Match Report / Valencia 0-1 Real Sociedad
Matchday 38 – Valencia 0-1 Real Sociedad – Match Report
Friday 13th May 2016
By Paul Murray
Valencia’s dreadful season ended on Friday night when an injury time strike from Mikel Oyarzabal seized all three points for the visitors. It was a poor match in which the home team surprisingly showed little ambition.
Oyarzabal scored for the second successive match, firing home in the 94th minute after a goal mouth scramble. This ensured that Real finished the season above Valencia, and in the top half of the table, which seemed extremely unlikely proposition in November when Eusebio was appointed Head Coach following the dismissal of David Moyes.
The home crowd were horrified that their team failed to manage even one shot on target throughout this match. Valencia are a club with massive problems both in terms of debt and a seemingly non existent management structure, which has had a hugely negative impact on the team.
This victory has moved Real Sociedad up to eighth position, but their final position will depend on the result of the Malaga v Las Palmas match which will be played on Sunday lunchtime. A win for Malaga will take them above Real who will drop one position due to Malaga’s superior head to head result.
Goal keeper Jaume Domenech, who is a potential target for Real Sociedad, was the only Valencia player to emerge with any credit from the match. He had a assured match, looking secure in his handling of the ball and the organising of his defence. Should Gero Rulli leave the Basque club, as is predicted, then 25 year old Domenech could prove to be a decent replacement. Valencia’s perilous financial position should make him affordable.
Real selected a team that included striker Jon Bautista, in for Carlos Vela, who did not travel. It was Bautista’s first start and 19 year old midfield player Igor Zubeldia was handed his debut when he came on as a substitute in the 85th minute.
Bautista was very willing, taking up good positions, but looked as if he needs to work on his physical strength as he was often knocked off the ball by experienced defenders. However his movement was intelligent and he will quickly learn how to handle the greater physical demands of La Liga football. Zubeldia had little time to show what he can offer, but in the short time he featured he looked very comfortable.
In a lacklustre first half, 19 year old Mikel Oyarzabal created the only effort that actually hit the target, combining with Jon Bautista, who’s shot was saved by Valencia goalkeeper Domenech. It was a half that contained virtually no other goal mouth action, with both teams regularly losing possession of the ball.
Things improved marginally after half time, with both sides showing a greater desire to end the season with a victory, but there was still little going on in either penalty area. Dani Parejo sent a 25-yard strike narrowly wide, and as the final whistle beckoned, substitute Alvaro Negredo looped a header over the bar in the 90th minute.
It proved a costly miss, as deep into injury time Real’s winger Bruma cut in from the right but saw his shot blocked on the line. However the rebound was inadvertently deflected by De La Bella and Mikel Oyarzabal fired the ball into the corner of the net to take all three points back to San Sebastián.
Match statistical details: Possession was equally shared 50/50%, we managed 13 shots of which 5 were on target. We won 6 corners and received 2 yellow cards: Illarra (44 mins) and Bautista (55 mins).
Valencia CF: Domenech, Barragán (Cancelo, min.56), Rubén Vezo, Santos, Siqueira, Danilo, Parejo, André Gomes (Negredo, min.83), S. Mina. P. Piatti (A. Sito, min.39) and P. Alcácer.
Real Sociedad: Rulli, Elustondo, Mikel, D. Reyes, De la Bella, Illarra, R. Pardo (Zubeldia, min.84), X. Prieto (cap) (Jonathas, min.72), Zurutuza, Oyarzabal and Bautista (Bruma, min.58).
Goals: 0-1: Oyarzabal, min.94.
Referee: Velasco Carballo. Booked Rubén Vezo and André Gomes (Valencia) and Illarra and Bautista (Real Sociedad).