|Valencia (1)||Cadiz (1)|
|Maximiliano Gomez 78′||Anthony Lozano 58′|
2021 has only just begun, but it’s set to be a long one for Valencia if we continue playing like this.
Make no mistake about it. Los Che are in deep trouble. Although tonight’s draw has temporarily lifted us out of the drop zone, the situation is starting to get desperate for Javi Gracia’s men. By the time we face Real Valladolid next week, it would have been two months since the boys last tasted victory – a 8-match winless streak.
This was a contest between two teams in desperate form: Valencia have only taken a measly 3 points in their last 5 matches, Cadiz a lowly 4. And each side sensed that the match was there for the taking as the game started with an incredible intensity. Players swarmed forward each time their team were in possession, with plenty of end to end action.
Although the first half ended goalless, Valencia dominated possession and were on the ascendency. And the home side kicked off the second half with firm belief of snatching victory as shots continued to rain down on Cadiz’s goal.
On the brink of elation, Valencia pivoted to deflation in the 58th minute when Cadiz came out of nowhere with a stunner, as Anthony Lozano’s acrobatic overhead kick left Jaume Domenech with no chance. The shell-shocked players needed a response fast, and Gracia reacted by throwing on Ruben Sobrino and Manuel Vallejo to join Maxi Gomez in attack.
Even with 3 strikers on the pitch, Valencia still could not breach Cadiz’s yellow wall. The situation was getting so desperate that even Mouctar Diakhaby began playing as a fourth auxiliary striker. With so many bodies in Cadiz’s box, surely there would be a breakthrough. And true enough, it came with just 12 minutes left on the clock when Gomez met Jose Gaya’s cross with a powerful header that rescued a point for Los Che.
But it felt more like a defeat when the final whistle came – Valencia had 72 per cent possession but just the one goal. The result leaves us staring down at the bottom of the table in 17th place. Relegation looms if the team doesn’t turn this wretched form around, an unthinkable situation for a club which played in the Champions League last season.
The looks on the players’ faces said it all. “It leaves a bit of a bad taste in your mouth because we wanted to win,” said Hugo Guillamon.
It may be the new year but it’s still the same old story for Valencia. There was plenty of intent, plenty of running, but an unfortunate lack of cutting edge. Gracia looks to be a man running out of ideas.