Espanyol – Match Report vs Alaves 13/06/20

Bottom of the table Espanyol came out 2-0 winners over 15th places Alaves. Alaves got an early red card, with their goalkeeper being sent off in the 19th minute. Going down the 10 men set the rest of the game. Alaves sat in a 4-4-1 low block, not pressing and forcing Espanyol to largely circulate the ball, lacking penetration and ball carrying, killing any tempo the game could have had, and I think he would have been a slow one anyway. They scored just either side of half time to secure the win but still looked doomed to relegation.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Marc Roca

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 26/11/1996
  • Current Club: Espanyol
  • Career: Espanyol
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Playing as the left centre midfielder in their 4-4-2, Roca had the second most touches on his team. The 6’0″ midfielder dictated the game well, his passing was strong. He progressed the ball well, showed good range of passing, including the ball over the top which lead to the Alaves goalkeeper being sent off. Able to control the ball and pass with both feet, Roca’s passes were crisp with good speed and weight and was able to dictate the game. He spread play well and broke the lines with passing into players between the lines. However, he could have fought for his positioning more in the buildup phase and get on the ball even more. At times he came across as quite casual and lacked intensity. Possibly explained by it being the first game back, already doomed for relegation against 10 men but I’d like to see him in a match where he faced more pressure and with higher intensity.

He scanned the pitch well, in and out of possession. He received the ball well but didn’t face much pressure. He took tidy touches with both feet but didn’t carry the ball much and could have been more explosive on the ball. However, he was mainly playing to his strengths with his passing.

Defensively, he didn’t have much work to do, Espanyol had 72% possession after the red card and didn’t have much defending to. He had very good body positioning, showing good footwork and technique to hassle the opposition and prevent them from going forwards. He stayed tight and made it difficult for the opposition.

The young Spaniard is going to be on the move in summer and will be a good value buy. Two footed, strong and capable in defence and I’d definitely watch again but would like to see him face better opposition, who ideally have 11 players.

Rating – A2

Óscar Melendo

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 23/08/1997
  • Current Club: Espanyol
  • Career: Espanyol
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

The 5’6″ Spaniard started on the right side of the midfield 4. He’s very explosive with great acceleration and a low centre of gravity. He’s slim but a lean, athletic body type. He’s left footed and wanted to take up very narrow positions. Often occupying the right half space, or even more central, while the right back could push up.

He had tight ball control and turned with it well but lacked directness. He didn’t take on players 1v1 and didn’t carry directly towards goal. He regularly ended up dribbling sideways, drawing a few fouls and spreading play to the left wing a few times but lacked directness and ended up slowing the game and going into dead ends at times.

He was well positioned in the half spaces and found spaces between the lines at times. His positioning however was often odd, he called for the ball in poor positions when he was too close to the teammate, with poor body positioning. He needed to be less static and better at adjusting his positioning to react to play and offer support in the attacking half, rather than taking up other’s space. This was quite lazy and wasn’t a useful option, lacking game IQ and instead hindering the attack.

He was explosive and worked hard, pressing the ball in wide areas with intensity but was quite erratic. He also lacked the physicality in challenges and didn’t do much to win the ball, but did hurry the opposition.

Rating – C

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