Granada CF – Match Report vs Villareal CF 19/06/20

Villareal ran out 1-0 winners in what was a low key affair at the Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes. Both teams had a couple of chances and Granada probably created the most in the final third, but it was Gerard Moreno’s eleventh minute strike that ended up being the decisive goal of the encounter. The match was slightly marred by numerous fouls (32 in total) that significantly slowed down the flow of the game and in the end Villareal’s rigid 4-4-2 system, solid back four (lead by veteran centre back Raul Albiol) and goalkeeper were able to prevent a Granada break through.

Granada initially set up in a type 4-2-2-2 system with the wide attacking midfielders playing quite narrow with the emphasis on the full backs to provide the majority of the team’s width. They did create chances, with Roberto Soldado probably missing the most guilt-edged one from six yards out in the opening 10 minutes thanks in-part to a wonderful save from Asenjo. Granada had 14 shots to Villareal’s 5 and for the most part looked the more dangerous of the two teams. They made tweaks to their system in the second half in an effort to break down the stubborn Villareal defence but were unable to find a way through in this top half of the table clash.

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

Carlos Fernandez

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 22/05/1996
  • Current Club: Granada (On loan from Sevilla)
  • Career: Sevilla, Deportivo la Coruña (L), Granada (L)
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary Position: 10 / Right Wing / Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left

Carlos Fernandez worked hard and showed some real quality at stages but was unable to continue the rich scoring form with which he went into this match. Deployed as a second striker in the first half and then used as more of a focal point in the second, his primary role was to win aerial duels and make delayed runs into the penalty area. At 6’1, with an athletic build, high leap and a good burst of pace, the 24 year old possesses all the physical attributes required to be a handful for defenders.

Fernandez was clever with his movement in the box, varying between darting in front of the defenders or pulling off the back of them but he was quite unfortunate on the day that very little fell for him, with inconsistent deliveries coming in from wide areas. He was a nuisance for defenders but looked to fatigue slightly at times due to it being his third game in the space of a week, failing to really have much of an impact on proceedings.

His movement caused confusion for the defenders but the most joy he had was from dropping deeper onto the edge of the box to receive the ball. He showed great technique when controlling the ball to beat his man and on the whole linked up well with his teammates in the middle and final thirds. The closest he came to scoring for his side was when he dropped deeper, used his close control to beat his man and then curled an effort just wide of the post from 20 yards. He did look threatening at points but he was unable to carve out many opportunities and saw a couple of sloppy passes and touches fall to opposition players.

The Spaniard did a fair amount of defensive running for his team and timed his presses well to force the defender backwards and cut passing lanes but the Villareal midfielders rarely gave away possession and as a result he struggled to force many turnovers.

Fernandez took up some dangerous positions and showed flashes of quality in the final third but was unable to see any end product for his work and perhaps gave the ball away too cheaply at times, whilst being handled well by the opposition defenders.

Rating: A2

Yangel Herrera

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Venezuelan
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 07/01/1998
  • Current Club: Granada (On loan from Manchester City)
  • Career: Monagas SC (Y), Atletico Venezuela, Manchester City, New York City (L), Huesca (L), Granada (L)
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Central Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Yangel Herrera stood out as one of Granada’s more effective players in this match, finding himself heavily involved in proceedings both as a defensive and attacking tool for his side. The six foot midfield hard man was aggressive in the tackle and showed good anticipation to win possession or force turnovers on several occasions throughout the game.

Due to this aggression and anticipation he was able to nip in front of the opponent and used his large frame well to protect the ball. Herrera plays right on the boundary of the rules of the game and sometimes crossed the line to commit fouls in midfield areas. He showed a willingness to make recovery runs and fight for his team and good stamina levels to maintain his work rate throughout.

Not only was the Venezuelan a defensive asset, he also played a big part in Granada’s build up play and displayed some important possession based skills. The 22 year old showed good vision and range of passing to find teammates, whether it was switching the play, playing through balls, finding short progressive passes into the forwards or even crosses from wider areas.

He made three key passes in the match, the joint most of anyone on the pitch, whilst maintaining an 82% pass completion rate. He played some effective passes to stretch the oppostion both horizontally and vertically and looked confident in possession. He did hit a couple of loose passes but seemed composed and was effective when on the ball for his team. His close control was also to a good standard and allowed him to turn smoothly at times before picking out a pass or driving into space.

Overall, Herrera had a very promising game at the heart of the midfield, breaking up play effectively whilst being quite progressive in possession.

Rating: A2

Carlos Neva

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 12/06/1996
  • Current Club: Granada
  • Career: Real Madrid (Y), Sevilla (Y), Portuense, Marbella, Granada
  • Position: Left Back
  • Secondary Position: Left Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Neva had a mixed game, finding himself in some positive attacking areas but failing to accurately deliver at a consistent level, whilst defensively he had relatively little to do but was caught out early on. In attacking phases of play, Neva maintained his width and offered an effective outlet down the left hand side. Playing as a left back, there was a lot of emphasis on him to provide his team’s width, with the wide attacking midfielder ahead of him, Puertas, tending to drift infield.

The left back is small in height and build but displayed a good burst of pace on the overlap and found some dangerous deliveries from out wide, occasionally finding the corridor of uncertainty between defence and goalkeeper. However, his crosses were inconsistent, often being overhit and this lessened his threat when going forward. He was capable of driving with the ball and linking up with teammates in relatively tight spaces but sometimes he was sloppy with possession, needlessly giving it away.

Defensively, Neva made some effective interventions to force turnovers and made two interceptions in the match but he sometimes lacked physicality and awareness. This lack of awareness and poor positioning was exposed for Villareal’s goal as he was caught out by the inside run that the striker made between full back and centre half and was unable to recover after the ball was played over the top of him. This error lead to the only goal of the game and although he was otherwise solid, it was poor defending by the Spaniard.

On the whole Neva looked a good left back for the standard, offering the attacking qualities and willingness to get forward that are so often required by the modern day full back, but his inconsistency of delivery and lack of awareness for the goal somewhat let him down.

Rating: B1

Yan Eteki

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Cameroonian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 26/08/1997
  • Current Club: Granada
  • Career: Leganés (Y), Sevilla, Almería, Granada
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Starting alongside Yangel Herrera at the heart of the Granada midfield, Yan Eteki had a poor match before being withdrawn for the final half an hour. The Cameroonian showed the occasional glimpse of promise but overall really failed to get involved in the game or influence his side’s performance.

Touching the ball only 27 times in his hour on the pitch in what was a fairly even game as a whole, Eteki struggled to have an impact and even when he did get the ball he was inconsistent (completing 11 of his 16 attempted passes). He had a shakey start, seeing some loose touches and passes picked off by the opposition, and it didn’t get much better as the match progressed. He did make a couple of decent passes and showed one great piece of skill to turn out of trouble but he also had a poor effort from the edge of the box that didn’t trouble the goalkeeper.

When defending, Eteki’s midfield positioning was adequate and he made one or two important interventions to either block a shot or make a good tackle. Standing at 5’11 and with a relatively sturdy build, he had the right physicality for his role but failed to win any aerial battles on the day and was also muscled off the ball too easily given his size on occasion.

Overall, it was not a particularly inspiring performance from Eteki as his team fell to a 1-0 defeat.

Rating: C

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