Santander League: Valencia celebrates a draw at Mestalla | Sports

Valencia is so rickety this season that the home draw against Villarreal was almost a cause for celebration. After several days fighting with knives against rivals from the bottom of the table, Valencia ran into elegant football again, that of Villarreal, who entered the Mestalla with two consecutive victories behind them and the illusion, still feasible, of the Champions League in front. Everyone was clear that the yellow team was not Elche. But Jackson, in just three minutes, reminded the entire field with a shot to the base of the post.



Mamardashvili, Gayá, Gabriel Paulista, Mouctar Diakhaby, Thierry Correia, Nico González (Moriba Kourouma, min. 55), Javier Guerra, Yunus Musah (Diego López, min. 45), Andre Almeida (Hugo Duro, min. 69), Samuel Lino (Lato, min. 85) and Cavani (Alberto Mari, min. 85)



Reina, Alfonso Pedraza, Juan Foyth, Pau Torres, Albiol, Ramón Terrats (Trigueros, min. 74), Parejo, Álex Baena, Nicolas Jackson, Chukwueze (Gerard Moreno, min. 80) and Yeremy Pino (Capoue, min. 66)

goals 0-1 min. 61: Nicholas Jackson. 1-1 min. 71: Samuel Linen.

Referee Jesus Gil Manzano

Yellow cards Samuel Lino (min. 27), Thierry Correia (min. 38), Nicolas Jackson (min. 40), Cavani (min. 46) and Parejo (min. 56)

They looked like two teams playing something different. Valencia makes titanic efforts to braid a play, to combine the ball with meaning more than five times, to create danger, to turn Cavani, who continues without scoring in all of 2023, into a striker. Not even going back to the two central defenders to add some freshness to the axis with Javi Guerra, a hero at Mestalla seven days ago with that goal in extra time, did not change the tone of this season. There is no way. At Villarreal, on the other hand, a pattern is instantly appreciated, a memorized and internalized scheme. The eleven players read a score that often leads to a dangerous action. Quite the opposite of Valencia, which seems to only know how to reach the area with Gayá’s crosses.

The difference between Valencia and Villarreal is very simple: when Quique Setién’s team attacks, the stadium perceives that something could happen, when Rubén Baraja’s team does, people wonder if something will ever happen. The ball always ran at the speed Parejo wanted, who soon discovered that Correia’s band was much more permeable than Gayá’s.

True to the tradition of this exercise, Valencia conceded a chance as soon as the second half began. Mamardashvili avoided punishment this time with a great save. It seemed that he could change his luck when, two minutes later, Diego López starred in the closest action to a Valencia goal in 50 minutes of play. His run ended with a chopped shot that narrowly missed.

Diego López surpasses Pepe Reina in a play of the game that did not go further.
Diego López surpasses Pepe Reina in a play of the game that did not go further.Manuel Bruque (EFE)

Jackson aborted Valencia’s threat of rebellion, which seemed to be going through its best moment driven by the enthusiasm of 40,000 fans who never stop believing. The Senegalese forward took the center forward’s manual to lower a ball with his chest inside the area and leave it ready to hit the net. It couldn’t be any other: Jackson is on a roll and it was his fourth goal in five games.

The Mestalla hysteria ends up falling like a blanket of lava over the field. The games, late in the second part, go crazy and gradually unravel. Chaos always benefits the weak, which is now Valencia. His remodeling in midfield, with the entry of Diego López and Ilaix Moriba, gave him a bit more bite. The one that put, crucial, Ilaix. He fought for a ball on the edge of the area that, after passing through Cavani, ended in an accurate shot from Samuel Lino to tie the contest and start the cry from the stands.

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