Sevilla took a deep breath in the game that probably will not be saved in the football video libraries due to its quality. Mendilibar’s team is not in a fine moment –it was evidenced in Manchester although it is not a real measure with which to compare– but it will be necessary to recognize that it is in a phase in which it understands the games, something as important or more as play football well, and he never did that with Sampaoli.
In Mestalla he knew how to play with the anxiety of Valencia, although he was very far from being able to settle on the field for many minutes. He left many spaces for the rival, he never won the second plays and his footballers were late for meetings, which forced them to make fouls.
However, as at Old Trafford, he was prepared to wait for his moment and smiled at him with that little bit of luck that teams that have quality in their squad need. This is the case of Sevilla, although this quality is focused more on the attack zone than on a defensive system that continues to suffer in the central corridor.
It was difficult for Sevilla to catch the air of the game and place itself in it. The distance between the lines and between the players sometimes meant that the team was very long, and the pressure without the ball became uncoordinated, especially once the opponent had overcome the first line of pressure, with the risk that this entails. That caused situations in which Valencia won the back, especially on Rekik’s flank, who suffered without knowing very well the terrain in which to locate himself and when to leave and when to stay.
Also the first line of pressure was situated a little further back than in other meetings with Mendilibar. The fact that they did not push hard at the top meant that the second row men often arrived late, giving the impression that they were pressing one by one, jumping indistinctly and with Fernando and Joan Jordán leaving many spaces.
On the left side, in addition, there were more problems. Bryan Gil left Foulquier very loose and Rekik had a hard time in many phases, with his back sometimes lost. Then, in the second half, the team improved in the way they defended, especially when Gudelj took the lead.
There was not much connection with the ball and the systematic resource of playing directly makes the team lose many options to play and possessions. There are phases in the matches even, already winning, in which the game asks to touch and not raffle the ball, especially since the team had a hard time winning the second plays and attacking from there.
Despite everything, there were its good things. Ocampos pulled the team from his side and Suso paused the game when the ball passed through his feet, although he was almost never able to connect with a disgruntled En-Nesyri who also did not receive crosses for his Goal attempts.
Curiously, the left better with a right-handed, Montiel.
Understand what the party was asking for.
Very confused and disjointed, especially without the ball.