Direct match at Mestalla and in the middle of a convulsed atmosphere at the “ché” club, as they just fired coach Celades a few days ago and put s it has become an habit on every Valencia´s crisis, their Director of Operations, named “Voro” in charge of the first team. The bat are seeing how they are getting further and further away from European positions as games pass by, and other rivals, like today´s, are taking advantage of that and reaching them. Athletic have obtain positive results on the competition return and now they have become a candidate to climb up to the seventh spot that gives access to the Europa League. Atractive match between two classics of LaLiga.
The vertically that characterizes both squads was clear from the first moment: both prioritized direct playing, attempts through the wings with constant crosses, an aspect where Valencia couldn´t count on their starting left back Gayá due to an injury. Athletic´s forward Raúl García had an opportunity right away with a shot outside the box, Valencia´s winger Guedes answered back with a similar action that keeper Unai Simón sent to the corner. Intense rhythm so far.
If there is something that does not change at Valencia is the insecurity transmitted by both Kondogbia in the middle and Diakhaby in defense, as they are the two less dotted players with the ball on their feet of the team by far. The first one made n unforgettable mistake early in the game through a loss on his half that Muniain stole, passed to Williams inside the box, and he assisted Raúl García on the penalty spot to score the first goal: 0-1.
The goal harmed Valencia considerably as they are going through a negative run at LaLiga. Athletic realized their opponent´s lack of confidence and tried to take advantage of it by increasing their pressure on their half in order to force more mistakes. The lions showed off an excellent depth on their play by driving the ball through the wings and sending good crosses inside Valencia´s box that put the defense in trouble. However, Valencia could make the equalizer through a header by Maxi Gómez that went out, and ended the first half bombarding Athletic´s box, but the score stayed the same at halftime.
Valencia kept making mistakes and this time it was left back Jaume Costa who lost the ball on his half. Raúl García made the most out of it and executed a perfect shot to the right top of Cillesen´s goal to make the 0-2 and increase Athletic´s distance on the scoreboard. The team from Bilbao slept the game and fell back in order to hold their comfortable lead against a Valencia that were unable to generate any danger apart from predictable crosses that went nowhere.
Valencia prolong their crisis and endanger their European participation for next season. Athletic, with an outstanding performance, reach the seventh spot momentarily. Valencia´s new coach Voro has a lot of work to do if he wants to save the season.