Competition news


21 May 2018
Deportivo ended a four-year run at Primera with a defeat at Mestalla, Valencia CF could have won with a bigger margin, but Depor caressed the draw within the last ten minutes.

Clarence Seedorf presented the expected lineup for the game. Maksím Kóval was the goalkeeper and was making his second appearance with the team. Juanfran Moreno covered the right side in defence, Luisinho performed on the left, Mujaid Sadick debuted as a starter and joined Fernando Navarro at the central positions.

Michael Krohn-Dehli and Pedro Mosquera were the centre midfielders, Gerard Valentín was the improvised right winger, Zakaria Bakkali attacked from the left flank, Emre Çolak was the playmaker, and Borja Valle was the centre forward.

At Valencia CF, Marcelino Toral was presenting some novelties, like the presence of Nemanja Maksimović at midfield or Simone Zaza in attack, but always keeping the duo Gonçalo Guedes-Rodrigo Moreno as the main reference up front.

No too much excitement as it was expected in a game in which nothing was at stake. Valencia CF had the ball, but later didn’t create too much. Depor had defensive problems, as always, an later missed ideas in the counterattack.

The start of the game was open, both sides weren’t facing the pressure of been forced to get a result, so they felt comfortable with their roles: Valencia CF having the ball possession and attacking with pause, and Deportivo attempting the counterattack.

The first chance to score in the game was a low shot from Dani Parejo that went out (7’). Depor’s first approximation was a cross from the left released by Bakkali that local goalie Jaume Domčnech barely deflected (11’). In the following play, Borja Valle fell inside the area after been assisted by Bakkali, but there was no foul.

At minute 17, Luisinho failed a pass in defence and Guedes collected the ball at the edge of the area and his shot went wide. With the passage of the minutes, Depor started to have big problems in the output of the ball, the Galicians were not finding the way to attack, and only saw some light through Çolak.

Meanwhile, Valencia CF were having the ball, but Los Ches weren’t having opportunities. Rodrigo had the next one finding the ball at the left and firing a low shot that missed the target (22’). Then the locals found the first goal.

It was a high cross from the left, Navarro headed the ball backwards, he was trying to clear the danger, but ended assisting Zimone Zaza, who scored though a low and crossed shot from the right corner of the box. Kóval should have done better as the ball passed close to him, but perhaps he reacted too late as three defenders were in front of him. It’s also true that Zaza pushed Luisinho before collecting the ball, but no foul was called.

The goal didn’t change the script, Valencia CF continued dominating the ball possession and Depor continued having problems at midfield. Depor’s first shot on target in the game came at minute 40, Bakkali collected the ball at the left corner of the area and his low attempt was an easy catch for Domčnech. One minute later, Rodrigo got the ball at the left corner of the area, and his curved attempt went close to the far post.

The final half had two very different faces, first the game continued the low pace of the first half though the locals hit the post twice but, after the second goal of Valencia, all hell broke loose and Depor could have tied the meeting in the final minutes.

The second half started with two clear chances for Valencia CF, Gayá assisted Parejo and his drilling shot went close to the far post (46’). In the next play a combination between Guedes and Rodrigo ended with Kóval deflecting a low attempt. 

Depor’s first approximation in the half was a cross from Çolak without consequences. More dangerous was the next opportunity for Valencia as Maksimović headed a corner-kick that hit the left corner of the woodwork (54’).

Bakkali suffered a knock and was replaced by Lucas Pérez, later Adrián replaced Gerard Valentín. In the middle of both substitutions Zaza could have scored the second goal for the locals, he collected a cross from the left and his header hit the crossbar (62’).  

At minute 66, Borja Valle collected a cross from the left, and his strong shot went over the crossbar. Four minutes later the same attacker was heading a cross from Juanfran and his effort went over the crossbar.

Valencia CF were close to score at minute 71, Kóval committed a huge error as he tried to launch a quick counterattack, but he ended assisting Guedes at the edge of the area, and his volley was saved by the same keeper. 

Until this point the game was having a low pace, with the big difference compared to the first half that Valencia CF had more opportunities and deserved a bigger lead. And the deserved second goal for the locals arrived. It was a high cross from the left with substitute Luciano Vietto assisting with a heal pass that allowed Gonçalo Guedes to score from close range.

Ironically, Depor could have tied the game in the previous play, but Adrián missed the target after collecting a low cross from the left. But the second goal of Valencia CF awoke a Deportivo that had five clear opportunities within the last ten minutes.

Lucas scored the last goal of the season after a cross from Adrián and the locals suffered as the equalizer was close to arrive. A strong shot by Krohn-Dehli was saved by Domčnech and later Lucas couldn’t connect properly the loose ball (81’).

Przemysław Tytoń replaced Kóval in the last substitution of the campaign, then Borja Valle could have scored in a similar play to Depor’s goal, but this time Domčnech made the save and in the next play the same keeper blocked the volley of Juanfran (86’).

 Valencia CF dominated the game and could have achieved a bigger win, mainly after hitting the post twice in the second half, but later Depor unexpectedly reacted and caressed a tie that didn’t arrive. Mujaid had a decent game and Lucas scored the last goal of the season.

 A match that resumes the painful season of a team relegated to Segunda. The team is now on vacation. The club will announce in the coming weeks the date for the pre-season, before it must decide who will lead the project at Liga 1|2|3.

Valencia: (4-4-2) Doménech – Nacho Vidal, Garay, Murillo, Gayá – Soler, Dani Parejo (Kondogbia 61’), Maksimović Guedes – Zaza (Santi Mina 63’), Rodrigo (Vietto 65’).
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Kóval (Tytoń 83’) - Juanfran, Mujaid, Navarro, Luisinho – Mosquera, Krohn-Dehli -Gerard Valentín (Adrián 61’), Çolak, Bakkali (Lucas Pérez 58’) - Borja Valle.
Goals: 1-0: (27’) Zaza, 2-0: (77’) Guedes, 2-1: (80’) Lucas
Referee: David Medié Jiménez. No cards were shown.
Venue: Mestalla (35,376)
Other statistics: Ball possession (57% - 43%); Attempts to score (10 – 7); Total shots (22 - 11); Shots on target (5- 7); Saves by the keepers (6 - 3); Corner-kicks (8 - 3); Offsides (1 - 0); Fouls committed (8 - 10); Passing accuracy (89% - 83%)




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