Blah …By: Cesar | October 19th, 2011
I don’t know what to think after today’s 2-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League in Germany.
On the one hand, we started strong, a Jonas goal in the 24th minute just reward for our early dominance.
Our defense looked solid; our offense wasn’t scoring but we were getting opportunities and Bayer didn’t look dangerous save the last minutes of the first half.
Then, it all fell apart.
Call it lack of motivation, a bad defensive strategy or just dumb luck.
We blew it.
Whatever Bayer coach Robin Dutt said to his men at the half worked.
Whatever Valencia coach Unai Emery said to Our Beloved didn’t.
Bayer went all guns blazing after the restart and deservedly got the equalizer seven minutes into the second period through Andre Schurrle, who powered an immaculate finish into the left corner to draw the game level 1-1.
Four minutes later, winger Sidney Sam scored an even better goal to turn the match around. He burst into space and curled a super finish into the top left corner, leaving goalkeeper Diego Alves with absolutely no chance.
Germany international Schurrle continued to terrorise Our Beloved as he saw a free-kick saved by Alves shortly after the hour mark, and later on went on a mesmerizing run, skipping past five players before seeing his shot saved by Alves.
Los Che tried hard to equalize in the dying embers of the match, but were ultimately unable to break Leverkusen’s resolute defense, who in the end picked up what could prove to be a pivotal victory in Group E.
Following tonight’s result, Bayer Leverkusen are second with six points, while Our Beloved sit third with two.
So what now?
More chants of ‘Emery Vete Ya?’
More hand wringing over our lack of a killer instinct, so apparent in the Mallorca match this past weekend?
It’s been often said, but it’s not like this club lack for talent. They’re not FC Barcelona but they’re no slouches either.
Speaking of Barca, didn’t we almost take it to them at the Mestalla a few weeks ago?
What happened to that team? Where’s the pack mentality from that night?
Why so passive? Where’s the killer instinct?
After the match, Emery said the loss was unjust, that he was happy with how we played but upset with the outcome.
“Overall Valencia were better and lost. We knew they were going to have their moments and they took advantage of them, and we had moments that we didn’t take advantage of. The end result is unjust but we must accept it.”
I almost wish he’d said, ‘We sucked. It’s our fault we lost this game, not just dumb luck.’
So what now? Are we done in the Champions League, relegated to the Europa League or even worse – home?
Will Emery motivate the troops in time for this weekend’s match at the Mestalla against Athletic Bilbao?
How will the Mestalla accept their beloved heroes should the VCF of the second half show up this weekend?
What remedies can be taken to rectify this situation?
Is it coach Emery’s fault? Does he need to go?
As the Mestalla Turns. The Valencia soap opera never ends.
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