace him. Hopefully, it isn't a long-term injury as this stretches the squad thinner.

A silly challenge by Gaya in the penalty box, gave Barcelona a way back into the game when they had none to start. There was a scare that Gaya would be sent off but this was overturned by VAR. While Jaume did well to save Messi's penalty, the spillover wasn't dealt with well-enough and the resulting cross found Messi again who made no mistake this time.

Half-time stats. 6-9 shots, 3-3 shots on target, 77-23% possession, 89-76% pass accuracy.

SECOND-HALF

Substitution for Barcelona. Frenkie de Jong replaces Busquets.

48' - Quick free kick in the middle of the pitch for Valencia, finds Guedes on the right. Guedes beats his defender and has Maxi in the middle and Cheryshev at the edge of the 18-yard box. He pulls it back for the latter who scuffs his shot way wide. It was a good chance to get a shot on target.
52' - Goal for Barcelona. 2-1. A botched counter-attack from Valencia as Guedes is dispossessed. Griezmann finds de Jong in the center of the box who sets it up for Araujo who then beats Jaume with a volley.
55' - Messi gets a cross to find Braithwaite at the far-post. He gets a header on target but Jaume clears off the line.
56' - Yellow card shown to Mingueza for taking down Geudes on the counter-attack.
59' - Guedes switches play from an advanced position to find Alex Blanco. Blanco cuts inside and sets up a pass for Racic to strike at goal. The shot is wide.
68' - Goal for Valencia! 2-2! Guedes plays a fantastic ball from a wide position to find Gaya's well-timed run into the box. Gaya puts in a cross to the center where Maxi Gomez gets in front of Mingueza and flicks it past the keeper
71' - Mingueza takes a strike from distance and forces Jaume to stretch to make contact. The ball falls to Wass who makes a mess of the back pass and gives Barcelona a corner
72' - Jaume forced to make another save, this time from Coutinho at close range
73' - Second hange for Barcelona. Trincao replaces Griezmann.
77' - Coutinho cuts past Wass and into the box. He gets a shot in that fizzes past the far post.
78' - Second change for Barcelona. Coutinho is replaced by Lenglet
85' - Third change for Barcelona. Pjanic replaces Pedri
86' - Second change for Valencia. Vallejo comes on to replace Guedes
89' - Final change for Valencia. Kang In replaces Cheryshev
90' - Three minutes added by the referee for stoppages
90+1' - Yellow card shown to Lenglet for a tackle from behind on Maxi Gomez. Jordi Alba also booked for dissent against the referee

FULL-TIME

Decent second half. There were chances for both teams to win the game but in the end they share the points.

While Valencia started off the half strongly, Barcelona would be the first to take the lead less than 10 minutes into the half. A Valencia counter-attack failed due to Guedes getting dispossessed and Barcelona turned it around to score in an unconventional way as their central defender volleyed it past Jaume.

After plenty of back and forth between the teams, Valencia managed to equalize with a great combination between Guedes and Gaya. With the former playing a delightful ball to meet the run of the latter into the box. Gaya fools the defender with movements  one way then the other before playing a ball for Maxi Gomez who got in front of his marker to slot the ball past Ter Stegen.

Barcelona had a ton of shots in the final part of the game, although most of them were off-target. 

Full-time stats. 25-12 shots, 9-4 shots on target, 73-27% possession, 89-75% pass accuracy.

Next game for Valencia is on Tuesday the 22nd at Mestalla against Sevilla.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

La Liga Matchday #13: Valencia CF 2 - 2 Athletic Bilbao Match Thread

 NEWS

At the Valencia Shareholder's Meeting, Anil Murthy answered some questions, mainly about financials but also about other matters related to the club.

There was discussion that the club was still in the process of playing Marcelino what he is owed. Murthy assured that the club is honoring their agreement with the coach.

Murthy added to last week's comments saying, that he doesn't feel like Valencia gave players away since their high salaries were high and the club was saving on them by selling.

About the Nou Mestalla, he said that the stadium cannot be completed without selling the old stadium. In a talk about sponsors, he said that the club was looking for a new sponsor since some European countries have either passed or are in the process of passing a ban on betting/bookmaker sponsors on kits. This would result in a loss of revenue for Valencia since bwin is a betting company. He added that if the new stadium is completed, Valencia would acquire several other sponsors. 

With regards to some players not receiving salary payments, Murthy explained the delay was due to the pandemic. The club was also required to make payments to Bankia and used Ferran's sale to help make that. You may read other details from this interview here if interested.

Superdeporte reported on the financial relationship between Valencia and Meriton. Apparently, two big loans were made to the club from Meriton in the 2014-15 and 2020-21 seasons. The money was loaned with a right of pledge. If the loan's could not be re-negotiated and should Meriton choose to make a claim on payments, Valencia would sell players at a price and time convenient to the club to make the payments. Meriton has not asked for any payments thus far but has reported the club to begin the payment of the 54 million euro loan. Read more here.

Finally, Javi Gracia took part in a pre-match press conference where he talks about how despite all the work the team is done, he still views it as insufficient as evidenced by the results. He added that only a few teams have managed a high level at all this season, with everyone struggling. He also expressed hope on a successful appeal for Hugo Guillamon's previous yellow card. Finally, he said that he was looking at Fran Navarro and other players from the academy to supplement the squad in the midweek Copa del Rey fixture.

PREVIEW

Valencia played out a 0-0 draw against Eibar. Valencia played a very dull and lackluster first half. The game opened up a bit more in the second half with both teams getting chances. Gameiro had the best chances of the game in stoppage time but the keeper managed to deny him the goal.

Athletic Bilbao come into this game on the back of 0-2 loss at home to Celta Vigo. They conceded two goals in the second half, one from a well-worked cross and the other due to a goalkeeping error. In the end, they didn't manage a single shot on target.

The two teams are tied at 13/14 position in the league with 13 points. Athletic have a game in hand though.

FORM

Valencia: DLDWD

Athletic Bilbao: LDWLW

SQUAD

Cheryshev has trained with the team and should be available for selection after testing negative from COVID.

Gracia estimates that Gaya should be available for next week's fixture against Barcelona and would prefer not to risk him by playing him early.

Cillissen's expected recovery data is well in the new year, meaning that the club could be on the market for another keeper.


FIRST HALF

24' - Racic with a shot from range that deflects off the post
25' - Penalty awarded to Valencia! Maxi Gomez was fouled by Dani Garcia in the penalty box. His initial shot was blocked by the defender and he was fouled on his second attempt
26' - Goal for Valencia! 1-0! Carlos Soler converts the penalty.
31' - Yellow card shown to Mikel Vesga for tripping Carlos Soler
36' - Yellow card shown to Maxi Gomez for pushing Inigo Martinez
45' - One minute of stoppage time is added by the referee

SECOND HALF

46' - First substitution by Bilbao. Mikel Vesga is replaced by Unai Lopez
55' - Goal for Athletic Bilbao. 1-1. Musah's clearance falls right to Yuri Berchiche, who plays a one-two with the nearby player, before putting in a low cross that Asier Villalibre converts at the near post.
60' - Valencia's first change of the game, Musah is replaced by Manu Vallejo
61' - Yellow card shown to Dani Garcia for tripping Manu Vallejo
67' - Second substitution for Athletic Club as Ander Capa is replaced by Oscar de Marcos
71' - Double change for Valencia. Wass and Guedes are off,  Correia and Jason are on.
73' - Yellow card shown to Unai Lopez for a strong challenge on Jason
77' - Third change for Bilbao. Asier Villalibre off, Raul Garcia on.
78' - Poor challenge by Racic, gives Bilbao a penalty. Munain was running along the goal line and there was plenty of cover in the box, the challenge wasn't good enough and missing the ball entirely.
79' - Goal for Athletic Bilbao. Raul Garcia converts the penalty. Jaume got a leg to the ball but couldn't keep it out and is deflected into the roof of the net. 1-2.
82' - Yellow card shown to Yeray Alvarez for tripping Maxi Gomez
83' - Goal for Valencia! 2-2! Carlos Soler's free kick delivery was dealt with poorly by the keeper who had attempted to punch it away but missed. The ball fell to Manu Vallejo who had headed it into the goal.
84' - Final change for Bilbao. Iker Muniain is replaced by Unai Nunez.
85' - Yellow card shown to Berenguer for tacking Correia
90' - Yellow card shown to Jason for pulling down Unai Lopez. Five minutes of stoppage time added by the referee.
90+4' - Yellow card shown to Raul Garcia for a push on Carlos Soler

FULL-TIME

Full-time stats. 11-13 shots, 2-5 shots on target. 39-61 %possession, 67-78% pass accuracy.

Next game for Valencia will be on the 16th of December away against Terrassa in the Copa del Rey.


Monday, December 7, 2020

La Liga Matchday #12: SD Eibar 0 - 0 Valencia CF Match Thread

NEWS

Anil Murthy participated in another interview this past week in which he commented on the situation of the club and plans in the near future. He denied that Valencia sold their best players this past transfer window, and claims that the best players are still here, citing Gaya as an example. He also reiterated that Peter Lim has never had any intention of selling the club. He further denied claims that Peter Lim's strategy is to make profit from player sales, referencing the annual losses as proof that this isn't happening. Additionally, he talked about how they are betting on the academy for years to come and that he predicts that they will win La Liga within the next ten years if their bet pays off. He specifically talks about the 4-1 win against Real Madrid as an indicator of the potential of this young team. He also believes the silent majority of fans are proud of the team. Finally, he showed uncertainty when asked whether there will be signings in the January transfer window. Read the full interview here.


PREVIEW

Eibar managed to take all 3 points from their previous fixture in La Liga by beating Real Betis 0-2 away from home. Despite the home team enjoying the majority of possession, Eibar would create more chances and more importantly convert them. With their first half goal overturned due to VAR, they would take the lead early in the second with a set-piece header, and extend their advantage soon after with a penalty.

Valencia lost in an unfortunate manner to Atletico Madrid at Mestalla in the last matchday. Valencia had hoped to hold on as long as they could, soaking up the pressure from Atletico Madrid in hopes of catching them on the counter. They would manage to keep things under control for 70 minutes when an own goal from Lato would prove to be the difference between the teams with the match ending 0-1 at 90 minutes.

Eibar are currently 13th and Valencia 16th in the league standings with 13 and 12 points respectively from 11 games. The two teams are both within 2 point reach of the relegation spots.

FORM

Eibar: WDDLW
Valencia: LDWDL

SQUAD

Guillamon picked up an injury in the previous game but is also suspended due to accumulation of yellow cards so he will certainly miss this game. The good news is that Diakhaby should be available to pair up with Paulista after recovering from his injury.

Gaya and Cillissen are still in recovery from their injuries. Meanwhile, Cheryshev and Kang-In have reportedly tested positive for COVID. 


FIRST HALF

2' - Guedes tries a shot from distance but the keeper deals with it
34' - Kike gets a shot on target following a cross but Jaume save it
41' - Yellow card shown to Esteban Burgos for a challenge on Manu Vallejo
42' - Wass hits the target from the free kick but it simple for the keeper to save
44' - Yellow card shown to Anaitz Arbilla for a challenge on Manu Vallejo.
45' - The delivery into the box from the free kick results in tame shot on target from Vallejo.
45' - One minute added by the referee for stoppages

HALF-TIME

Half-time stats. 6-3 shots, 1-2 shots on target, 60-40 %possession, 72-48 %pass accuracy

SECOND HALF

52' - A delivery from Soler into the box is headed back out. Racic strikes the ball on the volley and forces a save from the keeper. The save deflects off the inside of the post and back out. Vallejo tries to get to it first but the keeper responds quicker.
56' - Yellow card shown to Racic for a late challenge on Roberto Correa
60' - Nice counter attack from Valencia as Soler threads a nice through ball for Vallejo to run into space. Vallejo puts in a cross to the far post where Maxi Gomez has found some space. Maxi controls well and instead of taking the shot himself opts to try to find Soler but the defender intercepts the pass.
69' - Yellow card shown to Sergi Alvarez for a challenge on Vallejo
70' - First change for Eibar, Takashi Inui is replaced by Alejandro Pozzo
71' - Double change for Valencia. Musah and Vallejo are replaced by Jason and Gameiro
82' - Second substitution for Eibar. Yoshimuro muto off, Sergi Enrich on
83' - Valencia with their next change, Correia replaces Lato
85' - Jaume with a fantastic save to stop the shot from the free kick. It initially looked like a cross and but he reacted well, basically scooping it out of the goal.
86' - Final change for Eibar. Serio Alvarez off, Recio on
87' - Jaume with another great save to deny Sergi Enrich from close range
90' - Four minutes added by the referee for stoppages
90+3' - Yellow card shown to Maxi Gomez for a challenge from behind on Recio
90+4' - What a chance! Gameiro put clean through on goal by Jason but he fails to beat the keeper. That would've been the winner

FULL-TIME

Full-time stats. 19-6 shots, 3-4 shots on target, 64-36 %possession, 75-46 %pass accuracy.

A wasted opportunity to climb in the table and the relegation spots remain within Valencia's field of vision. The best chance for the team came in the last minute with Jason setting up Gameiro but the latter could not put it past the keeper.

On the other end, Jaume did well to keep the game level and takes big credit in the team walking away with one point.

The next game for Valencia is on Saturday the 12th at Mestalla against Athletic Bilbao

Saturday, November 28, 2020

La Liga Matchday #11: Valencia CF 0 - 1 Atletico Madrid Match Thread

 NEWS

Denis Cheryshev has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. The squad has party trained individually as a result. Cheryshev will miss a few games until he recovers.

Gabriel Paulista is on track to secure his Spanish passport. No date has been given yet but it should be soon. This will free up a non-EU slot on the team. As reported last week, this will be useful in case Yunus Musah needs one, or in case any planned signing does as well.

PREVIEW

Valencia played out a 2-2 draw away to Deportivo Alaves in their previous La Liga fixture. The team failed to show in the first half and gave Alaves a 2-0 advantage going into half-time. They then did well to recover in the second half, grabbing to goals via Guillamon and Vallejo to even the score. They could've gone further and snatched a win, but poor finishing from very good chances in the final minutes, denied them the opportunity.

Atletico managed a 1-0 home win in La Liga against Barcelona last week. They took the lead as a result of first half stoppage time mistake from Ter Stegen when he left his penalty area but failed to get to the ball before Cararasco. The player beat him to the ball, went around him and finished into the empty net from distance. 

Atletico also played a 0-0 home draw against Lokomotiv Moskow in their mid-week Champions League game. Despite dominating the entire game in almost every stat and every area of the pitch, they could not break the tie. They have an upcoming fixture away to Bayern Munich in the middle of this coming week.

Valencia are currently 9th with 12 points from 10 games while Atletico are 2nd with 20 points from 8 games.

FORM (**all competitions)

Valencia: DWDLL

Atletico Madrid: DWWWW

SQUAD

This week confirmed that Gaya will be out 3-4 weeks due to the injury he picked up late against Alaves. Cheryshev will miss this game due to the positive COVID test.

Cillisssen and Diakhaby are still dealing with their injuries. Maxi Gomez just managed to squeeze into the lineup but with caution. Mangala is back and available for selection.

FIRST-HALF

13' - Shot from Lemar deflects off Soler and forces Jaume to make a finger-tip save
22' - Great team play from Valencia. Guedes and Musah link up with one-two on the right flank before Guedes finds Soler at the edge of the area. Soler sends a well-timed lob over the defense to pick out Racic who had snuck in behind the defender on the left. Racic takes a shot at goal but Oblak parries it out for a corner. The shot looked more like a scuffed cross. Maxi Gomez was asking it for it in the center.
28' - Yellow card shown to Racic for an arm to the head of Llorente
38' - Counter-attack from Atletico is stalled through a great tackle by Racic. The ball falls to Lemar who swerves his way though the Valencia defenders and takes a shot just outside the penalty area, testing Jaume again. The keeper puts it out for a corner.
42' - Jaume makes another good save, this time to deny Correa at a tight angle
43' - Yellow card shown to Saul for dragging down Manu Vallejo

HALF-TIME

Valencia have shown up this first half and are doing well to hold Atletico at bay. They are mostly content with sitting back and absorbing the pressure from Atletico and striking them on the counter-attack
Atletico have enjoyed the majority of possession and chances as a result of the playstyle Valencia chose for this game as well as their own imposing presence on the game. They have the majority of chances, most of which have come from outside the penalty area and all to which Jaume has saved well.
Valencia usually come into life in the second half and impose themselves on the game. When they do a decent job in the first half, they set themselves up to go for a win in the second instead of having to climb up to make up a one or two goal deficit.
Atletico have looked vulnerable on the counter-attack. Unfortunately poor final passes from several players has made the dangerous fizzle out into nothing.
Half-time stats. 4-9 shots, 2-4 shots on target, 31-69% possession, 76-86% pass accuracy.

SECOND-HALF

45' - First change for Atletico Madrid. Joao Felix replaces Renan Lodi
53' - Llorente gets a pass just behind Wass and makes a cross into the box which Jaume gets a touch on. The ball falls to Lemar with Jaume out of position. Lemar takes the shot but Wass steps in and blocks it. Guillamon appears to have picked up an injury in the process and signals to the bench that he needs to be subbed.
56'- Yellow card shown to Gullamon for taking his time in walking off. He will miss the next game due to accumulated bookings.
57' - Valencia make their first substitution. Mangala replaces Guillamon.
59' - Second change for Atletico Madrid. Carrasco on, Saul off.
62' - Yellow card shown to Correa for a tackle from behind on Guedes
65' - Final set of changes for Atletico. Vitolo and Kondogbia come on for Correa and Lemar
69' - Second set of changes for Valencia. Musah, Maxi Gomez and Vallejo are replaced by Correia, Gameiro and Sobrino
75' - Yellow card shown to Llorete for a handball and kicking the ball away in frustration after the foul got called
79' - Goal for Atletico Madrid. 0-1. Toni Lato puts the ball in his own net off the cross from Carrasco
81' - Yellow card shown to Joao Felix for a handball
82' -  Yellow card shown to Coke for a high boot to the face of Correia
84' - Final change for Valencia. Jason replaces Wass.
90'- Four minutes of stoppage time added by the referee.

FULL-TIME

After holding on for nearly 70 minutes without incident, the team gets undone by an own goal. Unfortunate but often happens when a team is exposed to this much pressure without an outlet.

Atletico built on their advantages in possession and chances that they had in the first half. Simeone responded early and made substitutions that have made a difference to the team.

Gracia took a bit longer to make his substitutions. The first one forced by the injury to Guillamon. Then, he made triple substitution at around minute 70 bringing on Gameiro, Sobrino and Correia for Maxi Gomez, Manu Vallejo and Musah. 

The game did not need Gameiro or Sobrino. The only reason for that would be if Maxi Gomez's injury has not fully healed. The team was struggling with the final pass. They were not getting chances and failing to convert them. This game needed Kang In to address the lack of good chances. 

With Gracia's second half plan essentially being to hold out for a draw, the team could not really respond when they went down. A complete shift in mentality was required and there wasn't enough time to do that. Not against a team like Atletico.

Full-time stats. 5-14 shots, 2-6 shots on goal, 32-68 %possession, 73-85 %pass accuracy.

Next game is away to Eibar on Monday December 7th.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

La Liga Matchday #10: Deportivo Alaves SAD 2 - 2 Valencia CF Match Thread

 NEWS

During the international break, Gaya was involved in a heavy collision in the game against Switzerland. This caused him to get substituted early with a head injury. Despite looking serious from the pictures, the player recovered and played a few days later in Spain's dominant 6-0 win over Germany, assisting 2 goals in the process. His team topped their group in the Nations League.

Elsewhere, Cheryshev managed to score one goal for Russia but his team suffered two defeats, a close on against Turkey and a heavy one against Serbia,

Back in Valencia, there were developments as well. Joey Lim was recently announced to join the board of directors, adding yet another voice of Peter Lim in the board room. 

Also, a new clause has been proposed about the requirements to attend a shareholder meeting. Previously, only 9 shares were enough to grant access to the meeting. This could change on December 11, where the number could see a  jump to 3,598 shares. People with shares less than that must aggregate together to reach the number and delegate a representative among them to attend on behalf of the group.

In addition, Valencia presented some numbers with regards to the financials of the the past season and this one. The highlights are as follows:

  •  Valencia recorded a loss of around 8 million euros in the 2019-20 season despite 60.8 million euros gained from reaching the Round of 16. 
  • For the 2020-21 season, the budget will see a drop from 172 million euros (2019-20 season) to around 119 million euros
  • For the 2020-21 season, the income from TV rights will increase from 74 million euros to 89 million euros.
  • For the 2020-21 season, the amount of money spent on the workforce will drop from 97 million euros to around 70 million euros.
  • For the 2020-21 season, the expected deficit is 26.4 million euros
  • As a result, there is expectation that 41 million euros of income needs to be generated through sales, of which Kondogbia's sale will go towards.
La Liga announced the wage spending of clubs with Valencia dropping from 5th highest (177 million euros) last season to 7th season (103 million euros)

On the topic of the plan to repurchase Valencia, the Libertad Valencia group has managed to raise 1% of the value of the club's shares.

With regards to player contracts, Kang In has put his contract talks on hold while Yunus Musah is on track to renew. The club also has plans to renew Facu Gonzalez, a promising 17-year old Uruguayan defender from the academy, with 2 clubs already reportedly willing to match his release clause in the next transfer market (one in La Liga, one in Premier League). 

There were discussions of the national team of choice for Yunus Musah. He holds a dual passport (USA, England) but he is eligible to play for Ghana, Italy, England or the USA. It was recently reported though that should he choose the USA and with the Brexit cut-off date of December 31 approaching, it would be make him a non-EU player. Valencia has a limit of 3 non-EU players and those slots are currently occupied by Maxi Gomez, Kang In Lee and Gabriel Paulista. This has already caused Valencia to miss out on some signings in the transfer market. Should it happen that he does become a non-EU player, the remaining approach would be to apply for an Italian passport.

Finally, there were words from multiple people on the current situation in Valencia. Marcelino has criticized how management tells Gracia one thing and then does another. Amadeo Salvo has called the management not good and ruled out a return at the current moment. Murthy has said that the toxicity in the dressing room has been eliminated. He also said that he understands the current tension between him and the coach and that the club is bigger than any single person. Javi Gracia responded in the press conference by saying that he does want to be distracted and the statements don't help him.

PREVIEW

Alaves come into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw away from home against Levante. They took the lead early in the game but were then reduced to 10-men with a red card in the 34 minute. They conceded 5 minutes into the second half and managed to hold on till the final whistle.

Valencia produced a great display to beat Real Madrid 4-1 at Mestalla last fixture. Madrid went ahead early but Valencia turned it by forcing a penalty and an own goal out of Real Madrid. The second half saw Valencia pressure Real Madrid and win two more penalties. All three penalties were converted cooly by Carlos Soler for his hat-trick.

Alaves are currently 15th with 9 points in 9 games while Valencia are 11th with 11 points from 9 games.

FORM

Alaves: DDWLW
Valencia: WDLLL

SQUAD

Diakhaby, Mangala and Maxi Gomez are all still out with injuries. 


FIRST HALF

2' - Goal for Deportivo Alaves. 1-0. Corner delivery from Lucas Perez is volleyed by Navarro past Jaume. Navarro had wait just outside the box and made unmarked run to meet the corner.
14' - Penalty awarded to Alaves. The home team exploited the space left behind Gaya to counter attack, finding Navarro out wide. Guillamon attempted to stop him but he was beat and Navarro got into the box before being taken down by the youngster.
16' - Goal for Deportivo Alaves. 2-0. Lucas Perez converts the penalty. Jaume guessed the correct direction but the penalty was well-taken into the top corner.
37' - Yellow card shown to Florian Lejeune for a heavy challenge on Gameiro
45' - One minute added by the referee for stoppages.

SECOND HALF

53' - Yellow card is shown to Guillamon for a foul on Joselu. The referee had initially waived the play to go on for advantage, returning later to show the player the card.
56' - First substitution of the match, Manu Garcia replaces Jota
58' - Double change for Valencia. Kang-In and Cheryshev are replaced by Guedes and Vallejo
61' - There was a penalty claim for an alleged handball by Guedes. Despite VAR calling the referee to check, he maintains his original call that it wasn't a handball.
70' - A goal from Alaves's Laguardia is overturned after he handles the ball in the buildup to the goal
72' - Two incoming changes for Alaves. Guidetti and Sainz come on for Joselu and Lucas Perez
74' - Goal for Valencia! 2-1! Good build up to the goal as well. Gaya found Racic in the center of the field, who then plays a short pass to Soler. Soler plays a through ball to Gameiro who races to the keeper for it and just beats him to it, squaring the ball to Vallejo who had no trouble finishing into the empty net.
77' - Goal for Valencia! 2-2! Guillamon heads Carlos Soler's free kick delivery into the net. There is enough time still to go for the win. VAR reviews for a potential offside but the Alaves player had clearly played Guillamon onside, so the goal stands.
89' - Substitution for Valencia as Gaya appears to have been injured, Toni Lato is his replacement
90' - Eight minutes added by the referee for stoppages

FULL-TIME

Back to old ways. A poor first half performance, a half-time wake-up call, and a struggle in the second to tie the score. There were chances in stoppage time to grab a winner as well but the team failed to take them. Valencia did well to come-back into the game and almost take the win.

Whether the international break is the cause of this or not this time has yet to be seen. Gracia needs to get the team back to the point where they can play with intensity for 90 minutes. The team should be capable of that as we have seen it before. 

The goals and chances in the second half were set-up really well and if the team started off with that level of play, the game would've been totally different. Maxi Gomez should return next week as well which should give Valencia an added edge in attack.

Full-time stats. 13-13 shots, 3-5 shots on target, 34-66% possession, 68-84% pass accuracy

Next game is on Saturday November 28th at Mestalla against Atletico Madrid. The team needs to show the best version of itself that day against a very good team.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

La Liga Matchday #9: Valencia CF 4 - 1 Real Madrid CF Match Thread

 NEWS

Since his transfer, Kondogbia has trained with Atletico and even came on a substitution in their 4-0 win over Cadiz this matchday.

Gracia gave pre-match news conference in which he was asked about whether there would be a winter signing to replace Kondogbia. He refused to answer and said that he preferred to talk about the players he currently has and not what he doesn't have.

The other news revolved around which national team Yunus Musah would play for with some indication that it will the United States National Team.

PREVIEW

Valencia come into this game having played out an intense 2-2 draw at home to Getafe. Javi Gracia successfully got the team to get into the game in the first half and even took the lead with a Yunus Musah goal on the counter. Getafe would struggle to get the equalizer despite Valencia being reduced to 10 men after a 10 minute period where Correia got yellow carded twice. In the last few minutes of regular time, Getafe equalized after Jaume failed to clear the ball from the initial save. Moments later in injury time, Getafe grabbed what they thought would be the winning goal before conceding a late penalty which Carlos Soler converted to give the teams a point a piece.

Real Madrid played 2 games this past week, a 4-1 home win against Huesca in La Liga and a 3-2 home win against Inter Milan in the Champions League. The former of the two games was a dominant display by them going 4 goals up before dropping their guard and conceding a goal in the final 20 minutes of the second half. The latter game saw Real Madrid looking vulnerable for a period as Inter Milan made up a 2 goal deficit to even the game. They would still come out winners after a late goal from Rodrygo in the second half.

Valencia are currently 15th in the league with 8 points from 8 games. Real Madrid are 3rd with 16 points from 7 games.

FORM (all competitions)

Valencia: DLLLW

Real Madrid: WWWLW

SQUAD

Diakhaby will miss this game as he continues to recover from the injury he picked up against Elche. Mangala also struggles with an injury problem and will miss this game. Finally, Cillissen picked up a training injury this week. More tests are required to determine the extent but he will miss this game as well.

Correia picked up a red card in the previous fixture against Getafe and is suspended from this game. Wass is the likely option but Gracia hinted that there were other options as well. In training sessions, Jason has practiced in that role so that could be what the coach is talking about. 

FIRST HALF

12' - Good save from Jaume to deny Modric's shot from the edge of the area.

23' - Goal for Real Madrid. 0-1. Benzema plays a one-two with Marcelo, receiving the ball at the edge of the box and striking it at goal. The ball seemed pretty close to Jaume yet he couldn't save it. May be he could've done better with that but it seems like his vision was blocked.

28' - Penalty awarded to Valencia. Guillamon plays a diagonal ball for Gaya who hits it first time for the cross and it strikes the hand of Vazquez in the penalty area. Carlos Soler steps up to take it.

29' - Goal for Valencia! 1-1! Soler's penalty is saved by Courtois and the ball falls back into play. Soler takes a second try and it hits the post. The deflection falls to Yunus Musah who makes no mistake in beating Courtois. VAR is checking the run of Yunus Musah into the box as he appears to have gotten into the box before the kick was taken.

33' - The goal is overturned and the penalty will be retaken. It appears Vazquez also encroached into the box so a retake is a fair decision. Game is still at 0-1.

35' - Goal for Valencia! 1-1. Soler successfully converts this time, narrowly squeezing it past Courtois. Great confidence from Soler after missing the first time.

40' - Yellow card shown to Soler for a foul on Asensio who had gotten away from him

44' - Goal for Valencia! 2-1! Racic leads the counter-attack for Valencia and picks out a great through ball for Maxi Gomez out wide on the right. Maxi puts in a cross for Cheryshev and hits Varane who, under pressure from Cheryshev, puts the ball into the goal. Courtois attempted to scoop it out but it had passed the line. The play initially moved on but VAR gives the goal to Valencia as an own-goal by Varane.

45' - Four minutes added by the referee for stoppages.

HALF-TIME

A good first half by Valencia. They took the game to Real Madrid and did not look the weaker team. The team learned from the vulnerabilities shown by Real Madrid in the mid-week Champions League fixture against Inter, absorbing the pressure and hitting back with quick counters.

Real Madrid took the lead just past the 20 minute mark with a Benzema shot after having exchanged passes with Marcelo. Jaume, with his vision, block reacted late having initially began diving one way and adjusting mid-way.

It took Valencia only 5 minutes to strike back with Gaya winning a penalty after his cross struck the hand of Vazquez in the penalty area. The penalty was saved, the spilled ball hit by Soler at the post and the rebound scored by Musah. The goal was overruled after Musah encroached into the box before the kick was taken. However, with Vazquez also encroaching the kick was retaken and scored by Soler.

Valencia did not let up the pressure and another counter, this time lead by Racic, resulted in a cross by Maxi Gomez to Cheryshev which was turned in by Varane to his own goal, giving Valencia a lead to take into half-time.

Still a lot of work to do in the second half, no doubt. The team need to continue to maintain focus while attempting to absorb the increasing pressure from Real Madrid. They will no doubt leave more spaces as they try to equalize and go for the win. Valencia must exploit those spaces. 

Valencia have had much success going down the left flank and most attacking plays go through there. Real Madrid have similarly attacked through their own left flank.

Half-time stats. 3-5 shots, 1-4 shots on target, 41-59% possession, 85-90% pass accuracy. 

SECOND HALF

45' - A bad pass from Guillamon to Paulista is intercepted by Vinicius, setting up a 2 v 1 at the back. Jaume is quick to react and clear the ball once before running out of his own box to clear again as Benzema approaches. Great clean-up work by Jaume to mitigate the consequences of Guillamon's mistake

47' - Soler finds Kang-In in a tight pocket in an advanced position. Kang In takes a turn and hits the ball from distance. Courtois just gets his fingertips to it and it changes course to hit the post and out.

51' - Gaya takes on Vazquez and squeezes by him. He finds Cheryshev who plays a pass back in to find Gaya again. Gaya drives forward and attempts another cross to Maxi but Marcelo intervenes and takes out the Uruguayan, winning a penalty.

52' - Yellow card shown to Marcelo for the challenge on Maxi Gomez as Soler steps up to take the penalty.

53' - Goal for Valencia! 3-1! Another confident finish from Soler to extend Valencia's lead. Courois guessed the right way again but it was hit with enough power to beat him.

57' - Isco finds Valverde at the edge of the box, he takes a touch and strikes at goal, Jaume saves but puts it back into play. Vinicius is first to react, takes a touch inside to get a better angle but skies the effort.

58' - Modric threads a ball through the defense, giving Asensio a great chance at goal. Jaume is quick off his line and smothers the effort.

59' - Yet another penalty awarded to Valencia for a handball by Ramos. Cheryshev picks a pass for Musah in the penalty box and as he battles with Ramos, the ball flies into the air and hits his hand. VAR took time to check but it is finally awarded. Yellow card shown to Ramos for the handball.

62' - Goal for Valencia! 4-1! Soler with a hat-trick of penalties, giving Valencia a 4-1 lead! So cool and collected to beat Courtois 3 times. Valencia need to remain calm and focused, they cannot get to excited.

64' - First set of changes for Real Madrid. Odegaard and Rodrygo replace Vinicius and Asensio.

75' - More changes from Real Madrid. Kroos and Mariano Diaz replace Valverde and Benzema

77' - Valencia with their first change, Cheryshev off, Toni Lato on.

80' - Second change for Valencia. Kang In is replaced by Gameiro. The youngster picked up a knock and signaled to the bench for a change. Hopefully, it's not too serious.

82' - Final substitution for Real Madrid. Isco is taken off for Luka Jovic

84' - Yellow card shown to Guillamon for handling Mariano Diaz

85' - Yellow card shown to Jaume for time-wasting

87' - Final set of changes for Valencia. Musah and Maxi Gomez off, Jason and Sobrino on.

90' - Six minutes added by the referee for stoppages

FULL-TIME

Good work by Valencia to hold on to their lead for as long as they did. The team put in a lot of hard work although admittedly there was a lot of luck involved in the result. They do say that luck is opportunity meets preparedness. Real Madrid gave up the chances very easily and Valencia were ready to take the chances they were given. 

There were many protagonists this game. Soler and Racic held their own and bossed against a world class midfield. Soler scored 3 goals today and is really stepping up as a leading figure in this team, taking on the pressure and converting the penalties against a world class keeper.  Gaya caused all sorts of trouble on the flank where most of the Valencia offensive plays occurred. Musah showed speed, power and intelligence to challenge Marcelo and even Ramos when given the chance. Jaume was focused and ready to react, holding the Valencia lead and allowing them to move forward without worry. 

The team performed exactly how Javi Gracia would've wanted them to, soaking the pressure and punishing Madrid on the break when possible. Despite Real Madrid thowing everything at Valencia in the second half, the team looked secure enough to deal with the efforts and the opposition did not look likely to score. All this, against the run of form that Valencia is in.

Full-time stats. 7-16 shots, 4-6 shots on target, 35-65% possession, 77-90% pass accuracy.

While this is a great win against the reigning Champions and an unlikely three points to win, the team needs to carry forward this momentum. This cannot be a one-game performance. The team played great but luck certainly played its part as well. 

There is a break now as the players head off for their international duties. This will give the team a chance to rest after the effort exerted today. A lot players seemed cramped up and picked up knocks. Next game is on the 22nd of November away to Alaves. Amunt!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

La Liga Matchday #8: Valencia CF 2 - 2 Getafe CF Match Thread

NEWS

Jose Luis Zarargosi resigned from the Valencia board of directors earlier this week. He had notably made a statement when the transfer market was still open that Valencia would, without a doubt, make a signing during the window. In the weeks to follow, Javi Gracia did not get any signings and it is clear that he remains at the club only to avoid his 3 million euro penalty. Seeing the situation as is prompted the director to resign. The official statement of the club though painted a different picture. It said that the director took responsibility for the failure of his mission in achieving social peace within the club. It should be said that Zaragosi was reportedly one of those at the board of directors who stood against the decision to fire Alemany.

Javier Tebas, the president of La Liga, gave a speech this week at the Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera higher education facility. The event revolved around the operations of La Liga and its plans for the future. During the event, the situation of Valencia was discussed. Tebas gave a lot of credit to Peter Lim saying: 

"It’s very difficult to evaluate how a club is run without knowing details. When Lim bought Valencia CF I remember that there were 25,000 people who turned out at the stadium to thank him. It seems as if we have forgotten that this man came along and avoided Valencia CF going into receivership -or even disappearing. Peter Lim has my full respect, as without being a Valencian he took this step. After that, there have been things he has got right, and also mistakes that have been made.[Link]

It's funny how his position completely turned around when he was one of those that initially opposed the purchase of Valencia CF by Peter Lim. Further research by one article shows that Peter Lim was instrumental in the opening of the first La Liga office in Singapore - a crucial part of La Liga's expansion plans in the South-East Asian scene. In addition, Peter Lim had reportedly invited Tebas to the Singapore F1 Grand Prix.

The most recent news surrounding Valencia is the closing of a deal between Valencia and Atletico Madrid for the purchase of Kondogiba. As reported by Cadena SER, the deal is a 15-20 million euro purchase deal with Valencia reserving 15% of rights of a future sale. The deal hasn't been confirmed by the club yet but most outlets are reporting this as a done deal. 

PREVIEW

Valencia come into this game on the back of 2-1 away loss to Elche. Valencia was on the back-foot for the entirety of the first half and allowed Getafe to take a 2-0 to the half-time break. Valencia came into the game in the second half and, with the introduction of Kang In Lee, pulled one back through a Toni Lato goal assisted by Kang In.

Getafe suffered a 0-1 home loss when they hosted Granada in their last fixture. The difference between a sides was a penalty in the 3 minute of injury time in the first half which was converted by Granada. Getafe had double the shots but Granada had double the shots on target that game.

Valencia currently sit at 16th with 7 points from 7 games, 2 points above the relegation spots. Meanwhile Getafe are 8 with 10 points from 6 games.

FORM

Valencia: LLLWD

Getafe: LWLWD

SQUAD

With Kondogbia having not trained with the team for the past while, and there being rumors of his departure, it is no surprise if he is off the squad list for the game.

It was reported earlier in the week that Diakhaby would miss both the Getafe and Real Madrid games due to the injury he picked up against Elche.  Esquerdo will also miss this game through another injury.

The good news is that Maxi Gomez has recovered and trained with the team and is available for selection.

Apparently, Javi Gracia has been experimenting with alternatives in tactics. There were talks of a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1, although it remains to be seen what the effect of Kondogbia's departure is on those plans. Additionally, Jason has been tested as a right-back during the training sessions.


FIRST HALF

10' - Getafe with a close chance to score from the corner. The delivery was flicked on to the far post where Olivera meets the ball with a header. He puts it over the crossbar.
17' - A throw-in from Getafe is header into the box and squared towards Cucurella who takes out his marker with one touch. He picks out Olivera to his left with plenty of time and space to pick his spot. Soler intervenes in the last second to block his shot.
22' - Goal for Valencia! 1-0! Musah with his debut goal for the team. Paulista clears the ball the delivery from the short corner with a header that sets up a counter attack lead by Musah and Cheryshev. Musah takes a great first touch to control the ball and chooses to go the distance himself despite Cheryshev being available. He drives the ball into the penalty box and successfully beats the keeper at his near post.
31' - Yellow card shown to Guillamon for tugging at Arambarri to stop his charge on the counter-attack
39' - Kang-In takes out his marker in midfield with a turn and threads a ball through to Gaya on the left. Gaya cuts inside to bypass the approaching marker and returns the ball to Kang In who sets the ball up for Wass to take a shot at the edge of the penalty area. The shot is tame enough for the keeper to save it without much trouble
41' - Yellow card shown to Paulista for a late challenge on Cucho Hernandez. Both central defenders are now on a yellow card for Valencia.
45' - One minute added by the referee for stoppages

HALF-TIME

One of the main problems in previous games was that the team only begins to try in the second half. Today, Javi Gracia successfully got the team to get into the game as early.

Getafe was more dangerous in the first part of the first half with 2 close chances. The first was a miss and the other denied by Carlos Soler. 

Valencia responded after that with a great counter-attack following a clearance of Getafe's corner. Yunus Musah led the break with pace and left his marker behind. Faced with a choice of passing to Cheryshev or taking it on himself, he chose the latter and calmly beat the keeper at his near post.

Valencia would maintain their hold on the game and see it out but not without cost. Both Gullamon and Paulista picked up yellow cards in the process which could come into play with 45 more minutes to play.

Half-time stats. 4-7 shots, 2-1 shots on target, 45-55% possession, 68-70% pass accuracy.

SECOND HALF

48' - Yellow card shown to Correia for a late challenge on Maksimovic
53' - Double substitution for Getafe. Maksimovic and Nymo are replaced by Angel Rodriguez and Timor
56' - Second yellow card shown to Correia for a tug on the shirt of Cucurella. A red card is shown and he leaves the field
58' - Cucho Hernandez forces Jaume to make a save with a shot from the edge of the box. 
59' - First change for Valencia. Kang In Lee is replaced by Uros Racic. Wass takes over Correia's position in right-back and Racic takes over Wass's position in midfield.
61' - Yellow card shown to Maxi Gomez for an arm to the face of Cabaco
62' - Both the referee and the linesman miss a very late challenge on Gaya.
64' - Wass picks out Maxi Gomez who had dropped into midfield. Maxi finds Cheryshev in space on the left flank with great vision. Cheryshev takes a few touches and fires from distance after seeing he has no support. The shot is off-target.
68' - Yellow card shown to Yunus Musah for a retaliatory challenge on Cucurella.
71' - VAR overturns a red card shown to Arambarri for a dangerous lunge at Maxi Gomez. A yellow card is shown to the player instead.
73' - Triple substitution for Getafe. Cabaco, Olivera and Unal are taken off. Portillo, Jaime Mata and Diaby are their replacements.
75' - Yellow card shown to Cheryshev for a tug on Diaby's shirt. Gracia needs to make some changes to take some of the booked players off. A second red would be really dangerous.
78' - Second change for Valencia. Lato comes on for Cheryshev. 
80' - Angel Rodriguez with a narrow miss as he controlled the pass with his knee and volleyed it at goal
81' - A free kick won by Maxi Gomez is taken quickly by Soler and he picks out Maxi in tons of space in the box. Maxi takes to much time on the ball, the defense recovers, so he is forced to pass instead and the chance goes to waste.
82' - Another chance for Valencia on the break. Toni Lato gets to the edge of the box, takes a few touches in an attempt to dummy the defenders before his shot is saved by the keeper. Maxi Gomez recovers the ball and sets up a shot for Racic at the edge of the box but it's hit straight at the keeper.
83' - Yellow card shown to Wass for a late challenge. 
87' - Goal for Getafe. 1-1. Arambarri with a long distance shot at goal that Jaume can only put back into play. Cucho Hernandez reacts first and heads the ball towards goal from a tight angle. Gabriel Paulista tried to scoop it away but couldn't do so successfully.
89' - Yellow card shown to Damian Suarez for a late shove on Racic.
90' - Six minutes added by the referee for stoppages.
90+2' - Final change for Valencia. Jason comes on for Musah
90+4' - Goal for Getafe. 1-2. Angel Rodriguez reacted quickest to Diaby's deflected shot of the post.
90+5' - Penalty awarded to Valencia after Maxi Gomez is taken down by Djene. Yellow card is shown to the player.
90+6' - Second yellow card shown to Damian Suarez for the complaints while VAR reviews. A red card is shown and he leaves the field.
90+9' - Yellow card shown to Jaime Mata for the persistent complaints as the penalty stands.
90+10' - Goal for Valencia! 2-2! Soler calmly slots it past the keeper, sending him the wrong way. Fighting at the net as Valencia try to restart play quiickly.

FULL-TIME

Dramatic ending to a dramatic game. A joy to watch for a neutral no doubt. 11 total cards shown, 9 yellow and 2 red.

Valencia's quest to see out their first half lead was quickly put in jeopardy. With both their center backs on a yellow card from the first half, there was an ominous feeling that a red card was coming, especially given the recent history of these two teams. It would be Correia, however, that would be the one sent off with 2 yellow cards in the span of 10 minutes. This meant Valencia had 34 minutes plus stoppages to play with 10 men and hold their lead. This would test the character and unity of the team.

Valencia coped well given that they were a man down. Wass slotted into Correia's role and Racic, who had come on for Kang In, stepped into Wass' role in midfield. Valencia played with caution, leaving everyone behind the ball with Cheryshev and Maxi Gomez remaining forward. These two would be instrumental to relieve the pressure when the team needed it. They often held the ball up and even began promising counter attacks. Maxi Gomez especially won a few fouls that were essential in relieving pressure. Valencia, meanwhile, continued to pick up one yellow card after the other as they soaked the pressure.

Three minutes from regular time, Jaume spilled the shot from distance and gave Getafe the opening they needed to score. Getafe quickly built on their momentum and got into the box again with Diaby taking a shot which deflected off the post and made its way to Angel Rodriguez who put the ball past the net. 

Just when the game looked over and all Valencia's was set for a heartbreak, a quick restart and delivery into the box resulted in a tackle on Maxi Gomez which was converted by Soler. It was a good moment for the team and Soler himself, as this was a symbolic of his stepping up to take over Parejo's role. 

Full-time stats. 11-16 shots, 5-5 shots on target, 38-62 % possession, 65-77 % pass accuracy.

Next game for Valencia is on Sunday the 8th at Mestalla against Real Madrid.