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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Deportivo 3-0 Valencia CF Match Report

What a miserable performance from the team as a whole and a miserable match for Valencia CF. The team got a taste of its own medicine with 3 goals scored, but for the opposing team. Valencia CF were notorious for scoring three goals from few chances and today that got reversed on them as Deportivo pretty much scored three goals from like 5-6 chances at most.

The defense was in shambles from the first moment on, it was one of those matches where it felt uneasy from start when Deportivo were attacking and it looked like Valencia CF could break any moment. Unfortunately that turned out to be true, the first goal you can say Deportivo were kind of lucky, but the goalkeeper did not do enough, he kind of sat there on the line without coming forward to claim or punch the ball away, Mustafi was too out of position there and all could have been avoided though if the team didn't lose possession so easily as well. There were less than 2-3 passes and the team would lose possession, that is too weak, that is low level tier club possession levels.

The second goal for Deportivo came from a similar situation, Valencia CF kind of losing possession, the team is not fully positioned, Mustafi is out-jumped and the ball is headed forward to a Deportivo player, Barragan is slow to close the gap, Yoel is badly positioned and bam they score a second goal. Completely avoidable goal, but it seemed as nothing is going Valencia's way.

Nuno did two changes at half time with Feghouli and Gil in and some of the weaker performers out and it did help, Valencia CF looked more concise and more dangerous in attack, the team had more possession, but there was no final ball, no concise chance. Moreno had a good enough chance on a pass from Gil, but he shot wide, Paco failed to latch onto two passes, one from Moreno and one from the center in midfield, so that could be counted as two missed opportunities, but nothing really concise.

We even saw Gaya really doing great offensively in the second half, but it just wasn't enough against a defensively solid Deportivo side. The key to this game was not to concede and then compete on who scores one goal, but Valencia CF conceded twice, in the first half, due to terrible defending and the match was pretty much lose right then.

Towards the end Deportivo made it 3-0 for good measure and put the match to bed. This is a devastating loss for Valencia CF and not just the fact that we lost  a good opportunity to be in second spot on the table with 20 points, but because of the way the team lost. It was a rather poor performance, the usually reliable defense was really poor and the team had no ideas going forward, while the midfield kept losing the ball time and time again.

I just hope Peter Lim takes over as soon as possible and then we will see reinforcements in the midfield, whether its Enzo Perez or someone else, it will be good for competition in the team and will give us more options as well.

Also having Alvaro Negredo fully fit and ready could really help in situations like this where his direct running and experience can really benefit the team.

Technical Details:
Deportivo de La Coruna: Fabricio; Juanfran, Insua, Sidnei, Luisinho; Cuenca (José Rodríguez, m.78), Wilk, Medunjanin, Fariña; Cavaleiro (Toché, m.63) Lucas Pérez (Juan Carlos, m.57).
Valencia CF: Yoel; Barragán, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gayá; Javi Fuego (De Paul, m.76); Rodrigo, Augusto (Feghouli, m.46), Parejo, Piatti (Carles Gil, m.46); Alcácer.

Player Ratings:
Yoel 3 - Terrible debut for the highly rated goalkeeper. Didn't move out of his line on the cross for the first goal and was badly positioned for the second goal. Will be very disappointed with his performance once he watches in back.
Barragan 4 - Beaten a lot of times from his side and was always one step slower it seems. Was lucky enough that his mistakes didn't result in goals.
Mustafi 2- Terrible performance from the German international. Had so many mistakes I can't even count it. I've said time and time again how I prefer Vezo and I think this match proves why. Partially at fault for both goals and had more mistakes as well.
Otamendi 7 - Had a solid match and had to work twice as hard to cover for the mistakes his partner Mustafi did. Did well though and had several blocks and interceptions. Can't do it all by himself though.
Gaya 7 - Had a decent defensive showing, beaten once or twice by Juanfran, but overall did good and was released offensively in the second half when Gil came in and provided several good crosses and passes.
Fuego 6 - Had several important blocks in the mid to stop Deportivo advancing and was solid with his marking. Did everything right, but that wasn't enough to prevent his team conceding three goals.
Parejo 5 - Really poor performance, too wasteful in possession, his movement was very casual and he didn't have much options, but should have taken the huge load on his shoulders and helped the team, he just failed. As a captain and a regular starter he needs to do a lot more.
Felipe 4 - Terrible performance from the midfielder, committed so many terrible fouls and any one of those could have been yellow cards. If it was another referee he would have definitely been red carded.
Moreno 6 - Was the only forward to even get the ball more than once in the first half and was the most dangerous man throughout the match.
Paco 5 - One of his weakest matches for Valencia CF, didn't have much service at all, but could have dropped back and try to get the ball and help out the team.
Piatti 4 - Was completely irrelevant and all of his runs just ended up giving the ball away to Deportivo. Really needs to become more consistent and to work better with the midfield and Gaya.
Carles Gil 6 - Was a lot better than Piatti, provided a genuine threat down the left flank and provided some good passes and crosses, unfortunate to not have created a goal.
Feghouli 6 - Definitely a positive change on the match, his runs from the left were always dangerous and provided some more sturdiness to the team, but couldn't materialize his good performance with goals or assists.
De Paul N/A - Not enough time

Man of the Match: None
Flop of the Match: Skhodran Mustafi
Best offense: Rodrigo Moreno
Worst offense: Pablo Piatti
Best defense: Nicolas Otamendi
Worst defense: Skhodran Mutafi
Best possession: Carles Gil
Worst possession: Felipe Augusto

Deportivo 2-0 Valencia half-time update

Well Valencia CF is down 2-0 at half time against Deportio. Even my rather conservative match prediction said 1-1 and here we are 2-0 down.

I got to say for me Mustafi is just not good enough, I know a lot of people like him because he played like two games for 15 minutes at the world cup and technically he is a world cup winner, but he is just not good enough.

Partly at fault for the first goal and partly at fault for the second goal as well. First goal he was off in his marking and jumping and the second goal he was off on his jumping as well, allowing the opposite player to head the ball forward. Of course Yoel made a big mistake as well for the second goal as he was badly positioned and his reaction was slow.

Right now Yoel and Mustafi are both at 3 rating for me. Both are mostly to fault for the goal, Barragan has also been quite lacking in defense with 4 rating right now.

Felipe Augusto also hasn't benefited much to the team and feels like Parejo is playing alone going forward. We haven't seen any combination from the forward line and all of the attacks are breaking in that final third. There needs to be better passing and more options there.

The match could still be salvaged, but the team needs to have chances. I think at this point remove Felipe and bring in Feghouli. play 4-4-2. Fuego and Parejo central midfield, Feghouli on the right, Piatti on the left and Moreno and Paco in the center of the attack.

But yeah, I think defensively the team was weak and those goals could have been prevented with better defending and goalkeeping.

Deportivo vs Valencia CF Match Preview

Deportivo vs Valencia CF Match Preview
Stadium: Riazor
Date: 19.10.2014; 17:00 CET
8th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Víctor Fernández and Nuno Santos

The international break is over and its time for club football again. Valencia CF will be vising Deportivo La Coruna this Sunday and looking to continue its great winning streak.

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid won their respective games this weekend, so Valencia CF will definitely need a win to keep its second position on the table. Valencia CF coach Nuno has said the team is looking for a win and anything else would be a big disappointment.

These are the type of matches Valencia CF needs to win in order to compete with the top clubs and to be able to have a chance for Champions League football, something which the club misses so much as it brings a lot of money and viewership which in turn brings the shirt sponsors.

The players who were on international duty all did very good, Paco scored in his matches, Moreno also featured for Spain for the first time and immediately had an assist and Otamendi also featured on one game for Argentina.

The big blow for the match against Deportivo La Coruna is the injury for Gomes, so he would not be available tomorrow, while a lesser issue is Orban's injury as well. Negredo is also going to wait for at least a week for his first start and Nuno has made it clear it will do things slow with him, so expect Negredo to at best get about 10 minutes next week.

Valencia CF squad: 
Goalkeepers: Alves, Yoel.
Defenders: Barragán, João Cancelo, Vezo, Otamendi, Mustafi, Gayà.
Midfielders: Javi Fuego, Zuculini, Felipe Augusto, Dani Parejo, Feghouli, Robert, De Paul, Pablo Piatti, Carles Gil.
Forwards: Paco Alcácer, Rodrigo Moreno.

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups): 
Formation: 4-3-3 
Line-up: Diego; Barragan, Vezo, Otamendi, Gaya; Fuego, Felipe, Parejo; Feghouli, Paco, Moreno.
Tactics: Low defensive line, own half pressure, midfield triangle, short passing, offside trap, deep laying defensive midfielder.

Match Predictions:
Deportivo La Coruna 1-1 Valencia CF
This is going to be a tough match for Valencia CF. Few of its players were on international duty so they will be a little bit tired probably, Gomes who's been a big part of the team is also injured and it just so happens to be an away match against the always tricky Deportivo. So I'm looking at a draw here, I think its either going to be 1-1 or 0-0 draw, if its 0-0 for long periods Valencia CF may actually score. Hopefully Valencia CF wins, I'm predicting a draw.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Juan Mata and Enzo Perez on Valencia's wish list

Its still uncertain whether Peter Lim is going to take over the club, positions can shift radically even over one meeting, so everything is still up in the air, though its said that Peter Lim has confidence that the deal would go through and that he would become the new Valencia CF owner soon.

Once Peter Lim becomes the new owner he will invest heavily in the winter transfer window and bring in more reinforcements to cement Valencia's position as one of the top teams in Spain.

On Peter Lim's wish list is former Valencia CF player Juan Mata and long time wish Enzo Perez who Peter Lim wanted to bring in the summer, but ultimately couldn't reach an agreement with Benfica over the transfer fee.

Juan Mata is struggling in Manchester United and their new coach Van Gaal prefers to play Wayne Rooney and new player Radamel Falcao over Juan Mata, who has been relegated to the bench post. The club believes that bringing Mata would give the team more options and increase the competition on the left wing as well in midfield and even attack, as Mata can play as a second striker if needed. He could potentially replace Gomes or Moreno or Piatti in the starting eleven, depending where the coach deems best.

Another player that could join Valencia CF is Enzo Perez who failed to join Valencia CF in the summer as Benfica didn't respect the verbal agreement with Peter Lim and his company and decided to demand higher fee for the player, at which point the transfer broke down.

Peter Lim is ready to come at them with another offer though and try to persuade them this time around. Nuno has the 5 midfielder that he wanted, but he doesn't count seriously on Zuculini as he deems him too weak and since he is only on loan at VCF he doesn't want to play him unless he absolutely must.

Bringing a player like Enzo Perez would increase competition in the midfield and could replace Parejo in the starting position or give Valencia CF more options.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Paco Alcacer shines for Spain

Valencia CF striker Paco Alcacer shone for Spain this weekend, scoring two goals in the two European qualifier matches and has scored a total of 3 goals from 3 matches.

In the first qualifying match for Spain against Slovakia Paco Alcacer entered the game as a sub, with the Spaining team losing and Del Bosque was looking for an equalizer. Paco delivered just that, minutes after coming on he scored a goal to equalize the result against Slovakia, unfortunately Spain would go to lose that match despite Paco's goal.

Having proven so effective for Spain and in top form for club as well, Del Bosque decided to start with two strikers in the match against Luxemburg. Paco instantly had a good chance early in the match, but could only shoot by the side of the goal, though he soon go on to score after an assist by Silva.

It was a real good goal, receiving the pass from Silva, shielding himself from opposition and turning around and releasing a powerful shot that Luxemburg goalkeeper had no chance to save.

Rodrigo Moreno had his debut for Spain against Luxembug and he went on to assist the goal for Juan Bernat, a former Valencia CF player.

So overall great showing for Moreno and Paco, though Andre Gomes had a weaker showing for Portugal, and being replaced on half time, though his replacement wasn't any better either, so Gomes still has chance to become a regular for Portugal.

Feghouli also featured for Algeria in their 2-0 victory over Malawi, scoring a goal, only to be ruled offside.

Otamendi didn't start for Argentina even though he has been in top form for Valencia CF and Argentina went on to lose 2-0 to Brasil, so maybe next match he would start.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Joao Pereira will leave in the winter

Joao Pereira will be leaving Valencia CF in the winter transfer windows. Valencia CF coach Nuno Espirito Santo is not counting on him at all, and Joao Pereira hasn't even featured on the bench, let alone being able to play. As such he has already met with Valencia CF staff and told them he wanted to leave in the winter so that he can play regular first football and be able to fight his way back into the Portuguese national team.

Joao Pereira was put on the transfer list in the summer and he had several offers, but he didn't like any of those offers and decided to stay in Valencia CF in the hopes that he could fight for a position and possibly play. Since that has not been the case and Nuno has no interest in playing him, he will look to leave in the winter.

In fact this may mean that potentially Sevilla could swoop in for him, they have that position covered, but since Joao Pereira wants to leave, Valencia CF want to sell him and his contract ends next summer, he is likely to leave on the cheap and I'm sure former Valencia CF coach Unai Emery would be interested to bring someone like Joao Pereira to his team.

Other options for him could be Benfica who obviously sold Valencia CF Joao Cancelo and could get Joao Pereira their way, otherwise Inter Milan could possibly be interested and even Milan who seems to have many problems at the back and Joao relationship with Rami when they both played at Valencia CF could be very good at Milan.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Valencia CF 3-1 Atletico Madrid Match Report

Valencia CF has done it, 3-1 victory over last years league champion in what was a thrilling and gut wrenching game.

The last 10 minutes of the game felt like 30 minutes, as Atletico Madrid were all out attacking and trying to get something out of the game. Valencia CF defense stood ground though and managed to more or less deal with Atletico's never ending attacks.

The match started with both sides battling mostly in the middle of the park trying to exert control over the match and stamp their authority. This would soon change though as Valencia CF score or should I say have their first goal scored form them, thanks to an error from Miranda scoring an own goal. It was a lucky goal there is no doubt over that, but Valencia CF were exerting a lot of pressure and surely that contributed to Miranda's own goal.

Atletico Madrid were obviously shocked from their own goal and this allowed Valencia CF to double their lead to 2-0 just a minute later thanks to Andre Gomes who dribbled past Atletico Madrid defense and calmly slotted the ball into the net with a wonderful and precise finish.

Few minutes after the last goal Valencia CF would score again, this time thanks to Otamendi from a corner kick by Piatti. With the Atletico Madrid defense worrying about Paco and Moreno, they didn't properly mark Otamendi who rushed in and headed the ball into the net to make it 3-0 for Valencia CF after just 13 minutes.

Atletico Madrid would try to respond, but were kept at bay for good period of time, this would change in the 30th minute though as Mandzukic scores a goal from a rebound ball.

As the game was wielding down toward the end of the first half, the referee decides to take things into his own hands and hand Atletico Madrid a non existent penalty. Supposedly Gaya touched the ball with his hand, but from all the replays he didn't touch the ball at all, let alone his hand.

Thankfully though this injustice won't stand and Diego Alves ends up saving the penalty from Guilherme Siqueira who's shot was really lackluster as if subconsciously he didn't want to score from such a ridiculous non existent penalty.

Anyways the second half came and it was mostly Atletico Madrid, Valencia CF were solid defensively and didn't allow any dangerous chances in the penalty area as opposed to the first half, but were pinched down in their own half and Atletico Madrid did have few dangerous shots towards goal. Nino responded by replacing Piatti with Orban in the hopes of solidifying the defense.

Long story short if I don't want this to be 5000 word article is that Atletico had the initiative for all of the second half and were the ones attacking, they had few dangerous chances, but nothing concrete, nothing that was too dangerous and Valencia CF sometimes scrappy, but stood its ground and Valencia CF were able to close out the match.

There was one very late chance for Atletico Madrid where they actually scored, but it was deemed handball and the goal didn't count, in fact Cerci got a second yellow card for complaining.

So there you have it ladies and gentleman, Valencia CF won over last seasons league champion in a pretty convincing fashion if you look at the score. The play as always wasn't perfect and there is obviously so much room for improvement, but its good to know that even with less than great performance the team is able to win.

The fact that there is so much more room for improvement is positive, which means the team can be so much better.

Technical details:
Valencia CF: Diego; Barragan, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gaya; Fuego, Gomes(Felipe 71 min), Parejo; Moreno, Paco(Feghouli 75 min), Piatti(Orban 63 min)
Atletico Madrid: Moya; Siquera, Godin, Gamez, Miranda; Tiago(Garcia 73 min), Koke; Griezman(Cerci 66 min), Gabi, Arda(Jimenez 69 min), Mandzukic

Miranda (o.g) 1-0, 6 min.
Andre Gomes 2-0, 7 min.
Nicolas Otamendi 3-0, 13 min.
Mario Mandzukic 3-1, 29 min.

Player Ratings:
Diego 7 - Saved a penalty to keep Valencia's two goal lead and had two more good saves.
Barragan 7 - Good defending, stifling most of the attacks from his side.
Mustafi 6.5 - Had few interceptions and blocks, but I'm still not sold on his skill, still think Vezo had a better partnership with Otamendi and the defense was more secure.
Otamendi 8 - Rock at the back, had numerous interceptions, solid positioning and dealing with ease with what Atletico Madrid threw at him, topped his solid defensive showing with a goal.
Gaya 7.5 - Always a threat down that left wing, combined well with Piatti time and time again and could have easily had two assists if the players finished off his crosses.
Fuego 7 - Now this is the type of match he needs to shine and he did solidly. Defended with utmost of concentration and always precisely positioned cutting off Atletico's attacks.
Parejo 6.5 - Confident in possession, but had limited options to pass to, especially since Atletico were very aggressive in their pressing. Good defensive showing.
Gomes 7 - Scored a wonderful goal, got past a defender and slotted the ball in the net from a tight angle. Was good on counter attacks and helped out consistently in defense.
Moreno 6 - Was mostly reserved to defensive duties as Atletico Madrid had the attacking initiative for most of the match, but was dangerous when he got the ball at his feet.
Paco 6 - Lovely assist to Gomes as he flicked the ball from behind towards Gomes who went on to score a goal. Was a threat with his movement and positioning even though he didn't have a lot of service.
Piatti 6 - Provided an assist as Otamendi scored from his corner kick, was otherwise dangerous in the early stages in the first half and combined well with Gaya on the flank. Was removed early in the second half to make way for Orban as Nuno looked to defend the result.
Orban 6.5 - Slotted in well in the defense and make few good tackles at the back. Headed the ball away from one dangerous Atletico cross.
Felipe 6 - Slotted in nicely for Gomes and defended well. Kept it simple and didn't make any mistakes.
Feghouli 6 - Not enough time, but was lively when he came in and helped keep possession on that right side.