Match Report: Cela 1-0 Real Sociedad

Matchday 29 – Celta Vigo 1 – 0 Real Sociedad – Match Report

Saturday 12th March 2016

17,767 Spectators

Another disappointing result for Real who dominated possession but did not create any clear cut goal scoring opportunities, drawing a complete blank in front of goal.

Eusebio omitted Carlos Vela from the starting line up as a punishment for him missing training after he attended a Chris Brown gig last Sunday.  I would have thought that attending a Chris Brown concert would in itself be punishment enough without leaving him out of the team!!

We are chronically short of attacking player options and often struggle to turn superior possession into goals and points.   Discipline is obviously vital within any club but I have no comprehension what was achieved by punishing Vela for his poor behaviour by leaving him on the bench and then bringing him on in the 56th minute when we were running out of ideas.

If the club are serious about punishing him for transgressing the rules they should have left him in San Sebastián this weekend.  He could have watched the game on tv with Loren at Zubieta !   Now that is a suitable punishment !

The game was settled in the 16th minute when Iago Aspas scored with a brilliant chip to boost the Galicians hopes of qualifying for the Europa League.  The former Liverpool striker controlled a pass from Nolito with his left foot and then chipped the ball over Geronimo Rulli.  It was a great finish but in my opinion Rulli was a bit slow off his line and Aspas had got goal side of full back Yuri.  It was generally poor defending by Real.

The first half ended with an impotent Real only managing one shot on goal during the entire 45 minutes. Overall it was a poor attacking performance from the Basque team, who showed little ambition in a match that could have easily offered them 3 points.

Real were much improved in the second half, pushing forward with much greater purpose. The introduction of Carlos Vela in place of Joseba Zaldua in the 56th minute further enhanced Real’s attacking options.  The Mexican’s movement started to test the Celta defence and Vela was behind the visitors’ first real chance as his deflected effort hit the side netting.

La Reala continued to search for an equaliser, but still were unable to find a telling pass. The best chance fell to Illarramendi who saw his shot deflected by Celta keeper Sergio Alvarez and the hosts held on for victory and all three points.  Real Sociedad have now gone four games without a win, leaving them stuck in mid-table and well off the European qualifying positions.

Overall this was a mediocre performance from the visitors who were completely unable to transform their superiority in possession into goal scoring opportunities.  Without a striker who is able to hold the ball up, allowing midfield players to join the attack, we will continue to struggle to transform possession into points.

I have commented before that Jonathas has a poor first touch and often loses the ball as he seems unable to control it quickly.  This is technically poor for a striker that cost €8 million, and does not help the team, especially when we are playing in a counterattacking style.

For some years now our midfield players in general terms offer very little goal threat.  Pardo, Illarra, Markel, Granero, Bruma and when he is fit Zurutuza score far too infrequently in open play.  We need to substantially increase the goals contributed by our midfield players, who need to join our attacking play more quickly.

On many occasions our principle striker is isolated in the attacking half of the pitch, with the midfield players slow to join an attack.  This means it is vital that the striker can hold the ball with his back to goal.  Agirretxe has this technical capability but Jonathas clearly does not.

The match statistics showed: Possession 43/57% in favour of Real , we managed 12 shots of which only 6 were on target.  We won 3 corners and received 2 yellow cards: Yuri (28 minutes) and Elustondo (90 mins).

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