|Valencia (2)||Osasuna (0)|
|Goncalo Guedes 12′|
Rodrigo Moreno 35′
Welcome back to the Mestalla, Goncalo Guedes. We’ve been expecting you.
On a humid Sunday evening on home soil, Valencia’s 40 million dollar record signing produced a scintillating attacking performance to give Los Che their first win in 5 matches, reigniting their hopes of a top-4 finish in the process.
From the start, a well-rested Guedes looked an obvious threat for a leg-weary Osasuna right flank.
It took the 23-year-old Portuguese midfielder 12 minutes to flick the switch from bedlam to mayhem. His first dribble of the game saw him taking the ball from his own half, slaloming away from four defenders before curling it into the top-right corner past a flailing Ruben Martinez.
This was poetry in motion — a man in complete control of his movements and the space around him. Incredible.
For a while Osasuna stifled Los Che’s midfield and seemed to find gaps in their high defensive line. But the energetic Guedes proved a threat throughout. He ran and harried at the Los Rojillos with a shark-like sense of purpose. It finally paid off.
In the 35th minute, he intercepted a sloppy pass to pick out Rodrigo Moreno with a perfectly timed right-footed through ball, released at high speed with a lovely curl.
Moreno coolly connected with the outside of his left boot, dinking effortlessly over the keeper.
What was perhaps even more promising was the defensive stability that Los Che displayed, one that had been missing for the past two matches. The central defensive partnership between veteran Gabriel Paulista and surprise package Hugo Guillamon provided coverage and width to help the team play from the back.
Another key player was Alessandro Florenzi, whose experience shone throughout the game. The 29-year-old Italian snuffed out attacks on the right flank and dictated the defence with a commander’s presence.
The strong performances mean that Valencia are one of only 3 La Liga clubs to hold an unbeaten home record this season. The Los Che have not lost a match at the Mestalla since April 2019.
Crucially, with 8 more matches to go, the win gives us a fighting chance to claw our way back to 4th place. The pressure is on now with the next match up against Eibar at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium in 5 days’ time.
The mojo is back at the Mestalla but let’s take it wherever we go.