Valencia maintain great start with slender win
Valencia ensured their great start to the season continued as they picked up another 3 points with a 1-0 victory against Cádiz at the Mestalla. Many were expecting a goal fest as the hosts squared off against the team currently in 15th position in La Liga, but despite creating a wealth of chances the game was decided by a solitary goal in the end. Valencia made just one change from their impressive 2-2 draw last weekend, fit again Jason coming back in on the right with Guedes dropping to the bench.
Valencia, who have scored early on in all three of their opening fixtures, almost repeated the trick again, Uros Racic winning the ball back in midfield, and finding Kevin Gameiro in space on the right, but this time the in-form striker dragged his shot wide. A few moments later Cádiz then had to rely on keeper Ledesma to tip the ball over after Soler and Maxi Gómez worked the ball into space for winger Cheryshev, the keeper reacting well to tip his shot over. Antonio Valencia then broke down the right, and his high cross found Maxi Gómez in the middle, but his looping header was plucked out of the air by Ledesma. Uruguayan striker Maxi Gómez then found himself through again, this time courtesy of a Cheryshev through ball, but he was again thwarted by Ledesma, this time the keeper making the stop with his feet.
At the other end, Cádiz, who had failed thus far to create anything, had their first chance of note when Jairo found himself with some time and space on the edge of the area, but he snapped at his shot and fired well over the bar. With Valencia clearly on top in the opening 45 minutes, Barlow made a change at the break sending on Guedes for Jason, the winger returning to fitness having looked slightly off the pace in the first half. The Portuguese winger almost had an immediate impact, dragging a shot wide just 2 minutes into the second half. Next to try their luck was midfielder Carlos Soler, making his 150th appearance for the club. His strike from distance was again easily marshalled by Ledesma, who was having a fine game in goal for the visitors. Soler was then integral again, his pressing to win the ball in midfield and his pass looking to release Gameiro, but a fine last ditch tackle by Cala denied the striker the chance to get a shot away.
Just after the hour mark the returning Daniel Wass was sent on for his first competitive appearance of the season, replacing Antonio Valencia at right-back, as the hosts continued to dominate position in this one sided affair. The deadlock was eventually broken in the 73rd minute. Carlos Soler was again the instigator, winning the ball in the middle before setting Maxi Gómez free down the right. His first touch looked like he had taken the ball too wide, but finding a yard of space from Iza he somehow then bent one into the near post from range, although on replay Ledesma should have done better to keep it out, although he was perhaps surprised the Uruguayan striker opted to shoot from such an angle.
Impressive Soler was then replaced by Korean midfield man Lee Kang-In, while Zirkzee and Smith-Rowe also came on for Gameiro and Cheryshev, as the home side looked to drive home their advantage in the closing quarter. Gonçalo Guedes almost doubled the advantage after a fine solo run, breaking all the way from the back after a failed Cádiz corner, his eventual effort smashing back off the woodwork before the visitors eventually cleared, the resulting inswinging corner from Gayà easily punched clear by Ledesma. Maxi Gómez then almost doubled his haul after more pressing from Valencia rushed the visitors into a mistake, Smith-Rowe finding the striker but his shot blocked at the last moment. Into injury time the hosts continued to push forward, the last chance of note seeing Racic volley over after Ledesma had parried an initial effort from Lee Kang-In. In spite of the slender scoreline, Valencia once again leapfrogged Barcelona, who were in action later in the day, to reclaim top spot, with Maxi Gómez picking up man of the match for his winning goal.
Meanwhile, off the pitch it was reported talks with the Chinese investors had broke down, and while disappointing with the club still looking for a resolution, it at least means the transfer embargo has once again been lifted as the club enter the final days of the transfer window with a renewed opportunity to bring in a few new faces to the threadbare squad.Share this: