Captain Gaya to the rescue as Valencia mount lucky escape against Alaves

Match Report
Valencia (1)Alaves (1)
Jose Gaya 89′84′ John Guidetti

Once again, it was the same old story for Valencia. Sleepwalk through the majority of the game, fall behind, wake up, and score a last minute goal to save our skins.

While it’s laudable that Javi Gracia’s men possess a never-say-die attitude, it’s now getting incredibly frustrating that we do not possess a killer instinct in games.

Make no mistake about it, we were lucky to come away with a point. Up until the 89th minute, we had 0 shots on target. Zero. It’s an embarrassing, damning statistic that shows that we’ve not only forgotten how to defend, but attack too.  

From the 1st minute, both sides seemed afraid to drop points that could drag them into a relegation battle. The result: an insipid, dull snoozefest that put all viewers into a Spanish siesta. Both goalkeepers could have watched the game from the stands in the first half – none of them had a shot to save.

The second half was more of the same, with precious few moments of goalmouth action. But just as fans were about to switch off their TVs, all hell broke loose at the Mestalla when former Manchester City player John Guidetti tapped home from an Alaves free-kick.

With six minutes left on the clock, Valencia were suddenly staring at the prospect of a relegation scrap. That finally woke the players up.

Goncalo Guedes, who was the only player with any sense of urgency all game, flew forward and put in a cross that met Maxi Gomez’s head. While Alaves’ keeper Fernando Pacheco saved from the Bull, he could not save from Jose Gaya, who was on hand to knock in the rebound. Our captain had saved the sinking ship at the death, and the result keeps us in 14th. It’s a poor winless streak that has stretched on for five games.

But Gaya was painfully aware that we had escaped. “It’s clear this is not what we want. The reality is that we’re a long way from where we want to be, and we’re conscious of that,” he said. “We have to compete. If we don’t do that, it’s going to be very difficult.”

The players had better listen carefully to the captain. We may not be so lucky next time.

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