LaLiga - Jornada 35 - 29/04/2018 18:30h

Valencia CF 0
0 Eibar
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Valencia CF did everything to win, but could only draw against Eibar (0-0)

Abril, 29 2018 -

The Mestalla side created plenty of chances and were denied by goalkeeper Yoel as well as the referee

Valencia CF did everything they could to get the win, but they’ll have to wait to confirm their return to Europe’s elite after a 0-0 draw with Eibar at Mestalla on matchday 35. Marcelino’s side had a clear penalty appeal denied and a Simone Zaza goal incorrectly ruled out for offside. The point means Champions League qualification isn’t mathematically confirmed yet, but it’s another step closer, and once again a raucous Mestalla crowd played the role of ‘twelfth man’, as they have throughout the campaign.

Marcelino García Toral made two changes to the team that drew at Balaídos last weekend with Martín Montoya coming in at right-back and captain Dani Parejo returning in midfield. A strong starting XI selected for a crucial league fixture against a team that VCF had failed to pick up a point against in their previous three meetings. As for Eibar, they were looking to reverse a run of form that had seen them win just once in their last eight.

The opening 45 minutes saw Valencia CF on top, with Eibar barely venturing into the VCF half. The first action of the game came with 10 minutes gone, a Valencia corner headed goalwards by Rubén Vezo, and a straightforward save for Yoel. Then, on 12 minutes, Rodrigo Moreno had a super chance to open the scoring. He got in behind on the right-hand side, got away from Paulo Oliviera and shot across the face of goal with the ball rolling agonisingly just wide.

The moment of the half came in the 38th minute, as Neto made one of the saves of the LaLiga season. Set piece specialist Pedro León’s free kick was heading for the top corner but VCF’s Brazilian stopper showed incredible agility to reach it, before Geoffrey Kondogbia blocked a shot from Orellana on the rebound. It wasn’t until the hour mark, though, that the game really burst into life as Valencia CF increased the pressure, creating chance after chance in a glorious ten minute spell, only to be repeatedly denied by an inspired Yoel.

On 65 minutes, the best chance of the match so far went to Rodrigo Moreno, the VCF forward bearing down on goal and looking set to break the deadlock before his shot was palmed away by the Eibar number one. Four minutes later, Carlos Soler had a strong penalty appeal waved away, and then on 70 minutes, Mestalla rose to its feet in indignation as Simone Zaza had a tidy finish wrongly ruled out for offside. That was followed by yet another opportunity for Rodrigo, whose powerful drive was kept out once more by Yoel.

It wasn’t to be, and when the final whistle blew, with applause for the players and whistles for the referee, the fans knew they would have to wait a little longer to celebrate the return of those magical European nights at Mestalla. Attention will now turn to fifth-placed Real Betis and their game with Málaga on Monday – and then next weekend’s derby with Villarreal. The return to the Champions League is tantalisingly close.

Match details:

0. Valencia CF: Neto, Montoya, Vezo, Gabriel Paulista, Gayà, Parejo, Kondogbia, Guedes, Carlos Soler (Ferran Torres, m. 82), Santi Mina (Zaza, m. 63), Rodrigo.

0. SD Eibar: Yoel, Rubén Peña, Oliveira, Lombán, José Ángel, Dani García (Jordán, m. 49), Diop (Escalante m. 72), Pedro León, Inui (I. Alejo, m. 83), Orellana, Kike García

Referee: Jaime Latre.

Notes: Matchday 35 in LaLiga played on Sunday evening at 18:30 CEST at Mestalla with 40,328 fans present.

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