Huesca left to rue VAR decisions
Lowly Huesca were left to rue a host of VAR decisions as they fell to yet another defeat, this time being hammered by league leaders Valencia 3-0. The relegation threatened club, still reeling from defeat against lower league Pontevedra in the cup recently, came up against a Valencia side who are playing some sensational attacking football, and were lifted by their recent Spanish Super Cup victory against Barcelona in Saudi Arabia. The visitors made just one change from the team who lifted the silverware, Antonio Valencia coming in for the injured Carlos Soler, and Daniel Wass making the switch into midfield. There was also a return to the bench for Uros Racic in his bid to regain fitness after a long term injury.
Huesca have one of the worst defences in the division, having conceded 32 goals coming into this game, and did little to help their cause when they conceded a penalty just 2 minutes into the game. A José Gayà corner was headed wide by Gabriel, but in the melee Pablo Insua appeared to push Mouctar Diakhaby. Referee Cordero Vega allowed himself time to go to the VAR monitor and check before awarding the penalty, which was duly dispatched by top scorer Kevin Gameiro. Keeper Andrés Fernández guessed the right way, but there was too much power on the shot to allow the former Villarreal man to get across in time.
Huesca went close themselves quarter of an hour in, former Manchester City man Pablo Maffeo doing well down the right, his cross finding the well placed Sandro in the middle who headed just over the bar with Cillessen looking exposed. Valencia doubled their advantage just before the break with a classic piece of counter attacking play. A searching ball forward from Huesca was cleared by Gabriel Paulista, and the ball fell to Antonio Valencia who broke down the right before whipping a perfect ball into the path of goalscorer Gameiro. The Frenchman tried his look first time on the volley, and when Andrés Fernández could only parry the effort Maxi Gómez was on hand, completely unmarked, to volley into the empty net. The hosts appealed in vein for an offside decision, but another VAR check confirmed the goal stood.
On the hour mark the hosts thought they’d pulled one back, when a searching ball forward from Seoane was flicked on by Sergio Gómez, the in form Sandro reacting quickest to fire beyond Cillessen, only for the Aragon based club to once again be left frustrated by VAR, this time the assistant referee ruling out the goal for offside, although replays show the decision was correct with Sandro offside when the ball was initially played through.
Valencia continued to threaten at the other end, Wass finding substitute Smith Rowe on the wing, who did superbly well to bring down the ball then cut inside both Maffeo and Seoane to create space for the shot, his eventual effort going just wide of the upright with the keeper scrambling across goal. With 3 minutes remaining, Huesca once again thought they had restored some parity to the scoreline, only to once again surmount to frustration as the offside flag once again killed the celebrations. This time a Mosquera corner for the hosts was initially cleared, but Maffeo reacted quickest to loop the ball back in, where Mosquera was free to apply a superb first time left footed volley beyond Cillessen. The skill and finish were sublime, but the decision was once again the correct one, with the Huesca attack once again offside when the ball was played forward.
Any feint hopes of a comeback were dashed minutes later when Emile Smith Rowe submitted his entry for goal of the season, this one standing. Despite the earlier warning, when Smith Rowe picked up a pass from returning midfielder Uros Racic, he was again allowed to cut inside, but this time he produced an unstoppable effort which nestled in the top corner with Andrés Fernández at full stretch, the first goal of the season for the Arsenal loanee.
The win sees Valencia, who ironically face Pontevedra, conquerors of Huesca, in the cup next, maintain top spot in the league, and stretching their unbeaten run to an impressive 10 games. Los Che will also be delighted to see the return of Uros Racic, who contributed with an assist during his brief spell on the pitch, albeit the former Red Star man is still some way from fitness.Share this: