Impressive Valencia make it two wins from two
Valencia continued their fine winning start to the season as they once again found the net three times, this time comfortably dispatching a below par Valladolid at the Mestalla. After impressing last week in their 3-2 away victory, Valencia were keen to maintain that form as they faced their first home game of La Liga, and the fans weren’t disappointed as another display of attacking football from the hosts left Valladolid well defeated in the end. Barlow made just 2 changes from the starting XI in Sevilla last Friday, with Gabriel Paulista moving inside to his preferred position of centre-half, Mangala missing out, while winger Jason was brought in on the right and Portuguese star Gonçalo Guedes was switched to the left, Denis Cheryshev making way. With Toni Lato pulling a calf muscle during training in the week, and set to miss 2-3 weeks of action, young defender Kevin Sibille was also brought in onto the bench for this clash.
It was another electric start from Valencia, who once again took the lead inside the opening minutes of the game. A long punt forward by Mouctar Diakhaby was superbly met by Maxi Gómez, who got up above everyone to flick the ball on. From there, it was another moment of brilliance from in-form Kevin Gameiro, whose first touch created space before unleashing an unstoppable shot from outside the area into the keeper’s bottom left hand corner, giving Jordi Masip in the Valladolid goal no chance as he claimed his third goal of the season.
Despite being in front, Valencia continued to go on the attack as they could smell blood, a fine passage of play with a quarter of the game gone eventually coming to Maxi Gómez, but his effort was straight at Valladolid keeper Masip. 10 minutes later another long clearance from the back for Valencia almost had the visitors in trouble again, Gameiro this time looking to return the favour for his strike partner, but again the Uruguayan international failed to get enough on the ball to trouble Masip, much to the Valladolid keeper’s relief. Just 3 minutes into the 2nd half, Valencia did have their second, and it came as no surprise given their clear dominance in the opening period. Midfielder Carlos Soler was allowed to carry the ball forward from the half way line, and he slipped in winger Jason on the overlap. The right winger cut a first time ball back across goal into the area, and Frenchman Kevin Gameiro reacted quickest for the easiest of finishes, claiming his second double in two games and taking him to four for the season.
Just before the hour mark, Jason was again allowed to cause trouble down the right, this time beating the full back on the dribble before finding Maxi Gómez, Masip doing superbly well to react quickly and get down to keep out the effort at the near post. The home side then made an enforced change, José Gayà appearing to suffer a twisted knee, and with reserve left-back Toni Lato also currently out injured, Barlow was forced to throw on Boško Šutalo for his debut in an unfamiliar position. Despite losing Gayà, Valencia extended their lead further in the 62nd minute from a set play. The ball eventually fell to Uros Racic, who found Antonio Valencia in space on the right hand side at the edge of the area. The experienced full back returned the ball to Racic, who had progressed to the edge of the area, and the midfielder had time to smash one into the top corner, Masip again left helpless by his defence.
With Valladolid trying to spare further embarrassment, they eventually pulled one back as they looked to press down the weakened left hand side. Fabián Orellana broke down the right, turning Šutalo to give himself space to pick out a man in the middle, where Rubén Alcaraz did well to pull off his marker to make the space and receive the ball. A simple pass inside was then picked up by the unmarked Alcaraz, who fired across Cillessen to give the visitors some hope with 64 minutes gone on the clock.
Valencia then made a second rung of changes, as they sent on Yunus Musah and Denis Cheryshev in the 72nd minute, the tiring Carlos Soler and Gonçalo Guedes making way. The impact was almost immediate, as a thrown in on the left found Cheryshev, who turned the ball inside to Maxi Gómez, who in turn picked out Musah, but the young midfielder dragged his shot wide with the goal at his mercy. With just under 10 minutes left on the clock, Valencia made their final changes, with Emile Smith-Row and Kang-In Lee coming on for Jason and goal-scorer Uros Racic respectively. Striker Gameiro almost grabbed his hat-trick in stoppage, being slipped in by Kang-In, but his final effort just lacked the power to beat Masip, but it once again showed the hunger of the French striker who is enjoying a fine start to the season, which saw him pick up his 2nd man of the match award in successive games. The only sour note for Los Che in another impressive performance was the injury to José Gayà, with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola rumored to be up in the stands watching the Valencia captain, who looks set to be out for the next week or so after picking up his knock. With Lata still injured, Valencia will be hoping Gayà, who has made clear his desire to play Champions’ League football this season if possible, with several of the biggest clubs in Europe thought to be watching with interest, will be back before the tough clash away at Atlético Madrid in a week’s time.Share this: