Real Valladolid – Valencia: Errors From Valladolid Gift Valencia Deserved Champions League Qualification (0-2)

Two errors in buildup by Real Valladolid unblocked the way for Valencia, who started patiently and got rewarded even before having to switch gears or take more risks. With a comfortable lead, there was only one way this game could end and oddly enough, both teams celebrated after the final whistle.

Tactical analysis and match report by Sérgio Sampaio.

This was a game with more at stake for Valencia than for Valladolid. For the hosts, this was a time to get the supporters together and celebrate a successful season, having secured another year at the top of the Spanish pyramid. On top of that, it was a chance to say goodbye to Borja Fernández, who is hanging his boots at the age of 38. The Galician has played for Valladolid in seven seasons, in three different spells, playing a total of 218 games for the club and playing an important role in two campaigns that ended with promotion to LaLiga.

Valencia, however, were fighting for a crucial goal: qualification for next season’s Champions League. Other than the obvious prestige associated with it, the difference between achieving that qualification and missing out is very significant on a financial level for a club like Valencia, so the amount of pressure here cannot be understated.

Valencia did have their fate in their own hands coming into this matchday, but only a win could guarantee they kept the fourth position. A draw or even a loss could also be enough, depending on what Getafe and Sevilla made of their respective games. Getafe hosted Villarreal, another team with nothing to play for, while Sevilla faced Athletic Club who still had aspirations . . .

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Sérgio Sampaio (30) is an amateur football analyst and author of the blog Segundo Volante (segundovolante.com). You can find him watching, and perhaps writing about, all kinds of football: more likely to watch an Europa League qualifier in the summer than friendlies, only to then complain about the quality of the game. He abandons reason when it comes to believing FC Famalicão will play European football in his lifetime. [ View all posts ]

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