Villarreal vs Valencia: Part One
Hello, and welcome to Sky Sport’s coverage of tonight’s La Liga contest, Villarreal versus high-flying Valencia. I am Scott Minto, and today to give you the low-down before the match, I am joined by one of England’s finest pundits, Gary Neville, and our Spanish football expert Gillem Balague.
I’m looking forward to this one, I don’t usually do Spanish football, but it’s something special, offers something different to the game here in England. I am sure this one will be a great game.
Let’s start with the home team, Villarreal. It’s fair to say that they have been less than impressive this season, having only won two games in the league this season so far.
Villarreal have been a huge disappointment for me. They are a team with very exciting players and lots of talent, but they haven’t seemed to have got started yet. The two wins come against opposition that really is a class below them, Eibar and Espanyol, and games they should be winning.
They are playing in the Europa League though, and had some positive results. Could this affect their league performances Gary?
The Europa League is a tough competition that requires a good performance every game. I guess, for a smaller club with less resources or depth, it will be harder for them, as they won’t be used to playing midweek as well as on Saturday. Look at Newcastle a few seasons ago, finished fifth after a brilliant season, but then only just avoided relegation the next while competing in Europe, so I guess, it must have an effect.
And what about Valencia? Valencia’s new manager, Sabella, has really pulled his team together this season, after a torrid campaign last year. The Los Che haven’t lost a game in six games and only suffered defeat once this season, to Real Madrid.
I have watched a bit of Valencia this season, and they look strong. They could quite easily be unbeaten so far this season if it weren’t for that extra bit of world class ability that Real have, and demonstrate when they play the big teams.
Valencia have been very good this season, they look really tight defensively and strong going forward. They have had some tough times in the last few seasons, but Sabella has really sorted those out and it looks like they could be one of the top teams in Spain again.
How much has that been helped by the form of young striker Paco Alcácer?
He has been fantastic this season. He is only twenty-one, but has the same knack in front of goal as some of the best and experienced strikers in the world. I think Wolfsburg tried to sign him in the summer, but he chose to stay in Valencia, but if he had gone, there is no doubt that the team would not be where they are now.
Okay, team news is in. Although, there is no surprise in either team’s first eleven today, however, Rodrigo starts for Valencia on the left wing, in front of De Paul, who was expected to start. Here’s Valencia’s line-up in full:
And here is Villarreal’s line up, reported to us by our commentator for tonight’s game, Gerry Armstrong.
Thank you Scott, Villarreal’s team shows some attacking intent, and looks like they want to make sure Valencia don’t have the chance to attack by attacking themselves. New signing Luciano Vietto starts upfront for El Submarino Amarillo, with former Barcelona star Giovanni dos Santos starts in the number ten role. Here’s the team in full. Sergio Asenjo starts in goal for Villarreal, as expected. The back four consists of four Spaniards, Sergio Sánchez starts on the right, Alexis and Víctor Ruiz start in centre-back and Juame Costa starts on the left. Bruno and Pina start in the defensive midfield roles. Russian Denis Cheryshev, who is on loan from Real Madrid, starts on the left, with Hernán Pérez on the right wing. The number ten role will be occupied by Mexican Giovanni dos Santos, with Vietto playing upfront.
Thank you Gerry. What do you make of the teams, boys?
I think both teams are very strong, and full of quality. Valencia’s just look that little bit stronger, and they’re my favourites for this game.
They are very attacking line-ups, but that is what you would come to expect from Spanish football. The fact that Rodrigo is starting on the wing for Valencia shows that. Two very good line-ups, and it is going to make the game very exciting!
Okay, its time. Villarreal verses Valencia, and it’s live on Sky Sports. Let’s hand over to our commentator for today, Gerry Armstrong.
Thank you Scott. And we’re underway here, 2014’s Derby de la Comunitat has begun!
Valencia have got a throw in on the right hand side of the pitch, and Pereira moves across to take it. It looks like it is going to go long. He throws it in. Feghouli uses his head to pull it back to Alcácer. Alcácer… GOAAAAL! Alcácer puts Valencia one-nil up inside seven minutes with a volley from the eighteen yards! A fantastic start for Los Che!
Villarreal kick-off again, after falling one-nil down to Alcácer. Alexis has the ball. On to Sergio Sánchez. Hernán Pérez lays it off to Pina. Pina to Bruno, Villarreal’s captain for tonight. Bruno runs to find some space, and gives it Vietto. Vettio turns, Dos Santos is through… but Mustafi makes a last ditch tackle to deny dos Santos the chance to equalise! Great tackle! The loose ball finds Feghouli. He can’t get past Costa, so decides to play it long. Negredo tries to get there… and does. He looks up, spots Alcácer, who has escaped the view Alexis. He is in so much space… and GOAL! Alcácer nets his second in a matter of minutes from his first. He red-hot striker delivers another blow to Villarreal to give Valencia a two-nil lead. Great stuff!
Bruno tries to get Villarreal on the front foot with a forward pass to dos Santos, but it is intercepted by Mustafi. He passes it Parejo, who lays it off first time to Alcácer. He then plays it to Negredo, who escapes the oncoming tackle from Costa, and passes the ball to Feghouli, who has plenty of space to run into. He decides to play it back to Gudelj, who has been quite until now. Back to Pereira. Parejo on the ball now. He switches it to the other flank, to Rodrigo. He gives it to Alcácer first time, who plays it to Negredo. Negredo wriggles past the centre back, and tries a shot… but Asenjo catches easily. That was a real chance for Valencia. Asjeno decides to drop the ball and run with it, before clearing it towards Cheryshev. His header down finds Giovanni dos Santos, who plays it forward to Vietto, but Gayá gets there first, but a great tackle from Vietto wins the ball back, but it falls to Feghouli – who has looked really bright today. He plays it to Negredo, who has come short to collect it. He looks up, spots the run of Alcácer, and plays a magnificent ball over the top. Alcácer’s through again… and a first time finish from the Spaniard beats Asenjo, and pretty much seals the three points for Valencia, and give Alcácer his third hattrick of the season. It’s three-nil Valencia stuff.
Valencia have a corner now. Parejo moves across to take it. It’s a lovely corner from Parejo, and it finds the head of Gudelj, who is free in the box. The Serb heads it down towards Negredooooo…. GOAAALLLL! A FANTASTIC VOLLEY FROM ÁLVARO NEGREDO! VILLARREAL LOOK ABSOLUTELY SHELLSCHOCKED! IT’S FOUR-NIL VALENCIA! The fans are booing now, it’s turning nasty. Despite the poor run they are on, they still wouldn’t expect this. It’s a rout from Valencia, and Sabella looks like the happiest man on the earth right now.
Villarreal have a throw in on the left flank, which Sergio Sánchez takes. He throw-in is received by Vietto, who draws José Luis Gayá out of position, and lays the ball off to Denis Cheryshev. He floats the ball across the six yard box, Diego Alves is left stranded, and Villarreal pull one back! Its Giovanni dos Santos who heads the ball into the back of the net for Villarreal. Four-one now. What a game this is!
Pereira takes a throw-in. The clearing header is missed by Vietto, and it falls to Feghouli. Feghouli shoots… and saved by Asenjo from point blank range. Great stop. Sergio Sánchez clears to remove the danger for Villarreal, they look like they could concede again.
Alexis wins the ball back with a leaping header, and the ball falls to Vietto, who plays it back to Bruno. Bruno looks up and spots the run of dos Santos, who is in the channel between Pereira and Orban, and plays the ball over the top. Dos Santos gets there, and worms his way past a poor tackle from Pereira, but Lucas Orban is there to stop him testing Diego Alves with a fantastic tackle. But Bruno retrieves the ball for Villarreal, and plays it just infront of him towards Vietto, who turns and shoots… which Diego Alves saves before it’s cleared by Mustafi. Villarreal though, get the ball back through Sánchez. He plays the ball to Pina, who plays a one-two with Bruno, and then lays it off to Pérez. Now Vietto is on the ball, and spins, and lays the ball off to dos Santos, who pulls the trigger... caught by Diego Alves. The Mexican should have done a lot better with that.
HALF-TIME: VILLARREAL 1-4 VALENCIA
And we are back underway here.Villarreal have made a subsitution - Bruno has departed and Manu Trigueros has replaced him for the second half.
Valencia have one a freekick about thirty yards from Villarreal's goal. It's Parejo to take. He floats the ball towards the penalty spot. Alcácer jumps above the rest, gets his head to it... AND FINDS THE BOTTOM CORNER! WHAT A HEADER FROM THE STRIKER! It's his fourth of the game and Valencia's fifth. I have no idea what the scoreline will end up as, it could be a cricket score!
Its a double subsitution for Villarreal, Pina and Vietto leave the pitch to be replaced by Javi Espinosa and Ikechukwu Uche.
It's Valencia's first change of the game. Nemanja Gudelj is replaced by Youri Tielemans.
Its all gone a bit quiet here, Valencia are not in the mood for hunting anymore goals, Villarreal can't seem to find a way through and the fans inside the El Madrigal have stopped singing. But, Valencia have won a freekick. Parejo plays it over the top to Negredo, who meets it with a volley.... Oh and he fires wide, really should have buried that.
After a freekick is given away by Sergio Sánchez, Parejo looks for Negredo, who fires straight at Asenjo, who parries. The loose ball falls to Rodrigo who plays it low and hard across the six yard box. Negredo meets it... but Asenjo meets it, and catches it comfortably.
Valencia's man of the moment Paco Alcácer has picked up an injury and has to be replaced. It's a shame to see his game end in this way, and hopefully it won't be too serious.
He is replaced by Rodrigo De Paul, who will play on the left wing, with Rodrigo moving up top with Negredo.
Tielemans has a freekick just outside the centre circle. He lifts it to Feghouli, who controls and lays it off to the overlapping Pereira. The Portuguese right-back whips one in from deep... and finds the outstretched leg of Rodrigo... GOAAAL! RODRIGO GETS IN ON THE ACT! SIX-ONE VALENCIA! OUTSTANDING!
Valencia captain Dani Parejo departs the field and Javi Fuego is on to replace him.
Negredo picks up a yellow card
Juame Costa is into the referee's book. Yellow card.
FULL-TIME: Its finished Villarreal one, Valencia six.
And what a game that was. Now it’s time for the all-important post-match interviews. Up first is Villarreal boss Marcelino. Let’s hand back over to Gerry Armstrong. More