siepod
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Gameiro ruthless against former club

Veteran striker Kevin Gameiro put on a ruthless display as he grabbed a hat-trick in Valencia’s 4-0 rout of former club Sevilla on Thursday evening. Los Che came into this one unbeaten in 7 games, but without Russian winger Denis Cheryshev, another former Sevilla player, who was suspended after picking up 5 bookings, while Racic and Sturridge were also unavailable, with knee and thigh injuries respectively. Arsenal loanee Emile Smith Rowe was given the nod to replace Cheryshev, who made 4 appearances for Sevilla during the 2013-14 season, on the left hand side. They were boosted, however, with the return to the bench of Lee Kang-In as he looks to regain fitness after a hamstring injury. The 19 year old South Korean international had double reason to celebrate, after being named Asian young footballer of the Year in a recent awards ceremony just days before his return to the squad.

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Kang-In: Returning youngster recognised for fine International form

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Valencia, who had won 3 games already this season on the road coming into this one, were once again quick out of the blocks as they looked to respond positively to the 1-1 draw against La Liga holders Real Madrid last time out, forcing a really good save from home keeper Tomas Vaclik just 3 minutes in. A throw-in from Wass on the right was knocked back by Gameiro to Yunus Musah, the impressive youngster growing into his midfield berth in the absence of Uros Racic, who switched the ball cross field to midfield partner Carlos Soler. Soler was quick to slip the ball through to Maxi Gómez, who got his shot away only to be denied by a great near post save from Vaclik. From the resulting corner, Gabriel Paulista headed over from a decent delivery from Daniel Wass.

With 12 minutes gone, the hosts had their first chance, a sublime piece of football as they looked to play out from the back, Jules Koundé heavily involved, the ball eventually being carried forward by club captain Jesús Navas on the right. The former Manchester City star produced a superb chipped delivery, with Lucas Ocampos getting up well to flash a header just over the bar with Cillessen struggling to react. The deadlock was broken just after the half hour mark, and it was the visitors who took the lead, deservedly on the balance of play. Gabriel Paulista and Musah played a one-two in the middle of the park before the centre half switched the ball out to Gonçalo Guedes on the wing. The Portuguese international cut inside before trying his luck from a tight angle, and when Tomas Vaclik could only parry his effort, there was Kevin Gameiro ready to pounce on the rebound, stroking home into the empty net to claim his 13th goal of the season.

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Gameiro: Easy finish to claim 13th of season against former club


Valencia doubled their advantage straight after the break after they were handed a penalty inside the opening minute of the second period. An inswinging corner from José Gayà caused panic in the box, and as Mouctar Diakhaby rose up to head home he was pushed in the back by Marcos Acuña. A quick VAR check confirmed the penalty, and up stepped a confident Kevin Gameiro to send Vaclik the wrong way and claim his second of the game.

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Penalty: Marcos Acuña pushes Diakhaby as he looks to head home

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Gameiro: Sends Vaclik wrong way from the spot for the second of the game


Despite the two goal advantage, the visitors could spell blood and continued to press their opponents, and were rewarded just after the hour as they claimed a third, the goal coming from an initial Sevilla attack. The hosts again looked to play out from the back, but with some excellent pressing the ball was picked up by Soler, who sent Guedes down the line. He in turn found Gameiro in the box, but with no space for a shot the veteran striker, already with 2 goals to his name, was happy to return the ball wide to overlapping fullback Daniel Wass. The Danish international took a touch before playing a superb delivery into the penalty area, where young midfielder Yunus Musah was on hand to provide a fantastic first time side footed volley beyond Vaclik, the second goal of the season for the young American.

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Musah: Controlled side-footed volley to put visitors 3-0 up


Valencia then made several changes, as Eliaquim Mangala came on for Gabriel Paulista, while Emile Smith Rowe was replaced by Álex Blanco on the left. The switch played dividends just 2 minutes later when Blanco was heavily involved in the move leading to the fourth. A Gayà throw was headed back down to the skipper by Blanco, who then picked up the ball again, moving down the wing before cutting the ball inside to Carlos Soler in the area. As the midfielder took a touch and prepared to get his shot away, he was clipped by Jesús Navas and the referee had no hesitation in pointing once again to the spot. The decision looked harsh, although a VAR review confirmed the decision, handing Valencia the chance of a fourth. Once again up stepped Kevin Gameiro, who scored over 60 goals during 3 seasons with Sevilla, to once again outfox Tomas Vaclik, going the same way, to claim his hat-trick and secure another massive 3 points for his side.

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Gameiro: Same direction to beat Vaclik again and complete hat-trick


Sevilla did have a chance to secure at least some pride with 15 minutes left, again opting to start play at the back, before Rakitic in turn found Suso in the middle. Suso played a quick one-two with substitute Youssef En-Nesyri, before playing the Moroccan striker through on goal. The former Málaga front man clipped his shot beyond Cillessen, who could only get a hand to it, but Wass was on hand with some brilliant defending to head clear and prevent the goal. The win sees Valencia sit top of the league at the end of the year, having enjoyed a phenomenal resurgence under new manager Sie Barlow, and currently 8 games unbeaten in La Liga. With the transfer window set to open, and the clubs financial position still somewhat precarious following Peter Lim’s failure to find a buyer so far, the hope will be they can keep the squad together and hopefully have a real push at challenging Barcelona and current holders Real Madrid all the way in the title race, as well as hopefully securing a return to Champions League football for the club.

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Gameiro: No surprise as hat-trick hero named MOTM against former club
HockeyBhoy
5 years ago
3 days ago
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Doing well still my man, the graphics on this story are splendid especially the team sheet. Is that something you created yourself? If so, top notch work Mr Barlow!
siepod
6 years ago
6 hours ago
209
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Would love to take credit but it's part of the new release! Definitely made it a better product all round for story telling with the latest version! Surprised how well I'm doing to be honest, loving it, but surprised. Just got to keep the momentum. Awful finances though so going to be limited whatever I achieve. Gutting when there's so many class players about to be out of contract and I can offer about £2.50 and a sherbet dib-dab! Oh well, keeps it interesting!
siepod
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Week 14 in review

Valencia head into 2021 top of La Liga after their rampant 4-0 victory away against Sevilla in the final game of Round 14. The latest midweek games began on Wednesday evening, where Osasuna continued their fine form with a comfortable 2-0 win against bottom club Eibar, who head into the New Year with just 5 points from 14 games so far, and alarm bells already ringing that they will be heading back into the Segunda División 6 seasons after earning promotion to the top flight. The other early kick off saw Elche and Athletic Bilbao play out a 1-1 draw. The stalemate sees Bilbao remain in 4th, ahead of Osasuna courtesy of goal difference with both sides on 25 points.

Real Madrid continued to maintain the pressure in their pursuit of defending the title as they won 2-0 against Valladolid, the impressive Di Maria and Hazard again on the scoresheet, while Celta Vigo edged out Real Betis 2-1, all 3 goals coming in the first half at the Estadio de Balaídos. The biggest shock in the late games came at the Anoeta, where a late late goal from former Manchester City star David Silva condemned Barcelona to their first defeat of the season. The former league leaders looked to be leaving the Basque country with a point before the former Spanish international struck for Real Sociedad 2 minutes into injury time. Meanwhile Cadiz pulled out of the bottom 3 and it was another former City man, Alvaro Negredo, who got things underway for them in a very impressive 3-0 win at home to Granada. The final game saw Huesca, who find themselves in the drop zone, unable to hold onto a 2-0 lead thanks to a double from Sandro, leaving Getafe with a point following a 2-2 draw.

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There was nothing to separate the four sides involved in the earlier games on New Years Eve, as Levante and Atlético Madrid played out a 0-0 draw, while Alavés struck back 4 minutes from time to claim a point in a 1-1 draw against Villarreal, who had taken the lead through on-loan Valencia attacker Manu Vallejo in the first half, before Valencia and Kevin Gameiro stole the show with their 4-0 win in Sevilla.

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Winning start to 2021 for Los Che

Valencia continued their fine form from last year as they began 2021 with a win, albeit a narrow victory, against Osasuna at the Mestalla on Sunday evening. The pair played out a 1-1 draw the last time they met, just 2 months ago, with Maxi Gómez missing a penalty late on. The hosts were able to welcome back winger Denis Cheryshev for this one, after his one game suspension, while youngster Yunus Musah also dropped to the bench after featuring in the last few games, Daniel Wass taking up his spot in midfield, while veteran utility player Vieirinha took up the reins at right-back, with Antonio Valencia having suffered a slight knock to his ankle in the build up to this one.

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As expected after their stalemate last time, it was another tight affair, with the first real chance not coming until half an hour in, the visitors breaking the back line and Jonathan Calleri testing Jasper Cillessen from close range, although in the end it wouldn’t have counted as the Osasuna striker was clearly in an offside position when the ball was slipped through by Juan Cruz. An exhausted Carlos Soler was subbed off at the break, Emile Smith Rowe being given another run out after starting the last game, as the hosts looked to press home their possessional advantage in the second period.

6 minutes into the second half, Valencia had their first chance of note, Denis Cheryshev doing really well to win the ball back in midfield before a long searching ball forward found Kevin Gameiro. The striker cut inside but saw his shot superbly blocked by a last ditch tackle from David García as he looked to break the deadlock. 2 minutes later, the hosts did take the lead, although Osasuna were left massively disappointed after the usually dependable Rubén made a mistake leading to the goal. An inswinging corner from skipper José Gayà was fumbled by the former Deportivo and Levante keeper, and former Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista, who won’t have an easier chance, was on hand to fire into the open goal for his first of the season, and only second ever Valencia goal.

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Gabriel Paulista: Gifted a goal as Rubén fumbles for the visitors


Osasuna almost snatched an equaliser with 15 minutes to go, after a deep free kick from former Valencia youth player Rubén García found Jon Moncayola completely unmarked in the box. The Spanish under-21 international planted his header beyond the onrushing Cillessen only to see his effort rebound back off the inside of the post, before being scrambled to safety by substitute Antonio Valencia. It was a let off for Valencia, although on the balance of play they deserved the victory, a win which sees them remain top of the table at the start of the New Year.

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Gabriel Paulista: Solid performance and goal from Brazilian sees him pick up MOTM
siepod
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Week 15 in review

Elche began 2021 with a win as a 3-1 victory against Getafe made it 2 wins and a draw from their last 3 games as they began the latest round of fixtures in the early kick-off on Saturday, former Monaco striker Guido Carrillo helping himself to 2 goals in the second half to secure the 3 points. There was also a brace at the Bernabéu, where Spanish striker Mariano hit a double in his 4th league start of the season, Eden Hazard claiming the other from the spot with all the damage coming in the first half as Real Madrid brushed aside Huesca 3-0.

Eibar continue to be rooted to the foot of the table as we enter the new year, Celta Vigo the latest team to heap misery on them, the visitors enjoying a 2-1 victory with former Valencia striker Santi Mina grabbing a double before Esteban Burgos hit back a consolation strike for the hosts, who still have just one win this season. The final game of the day saw Cádiz and Real Betis play out a 1-1 draw, the visitors playing out the last 10 minutes with 10 men.

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Levante remain in the bottom 3 as the early game Sunday saw them lose 2-0 on the road against Alavés, both goals coming in the last 3 minutes of normal time to heap more misery on the Valencian side who thought they’d done enough to secure a point. Athletic Bilbao remain in 4th spot following a 1-0 win away against Villarreal, while Atlético Madrid remain just 1 point behind, with a game in hand, following a 2-0 win away to Valladolid. Meanwhile, Granadadid themselves no favours as they were reduced to 10 men in a 2-0 defeat at home to Barcelona, with Lionel Messi grabbing his 10th of the season, while the final game on Sunday saw Sevilla rescue a point in stoppage time thanks to Youssef En-Nesyri in a 2-2 draw at home to Real Sociedad.

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siepod
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De La Cruz arrives in La Liga

Valencia yesterday confirmed the arrival of winger Nicolás De La Cruz, who moves to the club from River Plate for an undisclosed fee. Los Che had originally agreed a deal to bring in the 23 year old winger in the summer, but having missed the cut-off for the transfer deadline in La Liga, the move was temporarily put on hold until the winter transfer window. The Montevideo born wide man joins fellow Uruguayan international Maxi Gómez at the club, a move which is bound to help the young player settle in his new country.

Half brother of former River Plate, Santos and Uruguay midfielder Carlos Sánchez, De La Cruz began his career with Liverpool de Montevideo, making 35 appearances with the club and scoring 8 times, before making the switch to River Plate back in 2017 for a fee of around £2.5 million. A regular for the Uruguay Under-17 team, he then went on to find success with the Under-20’s, winning the 2017 South American championship and also reaching the semi-finals of the Under-20 World Cup. He played a total of 26 times for La Celeste, scoring 5 goals, although he was forced to wait until last year to make his debut with the full national team, playing 24 minutes against Peru before an injury forced him off back in November.

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De La Cruz: Winger in action for former club River Plate


Meanwhile at club level, since his move to Argentine side River, he has enjoyed domestic success, picking up winners medals in the Copa Argentina, the Supercopa Argentina, the Recopa Sudamericana and the Copa Libertadores with La Banda. In total, he played 61 times for the Buenos Aires side, scoring 5 goals in his time with the club. The move for the youngster, who can play down either the right or the left hand side, is a perfect fit for Valencia, given De La Cruz already has a grip of the language, and he will look to put pressure on both Cheryshev and Guedes down the flanks. The transfer also fits in with the clubs’ current policy of signing players 23 and under, while also looking for potential market value in the future as they look to climb out of their current financial predicament. Valencia currently find themselves top of La Liga, albeit having played a game more than Barcelona at present.

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De La Cruz: One eye on the future with Uruguayan arrival
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Duo sign new deals with club

Valencia were handed another boost today as experienced first team regulars Daniel Wass and Kevin Gameiro both agreed new deals with the club. Experienced full back Wass, who arrived at Valencia back in 2018 from Celta Vigo, has agreed a new 2 year deal which will take him through until summer 2023. The Danish international, who has also been used in midfield several times this season, has a £30 million release clause on his new deal with the club. A regular starter this season, Wass has made 11 appearances so far, with one from the bench, also claiming 3 assists for the club who sit top of La Liga. Since making the switch to the Mestalla for around £5 million back in the summer of 2018, Wass has made over 30 league appearances each season, a feat he looks to continue this campaign with Los Che.

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Wass: New two year deal fine reward for Danish full back


Veteran striker Kevin Gameiro has also penned a new 2 year deal with the club. The former PSG and Sevilla striker has been enjoying somewhat of a purple patch so far this season, and finds himself top of the goal-scoring charts in La Liga at the moment with 15 goals, 5 clear of Barcelona legend Lionel Messi. The goal a game average at present this season is a career best for the 33 year old, who arrived from fellow La Liga club Atlético Madrid for a fee of around £15 million back in 2018. The former French international, his last appearance coming prior to his switch to current club Valencia, had been attracting the interest of several clubs abroad, so the league leaders will be delighted to tie him down to a new extension, in the hope he can reward the club with his continued success in front of goal as they look to secure European qualification this season.

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Gameiro: Veteran striker enjoying renaissance under new manager


Elsewhere, Sporting Gijón are thought to be interested in signing Valencia winger Álex Blanco on loan. The 22 year old, who has featured just twice off the bench so far this season, has been available for loan since Barlow arrived at the club, the aim being to get some much needed playing time to aid the development of the former Zaragoza wide man. Gijón currently find themselves sitting 11th in the Segunda division, as they aim to return to La Liga for the first time since 2017. Youngsters Guillem Molina and Carles Aliberch could also head out on loan during the current transfer window, although there are unlikely to be any new arrivals at present given the financial situation at the league leaders.
siepod
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Valencia reach Spanish Super Cup final

Valencia’s start to 2021 continues to get better as they progressed to the Spanish Super Cup final following an impressive 2-0 win against Atlético Madrid in the semi-final, played at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium in Saudi Arabia. Yunus Musah returned to the side in midfield, while Wass, celebrating his new contract, dropped back to his more traditional role of full-back for the encounter. There was also a place on the bench for new arrival Nicolás De La Cruz. Geoffrey Kondogbia lined up for Atlético against his old club, while the in-form Kevin Gameiro, another celebrating a new deal, once again lead the line against his former side.

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Unsurprisingly for two very well organised sides, chances were at a premium in the opening to this one, the only shot in the opening quarter of an hour an attempt from distance in vein from Atlético. 17 minutes in Valencia had their first chance to test Jan Oblak in the Atlético goal, a Carlos Soler free kick whipped in, and although José Giménez initially cleared Gameiro picked up the lose ball and fired it back in, but the Polish keeper was more than equal to the effort. A minute later, however, he was beaten after Maxi Gómez was given way too much time and space in the box. Cheryshev carried the ball through the middle, eventually opting to knock back for Wass, who in turn sent Gonçalo Guedes free down the right. The Portuguese winger beat Vitolo then stood up a superb cross to the back post, where Maxi Gómez was completely unmarked to head beyond the helpless Oblak.

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Maxi Gómez: Left completely unmarked to head Valencia in front


Valencia suffered a blow on the hour mark when Denis Cheryshev came off with what looked like an ankle problem, something which seems to have cursed Valencia this season. Barlow wasted no time in opting to send on Nicolás De La Cruz for his debut. Atlético continued to press in search of an equaliser, Thomas Lemar going close with a direct free kick, but Cillessen doing well to get down well to make the save, before then safely claiming the resulting corner. 6 minutes later, Valencia doubled their lead, and it was another poor defensive error from the usually resolute Atlético that lead to the goal. Wass took the ball back from Gameiro on the right, and his cross picked out Maxi Gómez in the middle. The scorer of the first goal saw his volley blocked at point blank range, but Kevin Gameiro was left completely unmarked to fire home the loose ball against his former side, to virtually ensure Valencia’s progress into the final.

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Gameiro: Another defensive error leads to Valencia doubling their advantage


Into stoppage time, Atlético looked to salvage some pride from a set piece routine, Lemar knocking the ball sideways to Yannick Carrasco who shot from distance, former Barcelona keeper Cillessen equal to the effort as he tipped the ball over the bar. The same pair were involved again a minute later, this time Carrasco opting to carry the ball forward from another Lemar lay-off, but he was unable to test Cillessen this time as his shot sailed over and Valencia sailed into the final, where they will face either Barcelona or Real Madrid. Post game, it was confirmed that Cheryshev suffered an ankle ligament injury and is expected to be out for around 2 weeks, meaning new arrival De La Cruz may get a taste of the action in la Liga sooner than expected.

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Kondogbia: Suffers defeat against former club as Valencia reach final with 2-0 win
siepod
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Vallejo at the double

Villareal attacker Manu Vallejo enjoyed another fine evening in the Copa Del Rey on Wednesday as he scored twice in a 4-1 victory over Racing Ferrol. The inside forward, who is currently on loan at the Castellón based club, had scored 5 in the previous round as his current side cruised into the second round with a 9-0 victory against San Isidro, and it was another impressive attacking display this time out as they made light work of Racing Ferrol, of the Segunda B. 23 year old Vallejo broke the deadlock 42 minutes in, as he fired the visitors in front from the penalty spot, before then claiming the goal of the game in first half stoppage time, a 23 yard screamer which flew in off the post. Nigerian international Samuel Chukwueze added a third before Ferrol pulled one back just before the hour mark. Villarreal completed the victory with a fourth from former Leeds United and Real Betis wide man Alfonso Pedraza with 20 minutes to go.

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Vallejo: Now has 10 for the season for Villarreal


Valencia boss Sie Barlow recently expressed his pleasure at the current performances being shown by the former Cádiz man. Valencia, currently top of La Liga, had originally agreed to let Vallejo go out in a bid to reduce the overall wage bill given the current financial situation at the club, with first team minutes likely to be limited at the Mestalla.

When asked how he envisaged his long-term development going, Barlow responded: “Manu is a fine footballer and he’s doing very well. It’s exactly the reason we loaned him out and we’re pleased with his progress” It is unsure whether Barlow’s comments mean he would have liked to have Vallejo available himself for selection, but no doubt he will be pleased with the development and performance level being shown, especially if the club are forced to cash in on the player at the end of the season.

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El Clásico ends in penalty shoot out

Barcelona will face current league leaders Valencia in the Spanish Super Cup final after needing a penalty shoot-out to overcome bitter rivals Real Madrid in the semi-final on Thursday evening. The pair, currently occupying 2nd and 3rd spot in la liga, faced off in Saudi Arabia having already met once this season, Barcelona getting the better of things in that one with a 2-1 victory on the evening. This time out, it was Real Madrid who looked the bigger threat, and it was no surprise when they took the lead after 33 minutes, veteran striker Karim Benzema with the goal after Ter Stegen pushed the ball into his path, giving him the easiest of chances.

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Benzema: Easy chance to open the scoring


Barcelona grew into the game, and eventually drew level 70 minutes in, as mercurial striker Lionel Messi scored from the spot to pull his side level. Despite extra time, nothing could separate the two and so it was left for penalty kicks to settle the tie and decide who would face Valencia in the final on Sunday. Both sides scored their first five from the spot before Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic then missed. Sergio Busquets had the chance to secure victory but he too failed to hit the target, although he was relieved when Real Madrid centre-half Raphael Varane also failed. That means it was left to French striker Ousmane Dembélé, who made no mistake to hand Barcelona the victory 6-5 on penalties, and take them into the final. Barcelona are currently the most successful side in the Spanish Super Cup, with 13 trophies to their name, and will be hoping to add to that collection in the King Abdullah stadium on Sunday evening.

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El Clásico: Real waste chances before crashing out on penalties
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Valencia to kick off cup defence against Pontevedra

Valencia will begin their defence of the Copa Del Rey with a trip to Galicia to face Segunda B side Pontevedra in the 3rd round. The Galician club have exceeded all expectation so far in reaching the 3rd round of the competition, beginning their campaign in December with an extremely tough tie away at Racing Santander. Pontevedra took the lead just 3 minutes in through Charles before being pegged back in the first half. With neither side able to forge a winner, the game went into extra time, where youngster Raúl Diz grabbed the winner to take the visitors through to the second round.

The Pontevedriña were rewarded as they hosted La Liga side Huesca in the second round, and once again started brilliantly, Santi giving them the lead 13 minutes in. Jorge Fernández then had the chance to give the club one foot in the third round as they were awarded a penalty with 3 quarters of the game gone, but he saw his effort saved by Andrés Fernández before the home side were then punished further as Sandro grabbed an equaliser for the top tier side. The game again went into extra time, with Eneko Zabaleta once again allowing the home fans to dream before former Everton man Sandro once again broke their hearts with a second equaliser. Not to be disheartened, the hosts took a lead for the third time, this time former Real Sociedad youngster Oier Calvillo grabbing the goal, before holding on to set up a memorable third round tie against the current holders.

Valencia, who face Barcelona on Sunday in the Spanish Super Cup final after progressing against Atlético in Saudi Arabia 2 nights ago, will be looking to make a strong defence of the cup, which they lifted 18 months ago with an impressive victory against Barcelona in Sevilla, the latest final having been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning the Valencian side will keep their name on the trophy for a little while longer, with Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao not set to decide the current champions until April.

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Valencia: Current holders looking to steal a march in latest Copa Del Rey
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Valencia victorious in Super Cup showpiece

Valencia defied all expectations on Sunday evening as they overthrew Barcelona 2-1 to lift the Spanish Super Cup in a packed King Abdullah Sports City stadium. The league leaders were in the 4 team tournament courtesy of a victory against the Azulgrana of the same scoreline to lift the Copa Del Rey 18 months ago, with the latest final having been suspended during the Covid-19 outbreak. Despite seeing off Atlético on Wednesday, there is no doubt Valencia came into the game as underdogs having already suffered a 3-1 defeat against Barcelona in the league this season. They made just one change for the showpiece final, new signing Nicolás De La Cruz coming in for the injured Denis Cheryshev on the left hand side. Barcelona boasted an attacking trio of Ansu Fati, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi for the encounter.

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Barcelona were first to test the water with just 2 minutes gone, former Atlético man Antoine Griezmann drifting across the middle before firing a shot high and wide, with Cillessen untroubled. Just 2 minutes later they found themselves behind, courtesy of some poor defending from a set piece. Daniel Wass swung in the ball from the left hand side, and centre half Mouctar Diakhaby found himself completely unmarked behind Gerard Piqué to head beyond Ter Stegen, the German keeper completely faultless in the goal.

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Diakhaby: Completely unmarked to give Valencia unlikely lead after just 4 minutes


If the early goal surprised Barcelona, the most successful side in the Spanish Super Cup with 13 titles, then just 4 minutes later they were completely shell-shocked as Valencia grabbed a second. Again it was down to some diabolical defending, which Los Che were only too willing to punish. A speculative clearance from Gayà found Maxi Gómez and Kevin Gameiro in a two on one against Piqué, and when the Uruguayan got up well to flick on it left former PSG striker Gameiro completely clean through on goal, the veteran striker producing a sublime chip of the highest order to beat the once again exposed Ter Stegen and give Valencia a dream start.

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Gameiro: More poor defending as Barcelona completely exposed by fine finish


The game showed no signs of slowing down when 2 minutes later another set piece, this time an inswinging ball from Carlos Soler, found opening goalscorer Diakhaby again lurking in the box, this time his header going just over. Barcelona were handed a way back into the game with 25 minutes gone when they were awarded a spot kick after some great build-up play. A Sergio Roberto throw was worked through the middle by Sergio and De Jong, before play was switched out to former Valencia star Jordi Alba. As the full back cut into the box, Wass attempted to halt his progress but the referee was quick to point to the spot after the contact, a VAR review confirming his decision. Up stepped Lionel Messi who made no mistake in beating Cillessen to give his side hope.

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Messi: Composure from the spot to bring Barca back into game


Into the second half and the tried and tested Valencia set play routines almost caught Barcelona out again, a long free kick from Wass being headed on target again by Diakhaby, this time former Mönchengladbach keeper Ter Stegen alert enough to tip the effort over. Former Lyon man Diakhaby then turned provider, this time Gayà with the accurate delivery which Diakhaby headed back across the box to striker Maxi Gómez, who wasted a good chance to increase the lead as he headed just over the bar from close range. Valencia were then forced into a change, Carlos Soler suffering a knock so youngster Smith Rowe being sent on in his place.

Valencia clearly felt Barca were there for the taking as they continued to push in search of a 3rd goal, with most of the trouble coming down the right. A Wass throw-on was brought down by Gameiro, who in turn laid off for Guedes. Guedes used fullback Wass on the overlap before getting the ball back and swinging a first time cross in to the near post, met superbly by Gameiro on the volley but equally well saved by Ter Stegen down low at his left hand side. A few minutes later Wass and Gameiro combined again, this time the Frenchman nodding the throw-in back to Yunus Musah, who played a quick one two before finding former Arsenal academy team mate Emile Smith Rowe in space, the loanee unlucky as his effort was parried onto the bar by Ter Stegen before being cleared away.

As the game headed into stoppage time, Barcelona threw caution to the wind with wave after wave of attack, first off Ousmane Dembélé doing well to dispossess Vieirinha before breaking into the box, his effort blocked by Gabriel Paulista before a cross into the middle was met by Busquets but saved by former Barca keeper Jasper Cillessen. Busquets then tried his luck from range, failing to trouble the keeper. At the death Valencia then thought they had snatched a third on the break, Smith Rowe winning the ball back and using his keeper who in turn found Guedes. A knock down for substitute Thierry Correia was then fired out wide to fellow substitute Álex Blanco, who rather than playing for time opted to put one into the middle, Smith Rowe flicking the ball forward for the unmarked Gameiro to provide the finish, only to be denied by the offside flag.

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Gameiro: Just offside at the death as he looks to seal victory with second


Still, with precious seconds wasted Barcelona had little time to get the game going again before the full-time whistle handed Valencia a memorable victory, and a historic first piece of silverware for new manager Sie Barlow, who has defied all the odds since taking over the cash strapped club in the summer. The pair now look set to continue to battle it out in the race for the league title, Valencia currently sitting top of the pile but Barcelona still with a game in hand, but the victory will certainly boost the belief within the Valencia camp that this season could exceed all expectations.

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Valencia: Crowned Spanish Super Cup winners for just the 2nd time


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Maxi Gómez: Earns man of the match with impressive performance in victory
siepod
6 years ago
6 hours ago
209
Premium
Huesca left to rue VAR decisions

Lowly Huesca were left to rue a host of VAR decisions as they fell to yet another defeat, this time being hammered by league leaders Valencia 3-0. The relegation threatened club, still reeling from defeat against lower league Pontevedra in the cup recently, came up against a Valencia side who are playing some sensational attacking football, and were lifted by their recent Spanish Super Cup victory against Barcelona in Saudi Arabia. The visitors made just one change from the team who lifted the silverware, Antonio Valencia coming in for the injured Carlos Soler, and Daniel Wass making the switch into midfield. There was also a return to the bench for Uros Racic in his bid to regain fitness after a long term injury.

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Huesca have one of the worst defences in the division, having conceded 32 goals coming into this game, and did little to help their cause when they conceded a penalty just 2 minutes into the game. A José Gayà corner was headed wide by Gabriel, but in the melee Pablo Insua appeared to push Mouctar Diakhaby. Referee Cordero Vega allowed himself time to go to the VAR monitor and check before awarding the penalty, which was duly dispatched by top scorer Kevin Gameiro. Keeper Andrés Fernández guessed the right way, but there was too much power on the shot to allow the former Villarreal man to get across in time.

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Gameiro: Valencia gifted a penalty just 2 minutes in


Huesca went close themselves quarter of an hour in, former Manchester City man Pablo Maffeo doing well down the right, his cross finding the well placed Sandro in the middle who headed just over the bar with Cillessen looking exposed. Valencia doubled their advantage just before the break with a classic piece of counter attacking play. A searching ball forward from Huesca was cleared by Gabriel Paulista, and the ball fell to Antonio Valencia who broke down the right before whipping a perfect ball into the path of goalscorer Gameiro. The Frenchman tried his look first time on the volley, and when Andrés Fernández could only parry the effort Maxi Gómez was on hand, completely unmarked, to volley into the empty net. The hosts appealed in vein for an offside decision, but another VAR check confirmed the goal stood.

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Maxi Gómez: Completely unmarked to volley into the empty net


On the hour mark the hosts thought they’d pulled one back, when a searching ball forward from Seoane was flicked on by Sergio Gómez, the in form Sandro reacting quickest to fire beyond Cillessen, only for the Aragon based club to once again be left frustrated by VAR, this time the assistant referee ruling out the goal for offside, although replays show the decision was correct with Sandro offside when the ball was initially played through.

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Sandro: Thought he’d pulled one back, only to be denied by VAR


Valencia continued to threaten at the other end, Wass finding substitute Smith Rowe on the wing, who did superbly well to bring down the ball then cut inside both Maffeo and Seoane to create space for the shot, his eventual effort going just wide of the upright with the keeper scrambling across goal. With 3 minutes remaining, Huesca once again thought they had restored some parity to the scoreline, only to once again surmount to frustration as the offside flag once again killed the celebrations. This time a Mosquera corner for the hosts was initially cleared, but Maffeo reacted quickest to loop the ball back in, where Mosquera was free to apply a superb first time left footed volley beyond Cillessen. The skill and finish were sublime, but the decision was once again the correct one, with the Huesca attack once again offside when the ball was played forward.

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Mosquera: Would have been the goal of the game but for the offside flag


Any feint hopes of a comeback were dashed minutes later when Emile Smith Rowe submitted his entry for goal of the season, this one standing. Despite the earlier warning, when Smith Rowe picked up a pass from returning midfielder Uros Racic, he was again allowed to cut inside, but this time he produced an unstoppable effort which nestled in the top corner with Andrés Fernández at full stretch, the first goal of the season for the Arsenal loanee.

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Smith Rowe: Picks out top corner from distance for first of season


The win sees Valencia, who ironically face Pontevedra, conquerors of Huesca, in the cup next, maintain top spot in the league, and stretching their unbeaten run to an impressive 10 games. Los Che will also be delighted to see the return of Uros Racic, who contributed with an assist during his brief spell on the pitch, albeit the former Red Star man is still some way from fitness.

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José Gayà: Skipper picks up man of the match in clash dominated by VAR
siepod
6 years ago
6 hours ago
209
Premium
Week 16 in review

Valencia’s perfect week continued as Barcelona suffered a shock home defeat against Valladolid on Wednesday evening. Still reeling from defeat in the Spanish Super Cup final at the weekend, the Catalan giants hoped to bounce back and maintain pressure on Valencia at the top of the table, but despite having the slightly better of the game, they had no reply to a first half goal from former Benfica man Jota. Their misery was compounded late on with a second booking for former Valencia man Jordi Alba, having to see out the last few minutes of the game with just 10 men. The victory sees Valladolid climb 6 points clear of the drop zone.

The latest round of fixtures began the previous evening, the once again impressive Real Sociedad kicking things off with a 4-1 victory at home to Cádiz, Alexander Isak opening the scoring with his 12th goal of the season in all competitions. The later game saw another shock result, as Atlético Madrid beat neighbours Real Madrid 2-0 in the Madrid derby, former Barcelona striker Luis Suárez with both goals, a result which sees Atlético draw level with their rivals on 31 points after 16 games.

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As well as Valencia’s comfortable win against Huesca, the early games Wednesday also saw Getafe claim all 3 points with a 1-0 win against Granada, while Villarreal produced an impressive display to trounce Levante 5-0 in Valencia, with on-loan Valencia striker Manu Vallejo coming off the bench to grab the final goal in that one. As well as Barcelona being handed their first home defeat in 10 games, the other 8 PM game saw nothing to split the 2 sides as Osasuna and Alavés played out a goalless draw.

Athletic Bilbao were another big winner of the week, moving up into 3rd place in the table after a dominant 5-1 win over Sevilla, a hat-trick from Iñaki Williams helping the hosts on their way, while Sevilla defender Jules Koundé also found the net at both ends, an own goal in the first half before grabbing a consolation for his side on the hour. It was a tighter affair back in Seville, as Real Betis nicked a 1-0 win against bottom club Eibar. The final game saw Celta Vigo move above Elche following a 3-1 victory, another 2 goals for Santi Mina who now has 10 for the season.

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siepod
6 years ago
6 hours ago
209
Premium
Valencia comfortable despite slender win

Valencia comfortably progressed into the fourth round on Saturday evening with a slender 1-0 victory against Pontevedra. Despite the narrow scoreline, the visitors dominated throughout and never looked in danger of falling the same way as Huesca and Racing Santander, the Segunda Division B side already surpassing all the odds to make it this far. Unsurprisingly, Barlow was keen to rest several key players for this one with the games currently coming thick and fast for the current Copa Del Rey holders, albeit on a technicality. With this being Los Che fourth game away from home in succession, with a trip to Getafe also coming up, some of the squad members were given their chance to start, while several of the clubs promising young prospects were also given the reward of a place on the bench due to their fine form for the Under-19’s, who currently top their league. In came Jaume Doménech, Boško Šutalo, Mangala, Toni Lato, Jason, Joshua Zirkzee and Vieirinha, who wore the captain’s armband, with Cillessen, Valencia, Diakhaby, Gabriel, Gayà, Guedes and top scorer Kevin Gameiro all making way. Facundo González, Pedro Alemañ and Martín Tejón were all on the bench for the league leaders.

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Valencia began strongly, creating several early chances although none failed to trouble Mario in goal for the hosts. It was the keeper’s quick thinking who then handed Pontevedra their only chance of the game. From a Valencia throw, Zirkzee cushioned the ball for Jason who beat his man down the right before firing in a cross, safely into the hands of the Pontevedra keeper. He sent a long searching ball forward, with the ball eventually finding skipper Charles who showed great awareness to tee up Jorge Fernández, the former Zaragoza man just clipping the outside of the post with his effort.

Despite dominating the first half, both sides went in all square at the break, but any hopes the home side had of a cup upset were quickly quashed just seconds into the second period. From the kick off, the ball was laid back to Mangala, who found Toni Lato in space on the left hand side. Lato laid the ball inside for Daniel Wass, one of the few first team regulars in the line-up, the Danish international showing his class with a superb chipped ball over the top. With Xisco Campos missing his clearance and Mario rushing out, striker Maxi Gómez was in the perfect place to loop his header over the keeper to give the visitors the advantage, with just 15 seconds gone on the clock in the second half.

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Maxi Gómez: Looping header over onrushing keeper just 15 seconds into 2nd half


5 minutes later the hosts dreams were effectively ended when they were reduced to 10 men. A Pontevedra goal kick was won back by Lato, who switched play to goalscorer Maxi Gómez. When the ball broke wide for winger Jason, he showed too much guile for defender Eneko Zabaleta, the hero of the last round diving in on the edge of the area, giving the referee no option but to reach for the red card. This led to Valencia ringing in the changes, handing debuts to the three youngsters, and moments later they almost doubled the lead as Vieirinha picked out Emile Smith Rowe on the edge of the box, but the Arsenal youngster volleyed over. With 20 minutes to go Valencia continued to apply the pressure, a long goal kick being held up well by Maxi Gómez before sub Martín Tejón was then involved, using the width of Toni Lato who was enjoying himself marauding down the left hand side. Another telling cross was this time met by the head of Zirkzee, Mario producing a good save to tip the ball over.

A minute later it was the job of the defenders, throwing themselves in the way to block an effort from fellow youngster Pedro Alemañ, the Valencian youth products giving a good account of themselves. Zirkzee again went close before eventually finding the net with 10 minutes to go, only to be denied by the offside flag. A throw in on the left was again worked to Lato, who this time cut inside before delivering a ball which was diverted home by the on-loan Zirkzee, but the linesman had no hesitation in raising his flag, the right call with the Pontevedra defence holding their line well to play the Bayern Munich man offside. It proved to be the last chance of note, with Valencia fans perhaps expecting a few more goals from their side, who notched up 27 shots in the game, but no doubt happy to avoid any injuries and progress comfortably into the hat for the fourth round.

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Daniel Wass: First teamer was stand out performer in much changed starting XI
siepod
6 years ago
6 hours ago
209
Premium
Vallejo rescues Villarreal

On loan attacker Manu Vallejo was once again a stand out performer in the Copa Del Rey as he came off the bench to help his side Villarreal in a 1-1 draw against fellow La Liga side Valladolid, El Submarino Amarillo eventually progressing into the next round following a penalty shoot out. In a game which the home side created the most, neither team could break the deadlock in a frustrating 90 minute affair. 8 minutes into extra time it was Vallejo, who has scored in each of the previous rounds, who played a neat one-two before firing home at the near post to give his side one foot in the next round. The strike, which had Jordi Masip well beaten, was the 8th goal for former Cádiz man Manu Vallejo in the competition.

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Manu Vallejo: Now has 8 goals from 3 appearances in the cup this season


With just 4 minutes left, Valladolid pulled themselves level with a goal from Sergi Guardiola, meaning the tie would have to be settled on penalties. Former Valencia striker Fabian Orellana stepped up first for the visitors, but failed to score handing advantage to the hosts, who went on to score all 4 of their penalties in the shoot out, including another from Manu Vallejo, before a miss from Javi Sanchez ensured the home side would progress into the next round. With the transfer window currently open, there have been rumours in some parts that Valencia may opt to recall Manu Vallejo, although it is not easy to see where they would find a place for him in their squad at the moment, with all the registration places currently allocated, although any potential further transfers out this January could still see the 23 year old return to his parent club.
Zeandr
4 years ago
1 minute ago
101
Hey man, nice campaign so far, congrats 👏🏻
I quite never understood why Valencia signed Sobrino in the first place. Good to see you earn a few quid for him 😂

Damn, Maxi Gómez is on fire huh? Hope he can keep it and help you put Valencia where it belongs
Also, good deals in the transfer window, putting some youth in the team - Vierinha aside. The only downside is Vallejo seems to be pcking up his value so that 6 million could look like a bargain to Villarreal 😂

Losing to Barcelona is nothing to be ashamed of and the team reacted pretty quick. It's still early but looks like the squad you assembled is more than enough to secure Champions League football next season 🙏🏻 That draw wiith Osasuna was tough to take. At least, you bounced back quick and then the draw with Madrid is a good result too

Let us know how are the finances going, man. always interesting to see them specially in a cash-strpped team like Valencia 😂 Congrats on your first piece of silverware. Amazing career, keep it up #AmuntValencia
siepod
6 years ago
6 hours ago
209
Premium
Valencia handed away trip to Zaragoza

League leaders Valencia have been handed an away tie against Zaragoza in the fourth round of the Copa Del Rey, following their comfortable win against Pontevedra in the 3rd round. The 2018/19 winners will travel to face the Segunda División side, who are currently managed by former Valencia midfielder Rubén Baraja, hopeful of continuing their progress in this season’s competition, against the side who currently sit second in the table, hopeful of returning to La Liga for the first time since 2013, when they were relegated after finishing bottom of the table. The side from Aragon cruised through the first round with a 4-0 win away against CD Bala Azul, before facing a tougher tie against Las Palmas in the second round, a Joel Arimany goal proving the difference in a 1-0 win at La Romareda. They needed extra time to reach the fourth round, Gabriel Fernandez scoring with just a minute left to play to overthrow fellow Segunda side CD Mirandés last time out.

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Rubén Baraja: Former Valencia midfielder comes up against old club


Elsewhere there are 4 all top-flight ties, with Granada facing Alavés and Celta Vigo hosting Osasuna, while Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao, yet to complete last season’s final, face Getafe and Villarreal respectively. There are easier ties, on paper at least, for Real Madrid, who travel to Barcelona to face Espanyol, while Barcelona themselves face Sporting Gijon, and finally Mallorca host Atlético Madrid.

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siepod
6 years ago
6 hours ago
209
Premium
Hey man, nice campaign so far, congrats 👏🏻
I quite never understood why Valencia signed Sobrino in the first place. Good to see you earn a few quid for him 😂

Damn, Maxi Gómez is on fire huh? Hope he can keep it and help you put Valencia where it belongs
Also, good deals in the transfer window, putting some youth in the team - Vierinha aside. The only downside is Vallejo seems to be pcking up his value so that 6 million could look like a bargain to Villarreal 😂

Losing to Barcelona is nothing to be ashamed of and the team reacted pretty quick. It's still early but looks like the squad you assembled is more than enough to secure Champions League football next season 🙏🏻 That draw wiith Osasuna was tough to take. At least, you bounced back quick and then the draw with Madrid is a good result too

Let us know how are the finances going, man. always interesting to see them specially in a cash-strpped team like Valencia 😂 Congrats on your first piece of silverware. Amazing career, keep it up #AmuntValencia


First, thanks so much for reading and the very kind words. Got to admit, Sobrino was a weird one, as with his signing for City as well, very left field. Happy just to move him on as had no intention of playing him and as the famous supermarket says "Every little helps"

Vallejo is a strange one, maybe they'll take up the option, maybe they won't, but again I feel like I'm managing the finances more than the players at times, and it made sense to have him playing and at least maintaining a value elsewhere as again I wasn't sure how I would fit him into my setup. Maybe at the end of the season if they don't take up the option we can re-evaluate.

The finances are pretty woeful at the moment, quite frustrating when trying to plan for the future. Already lost out on a couple of players I'd have liked to bring in because can't compete with the bosman wages, never mind actually paying for a player. Was hoping that takeover would have gone through (unlike many I've never had a takeover in any of my FM games, seen plenty but just never been involved in one). Hoping CL football will come and this season will hopefully stimulate investors and maybe put us on a better keel financially too. Wage commitment at the moment around £1 million a week, hoping to convince a few on to smaller contracts, but then there'll be the initial signing fee hit. Debt level itself is scary, the kind where you wonder if you'll ever get out of it

https://i.imgur.com/5wjSzQU.png


As things stand, may have to repeat the act of selling assets at the end of the season just to keep the club financially viable, but as I say let's see how the season ends up first, as a cash influx or two can only help, as will CL money next season. Still, got to say I'm massively enjoying both the challenge and the depth of the game so far (I'm playing at a much slower/in depth/studious way than previous versions) so whatever the outcome it's been a hell of a ride so far :-)

Thanks again for reading and hope you enjoy future updates, and hopefully we'll continue our push for CL football and further success
Zeandr
4 years ago
1 minute ago
101
Yeah, with debt this high EVERY penny really counts 😂 There is always players that you won't use. If you manage to get any money out of them, put that together and you have a small pile of cash. Not to mention the money saved on wages, if you balance the budgets in the right way, there's light in the end of the tunnel 😂

Judging by his performances and value, it would be best for you if they somehow don't use their option, you could easily make more money from him

Pretty awful finances is one of the main reasons this save is so fullfilling, mate 😂 Don't give up, keep producing young talent, try to keep your balance as high as possible because it generates interest, look for affiliate clubs as it increases marketing income, try to reach the group stages of the Champions League, you know, all this basic stuff and I'm sure that in 4 or 5 years - If you are still playing until then 😂 - things will be better. And there's very few more satisfying feeling than that in a FM save, mate

Best of luck, mate. I'll keep following #AmuntValencia
siepod
6 years ago
6 hours ago
209
Premium
Valencia brush past Getafe

Valencia continued their fine form in La Liga as the brushed aside Getafe 4-2 on Wednesday evening. The league leaders made 7 changes from the side that beat Pontevedra in the 3rd round of the Copa Del Rey, meaning a return to the line-up for first choice keeper Jasper Cillessen, along with Diakhaby, Gabriel Paulista, José Gayà Guedes, Carlos Soler and Kevin Gameiro.

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As is a trademark of the visitors under Barlow, Los Che were once again quick out of the blocks, taking the lead just 5 minutes in, the goal coming off the back of an attack from Getafe, experienced striker Jaime Mata getting up well to head on target but Cillessen well positioned to deal with the danger. The former Barca keeper was quick to fire the ball forward, with Gameiro beating Djene to knock the ball wide to Nicolás De La Cruz. The new arrival took a touch before lofting the ball back into the path of top scorer Kevin Gameiro who made no mistake to fire beyond David Soria to give the visitors the lead.

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Gameiro: Opens the scoring with just 5 minutes gone


Valencia almost doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark, with what would have been a wonderful goal. De La Cruz, who created the opening goal, did well to win possession from Diaby in the middle of the park before picking out Maxi Gómez just outside the area. The Uruguayan forward got round the outside of Etxeita, and spotting Soria off his line tried an audacious chip, his effort hitting the top of the bar before going over.

Valencia were dealt a blow at the start of the second half as they lost winger Gonçalo Guedes with a potential knee injury, Jason coming on in his place. Despite the change, the visitors continued to dominate the chances, Maxi Gómez knocking the ball down for Carlos Soler to drive through the middle, the ball eventually breaking to Yunus Musah who saw his effort blocked. The woodwork then came to the rescue of the hosts once again, this time Kevin Gameiro the one being denied. A Gayà throw was only half cleared by Nyom, with Soler picking out Jason on the wing. A quick one-two was then looped into the path of Gameiro, his first time volley having the beating of Soria but firing off the outside of the post for a goal kick.

Against the run of play, Getafe found themselves level when they hit Valencia with a classic counter attack of their own. A cross from Gameiro was headed on target by Maxi Gómez, but Soria caught the ball and quickly released Victor Mollejo, who in turn picked out Victor Sanchez to slot the ball beyond Cillessen. Valencia took just 3 minutes to regain the lead, a corner from De La Cruz was headed straight into the path of Mouctar Diakhaby who fired on the volley low and hard into the bottom corner, Soria having little time to react.

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Diakhaby: Volleys home from close range


With the game opening up in the final quarter, Getafe again went close to grabbing an equaliser, this time Palaversa creating the danger before using Nyom on the overlap, his delivery well met by Jaime Mata but the effort going just wide of the upright with Cillessen well beaten. Valencia gave themselves breathing space with just 2 minutes of normal time to play as they grabbed the decisive third goal. With possession being played across the back between Cillessen, Diakhaby, Wass and Mangala, a long punt forward by goal scorer Diakhaby fell perfectly into the path of substitute Joshua Zirkzee, who brought the ball down well before applying the finish beyond Soria from an acute angle.

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Zirkzee: Off the bench to score second of the season


Minutes later the result looked beyond doubt as Valencia helped themselves to a fourth. With Getafe pushing, a clearance fell to returning winger Denis Cheryshev, who used his pace and drive to break from his own half all the way into the opposition box before still having enough composure to provide the finish, Soria again beaten on his left hand side in an almost carbon copy of the previous goal.

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Cheryshev: Breaks from own half before providing the finish


Any hopes of a comfortable finish were soon quashed as Getafe grabbed a second goal. This time a José Gayà clearance fell into the path of Mauro Arambarri, who unleashed an unstoppable shot from outside the area, low beyond the outstretched reach of Cillessen. There was then still time for Jaime Mata to again fire wide as Getafe went in search of a third, but Valencia were able to hold out to make it eleven games unbeaten. After the match, it was confirmed that winger Gonçalo Guedes looks set to miss 5-6 weeks of action with sprained knee ligaments, and undoubted blow for the league leaders losing one of their stand out performers this season.

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De La Cruz: Recent arrival was a constant danger in end to end thriller
siepod
6 years ago
6 hours ago
209
Premium
Week 17 in review

Huesca and Levante both remain in the drop zone as the latest round of fixtures kicked off on Tuesday evening with defeat for both sides. Huesca, currently sitting in 18th place, fell 1-0 at home against Elche, while Levante were left to rue goals in stoppage time at the end of each half as they fell 2-0 against Real Madrid, with skipper Sergio Ramos on 45+2 minutes and veteran striker Karim Benzema in the 92nd minute doing the damage.

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Wednesday evening saw Valencia remain clear at the top with their 4-2 win at Getafe, while in the other game the Seville derby ended all square, with Real Betis and Sevilla playing out a 1-1 draw. In the later kick-offs Barcelona maintained their pressure at the top with a 2-0 win over Cádiz, both goals coming in the opening 12 minutes, while Real Sociedad also remained in touching distance of the European spots thank to a narrow 1-0 victory against Valladolid. It was a more comfortable win for Villarreal, who chalked up an impressive 2-0 victory away at Osasuna.

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Athletic Bilbao remain in the Europa league qualification spot, 2 points ahead of rivals Real Sociedad following a 1-1 draw against Granada. The hosts thought they had secured all 3 points before Granada pulled level in the 95th minute through Darwin Machís. The other 8PM game saw Celta Vigo brush aside Alavés 3-0, with Iago Aspas and Nolito among the scorers. The final game of the midweek fixtures saw Atlético remain level on points with neighbours Real following a 4-1 trouncing of bottom club Eibar, who remain adrift of the rest on just 5 points so far this season.

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Vallecano seal Blanco loan deal

Valencia today confirmed that they had agreed a deal to allow young winger Álex Blanco to join Rayo Vallecano for the rest of the season. Despite agreeing a deal earlier in the week, with Gonçalo Guedes picking up an injury in the victory against Getafe in midweek there was some doubt as to whether Valencia would still allow the player to leave, but it appears an agreement has been reached with the Segunda Division side. Originally a member of the Valencia youth setup, Blanco made the switch to Barcelona in 2014. After 2 years at La Masia, he returned to Valencia, where he broke into the second string the following year. His first season with the B Team saw him score 6 goals in 30 appearances in the Segunda División B, before another 5 goals the following season in 21 games. He also made the breakthrough with the senior team that season, coming on as a substitute in a win away at CD Ebro in the Copa Del Rey, a competition Valencia would go on to win that season.

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Álex Blanco: In rare action for Valencia


To continue his development, Blanco was then loaned out to La Liga rivals Alavés for the second half of the season, making just 2 appearances for the club before his return to Los Che. Last season he was on the move again, this time to Segunda División side Zaragoza, where he featured a lot more frequently, making a total of 34 appearances during his time with the club, scoring 2 goals as Los Maños finished 3rd in the league. This season Blanco has featured on the bench several times for his parent club, including 3 substitute appearances including an impressive 20 minute run out against Sevilla, but with game time limited due to the form of Guedes among others, Valencia were willing to explore the option of the Spanish former Under-19 international heading out on loan again. Although the injury to Guedes then cast some doubt on the move, ultimately the league leaders still decided to clear the way for the 22 year old to join the Madrid based club, who currently sit 7th in the table, just outside the play-off places on goal difference. Former Real Sociedad manager Eusebio Sacristán is a big admirer of the young winger, with an agreement in place for him to feature heavily with the side in the remaining months of the season as they look to return to La Liga at the 2nd time of asking.
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Valencia survive scare to take valuable point

Valencia will find themselves lucky to have taken a point as they faced a fantastic attacking display from visitors Real Sociedad on Sunday evening. Despite coming into the game as slight favourites, Valencia were largely overawed by the visitors, who came into the game in an impressive 6th position, with only the woodwork keeping them in the game at times. With tricky winger Gonçalo Guedes injured for 6 weeks, Jason was brought in on the right hand side in the only change from the side who beat Getafe 4-2 last time out.

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The first real chance of note fell to the hosts with 14 minutes gone, as the league leaders were knocking on the door for their 8th straight win. A deep free kick from Daniel Wass was initially cleared by Sociedad, only for Wass to carry the ball forward again to pick out Gabriel, the centre half finding himself in space in the unusual position of wide right. His first time cross was cleared by Igor Zubeldia, but as Valencia came a third time De La Cruz picked out Maxi Gómez in the area, but a last ditch block tackle from Elustondo was enough to carry the ball into the grateful arms of Remiro.

The home side did eventually edge in front just shy of the half hour mark. Wide man De La Cruz picked up a throw-in infield, before laying off for Carlos Soler at the edge of the box. A quick return from the midfield man found Nicolás De La Cruz in space, and he took a touch before finishing inside the near post with Remiro left exposed, his first goal for his new club since arriving earlier in the month from River Plate.

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De La Cruz: Off the mark for his new club with tidy near post finish


3 minutes later Real Sociedad almost found themselves level, some great link up play between David Silva and Alexander Isak causing the home side all manner of problems, and when top scorer Isak broke through the middle it needed a great save from Cillessen to prevent the striker adding to his tally. Valencia tried a classic counter, releasing the ball quickly through Maxi Gómez, but former Valencia man David Silva produced an inch perfect tackle, it needed to be as he was on a yellow card, to break up the attack.

Minutes later it was a near repeat as Silva and Isak again seemed to have the run of the middle of the pitch, a succession of quick one-twos and close control eventually freeing the former Dortmund man again. This time he beat Cillessen but his effort sprung back off the inside of the post before Diakhaby was able to clear the danger.

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Isak: Real Sociedad top scorer denied by woodwork


Valencia still had chances of their own to extend the lead, notably in the 36th minute. Wass again the architect in carrying the ball forward, he in turn used Musah, the young midfielder playing a one-two with his colleague Carlos Soler in the middle. The ball was worked wide to skipper José Gayà and his first time low cross was met on the half-volley by Kevin Gameiro, but unfortunately for the home side it was straight down the throat of a grateful Remiro, who held on well.

With De La Cruz and Jason both struggling with knocks, both wingers were switched for the home side, with Denis Cheryshev and Emile Smith Rowe being brought into the action, but again it was the visitors enjoying more of the possession and chances. Just after the hour mark a Nacho Monreal free-kick was played infield to Illarramendi, who slipped in Mikel Merino at the edge of the box, the former Newcastle man hitting a shot first time which crashed off the woodwork again, this time Cillessen getting a vital touch to push the effort onto the bar. Minutes later it was the turn of Oyarzabal, who latched onto a long ball over the top, who attempted to beat Cillessen at the near post only to hit the woodwork once more, their third time in the match, although in fairness Cillessen appeared to have his angles well covered on this occasion. Real Sociedad eventually grabbed a well deserved equaliser with 6 minutes of normal time left to play, a throw in deep in their own half swung forward and Alexander Isak again found the space between the two centre halves, but this time was also able to find the finish as he fired low and hard beyond Cillessen, his 14th goal of the season, and no less than his side deserved.

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Isak: Found space in the middle to rescue a point for his side


While league leaders Valencia, who remain top despite dropping points, will have been disappointed to concede so late on few could argue it was the least that the adventurous Sociedad, under Imanol Alguacil, deserved, and it could indeed have been worse for the hosts but for the woodwork. Valencia must now try and recover again in the next few days before they face Zaragoza in the cup, followed by the Valencian derby at the end of the month. It was confirmed post match that both Jason and De La Cruz could be out for a week or so, which will give Barlow a selection headache following Alex Blanco’s recent loan switch to Rayo Vallecano.

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Isak: Constant thorn in the side for Valencia and could have had more than one
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Week 18 in review

The latest round of games on Sunday began with a stalemate as two late goals saw Sevilla and Celta Vigo take a share of the spoils in a tight encounter, the deadlock being broken by Nolito with less than 20 minutes remaining, but Oliver pulling the hosts level 13 minutes later, the match ending 1-1. It was a more comfortable afternoon for Valladolid, who took the lead against Huesca just 7 minutes in, 24 year old Joaquín with the opener, before he rounded off the 3-1 victory in stoppage time with his second of the game.

No doubting the game of the round was El Clásico, a game which saw Real Madrid claim a 2-0 victory to leapfrog Barcelona into second place, 6 points behind leaders Valencia. The hosts lead at the break thanks to a 6th goal of the season for Ángel Di María, before experienced striker Karim Benzema secured the win with just 3 minutes remaining, the current league holders claiming revenge for their 2-1 defeat at the Camp Nou earlier in the season. Real Betis move 7th after they secured a 2-1 victory away to Alavés, while Elche were the only other team to claim all 3 points at the weekend, a 1-0 win against Osasuna enough for them to secure the win.

As well as Valencia’s draw with Real Sociedad, neighbours Levante also picked up a point as they drew 2-2 on the road against Granada, with Roger Marti grabbing a brace with the hosts needing a stoppage time equaliser from former Spurs front man Roberto Soldado to take a share of the points. Atlético Madrid sit 4th after a 1-1 draw against Villarreal, while the same scoreline saw bottom club Eibar pick up a valuable point against Athletic Bilbao in the late game. The only other game of the weekend saw Cadiz, who remain just outside the drop zone, play out a goalless draw with Getafe.

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Goal frenzy at La Rosaleda

Valencia made relatively light work of their 4th round Copa Del Rey tie on Wednesday evening as they cruised to victory, 5-2 at La Rosaleda against Segunda Division side Zaragoza. The 2018/19 winners came into this game on the back of a draw against Real Sociedad in the league, and with another tough game coming up at the weekend, the Valencian derby, there were no real surprises as Barlow rang in the changes for this clash, making no fewer than 8 changes in total. Out went wide men Jason and Nicolás De La Cruz, both who suffered knocks at the weekend, along with Cillessen, Wass, Diakhaby, Gayà, Musah and Kevin Gameiro. Into the starting XI came substitute keeper Doménech along with Boško Šutalo, Eliaquim Mangala, Toni Lato, Vieirinha, Uros Racic, a fit again Denis Cheryshev and young forward Joshua Zirkzee.

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Valencia took just 4 minutes to take the lead against the second flight side, after the hosts failed to clear their lines. A deep Vieirinha free kick was headed clear by Vigaray, but Vieirinha picked up the loose clearance before slipping the ball across to the returning Uros Racic. His ball out wide found Toni Lato on the left in space, although the full back opted to play a one-two with Gabriel Paulista rather than deliver into the box, before the ball was then played back to Racic. This time the midfielder played a chip pass over the top of the back line, which Denis Cheryshev read superbly to connect with the half volley to beat Cristian Alvarez at his near post to give the visitors the advantage.

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Cheryshev: A rare goal for the winger


10 minutes later the winger almost grabbed a second, this time as he was on the end of a Racic cross after Zirkzee had played a superb reverse ball into the path of the midfielder on the edge of the box, this time defender Carlos Vigaray in the right place to block the effort and clear the danger. The respite was short lived, however, when 6 minutes later the lead was doubled. A throw in on the left by Vieirinha was played back to the versatile veteran by Cheryshev, the former Portuguese international opting to use Toni Lato who cut infield before laying back out to Vieirinha, who still found himself in space on the left. This time, stealing a yard on Larrazabal, the delivery was perfect for Maxi Gómez to get across his man and fire beyond Alvarez.

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Maxi Gómez: Pinpoint delivery from Vieirinha puts it on a plate for Uruguayan striker


7 minutes later Maxi Gómez had his second of the evening as the visitors threatened to run riot. A rare venture forward by Zaragoza was immediately broken down, Carlos Soler picking out midfield partner Racic in space in the middle. The midfielder in turn picked out Vieirinha, this time appearing on the right, on the edge of the box. His pass to Joshua Zirkzee was flicked on for Maxi Gómez, who took a touch to create a yard of space from Guitián before firing low beyond the keeper, who in fairness had little time to react.

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Maxi Gómez: First touch creates space before clinical finish beyond Alvarez


Valencia thought they had a fourth on the half hour, Vieirinha again causing problems from a set piece, Carlos Soler volleying home his deep free kick, but replays show the midfield man had gone just too early, the linesman correctly flagging for offside. Minutes later it was 4-0 as the red-hot Uruguayan striker completely an impressive 12 minute hat-trick. Šutalo and Zirkzee interchanged passes on the right, the full back then using Soler and Racic before his delivery into the area was met at the far post by the head of Maxi Gómez, who made no mistake to head in from point blank range to seal his hat-trick, and give the visitors a massive foot in the next round of the competition.

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Maxi Gómez: Completed a 12 minute hat-trick with a header from close range


In an eventful first half, still the goalscoring wasn’t complete as the hosts gave themselves faint hope as they pulled one back 7 minutes before the break. A smart ball over the top from Javi Ros was superbly controlled on the chest by Gaizka Larrazabal, the former Athletic Bilbao man taking another touch before slipping the ball beyond Doménech, who rushed out in an attempt to cut out the danger. Valencia then lost full-back Toni Lato on the stroke of half-time, the left back pulling up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, skipper José Gayà coming off the bench to take his place.

Just a minute after the break the hosts had to be thankful to their keeper Cristian Alvarez to prevent further misery, the Argentine shot stopper getting down well to produce a great save to deny Uros Racic, who looked odds on to score after a failed clearance broke to him in the area after he had originally tried to slip Zirkzee through. 3 minutes later the former Vallecano keeper was called on again, this time Valencia launching a quick counter attack from a Zaragoza corner, hat-trick hero Maxi Gómez carrying the ball a long way before his effort was parried by Alvarez.

Just after the hour mark Valencia grabbed a 5th goal, and effectively put the tie to bed, when Maxi Gómez was rewarded with his fourth goal of the game. Another Vieirinha free kick from the left hand side was only half cleared, and when Joshua Zirkzee’s follow up was also cleared Šutalo played a long punt forward, finding Maxi Gómez inexplicably in space down the middle, the 24 year old showing the composure and ability to volley home his 14th goal of the season.

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Maxi Gómez: 4th goal for the striker was the pick of the bunch


With Valencia making sweeping changes, debutant Janni Serra had a great opportunity to grab his first goal for Los Che, the striker doing superbly well to dispossess Frances in the middle of the park, but despite bearing down on goal he could only drag his eventual effort wide with Alvarez rushing out to close him down. With 2 minutes to spare, hosts Zaragoza grabbed a second themselves to restore some pride to the scoreline, this time Nieto finding space down the left hand side before cutting the ball back into the middle. Fernandez touched on for Giorgi Papunashvili, who produced a smart finish to poke the ball into the corner.

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Maxi Gómez: Four goal performance earns Gómez a perfect 10
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Barcelona face Atlético in pick of quarter finals

The pick of the quarter final ties will see Catalan giants Barcelona face a tough trip to Madrid to take on Atlético at the Wanda Metropolitano. Barcelona, the most successful side in the history of the competition, having lifted the cup a record 30 times, were handed the tricky tie after comfortably seeing off Sporting Gijón in the previous round, Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembélé with the goals for the visitors in the 2-0 win. For their part, Atlético, who have also lifted the trophy an impressive 10 times, needed penalties to see off Segunda Division side Mallorca, the match still goal-less at the end of extra time.

Neighbours Real Madrid, 19 time winners of the competition, will play host to fellow La Liga side Villarreal after they dumped out Espanyol 2-0, with Sergio Ramos and Federico Valverde doing the damage for the current league champions. Villarreal, who have never lifted the trophy, will go into the tie with confidence after an extremely impressive 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao, 23 time former winners themselves. Gerard Moreno opened the scoring after just 14 minutes, before grabbing a second in the second half, Santiago Cáseres completing the rout.

The third all La Liga tie sees Getafe host Alavés, both sides having reached finals previously but yet to win the trophy. Getafe needed a 72nd minute goal from full-back Djene Dakonam, to edge past Real Sociedad 1-0, while Alavés also progressed courtesy of the odd goal, Lucas from the penalty spot in a 1-0 win away against Granada.

The final tie sees 2018/19 winners Valencia host Celta Vigo, 3 time losing finalists. Valencia were in fine attacking form as they dispatched of Segunda Division side Zaragoza with relative ease, winning 5-2 with the ever impressive Maxi Gómez helping himself to four goals in the rout. Celta Vigo faced a far tougher task as they hosted fellow La Liga rivals Osasuna, and were massively aided when the visitors were reduced to 10 men just 2 minutes into the game, Juan Cruz receiving a straight red. Despite the man advantage, it took an Iago Aspas penalty just 3 minutes from time to see Celta progress into the final stages of the competition, and the tough task of an away tie to La Mestalla.

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Valencia clear decks in busy January window

League leaders Valencia were undoubtedly one of the most active clubs during the transfer window, as they moved on no fewer than 11 players during the month, with just one new face coming in. With the current financial situation at the club, despite their impressive on pitch form, being precarious at best, the club took the opportunity to move on several fringe players, some on permanent deals as well as a few loan moves, as they looked to trim the wage bill in the second half of the season.

With Uruguayan winger Nicolás De La Cruz arriving at the beginning of the month, a move tied up back in October, the club had already done any business they expected to complete with the £2.3 million deal, so the focus was switched to trimming down the playing squad. First to leave were youngsters Carles Aliberch and Guillem Molina, the pair heading out on loan to Tudelano and Numancia respectively. They were followed 5 days later by extremely promising youngster Andrés García moving to Melilla on loan, where he will pair up with fellow Valencia youngster Rodri, himself a new arrival earlier in the season from Real Betis. 17 year old striker Andrés García, held in the highest regard at La Mestalla had been somewhat of a revelation in the early part of the season with Valencia Under-19’s, with an impressive 20 goals from just 11 starts and 5 substitute appearances, form the club hope he will be able to carry forward into the Segunda B with the Spanish exclave club the rest of the season as he bids to continue his development.

Perhaps the most surprising departure during the month was the club agreeing to allow young winger Álex Blanco to join Rayo Vallecano on loan. The 22 year old wide man, who began his career with the club before a brief spell with Barcelona, has seen several loan moves in the last few seasons, but perhaps saw this season as a chance to break into the first team setup. However, he has made just 3 substitute appearances during the first half of the season, the last coming just 13 days before his switch to Madrid, coming off the bench in the Spanish Super Cup win against Barcelona in Saudi Arabia. The club will be hoping, especially given the injuries out wide following his departure, that he will return from this latest move ready to push for a regular first team spot next season. Another wide man on the move was Spanish Under-19 regular Fran Pérez, who made the switch to Segunda B side Cornellà a day later. The 18 year old had featured regularly for Valencia B in the first part of the season, scoring 4 times in 11 starts, and will be hoping to make an immediate impact with the Catalan club.

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Fran Pérez: Youngster heading to Cornellà on loan


The conclusion of the month saw the heaviest action, with 6 deals in total taking place on deadline day, although a few had been previously muted or agreed and just needed finalisation. First to leave the club on loan is young defender Kevin Sibille, the former River Plate youngster has been a bit part player since his switch to Spain, and will be hoping the move on loan to Extremadura can help reignite his career. The 22 year old Argentine has found himself behind the likes of Mangala and Guillamón behind the regular centre-half pairing, so a loan switch seemed the best deal all round. Others making a loan switch include young goalkeeper Andrés Céspedes, who has joined Hospitalet on loan, while 16 year old right back Vicente Agulló has moved to affiliate club Alcoyano for the rest of the season.

Deadline day also saw three youngsters leave the club on permanent deals , with young Dutch goalkeeper Mert Demirci heading to fellow La Liga Huesca in a deal worth around 50k. The 17 year old shot stopper, who was a member of the Valencia Under-19s squad, is expected to take up the same role at his new club initially. Another departing for pastures new in La Liga is right winger Miguel Arilla, the 17 year old moving to Real Sociedad Under-19s for a fee of around £90k. Arilla had made 10 starts for the Under-19s this season, scoring 4 times in the process, and the club will be sure to watch his progress over the coming years. The biggest deal done was that for left back David Ruiz, a move to Girona which could net the club in excess of £110k. The Spanish Under-19 international, who has shown superb form for the Under-19s with 8 goals and 15 assists, is expected to go straight into the first team squad at his new club, who currently sit 6ht in the Segunda division, looking to push for a return to La Liga at the second time of asking.

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David Ruiz: Biggest departure set to join Girona first team squad in push for promotion


The club also hinted that several more players, who were not part of long term development plans with the club, had also agreed pre-contract moves elsewhere during the month, although these are likely to be confirmed closer to the summer, along with any potential arrivals in the same manner. One player who the club are set to lose though is extremely promising midfielder Pedro Alemañ. Despite offering the talented youngster a very good deal, the Elche born midfielder has agreed a pre-contract with English giants Tottenham Hotspur, much to the disappointment of the coaching staff at La Mestalla. Alemañ is held in the highest regard by the club, and expected to be a future star, and has already featured with the first team coming off the bench in the Copa Del Rey clash against Pontevedra, so his departure is a huge blow to the club.

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Pedro Alemañ: Talented youngster heading to Spurs in the summer
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Valencia triumphant in the Derby del Turia

League leaders Valencia underlined their potential title credentials as they swept aside local rivals Levante 4-1 in the Derbi valenciano on Sunday. Fresh from their 5-2 victory against Segunda División Zaragoza in the Copa Del Rey, there was a return to a more familiar line up for this one, with 8 players coming back in. Jasper Cillessen, Daniel Wass, Mouctar Diakhaby, José Gayà, Yunus Musah, Nicolás De La Cruz and Kevin Gameiro returned, while winger Jason also started against his former club, Denis Cheryshev, Toni Lato and Uros Racic among those making way.

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There was no doubt Valencia were heavy favourites for the clash at La Mestalla, with Levante struggling in 18th position in La Liga and recently replacing their manager, former Sevilla and Atlético Madrid man Gregorio Manzano taking charge after the sacking of Paco López. The hosts thought they had taken the leads 8 minutes in. A throw in on the left hand side by Gayà was only half cleared, and Carlos Soler carried the ball infield before laying on for Musah, who in turn spotted Wass in the overlap down the right. His first time cross was superbly finished at the near post by Kevin Gameiro, only for VAR to rule the goal offside, Gameiro fractionally offside as the ball was whipped in. 6 minutes later they did have the lead, and it came from a throw-in on the other side, Wass this time using winger Jason, who knocked the ball back for Yunus Musah to deliver a delightful first time ball into the box, Maxi Gómez getting up above Rúben Vezo to head home, Aitor Fernández having no time to react.

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Maxi Gómez: Gets up well to power home a Yunus Musah cross


The Uruguayan striker almost added to his goal collection on the half hour mark, a ball forward from Wass seeing Gameiro and Maxi Gómez play a series of one-twos before the striker fired his final effort just wide of the upright. Although only 1-0 at the break, there was no doubting Valencia had dominated the first 45 minutes, with 8 shots (4 on target) while the visitors had failed to register a single effort on goal. Into the second half and Levante pulled one back against the run of play. A deep free kick from Enis Bardhi was met in the box by Montenegrin midfielder Nikola Vukcevic, up above everyone, to loop a header beyond Cillessen.

It took the home side just 1 minute to regain the advantage, putting Levante under the cosh straight from the kick-off, Soler picking up the ball and carrying it into the danger area before switching wide to Jason. The former Levante wide man was originally dispossessed by Clerc, but Soler pounced on the loose ball, switching play out wide to Wass, who took a couple of touches before firing low and hard across the area to Maxi Gómez. The striker latched on to the cross looking to double his tally, but when Vezo blocked his effort Soler laid the ball across to Nicolás De La Cruz, with the simplest of tasks to stroke the ball home, keeper Aitor Fernández still recovering from the earlier effort.

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De La Cruz: Restores lead with a simple finish as keeper stranded


Levante then had the ball in the net again, another Enis Bardhi free-kick creating problems in the area for the hosts, this time defender Rúben Vezo flicking the ball on for midfielder José Campaña to fire home, but the former Crystal Palace man was several yards offside when the ball fell to him, the linesman immediately flagging for the infringement. Valencia continued to apply the pressure, looking to extend their advantage, Kevin Gameiro dropping deep to pick up a Wass throw before going on a mazy run which resulted in the top scorer dragging his final shot just wide with Aitor Fernández scrambling to react. A minute later, an inswinging free kick from the left by Carlos Soler was met by Maxi Gómez, and when Aitor Fernández fumbled Musah reacted quickest, but his effort was well blocked by Coke who then cleared the danger.

Levante then had the combination of keeper and crossbar to thank as Valencia went close again. Another Carlos Soler free-kick was only cleared as far as Jason, and he in turn switched the play to fellow wide man Denis Cheryshev, on as a substitute for goalscorer De La Cruz. The Russian winger picked out Maxi Gómez, who tried his luck first time on the volley, Aitor Fernández reacting well to parry the ball onto the crossbar before Clerc cleared. The busy Aitor Fernández then kept out skipper José Gayà as Valencia continued to turn the screw. A throw in was picked up on the left by substitute Uros Racic, who knocked the ball into the feet of Gameiro. The experienced striker played a quick one-two with another substitute, Joshua Zirkzee, before Vezo blocked his effort. Zirkzee recovered possession before picking out Cheryshev, who played a simple lay-off for José Gayà to fire his shot across the goal, Aitor Fernández pushing the ball wide fort a corner.

Valencia eventually grabbed a deserved third goal with just 3 minutes of normal time remaining, Yunus Musah winning possession off Nemanja Radoja in the middle of the park to set up a 3 on 2 attack for the hosts, the ball worked wide for Denis Cheryshev who rifled home an unstoppable shot from the left hand side of the area.

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Cheryshev: Rifles home to ensure 3 points for the hosts


Deep in stoppage time victory was complete as Valencia grabbed a fourth against their neighbours, Gayà picking the ball back up from Cheryshev after his throw in, and with Levante looking to push out he whipped the ball into the middle, Róber Pier missing the vital header leaving Kevin Gameiro in space to volley home and put the result beyond doubt, the 20th goal of the season in all competitions for the former Atlético Madrid front man.

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Gameiro: Poor defending leaves striker with simple finish to round off the rout


With the games coming thick and fast, Valencia have just a few days to recover and enjoy the victory in the Valencian derby before they face an altogether different challenge as they take on Celta Vigo in the Copa Del Rey Quarter Finals, the in-form Maxi Gómez no doubt looking to get one over on his old club as Valencia look to retain the cup. Levante, meanwhile, have a week to recover before they face Getafe at home in the league, although they will be hoping for a change in fortunes under their new manager as they now find themselves firmly in a relegation battle.

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Maxi Gómez: 5th MOTM award for former Vigo man

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