This could be a long season. Fans don’t often see Valencia struggle at the Mestalla, much less against a newly-promoted side, but today’s uninspiring display proved there is much to be done.
Outplayed, outran and outskilled by last season’s Segunda champs SD Huesca, Los Che failed to win for the 2nd consecutive game in a 1-1 draw.
In a role reversal, Huesca – led by Premier League title winner Shinji Okazaki – controlled proceedings from the first whistle. Quick to loose balls and pressuring hard, the away side was everything Valencia were not.
The Bats looked out of sync, and could only muster precarious passes that were played into trouble or far from their intended targets.
But 7 minutes before half-time, Lady Luck smiled on the hosts. A foul on Goncalo Guedes on the left wing gave Daniel Wass a chance to swing in a tasty cross, which somehow missed the crowd and crept into the far corner to give Valencia the lead.
If fans thought the goal would galvanise the team, they were sorely mistaken. At the break, Valencia had 1 shot to Huesca’s 5.
The second half continued in similar fashion – Jaume Domenech was especially busy, having to stop 3 quick-fire goal bound shots near the hour mark.
Huesca’s continued harassment reaped rewards in the 63rd minute when Greek centre-back Dimitris Siovas rose highest from a corner to guide a looping header past Domenech, whose touch was not enough to keep it out.
With 4 points from 9, striker Kevin Gameiro outlined the concerning situation: “We need to win these kinds of games at home and today we didn’t. We lacked a bit of everything – a bit of desire and maybe a bit of freshness.”