Monday, August 4, 2014

Monaco 2 Valencia 2 - match report

The first game of the Emirates Cup saw the cash flushed Monaco side take on Valencia, who despite being the third most successful team in Spanish football have been a bit hard up recently. It was a clash between two of the biggest names in Europe, but it was pretty quiet when we go there, which begs the question as to how much Arsenal fans know about football.

That said it wasn't just the atmosphere that was subdued at the start of the game. Monaco took a while to settle and Valencia did most of the early running. The first chance fell to the Spanish side on eight minutes when Dani Parejo released Antonio Barragan who did well to find Rodrigo de Paul who fired over. At the other end Monaco seemed to be relying on Dimitar Berbatov who looked typically laid back despite the fact that he got booed every time that he touched the ball. The second decent opportunity also fell to Valencia when Sofiane Feghouli, one of the stand out players out jumped Monaco's star defender Aymen Abdennour. Despite directing a powerful header at the Monaco goal Danijel Subasic saved it easily.

At this point it was all Valencia, but as has been often the case recently they were definitely out of luck. Joao Moutinho at the other end sent in a well struck corner that Abdennour glanced home to give Monaco the lead.

There was some justice to be done though as the lead only lasted 7 minutes when Barragan sent in a cross, which from the right which Ricardo Carvalho sent into his own goal.

The teams went in at the break on level pegging and after the break it was again Valencia who looked the most promising of the two teams. Rodrigo de Paul again came close before Paco Alacer gave them lead after Aly Cissokho found him with a cross from the left.

The biggest cheer of the game though came when Monaco's star player Radamel Falcao was introduced on 72 minutes after. The Colombian superstar was making his first appearance since January after he sustained an injury that ruled him out of the world cup. Gladly he seems OK and went on to start and score the winner in the game against Arsenal on the following day.

There was yet more good news in store from Monaco when substitute Lucas Ocampos burst through the Valencia defence to score an equaliser with 10 minutes left. Neither of the teams were able to get a winner and although to a certain extent Valencia may have felt a bit hard done by a 2-2 draw was probably fair enough.

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