Valencia v Sevilla – Dukic v Emery

Gamesweek 5 saw the battle between the 2 under-pressure La Liga managers, Unai Emery and Miroslav Dukic. The latter in particular was on his final life after the heavy defeat to Swansea in the Europa League in midweek and a poor start to La Liga. Both sides were sitting in the relegation zone coming into this game.

For Valencia Joao Pereira returned at right back while Ricardo Costa partnered Jeremy Mathieu in the centre of defence. Javi Fuego and Ever Banega formed the midfield two with Jonas playing behind Helder Postiga. Fede and Pabon played in the wide positions. Sevilla played with their normal defence. Rakitic and Mbia played in midfield with Marko Marin behind Kevin Gameiro. Jairo and Vitolo played either side of the German.

Los Che started with an intensity that had not been seen in their recent performances but failed to create any clearcut chances. Once the game settled down though Sevilla began to look dangerous on the break. Jairo in particular got into some good positions around the penalty box but his final ball was very poor. On one occasion he was unable to control the ball and square to Gameiro to score. Valencia looked nervous in defence and made a couple of basic errors which has been an ongoing issue for them. However in the 32nd minute Valencia did make the breakthrough. Mbia was dispossessed and stayed down injured. Pabon kept on playing and drove down the right side of the sevilla defence. He crossed the ball to the incoming Jonas who finished low past Beto.

Sevilla started the second half well and again created a couple of good chances. On 51 minutes Gameiro finished a Mbia knockdown from a corner. At this stage Valencia were on the ropes and in danger of losing the game. Fede did have a chip shot from the edge of the area which Beto fingertipped away for a corner but Sevilla continued to threaten. On 63 minutes Emery replaced Gameiro with a central midfielder Cristeforo much to the shock of Gameiro himself. Marin and Rakitic moved further forward. It was a bizarre move and ultimately Sevilla paid the price. Pereira broke forward down the right and passed to Jonas in space on the edge of the area. He brilliantly finished to the bottom right corner. Emery’s reaction was to bring a stiker back on and in came Bacca. However Victor Ruiz (who had replaced Costa) headed to the net on 82 minutes to decide the game.

It was an important win the Dukic and may keep him in the job for another week at least. They played with an improved intensity in this game but still remain vunerable at the back. Jonas provided the goal threat in this game but it would appear that they are still lacking the correct balance in attack (despite the 3 goals). Sevilla have a lot of new players and will take some time to gel. They had their chances here but did not take advantage. They need to get some points on the board soon or Emery will come under more pressure. However they are well organised and once they start to take some chances should move up the table.

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