Real Valladolid – Match Report vs. Cádiz CF (16/09/2022)

Real Valladolid lost its second straight match and Cádiz scored their first goal of the season to gain their first win 1-0. Despite dominating possession and shots on target 8 to 1, Valladolid suffered a late defeat from a stoppage time goal by Alvaro Negredo from a cross. The high pressing 4-3-3 deployed by Pacheta put Cádiz under a lot of pressure defensively, but Jeremías Ledesma was a brick wall in net this match. It was a deserved clean sheet after making save after save in dangerous positions. Valladolid should hold their heads high, though, as there was a lot to like about their performance, it just lacked a finishing touch. 


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

Iván Fresneda

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spain
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 28/09/2004
  • Club: Real Valladolid
  • Career: CF Quijorna (Y), EFMO Boadilla (Y), Real Madrid (Y), Leganes (Y)
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Iván Fresneda is 17-year-old right back with a mature 182 cm build. He has plenty of pace and stamina and played the full 90 minutes for Valladolid in this match. He has long strides and fluid hips to track his marker with. There were also several moments on defense in the game where Fresneda showed a never give up mentality and really seemed to earn his place against grown men. 

Fresneda positioned himself well every time possession came at Valladolid. If the ball came toward him, he was there to use his body to either put in a solidly timed tackle or force the ball away from his area via an error or back pass. Off ball, Fresneda’s positioning made sure the attackers did not utilize the space around him. His physical maturity also made adjusting to La Liga level attackers easier, as he was able to body up with just about anyone if he needed to, whether it be a loose ball or aerial. 

The young full back was competitive in these aerial duels, winning his fair share and distributing headers accurately. His body positioning in these physical situations helped him, too. Knowing where to put his body was the first step to winning tackles and loose balls. Additionally, Fresneda made some timely clearances to stop dangerous spurts of play. 

In the attacking third, the pacy right-footer often inverted to make space for Plata to receive out wide. From there, he made runs through centrally, but the closer possession got to the box the wider he would end up, making room for Plata’s left foot. On the outside, Fresneda was able to take on his full ability as a creator. He swung in many dangerous crosses that resulted in some of the most fruitful attacks in this match for Valladolid and nearly gained Fresneda his first La Liga assist. When the ball was at his feet, his right foot was constantly a threat to make a dangerous play at the box. As a ball carrier, Fresneda was comfortable advancing out wide and centrally. When he had pressure on him to make a pass, he stayed calm and found the right teammate without fail. The game flowed naturally for him, and I did not catch him second-guessing himself. 

Rating – A1

Iván Fresneda blew me away in this match. After putting in a solid defensive shift in his La Liga debut, he really turned it on in his first start. Pacheta really let Fresneda play his game. The 17-year-old did not do much offensively against Girona, but he looked at home on the attack in this one, in fact most of Valladolid’s play went down his side. If he keeps up this kind of play, Fresneda will start to catch the attention of the Spanish media and more importantly some La Liga giants.


Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spain
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 13/09/1999
  • Club: Real Valladolid
  • Career: RCD Mallorca (Y), FC Barcelona (Y), Girona (Loan), Granada
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Monchu played 67 minutes as the main link up player roaming in central midfield. The short and lean, but still willing to be physical midfielder stands at 173 cm and showcased a relentless work rate up and down the pitch. His high effort could not go unnoticed as he buzzed around the field utilizing his sneakily rapid pace.

In this match, Monchu was given a few opportunities to finish, and finished well. Although he did not score, he finished with good placement on his long shot and headers so that the keeper was challenged and forced to make a save. With the ball at his feet, Monchu spotted players to advance the ball to quickly and calmly, not letting pressure get to him. He placed long balls through the air and on the ground with ease and continuously looked to get the ball into dangerous areas as quickly as possible. Monchu also looked very comfortable advancing the ball in the middle channel, and no Cádiz player looked able to set him off the ball. 

He did not just look to make plays on ball, though. Monchu was constantly moving into space and flashing at the ball to give teammates an option. If he was not doing that, he looked to find space to make central runs through to support the break. Monchu also showed poise in the air in this game for such a short player, winning his share of aerial duels but picking up a yellow card for a high elbow, too. He also drew multiple fouls in dangerous positions. Monchu played with intelligence and polished technique on offense in this match. 

On defense, Monchu was a pest on the press. He constantly caused problems for Cádiz when they were trying to get a buildup going. Operating in a high press, his pace and aggression was utilized in the right way. He was able to strip possession a few times by putting his foot in for a stand tackle, one time right outside the box to halt an attack. There was also a slide tackle that cleared the ball away and halted a potential break. In another moment, Monchu anticipated the pass for an interception then drew a foul. His positioning was constantly in the right place to make a play when the ball came to his area on defense and his body language was always alert. 

Rating – A2

Monchu confirmed my thoughts from my last watch of him with this performance. I like seeing the consistency of what he brings as an offensive-minded 8. In addition, he proved to me why he takes many of Valladolid’s set pieces, the prime example being a corner that nearly ended in a headed goal from his delivery. His leadership on the field is clear to me, too, and it is the cherry on top to his game. Monchu stands out in the midfield and is clearly a main man for Valladolid, as much of their cohesiveness as a unit goes through him. This is a player meant for top-flight football that exhibits shades of Denis Suárez.

Gonzalo Plata

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Ecuador
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 01/11/2000
  • Club: Real Valladolid
  • Career: Independiente del Valle, Sporting CP
  • Position: Right Winger
  • Preferred foot: Left
  • Other position(s): Left Winger

Gonzalo Plata starred for Valladolid in this game before being subbed off in the 82nd minute. Most of his club’s play came down his wing and he took advantage of that. Plata is a lanky 178 cm with a natural running motion that he translated into great pace down the right flank. He paired that with explosiveness that made it hard to cover him when he used skill to cut inside. 

Plata’s on ball offensive style is very skill based. For the second straight match, I saw him cutting inside from the right using dribble moves with his stronger left foot consistently when receiving the ball. His right foot is quite a bit weaker, so I see why it is mostly his left as he gets acclimated to La Liga. His dribbling technique has a lot of flair to it, but needs better control, as getting into dangerous areas using skill could be more consistent for him. When he does win in this 1v1s, either cutting inside or rounding them, the defense immediately comes under threat, as he can put in a decent cross most times or pick out a ground pass to an open man in the box easily. Plata’s skill also frustrates the defense—he drew quite a few fouls when carrying the ball or cutting inside. When passing under pressure, he performed valiantly, as well. Plata stayed cool and made decisions in an instant, never hesitating. Unfortunately, his lone dangerous finishing opportunity of the match was deflected away.

Off ball, Plata usually showed to his teammates in wide spaces so that he could utilize skill to beat his defender inside after receiving. There were moments in the game when he utilized his pace to make runs on the break, too. The times when he did get the ball after making these pacey runs in behind, Plata would combine pace and skill to beat his defender on the outside rather than the inside like he prefers.

Defensively, Plata brought just about what you would expect from a winger in a high pressing system to. His work rate when on defense was not too high, but he did have moments where he got aggressive when pressing. He was able to get a tackle in while not giving up on a press to set up a dangerous scenario in the box and had a slide tackle to turn over play, too. Plata picked up a foul while pressing, too, so he was certainly applying a bit of pressure when needed. When defending in his own half, his role was to get in passing lanes, and it led to a block while making a recovery run. 

Rating – A2

Gonzalo Plata translated enough of what makes his skillset so special into positive play in this game to improve my rating from my first watch of him. He could have been scored B1, but the potential takes him up a level from just a strong player in La Liga. If Plata continues to unlock the untapped potential he has, playing for a better squad than Valladolid is in the cards. I would not be surprised if a better club goes after him if Valladolid continue to struggle. As a left-footed winger with pace and flair, Plata’s play style is a sought-after commodity. 

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