Match Report / Real Sociedad 0-1 Las Palmas

Matchday 30 Real Sociedad 0-1 Las Palmas – Match Report

Saturday 19th March 2016

18,952 Spectators

A first-half goal six minutes before half-time from Willian Jose was enough to give Las Palmas a 0-1 win, substantially boosting their hopes of avoiding relegation.

The visitors missed a golden opportunity to take an early lead when they were awarded a penalty on 12 minutes, after a clumsy and stupid challenge by Inigo Martinez, who tripped Aythami Artiles on the right side of the box.  Inigo had allowed the player to get behind him and he then inexplicably choose to tackle him with his right foot when he had little chance of ever winning the ball.   Luckily for Real, Jonathan Viera’s tame effort was well saved by keeper Geronimo Rulli.

On 39 minutes Inigo again made a poor defensive error when he was penalised for a high kick for which the referee strangely gave Las Palmas an indirect free kick when it really should have been a penalty.  His challenge followed a Las Palmas attack that saw Yuri get pulled inside and leave their wide right player uncovered.  The unchallenged shot was saved by Rulli but Inigo, facing his own goal,  raised his foot into the face of the Las Palmas forward as he tried to clear it for a corner.  The resulting indirect free kick was well inside the penalty area and was fired hard and low at the goal. The Real wall, which was stationed on the goal line, were unable to keep the shot out.

The half time statistics showed that Real had 57% possession but this resulted in only 1 corner and 4 shots of which only 2 were on target.  The Las Palmas goalkeeper was tested so rarely that he was probably spent the break looking for a chair to sit on during the second half!

The second half began with Real increasing their domination in terms of possession but continuing to fail to create any solid goal scoring opportunities.  The crosses often delivered by Yuri were of very poor quality.  He often gets into good positions but then just fires the ball across without looking up.  This is of little value to any forwards who have taken up a good position as the ball is either easily dealt with by the defence or bypasses them entirely as it is delivered too hard.

Yuri is not the only guilty player as the entire match saw a complete absence of quality crosses delivered into the box.  That said it probably would have made little difference as Jonathas again had a nightmare of a game.  He really is not the player we had hoped for.  His effort and attitude is often insufficient and he spends far too much time on his arse, claiming non existent penalties, instead of playing the ball delivered to him.  We should get rid of him at the end if the season.

In general terms we did not play that badly but this game highlighted the complete lack of quality in our squad.  The ‘creative’ midfield players (Pardo and Prieto) did not deliver one decent chance, Vela was ineffective and Jonathas may as well have gone fishing.   Oyarzabal tried hard and forced a save in the 49th minute following a curling shot, but creatively he was on his own.

We were denied a penalty in the 70th minute when Zurutuza was tripped in the box but the referee decided a corner was the appropriate decision, tv replays proved he was incorrect.

The whole match was summed up for me with the 77th minute introduction of Granero in place of Pardo.  Now if your team are chasing a home game in which you are losing with time running out, who do you need to give you greater creativity and try to force an equalising goal?   Well I do know it is not bloody Esteban Granero!!

His arrival proves that we have absolutely no diversity on the bench, no strikers to bring in to change things.  Not only do we lack quality on the bench but we also lack quality on the pitch.  We cannot persist with selecting Xabi Prieto as a starting player.  It is like choosing to kick off a match with only ten men.

The squad has been unbalanced all season, heavy with mediocre midfield players and bereft of strikers.  This is not the fault of Eusebio who was not at the club pre-season but he could have insisted that new blood was added in January.

Who has (for years) been a consistent influence on transfer policy?

Who signed Jonathas, Finnbogason,  Demidov, Ifran, Granero, Mariga, Seferovic and Joseba Llorente?

Did we make any money on any of these players, or did we waste it?

To be accurate I think we may have made a very small profit on Seferovic but we probably had to spend it on his drinks bill !!

Who should we hold responsible?

I am not 100% certain of the answers to these questions, but I think it fair to ask

“what the fuck do you do all day Loren”?

The match statistics showed: Possession 62/38% in favour of Real , we managed 7 shots of which only 3 were on target.  We won 11 corners and received 4 yellow cards: Illarra (16 minutes), Inigo ( 38 mins), Elustondo (73 mins) and Zurutuza (81 mins).

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