Levante 2-2 Valencia: Ugly derby ends in a drawSeptember 2, 2018
The sight of Marcelino arguing vociferously with the match referee was a true indication of the desperation and anger in his mind over the blasphemous state of affairs on the field with Valencia seemingly incapable of holding on to the ball and stringing together accurate passes.
Though the heat certainly played a factor, there cannot be any possible justification for such a shambolic performance by the Valencia unit who surrendered meekly against their local neighbours Levante. Striker Roger Marti who is an extremely talented striker and can be a match-winner in his own right on his day delivered crucial blows against a fragile Valencia defence with Mouctar Diakhaby, the recent signing from Lyon in a perennial state of confusion when confronted with the possibility of holding his own and guiding the ball clear on the face of even the most minuscule of challenges.
The sight of defender Jeisson Murillo on the bench with the likes of Diakhaby deployed in the heart of defence seems like a ridiculous prospect at this stage, to say the least with the French defender unable to cope with the rigours involved and style of play adopted. The performance of ex-Atletico Madrid striker Kevin Gameiro was certainly the highlight of the clash for Valencia with the French marksman hitting the woodwork on 2 occasions. The prospect of UCL football maybe a sweet one but it is time for Marcelino’s outfit to go back to the basics.
Levante certainly took advantage of the glaring lacunas in their opponent’s gameplay with Boateng and Roger bullying the Valencia defenders to the hilt. Goalie Oier Olazábal was certainly tested on a couple of occasions and will be dancing with glee after star Valencia striker Rodrigo missed an inexplicable open goal with the ball slipping between his legs. The hosts were restricted to 10 men following a clumsy challenge by defender Coke with the momentum back in the hands of the visitors with approximately 6 mins left on the clock which they failed to capitalise on.
The International break will certainly bring some respite for Marcelino who desperately needs a better performance from his men if they aspire to finish in the top-4 this season or even cause an upset against the likes of Manchester United as expected by the fans. A similar performance against Juventus could prove to be extremely humiliating on the final scoreline.