From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Mar 02 2009 - 12:47:40 EST
Valladolid Stun Valencia With Wonderful Away Win
Valladolid travelled to the Mestalla and triumphed over a Valencia side
who have made a disastrous start to 2009...
02-Mar-2009 12:04:12 AM
Valladolid secured a 2-1 win at the Mestalla against a Valencia side who
continue to slide down the Primera Division table. First half goals from
Jonathan Sesma and an own goal by Raul Albiol did the damage, with
Carlos Marchena's reply coming too late to save Valencia from yet
another defeat to home, and leaving them struggling to keep pace with
the Champions League challengers.
You need to go back to December 2007 to find the last time that Valencia
triumphed without their talisman David Villa in the side, and given his
suspension tonight following his red card versus Deportivo last weekend,
the omens were not good for Los Che.
And things got even worse after only 6 minutes of play, when Valladolid
took an early lead. Alberto Marcos motored down the left hand side, and
chipped in a beautiful cross, straight onto the head of Jonathan Sesma,
who nodded past Cesar to open the scoring.
Valencia were all over the place at the back. Moments later, Marchena
and Cesar suffered a breakdown in communication and Sesma nipped in
again, and lobbed the ball goalwards but Raul Albiol got back to clear
the ball from underneath the crossbar. It was one way traffic, and Los
Che were in danger of throwing this match away before it had properly
In the absence of Villa, the home side looked to Juan Mata and David
Silva for inspiration, but aside from a half-chance for the latter,
Valladolid were in complete control. Pedro Leon burst through after 20
minutes, but his shot went inches over the bar with Marchena and Albiol
all at sea in the centre.
It was no surprise when the visitors doubled their advantage, though it
was in fortunate circumstances, with Raul Albiol, who struggled all
afternoon, putting the ball past his own goalkeeper to sum up how poor
Los Che had been in the first half. Valladolid attacked at will, and
looked capable of scoring on every venture up the field.
However, Valencia's best chance of pulling one back fell to Morientes
just before half-time. He lofted the ball over the onrushing Villar
before the ball was hooked away from the foot of Silva inside the six
yard box. But 2-1 at half-time truly would have flattered the home side
in a period where they second best.
Unai Emery would have demanded a significant improvement, and Valencia
attempted to take the game to a Valladolid in a way which they had
failed to do in the first half. But attacking has never been Los Che's
problem; they have players with flair and poise on the ball, but they
remain susceptible at the back, and you felt that if they committed men
forward to chase the game then the likes of Sesma and Pedro Leon could
pick them off.
Emery didn't like what he was seeing, and made a triple substitution in
a desperate attempt to change the momentum. David Silva, David Albelda
and Ruben Baraja were replaced by Manuel Fernandes, Michel and Vicente,
and the latter made an instant impact, jinking superbly down the left
and putting his cross straight onto the head of Fernando Morientes.
However, with the goal at his mercy, the former Real Madrid man headed
the ball downwards, but Marcos had made his way back onto the goal-line
to clear the danger.
Valladolid were sitting deep now, giving Valencia more possession in
their half of the pitch, and they were handed a lifeline in the 76th
minute when they pulled a goal back. First-half defensive sinner Carlos
Marchena became saint when he headed home a Vicente free-kick to inject
new life back into the match.
Valencia's ascendency was interrupted after Valladolid full-back Inaki
Bea suffered a horrific head knock, and blood was pouring across the
side of his head. Seconds after the restart, Pedro Lopez was sent off
for a crunching tackle on Fernando Morientes, giving Los Che a man
advantage for the final ten minutes and a chance to salvage a draw.
But despite their best efforts, they could not grab that elusive
equaliser and Valencia's dreadful 2009 continues. UEFA cup exit, Copa
Del Rey defeat, sliding down the league, and financial woes.....it is
not a good time to be a follower of Los Che.
Paul Macdonald, Goal.com
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