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

Sunday, February 7, 2021

La Liga Matchday #22: Athletic Bilbao 1 - 1 Valencia CF Match Thread

PREVIEW

Athletic Bilbao come into this game having played the Copa del Rey Quarter Final away against Real Betis mid-week. A late goal from Juanmi in the 84 minute put the home team in front, before Raul Garcia rescued his side in the 4th minute of injury time to extend the game into extra-time. After two scoreless halves of extra time, Athletic beat Betis 1-4 in the shootout to qualify to the semi-finals.

Valencia had no game mid-week and their most recent game was a narrow 1-0 win at home against Elche. The header from Daniel Wass from Guedes's cross would be the only thing separating the two teams for the game.

Athletic Bilbao are 11th in the league with 24 points from 20 games while Valencia are currently 14th with 23 points from 21 games

FORM (all competitions)

Athletic Bilbao: WLWWW

Valencia: WLLDW

SQUAD

Cillissen is currently training and should be available within 1-2 weeks.

Diakhaby, Mangala, Cheryshev are out with injuries. Gameiro hasn't been cleared to return following the positive COVID test.

The three new signings: Ferro, Oliva and Cutrone have all passed the PCR tests for COVID and are available for selection. It remains to be seen if any will start/ play a role in the game. It has been reported that Gracia mostly practiced using the same 11 that played against Elche.


FIRST HALF

15' - Vallejo drives the ball forward from midfield on the counter-attack and successfully finds Guedes in a wide position. Guedes puts in a low cross to the near post which is flicked back by Vallejo to Maxi Gomez. Unfortunately, he gets it tangled between his legs and cannot take a shot.
18' -  Wass finds the overlapping run of Correia. He delivers the cross to the center of the box and Maxi attempts to strike it on the volley. The shot is wide.
28' - Racic plays a long diagonal ball aimed at Correia. Gomez heads it to help it reach its destination before getting into the box himself to meet the cross and head it. Again, it's wide of the target.
43' - Goal for Athletic Bilbao. Guillamon puts the ball past his own keeper in an attempt to deny the cross from reaching Inaki Williams at the far post.

HALF-TIME

Half-time stats. 1-6 shots, 0-1 shots on target, 47-53% possession, 78-81% pass accuracy

Quite an unfortunate end to a decent half. The own goal from Guillamon was against the run of play and the only chance at goal by Bilbao for the entire half.

Athletic dominated the first part of the half, pressing really aggressively and forcing Valencia to play rushed passes or long clearances that cost them possession. They got forward many times but had difficulties delivering the final ball, partly due interventions from the Valencia defense but also due to key absences in their team.

Valencia got the majority of chances at goal with well executed counter-attacks. Unfortunately, the finishing left a lot to be desired as none of the shots hit their mark. Valencia was looking like they had figured out how to break down the opposition defense. They drew out their midfielders and found spaces behind them. At the end of a counter-attack, the Bilbao keeper played the ball out quickly starting one for his own team and the final ball was put past Jaume by Guillamon. Guillamon simply had to get a touch there as Williams was lurking behind him and would've surely scored. The touch wasn't the right one though and gave the home team the advantage going into half-time.

SECOND HALF

50' - Williams muscles Correia away and delivers a cross into the box, picking out Sancet in space. He takes a touch and shoots at goal but Jaume manages to save and get back up quickly to claw the ball away from danger. Great work from Jaume.
51' - Yellow card shown to Berenguer for a rough challenge on Guedes
52' - Wass gets a header on Gaya's cross but it's just over the cross-bar. Good, quick response.
64' - Double change for Valencia. Wass and Vallejo are replaced by Musah and Cutrone
65' - Goal for Valencia! 1-1! Gabriel Paulista loses his defender and scores with a header from Soler's corner
67' - Musah with a brilliant individual run from his own half, all the way to the opposing box, leaving defenders in his wake. He opts to go for the shot himself at the end but cannot hit the target.
68' - Substitution for Athletic Bilbao. Unai Lopez replaces Sanset
69' - Double change for Athletic Bilbao. Vesga and de Marcos on, Morcillo and Vencedor off.
73' - Yellow card shown to Inigo Martinez for tripping up Musah
74' - Double change for Athletic Bilbao. Ander Capa and Balenziaga are replaced by Lekue and Berchiche
78' - Jaume with a quick ball out to begin a counter-attack, finding Cutrone in an advanced position. Cutrone picks out Gomez in space and with defenders scrambling to get Gomez, Cutrone gets the ball back. He takes a shot but cannot hit score as the ball is cleared off-the-line.
79' - Yellow card shown to Soler for dragging down Unai Lopez to deny the counter-attack.
86' - Musah and Correia team up on the right flank before the latter puts in a cross into the box. Guedes gets a shot but its deflected off a defender. Racic strikes the loose ball on the volley but it flies over the crossbar.
89' - Final change for Valencia. Alex Blanco in, Goncalo Guedes off.
90' - Three minutes added by the referee for stoppages

FULL-TIME

Full-time stats. 11-15 shots, 2-2 shots on target, 51-49% possession, 76-79% pass accuracy.

Valencia will walk out of this game surely being the more disappointed of the two teams. With the amount of chances they had against an exhausted opposition, it is unfortunate that they couldn't come out with all 3 points. The three points would've put Valencia over Athletic Bilbao in the league standings, although the latter still have a game in hand.

Valencia's next game is on Sunday February 14th away from home against Real Madrid.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

La Liga Matchday #21: Valencia CF 1 - 0 Elche CF Match Thread

NEWS

There was confirmation in the past few days that Guedes was left out of the Sevilla game by technical decision rather than illness/injury. Apparently, there are attitude problems, same as what happened with Maxi Gomez earlier, and Gracia decided to send a message to him. In training, the captains had a word with Guedes, as they did with Maxi, to try to get him motivated and relay his importance to the team.

The player that tested positive for COVID turned out to be Kevin Gameiro. There was a report of another positive test since the Sevilla game.

Javi Gracia and Hugo Guillamon were handed a 2-game and 1-game suspension, respectively, following a recent ruling by the RFEF committee. This was for the intentional yellow card received by Guillamon under instruction from Gracia which was caught on camera in the Atletico Madrid game on November 28. In that game, Guillamon was on 4 yellow cards, 1 away from suspension, and picked up an injury. Before being subbed off, Gracia instructed the player to get a yellow card to waste time, and since he would be out for 2 weeks due to the injury, it wouldn't matter. This is against the rules. Valencia is trying to postpone the punishment due to the shortage of players in defense.

Alex Blanco has been officially promoted to the first team. The Mestalla B team recently signed Outtara from Lille on loan with a purchase option, he takes the spot left by Alex Blanco.

Gracia, in the pre-match press conference, reflected on the fact that the transfer window is in it's last stages and he is still in the dark about whether or not signings will be made.

A decision of Kang-In's future will be postponed until summer, for now it appears he will stay. Gracia added in the press conference that he think he is a promising player who showed a lot of maturity and that he hopes he will stay.

There were reports though that Gaya was at least willing to listen to offers. Barcelona is lurking about and have reportedly made a 15 million euro offer already.

In other transfer rumors, there were reports that Valencia had all but closed of Patrick Cutrone from Wolverhampton and the only obstacle left is facilitating the departure of Sobrino to Cadiz. In midfield Valencia is currently pursuing Luis Florentino (Monaco), Nakamba (Aston Villa), Edson Alvarez (Ajax) or Lucas Torreira (Atletico Madrid).

PREVIEW

Valencia come into this game on the back of 3-0 away defeat in the Copa del Rey round of 16 to Sevilla in midweek. Javi Gracia fielded a weakened team to rest his players for the La Liga fixtures and ended up suffering a big loss. 

Elche's previous fixture was last week, giving them an additional few days rest. They played at home against Barcelona and suffered a 0-2 defeat.

Valencia are currently 14th in the league with 20 points from 20 games. Elche are 19th with 17 points from 18 games.

FORM (**all competitions)

Valencia: LLDWW

Elche: LDLLW

SQUAD

Cillissen and Diakhaby are still out with injuries with Gracia saying that the former could be back after 2 weeks in the best case. Mangala also has an injury but there is some hope that he will be available. Guillamon and Gracia has been cleared to participate after the success of the appeal on the RFEF decision. 

Cheryshev has had some discomfort and it is a doubt whether he will start. Gameiro still hasn't tested negative and will miss the game as well. There are still question marks as to who the second player with the positive result is.

Gracia was asked about Piccini's situation and answered that he believes Piccini has a ways to go to be match fit due to his long-term injury and not playing much with Atalanta.


FIRST HALF

4' - Yellow card shown to Gonzalo Verdu for a late challenge on Manu Vallejo
9' - Gaya plays an early cross into the box after spotting the run from Wass. Both Wass and the keeper come from the ball but Wass gets there first and heads it away from him. He takes a few touches as the defenders scramble to cover their exposed goal. He decides to take the shot but it hits the chest of the defender. There are some appeals for a hand-ball but they are shut down.
22' - Goal for Valencia! 1-0! Racic finds Guedes wide who beats his marker for pace before crossing. Wass meets the cross with a header into the ground which the keeper gets a touch to, but cannot keep out.
30' - Mojica lobs the ball over the defense and sends Morente through towards goal. He into the box with Paulista scrambling back to meet him. He fakes him and takes a shot at goal, but it is over the crossbar.
33'- Penalty for Valencia and yellow card shown to Barragan. Manu Vallejo was taken down in the penalty box to prevent him from getting on the end of Wass's cross. Soler steps up to take the penalty.
34' - The penalty is saved. Badia guesses the correct way and pushes it for Barragan to clear.
37' - The corner delivery into the box is cleared by Maxi Gomez and out of the box. Mojica is strikes the clearance on the volley and manages to keep it on target, Jaume does well to save it.
42' - Yellow card shown to Morente for dissent

HALF-TIME

Half-time stats. 7-5 shots, 4-1 shots on target, 56-44% possession, 83-83% pass accuracy

Decent half from the team, although clearly would've been better if Soler had put away the penalty to give Valencia some breathing room.

Valencia looked the better team in most areas of the field but that is not to say that Elche didn't cause a threat. It was good to see the team press their defense so well in the first 20 minutes or so in an attempt to force errors. 

Guedes did well to set up the goal for Valencia, beating his defender and crossing into a good position for Wass to connect with it. Credit to Wass for keeping his eye on the ball and attacking it, ahead of all the defenders.

Valencia would have a chance to make it 2-0 after Vallejo was tackled in the penalty box to deny him a chance to head Wass's cross. Soler stepped up and despite his good conversion, couldn't beat the keeper today.

SECOND HALF

Double substitution at half time for Elche. Barragan and Jose Pomares are replaced by Pere Milla and Miguel Cifuentes.

48' - Yellow card shown to Ivan Marcone for a rough challenge on Soler
49' - Soler with a bit of individual skill drives the ball forward and beats a few defenders, opening up a chance at goal. His shot is deflected wide. Would've been a wonderful goal.
61' - Guedes with another well-hit cross, this time low and across goal towards Manu Vallejo. It hits Cifuentes, takes another touch off Verdu and into the post. Soler is closest but he cannot get it past the keeper.
65' - Yellow card shown to Diego Gonzalez for an elbow to the head of Maxi Gomez
70' - Yellow card shown to Wass for a shoulder into the back of Milla
73' - Yellow card shown to Rigoni for dissent
74' - Substitution for Valencia. Vallejo is replaced by Kang In Lee
75' - Guedes attempts to test the keeper from distance but misses the target.
77' - Substitution for Elche. Guido Carillo on, Rigoni off
80' - Substitution for Elche. Raul Guti is replaced by Victor Rodriguez
87' - Substitution for Valencia. Musah replaces Guedes
89 - Substitution for Valencia. Koba Lein replaces Racic due to injury
90' - Three minutes added by the referee for stoppages
90+1' - Yellow card shown to Victor Rodriguez for a heavy challenge on Kang In
90+3' - Guillamon does well to deny the cross from reaching its target.

FULL TIME

Full-time stats. 14-10 shots, 4-1 shots on target, 45-55% possession, 80-82% pass accuracy.

Despite, the uneventful second half, a very important three points were secured and some distance gained on the relegations spots. 

Valencia managed to hold onto their one goal lead for the entirety of the second half without conceding. The scoreline was much closer than they would've wanted and caused additional stress in the half.

Valencia's next game is away to Atheltic Bilbao on Sunday February 7th. The transfer window closes end on Feb 1st.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Copa del Rey Round of 16: Sevilla FC 3 - 0 Valencia CF Match Thread

PREVIEW

Sevilla put on a dominant display at home against Cadiz for their most recent fixture. They score 2 in the first half and one in the second, all scored by En-Nesyri to produce a 3-0 scoreline. 

Valencia's last game was against Atletico Madrid away from home and they suffered a 3-1 defeat. Valencia started it out well, scoring first through a long-range shot by Racic. Atletico tied it up in the first half through Joao Felix, who had got ahead of Correia in the corner to score. Valencia looked very good in the first half against the league leaders, but the second half was a different story. Atletico dominated the half and score 2, one from Suarez and the other from Correa, on the counter.

FORM (all competitions)

Sevilla: WWWLW

Valencia: LDWWW

SQUAD

In the pre-match press conference, Gracia said that there would be rotations this game but that it shouldn't be taken as a sign that they won't take the game seriously. He said he field a balance team and rest some others. 

Correia and Diakhaby have both picked up injuries in the last game and it remains to be seen whether they can start. 

Piccini has been cleared to participate, passing all health checks.

It was also reported that an undisclosed first team player may have tested positive for COVID after the game against Atletico. 


FIRST HALF

20' - Goal for Sevilla. 1-0. Luuk de Jong gets away from Racic and gets on the end of the Acuna's corner kick and heads it past Rivero
23' - Koba Lein wins the ball in midfield, turns past the opposing player and moves to the edge of the penalty area before striking at goal, hitting it directly at the keeper.
28' - Luuk de Jong with another dangerous chance at goal following a cross from Suso. The shot just falls on the wrong side of the post.
30' - Jason tries a shot from distance but it's very tame and hit directly at the keeper
33' - Goal for Sevilla. 2-0. Munir crosses the ball from the left to the opposite side where Suso controls before pulling it back for Luuk de Jong who finishes despite the presence of Guillamon
36' - Paulista gets really high up the field and plays a one-two with Alex Blanco before threading a through-ball behind the defender for Lato. The cross is delivered to Alex Blanco who hits it over the cross-bar. Best chance for Valencia.
39' - Goal for Sevilla. 3-0. Rakitic takes advantage of a deflection of Paulista to lob the ball over Rivero who was off his line.

HALF-TIME

Half-time stats. 9-4 shots, 4-2 shots on target, 66-34% possession, 91-84% pass accuracy.

Embarrassing half for Valencia. This was at best a training exercise for Sevilla. 

Regardless of the situation or the pressure of the season, there is no excuse for being humiliated like this against a rival team.

This could very well get way worse in the second half.

SECOND HALF

46' - Sevilla almost grab a 4th right off-the-bat as Joan Jordan heads the cross over the cross-bar
50' - Double substitution for Valencia. Paulista and Racic are replaced by Molina and Esquerdo
62' - Yellow card shown to Marcos Acuna for a tackle of Esquerdo
63' - Two changes for Sevilla. Suso and Jordan are replaced by Oliver Torres and Idrissi
68' - Double change for Sevilla. Acuna and Jesus Navas off, Rekik and Aleix Vidal on
80' - Yellow card shown to Aleix Vidal
85' - Change for Sevilla. En-Nesyri replaces de Jong
89' - Change for Valencia. Koba Lein picks an injury and is replaced by Musah
90' - Four minutes added by the referee for stoppages
90+1' - Yellow card shown to Munir for a skirmish with Lato

FULL-TIME

Full-time stats. 16-8 shots, 6-4 shots on target, 62-38% possession, 90-83% pass accuracy.

No improvement in the second half but not any worse either. The team managed to hold it at a 3-0 scoreline.

A game likes this raises several questions. Has Gracia had enough and is trying to get Lim to fire him so he avoid paying the penalty? OR has Lim ordered that the team not take this competition seriously as he was said to have done to Marcelino? OR is Gracia really incapable of changing the situation at this team.

As for what happens after the game, it remains to be seen what will happen to Gracia or in this transfer window in general as a consequence.

Next game for Valencia is against Elche at Mestalla on Saturday the 30th of January.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

La Liga Matchday #20: Atletico Madrid 3 - 1 Valencia CF Match Thread

NEWS

Valencia have recovered Cristino Piccini from Atalanta this week by cutting his loan short. The player was largely unused in his time in Italy and agreed to a pay-cut to facilitate his arrival. Gracia welcomed his arrival saying that he will be reinforcing a position where they don't have a lot of strength. He added that he needs to evaluate Piccini's fitness level and decide how he can contribute the most to the team. Most likely this transfer will free up Wass and move him to a midfield or wide-midfield role.

The draw for the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey was made and Valencia drew Sevilla. It was decided that the game will be played at Sevilla's ground, adding to the difficulty of the challenge for Valencia.

The club also announced the renewal of Paulista's contract this week, extending his stay at Valencia to 2024.

PREVIEW


Atletico come into this game having beat Eibar away from home 1-2 in their last fixture. Atletico gave away a penalty 10 minutes in and strangely enough the keeper Dimitrovic took it and converted it. Five minutes from half-time a defensive error by the home team gave the ball away to Suarez in the penalty area who scored from a tight angle to even the game. The game would remain deadlocked until the final minute of full-time where a penalty was awarded to Atletico and Suarez would put it away to secure all 3 points.

Valencia's previous game was a rather dull 1-1 draw at home against Osasuna. Jonathan Calleri put the away side in the lead a few minutes from half-time from a counter-attack in which Osasuna would get more than one go at goal as their blocked shots would fall back to their own players until they scored. Valencia would get the equalizer after a link-up play between Musah and Maxi at the edge of the penalty area to penetrate the defense, however, the ball was put into the back of the net by Osasuna's own defender. 

Atletico are currently top of the league with 44 points from 17 games, while Valencia are 14th with 20 points from 19 games.


SQUAD

There were reports earlier this week that Racic was struggling with knee problems and Soler with ankle discomfort  in training. This put question marks on whether or not they would start. Koba Lein and Esquerdo's names was brought up in the pre-match press conference as a possible starter in their stead. However, it looks like both felt good enough to start with the academy players available on the bench if necessary.

Wass misses the game through supension caused by accumulation of yellow cards. Mangala seems to be out by technical decision and Cillissen is still dealing with his injury.

FIRST HALF

6' - Jaume produces a diving save in response to the Gimenez header following the corner but he puts it back into play. Thankfully Soler is the closest to it and can clear
8' - Valencia respond with a good chance of their own on the counter-attack. Cheryshev does well to beat his marker and pick out Vallejo with a through ball. Vallejo takes a shot from a tight angle and it is saved by Oblak. Cheryshev sets up another chance fooling his marker again and gets into the box and puts in a cross for Maxi Gomez but he cannot capitalize.
11' - Goal for Valencia! 0-1! Gaya squares the ball to Racic, just outside the penalty area and unmarked with no one stepping up to pressure him. Racic surprises everyone with a shot first time from range that curls away from Oblak and settles in the back of the net.
22' - Goal for Atletico Madrid. 1-1. Lemar's corner is sent to the far post. Joao Felix gets ahead of Correia and hits it at goal. Jaume gets a touch to it but cannot keep it out. VAR checks for a foul but none found.
30' - Yellow card shown to Vrsaljko for an elbow to a head on Vallejo
34' - A deflection of Soler sets the ball onto Llorente's path and gives him a shot from distance which takes another deflection on the way out
40' - Diakhaby is on-target with a header from a Soler corner kick
45' - Two minutes added by the referee for stoppages

HALF-TIME

Half-time stats. 5-3 shots, 2-3 shots on target, 51-49% possession, 79-80% pass accuracy

Valencia have done well to keep up with Atletico this first half. They took the game to them, pressured them and threatened them on the counter. 

Valencia took the lead in a unconventional way with a long-range shot from Racic catching Oblak off-guard as it curled away from him and into the net.

Atletico would equalize 10 minutes later with a poor defensive display from Correia as he allowed Joao Felix to get a head of him to meet the corner and beat Jaume. 

Racic has struggled with clear discomfort this game yet has barely put a foot wrong in this first half. He seems confident and decisive in his actions.

There were plenty of questionable moments from several players. Maxi Gomez took too long on the ball the Cheryshev supplied him early in the half, and allowed the defense time and space to regroup. The right side of the team looked very shaky with Correia losing the ball several times and being directly responsible for the goal. Musah has provided little off-the-ball. Paulista had a poor pass to Soler from the back that got away and set up a dangerous shot for Llorente. Gaya received the ball in plenty of time and space, yet produced one of the worst crosses so far, flying over everyone and to the opposite side. The performance overall was decent but Valencia needs to be even better against this Atletico team and Gracia has some work to do at half-time.

SECOND HALF

45' - Half-time substitution for Atletico. Renan Lodi replaces the booked Vrsaljko
46' - Diakhaby appears to have picked up an injury and signals to to the bench to replace him.
47' - First change for Valencia. The injured Diakhaby is replaced by Guillamon
54' - Goal for Atletico. 2-1. A diagonal ball from the back finds Joao Felix in plenty of space on the left flank. He drives the ball forward and threads a ball for Suarez in the penalty box. Suarez goes for the shot by himself and beats Jaume from a rather narrow angle.
58' - Second substitution for Valencia. Cheryshev off, Guedes on.
62' - Substitution for Atletico. Joao Felix is replaced by Angel Correa
72' - Goal for Atletico. 3-1. Carrasco picks out Llorente on the right flank with a through ball. He gets forward and into the box before pulling the ball back for Correa who pokes it past Jaume.
74' - Substitution for Atletico. Llorente off, Kondogbia on.
76' - Yellow card shown to Savic for a late challenge on Guedes
79' - Final changes for Valencia. Musah, Racic and Vallejo are replaced by Jason, Koba Lein and Gameiro
85' - Final change for Atletico. Thomas Lemar off, Lucas Torreira on
87' - Torreira wins the ball from Gaya near the goal-line, finds Correa who makes a similar attempt to his goal but this time it's saved
90' - Three minutes added by the referee for stoppages
90+3' - Correia seems to have picked up an injury as he chased the ball to prevent the Atletico player from going clean through on goal.

FULL-TIME

Full-time stats. 14-8 shots, 5-4 shots on target, 49-51% possession, 81-82% pass accuracy

A very poor second half. After working so hard in the first half, the team was undone in the second. An early injury to Diakhaby was the first disturbance to the team. Soon after, the space left by Correia was exploited by Joao Felix who set up Suarez for the goal. 

Valencia did not have much say in what went on after, with Atletico getting forward time and time again while they absorbed the pressure. The introduction of Guedes for Cheryshev was not effective and Atletico sensed the drop in performance from the team and took advantage. The third goal was only a matter of time, this time from the opposite flank with Llorente setting up a good chance for Correa. 

A fourth goal was very likely still and with 10 minutes left to go, Gracia threw on three substitutions, none of which did enough to move the pendulum of the game one bit. Atletico got their best chance a few minutes from full-time with a similar chance to their third goal but couldn't finish this time.

Two more names added to the injury list, Diakhaby and Correia, will hardly please Gracia as he deals with the challenges ahead with a limited squad.

Based on today's second half performance and the mentality shown by the players, it is tough to see any of the names rumored for transfers, to be make that significant of an impact. 

Valencia's next game is away from home against Sevilla on Wednesday the 27th for the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Valencia 1-1 Osasuna match thread

Not sure where my co-host is, so here's a placeholder match thread. Valencia come into the game on the back of three wins in a row, though it's less impressive than it sounds as two were in the Copa against teams from the Segunda and Segunda B. Good news is that Paulista is back, while Soler and Gaya have overcome injury doubts. 


For our opponents, there are a couple of familiar faces: Nacho Vidal, who saw game time under Marcelino and Facundo Roncaglia, who was on loan with us for half a season.


They come into this game with an awful record of 0-5-7. On paper, that makes Valencia big favourites, but so often this season and in previous years, we've upped our game against the big sides and then squandered what should have been easy points against weaker opponents. Nothing less than 3 points and a convincing win would be acceptable tonight.

EVENTS

2 - Oh my Lord, is that Thierry? What a surprise haircut.
4 - Nice tackle from Paulista, though it was offside. Nice to see him back.
5 - Commentator says Nacho Vidal is 25, I thought he was only 20-21.
6 - Diakhaby showing more confidence coming forward, but then midfield mess up. He fouls the guy with a dangerous break on. Yellow? No, play on.
8 - Two crosses from Cheryshev, but Osasuna, who look like theyr're playing 5 or 6 at the back, get it away.
10 - First corner from them and Racic beaten too easily but luckily off target.
11 - Unlucky. Great cross field pass from Diakhaby to Soler who's fouled. Their keeper punches away and Racic can't get it through a forest of bodies. 
14 - we mess about, as we often do wasting a corner playing it short, leading to a dangerous counter for them broken by a great tackle from Gaya.
15 - Oh dear. Maxi and Cheryshev both fumble a one on one chance. Ok, it's later whistled offside but come on guys. Instead of celebrating, the Osasuna coach gets himself sent off. Duh!
20 - a scrappy few minutes. They get a cross in but Jaume collects easily.
21 - Just hit it! Wass with a great chance to shoot overcomplicates things and tries to find Maxi. Chance wasted. Gracia hops up and down like an angry kangaroo.
24 - Ooo, I don't like that, Torres of Osasuna is found on the right in way too much space. Luckily he's not very good and it ends in row Z, but need to tighten up.
25 - Another nice chance, good break on the left but Gaya's cross is deflected behind. The corner finds Diakhaby well but his header is straight at the keeper.
28 - Decent ball across the box from Cheryshev but no one gets there.
32 - Noticeable that all our attacks are coming from the left. Gaya blunders a good chance by sending it out. Wass and Thierry need to be more involved.
33 - Wow, Diakaby's passing is really improving. An excellent upfield ball finds Kangin, but he handles.
35 - This doesn't look good. Racic hurts his knee in a 50-50 tackle. Koba warms up.
37 - my heart stops when we mess around passing about our area with them nearby. Racic is back.
39 - Ufff. A good cross, again from the left, but Wass, pressured by a defender, can't get a good enough touch.
41 - Awful. We switch off as they take a quick free kick, the defence doesn't cover the overlap and after a pinball in the box, Nacho Vidal's shot is blocked by the keeper but Calleri fires home, Valencia down 0-1.
43 - that sums it up, Valencia try and hit back and have lots of time on the left but squander the cross hitting it too long.
44 - we seem to have decided that we need 2 or 3 guys standing over a free kick instead of having them on the end of it. Free kick goes nowhere anyway.

HALF TIME. Poor. We've been the better side but without creating many clear chances, while they mug us at the other end. Not sure that the mooted return of Piccini will help much, but the right side of Wass-Thierry has done little this game.

46 Not to be alarmist but losing these type of games are the ones that you look back on when you go down. Cheryshev starts us off with another overhit cross.
48 - good shot from outside from Kangin but Maxi can't do anything from an angle and the corner is wasted
51 - sixth Valencia corner to their one. Nothing doing again and Osasuna have half a chance at a counter from it.
53 - Scary. Both Diakhaby and Thierry mess up and misread a pass, but they sky a shot.
54 - we start to look shaky at the back. Martinez from them fluffs a shot.
57 - the pattern for most of the last 10 minutes has been: we come forward, scratch our heads when confronted by a wall of Osasuna shirts, give away possession and face a dangerous counter. Luckily, Osasuna are not very good either, but they lead.
59 - Gameiro on for Kang-In and Musah for Racic, who may have a slight injury.
60 - Geez. Nearly 0-2. More poor marking leaves Torres with a great chance but terrific save from Jaume. That one's on Paulista, who looks off the pace.
64 - Osasuna's tactic is generally to stand off, give Valencia lots of possession and ask "what you gonna do?" The Valencia reply: "nothing!" Final ball really lacking.
65 - Uuuuyyy. Good shot from Maxi forces a save.
66 - Commentator says that Maxi and Roncaglia know each other very well from their time at Valencia. Fact check: they never played together at Valencia but did at Celta.
67 - Guedes on for Cheryshev.
69 - YESSSS! Nice link up with Musah and Maxi and Yunus' attempted cross is deflected in. 1-1. Game on.
72 - Unlucky! First Nacho Vidal nearly heads a second own goal under pressure, then from the corner Guedes' attempt is just wide.
74 - Triple sub for them, Vallejo looks the only guy on our bench that could improve this for us.
76 - Guedes twice caught in possession in our own half, but fortunately we get the cross away. 
78 - Please! Nice link up with Gaya and Guedes but Gaya's shot/cross goes just wide.
80 - as usual, we prat around with a short corner and waste it. Kick. Ball. Into. Box.
83 - Manu time? No one is passing to Gameiro and Maxi is drawing more offside flags than chances. Do it Gracia.
84 - Heart in mouth, first their shot is tipped by Jaume on to the post (looks offside on a replay) then their cross provides a dangerous header. 
89 - both teams look tired and error prone. Valencia wasteful in possession.
90 - Osasuna look more likely to nick it and head just wide.
91 - should we hope for the whistle? We fumble around outside their area, Guedes loses it and a dangerous counter is just thwarted by Jaume.
92 - Man! We have a great counter but it just gets tangled up in Yunus' feet. Great chance wasted. Corner which Diakabhy heads over.

FULL TIME
Hugely disappointing result against a relegation contender. You can see on the players' faces how much this stings but the performance wasn't good enough. Lack of imagination and incisiveness and while some individual performances were fine, our defence started to look weak as the game went on. Gaya got caught advanced a number of times and Paulista didn't look with it. Copa draw tomorrow. The next 4 league games provide little cheer: Bilbao, rejuvenated by Marcelino and both Madrids with a home game against Elche. Lastly, to answer the burning question, Nacho Vidal will be 26 on Sunday. 




Sunday, January 17, 2021

Copa del Rey Round of 32: AD Alcorcón 0 - 2 Valencia CF Match Thread

 PREVIEW

Alcoron played their previous game 11 days ago against Real Zaragoza in the 2nd round of the Copa del Rey. After going down a goal with the first 5 minutes, they managed to respond and score on the other side of the half, 2 minutes before half-time. The deadlock would remain until the 89th minute when Alcoron grabbed the winner to finish the game 2-1.

Valencia's previous game was one week ago in La Liga, away against Real Valladolid; a game that they won 0-1. While Valencia had plenty of chances to win the game, it would take a Carlos Soler long range shot to break the tied game. Valencia almost grabbed a second but Manu Vallejo's goal had been overturned due to an offside in the buildup. He would get another really good chance moment later but he couldn't finish it. After a nervy ending to the half in which Valladolid struck the woodwork in injury time, Valencia managed to survive and got their first win in 2 months in the competition.

FORM (all competitions)

Alcoron: WLWWD

Valencia: WWDLL

SQUAD

Gracia, in the pre-match press conference also provided some updates on injuries. Gaya will miss this game as a precaution measure, after suffering some discomfort. in training. Cillissen is making good progress in his recovery. Gameiro should be rejoining training shortly. Gabriel Paulista is in his final stages of recovery as well. In the best case, Gracia expects everyone but Cillissen to be available for the next La Liga game.


FIRST HALF

2' - Early yellow card shown to Hugo Guillamon for a rash challenge.
12' - Goal for Valencia! 0-1! Valencia with a quick counter-attack following the Alcorcon corner kick. Vallejo carries the ball forward with speed and finds Koba Lein in space, setting up a 1v1 against the keeper who comes out to deal with him. Koba takes the shot early, the keeper gets a touch to it but cannot keep it out of the net.
34' - Yellow card shown to Reko for a rough challenge.
42' - Yellow card shown to Jaunma Bravo for taking down Guedes from behind
45 '- One minute of time added by the referee for stoppages

SECOND HALF

46' - Yellow card shown to Thierry Correia for a rough challenge
47'  - Substitution for Alcorcon. Carlos Bellvis off, Jose Suarez on
54' - Yellow card shown to Sosa for a dangerous challenge on Correia
61' - Triple substitution for Alcorcon. Reko, Alvaro Juan, and Sosa off, Boateng, Ale Lamas and Oscar Arribas on
66' - Double change for Valencia. Diakhaby and Alex Blanco replace Guillamon and Guedes
72' - Great piece of individual skill from Racic. He dispossessed the defender on the flank, beat another and then cut inside into the box before curling a shot to the far post. He shot hit the post and moved away from danger. Really close to a second goal
74' - Another opportunity missed at a second goal. Musah did well to get the ball forward on the right flank under pressure from his marker. He put in a cross to the center where Vallejo was waiting but the defender takes down Vallejo and the ball falls to Alex Blanco instead who has shot saved by the keeper.
76' - Goal for Valencia! 0-2! Manu Vallejo with a great free kick that curls around the wall, and squeezes just inside the post. Keeper was sent the wrong way. Good work from Racic to win the free kick in a dangerous position.
78' - Double substitution for Valencia. Vallejo and Musah are replaced by Kang In Lee and Jason
85' - Final change for Valencia. Gullem Molina replaces Thierry Correia. Final change for Alcorcon, Castro off, Victor Garcia on
90' - Two minutes added by the referee for stoppages.
90+2' - Llamas attempts to catch Rivero, who was off his line, off-guard with a long-range shot from midfield. Rivero gets back in time and tips it over the crossbar.

FULL-TIME

Full-time stats. 10-14 shots, 5-4 shots on target, 48-52% possession, 78-79% pass accuracy.

Valencia qualify to the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey with a solid display against Alcorcon. They scored 2 great goals, one from open play and the other from a set piece and managed to keep a clean sheet. This was all done away from home, where Valencia hasn't had the best time this season, and while resting many first team players.

Valencia's next game is on Thursday the 21st at Mestalla against Osasuna.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

La Liga Matchday #18: Real Valladolid 0 - 1 Valencia CF Match Thread

NEWS

Valencia were drawn against Alcoron for the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey. The game will be played on January 16.

PREVIEW

Real Valladolid were forced into extra time in their midweek Copa del Rey fixture away from home against Marbella, thanks to a late equalizer in injury time to make the scoreline 2-2. Valladolid did snatch the win in the second half of extra time and exerted a lot of effort in doing so. Despite the vast majority of chances in the game, the game still finished 2-3.

Valencia played against Yeclano midweek and produced a convincing 1-4 win away from home. Four Valencia Mestalla players made their first team debut in this game. Valencia started the game with a lot of intensity and took a 0-3 lead into half-time, The second half performance took a dip and Yeclano were given more room to get into the game. They grabbed one consolation goal in the second half, before Valencia re-established the 3 goal margin. Yeclano did get several other chances but did not capitalize on them.

Real Valladolid are 15th in La Liga with 18 points from 17 games. Valencia are 17th with 16 points from 17 games. This match is a very good chance for Valencia to climb up in the table.

FORM (***all competitions)

Real Valladolid: WWDLD

Valencia: WDLLD

SQUAD

Goncalo Guedes will miss the game through suspension due to receiving a red card in the previous La Liga game against Granada. Jason returns having served his suspension.

Gameiro will also not participate due to the injury picked up in the Cadiz game. He joins Cillissen and Paulista who are both still recovering from their injuries earlier in the season.


FIRST HALF

15' - Wass finds the overlapping run of Correia who puts in a cross to the center of the box. Cheryshev controls it, takes a touch and gets a shot but it's hit directly at the keeper. Easy save.
22' - Yellow card shown to Bruno Gonzalez for a late challenge on Cheryshev
30' - Maxi Gomez's shot from outside the box is deflected and falls to Gaya who strikes the ball from the wide position and hits the far-side post. The ball is still in play and falls to Soler who hits it first time from the opposite flank to the far-post. The keeper stretches and gets his hand to the ball, denying the effort.
44' - Gaya gains possession following a mistake from the opposing defender. He picks out Cheryshev who then attempts to lob the ball over the keeper. The effort falls just above the crossbar but it seems like  the keeper had it covered regardless.

HALF-TIME

Half-time stats. 4-11 shots, 2-4 shots on target, 39-61% possession, 76-81% pass accuracy

Valencia will be disappointed not to have taken the lead in that first half. The team took initiative and went forward and creating many opportunities. They dominated possession and had the majority of the game's chances, but the final product was lacking. Certain dangerous plays were squandered due to players taking the chances on their own instead of looking up and finding a player in a better position.

Having Correia as right-back and Wass playing ahead of him has worked well thus far. Wass's presence helps cover the space and defensive vulnerability created by Correia going forward. Being familiar with the position himself, Wass has provided some much needed stability to right-side of the formation. Kang In has also done well to drop back from his attacking position to help create chances for his teammates going forward.

SECOND HALF

57' - Yellow card shown to Soler for tugging on the shirt of Jota.
63' - Missed chance from Maxi Gomez. The corner from Soler was well hit and Guillamon did well to head it on to Maxi Gomez who managed to stay onside. Maxi controls it with his chest and takes a shot, but only managed to hit the outside of the post. Needs to do better there.
70' - Double substitution for Real Valladolid. Oscar Plano and Pablo Hervias on, Toni Villa and Kike Perez off
72' - Substitution for Valencia. Manu Vallejo replaces Kang In Lee
76' - Goal for Valencia! 0-1! Racic played a great diagonal ball to find Gaya in advanced position. Gaya cuts inside and instead of going for the cross, plays a short pass to Soler. Soler takes a touch of his own and looks as if he is about to cross as well, but instead strikes it straight at goal from outside the box, catching the keeper by surprise and putting his team in front
81' - Triple change from Real Valladolid, Lucas Perez, Jota and Roque Mesa are replaced by Fabian Orellana, Ruben Alcaraz and Guardiola
82' - Yellow card shown to Diakhaby for a foul on Guardiola
86' - Yellow card shown to Orellana for dissent against the referee
87' - Goal for Valencia! 0-2! Soler's free kick from the middle of the field was headed away by the defender in the box. Soler reacts the quickest to claim the ball, plays a short pass to Vallejo just outside the area who does well to pick out Wass in a wide position. Wass puts in the cross, Maxi gets a touch but it goes through to Vallejo who has no trouble finishing from close range.
89' - Goal overturned. Back to 0-1. Vallejo was deemed to have interfered with the play from an offside position.
90' - Six minutes add by the referee for stoppages.
90+1' - Double substitution for Valencia. Musah and Lato replace Cheryshev and Wass
90+4' - Musah does well to drive the ball forward from the back and beats two Valladolid players for pace, playing the ball into space and running onto it. He is calm enough to look up and find the cross to Vallejo who is unmarked in the center. Support is coming to Vallejo's left through Lato but he ignores and attempts to take the shot himself. It is saved by the keeper.
90+5'- Yellow card shown to Correia for a foul at the left edge of the area.
90+6' - Close chance for Valladolid. Guardiola hits the post with a glancing header from the free kick delivery. Valencia can clear.

FULL-TIME

Full-time stats. 11-17 shots, 4-6 shots on target. 42-58% possession, 74-77% pass accuracy

A win for Valencia in La Liga for the first time in 2 months and an away from home to boot. Last time the team won in La Liga was the 4-1 win against Real Madrid. This win however, was to close for comfort.

After a dominant first half performance, the team settled back in the second and allowed Valladolid to get more into the game. With Valencia looking less likely to score than in the first half, and Maxi Gomez getting frustrated from the lack of service to him, Soler took the responsibility on himself to score. He broke his usual pattern of playing the cross and instead opted for the shot from distance and caught the keeper off-guard.

Valencia would extend their lead thanks to Soler fighting for the ball, being first to react and setting up the chance that Vallejo would finish. Unfortunately, the otherwise great goal was ruled off for offside.

With six minutes of time added for stoppages, and Valencia having had their goal overturned, Valladolid came forward with intent and almost snatched the win in the final minute of injury time, with the header from Guardiola striking the post following the free kick delivery.

A much needed 3 points for Valencia. Confidence gained that will hopefully be carried forward into future games. Valencia climb to 13th position with 19 points.

Next game for Valencia will be on Sunday January 17, away to Alcoron for the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey

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.