Two Draws But No Goals From Valencia And Levante On Matchday 14

Valencia makes its point while Levante remain winless as the heavens opened on the luckless fans. Paul Knowles on the weekend’s football fixtures…

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Valencia and Levante- feature image

Valencia CF

Valencia battled bravely to earn a well-earned point against a high flying Real Sociedad at the Reale Arena in the Basque Country.

Matchday 14 of the La Liga season and Los Che shared the spoils with a Real Sociedad side who had started the weekend at the top of the table. Drilled and organised, José Bordalás’s side pushed hard for a winning goal throughout and it looked like three points were a real possibility as Real Sociedad were reduced to ten men with the sending off of Aritz Elustondo late on.

With their strong pressing style now in full roar, Valencia made life difficult for Real Sociedad who were unable to bring the ball out, and after 15 minutes Gonçalo Guedes came close to opening the scoring. The Portuguese forward was all set to strike the ball goalbound when goalkeeper Gorosabel scraped it clear at the last second. The opportunity was created by a wonderful cross from the starting Hélder Costa, who had recovered the ball in the opposition’s half.

Real Sociedad’s main scoring chance came after the half-hour mark with a low shot from Swede Isak but Cillessen responded with a great save. The second half was as tightly contested as the first, with Valencia proving they are able to compete competitively away from home against one of the league’s strongest sides on form. 

With 15 minutes remaining, they were given a further boost, as Sociedad were reduced to ten men with a moment of madness from Aritz Elustondo as he kicked out at Wass and saw red. Valencia continued to press with Maxi Gómez and Carlos Soler enjoying clear opportunities in stoppage time, but Real Sociedad managed to hold on and the game ended 0-0.

Nevertheless, Valencia will see this as a point gained and will see the home tie with Rayo Vallecano on Matchday 15 as a perfect opportunity to bag all three points.

Valencia and Levante Match 14 2021

Levante UD

The Valencian Community was on a yellow alert for rain but it chose not to make an appearance in the first half – rather like the 22 players on the pitch. At half-time, however, the heavens finally opened – but singularly failed to wake the players. The torrential rain made it difficult for both teams to impose their style and left the home crowd thankful for the recently constructed roof at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia.

Athletic came into the match as strong favourites and their first chance came five minutes into the game. Iñigo Martínez got a head-on Iker Muniain‘s free-kick but the defender’s effort went narrowly wide. Levante courageously pushed and camped on the edge of Athletic’s box for large portions of the half but a solid defensive display meant that keeper Unai Simon had little to do.

Two majestic Raúl García passes almost saw Iñaki Williams go through on goal and in the 22nd minute, and after a lengthy VAR review, the referee decided not to award Athletic a penalty when José Campaña’s elbow struck Yeray in the face during a corner. Levante continued to battle on and deny the surging Athletic attack.

In the second half, Levante threatened and Jorge De Frutos produced a fine save from Simón, Marcelino’s side gradually taking control of possession though and beginning to dominate the match. The Athletic coach, desperately seeking that winning goal made four changes to his attack, introducing home-grown players Sancet, Zarraga, Williams and Villalibre. All four had an immediate impact, linking up well and creating chances upfront but Levante managed to hang stubbornly to make their point. A point is a point, clearly – but Levante remain rooted to the bottom of the table still searching for their first win of the season and with a daunting trip to Benito Villamarín to face Real Betis on Matchday 15, that first win still appears very elusive.

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