In the month of November, Valencia faced four fixtures. A game against Getafeat the Mestalla was first up for Sabella’s men, with the Los Che travelling to Madrid to play Atletico Madrid. An international break then followed, before a trip to Levante, Valencia’s closest rivals, before a highly anticipated potential title decider against Barcelona at the Mestalla.
Managers View:A very nice win to start off the month. We dominated the play, having the majority of the possession. We looked threatening on every attack, and had over half of our total shots on target, a pretty good rate if you were to ask me. We looked really good on set pieces, as Mustafi showed by netting two, and they are becoming an increasingly important part of our tactics. Overall, a very nice start to the month, but conceding a goal, a preventable goal, was slightly disappointing, but I won’t let this get past the fact we played really well.
Managers View:What a game, best my team have played all season. Despite losing, Atletico gave us a real go; they are a pacey, strong, physical side that gave us plenty of issues, so to come out with the win is extremely pleasing, but to keep a clean sheet is also very pleasing, as they challenged man of the match Diego Alves many a time, and he was our best player by far, he kept us in the game at points. I am also very happy for Gayá, as he netted his first goal for Valencia, just enforcing the point that I made during the month about how I want to play youngsters and improve.
Managers View:The build up to this game was electric. It was my first derby against Levante, and you can tell how much the fans want to win this one. And boy, did we win it. Negredo was out of this world, netting a hattrick, albeit with two penalties, but he gave the Levante defence lots to think about. They rarely troubled us, which is good, but we did concede a goal because our defender got caught high up the pitch which is slightly disappointing, as the following cross also could have been dealt with, but we failed to do so. But overall, another pleasing game, and another game where we started to look good and hard to defeat. This result really could kick-start our season and our push for the title.
Manager’s ViewThis game was probably the most important game of our season so far. If we were to win, we would go top of the table. And we certainly pulled it out of the bag for the occasion. We set up to allow Barcelona to have the possession, and then use Negredo as the focal point, throwing long balls towards him, as Barcelona’s backline’s height is something we needed to exploit. We would then use the pace of Feghouli and Rodrigo to take up and run in the space left by the oppositions high pressing wing backs. And it worked. We frustrated Barça, who did not play Messi or Iniesta from kick-off for some reason. They picked up five yellows, as their player’s lost their cool, and this resulted in two second yellows for Rakitic and Pique during the second half, making our lives a little easier, but we still had to play well to get the result. The penalty was a definite penalty, and after his hattrick last week, Negredo made no mistake of putting the ball into the back of the net, which was great. We also had more possession than Barça, which is something that not many team achieve, so that was also another really pleasing thing from this game.
Valencia moved ahead of Barcelona with the win over them in the last game of the month. The Los Che have 35 points, out of a possible 42, a nice total for this point in the season. They have scored a very impressive thirty-nine goals, on the way of winning eleven, drawing two and losing one this season. They have also conceded a league low of ten goals, showing they are good defensively, but won’t affect their attacking prowess.
Coming Up: December
Valencia kick-off the month with a home game against Granada, before starting their Copa del Rey campaign with an away game against Hospitalet. They then travel back to Valencia to play Real Soceidad, and then round off the tie against Hospitalet, and then depart for a winter break.