Valencia crash again in Munich
Valencia tasted defeat for the second time in days as they fell to a late goal in Munich in a tough friendly at the Allianz Arena. Continuing their pre-season warm-up in Germany, there was a clear focus on fitness rather than result as Barlow rang in several changes, with Fariñez, Diakhaby, Jason and Uros Racic coming into the starting line-up, Jasper Cillessen, Mangala, Guedes and Sarmiento making way. A strong Bayern line-up included Joshua Zirkzee, who spent last season on loan with Valencia, leading the line, while other stars including Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry and Alphonso Davies also started.
Valencia made the worst start possible when they found themselves a goal behind in the opening minute. A lively start from the hosts saw Gnabry and Davies play a neat one-two down the left hand side, before finding Adrian Fein in space. The young midfielder returned the complement, providing a superbly weighted pass into the path of Serge Gnabry, who had continued his run into the box, the former Arsenal star producing a great finish underneath the body of Fariñez, who could do little to prevent the goal. It almost became worse minutes later when Bayern launched a classic counter attack. Jason looked to feed Gameiro, but a long clearance found Zirkzee on the half-way line. The former Valencia loanee once again set Gnabry free, who again was able to cause problems with his direct running, cutting inside the exposed Gabriel but unable to hit the target this time, firing just wide of the target, much to the relief of Valencia.
Bayern continued to have the better of the first half, going close again inside the closing 10 minutes with another counter. Jason and Gameiro were again involved in the attack for Valencia, before turning over to Goretzka who again picked out Zirkzee. Gnabry was again the option on the left, although this time the international winger opted to switch play to Coman on the other side. The Frenchman whipped in a dangerous ball to the near post, which was met equally well by Adrian Fein, some last ditch defending by Jorge Sáenz preventing a near certain goal. Valencia then created their own first chance of note, a defensive free kick from Sáenz finding Gameiro, who did well to jump and beat Davies in the air. The veteran striker’s flick on found his strike partner Maxi Gómez in space, the Uruguayan opting to bring play back to Musah in midfield. The American laid off for Racic, who played a quick through ball into the path of Gómez, who saw his first time effort parried away well by Nübel.
2 minutes into the second half the visitors found themselves level. A free kick from wide on the right hand side by José Gayà was initially cleared by Gnabry, before Musah picked up the loose clearance and set upon another attack. The ball was knocked back for Saenz, who’s searching long ball was met with a superb reverse flick by Maxi Gómez, which fell perfectly into the path of compatriot Nicolás De La Cruz, who provided a fine finish into the bottom corner.
Things almost got better for Valencia after Maxi Gómez went in search of a goal himself, a Kingsley Coman corner being well cleared by Musah, who beat Boateng in the air, freeing Gómez on a superb solo run down the right hand side, carrying the ball from his own half before eventually flashing an effort just wide of the upright as the hosts struggled to close him down. In an end to end game, Valencia then had another attempt blocked, Wass picking out Racic who saw his effort blocked by Goretzka. Roca then sprung Zirkzee free, the ball breaking for Zirkzee who saw his cross blocked by Wass. The youngster got a second opportunity, this time picking out Goretzka, but this time Jasper Cillessen doing well to hold on to the attempt.
5 minutes from time Bayern continued to push for a winner, Sarr breaking down the right hand side before switching play infield to former Real Madrid man Asensio. Sarr continued his run and received a return ball, his cross finding Gnabry at the far post but Wass and Guedes on hand to combine and clear the danger. Deep into stoppage time the winner did come, and it was courtesy of former Valencia loanee Joshua Zirkzee, a bitter blow for the visitors. Wass picked up an injury with moments left, adding more stoppage time at the death, which allowed a speculative drive into the box from Batista Meier. Cillessen this time struggled to deal with the dipped effort, and there was Zirkzee to fire home on the rebound with 2 minutes more than the allotted time played. After the game, the Spanish side suffered a further blow when they announced that Daniel Wass would be out for around 3 weeks with a twisted ankle.Share this: