Here’s a nice highlights package of our Copa del Rey match yesterday. I didn’t see the game, but a few notes from the highlights and Marca’s in-game commentary:
–Villarreal were up 2-0 by 30′, but we were hardly being outclassed and those goals were a couple of extremely fortunate pieces of shit. Not that our defense necessarily deserved to keep those balls out, but a bit of fortune or just less misfortune on our part would’ve kept a shutout at least up to that point.
–Romaric’s pass on Negredo’s first goal, and Negredo’s first touch, were both really fine work.
–Speaking of Romaric, what a game. Three assists in a huge game against a strong opponent from a player many were beginning to write off…just immense. Marca’s commentary was praising his play outside of the goals, so I guess these highlights weren’t isolated incidents. Apparently all that talk of Rakitic coming in January got under his skin a bit?
–And speaking of Negredo, why does Luis Fabiano have to be injured for him to start a game? He has been great for us at key moments all season, and for about a whole month earlier this season was often the only good thing on the field. I know there is more tactics and planning that goes into who starts than I understand, but get that guy on the field!
–The best part of our third goal, for me, was Kanoute’s dummy run in the middle of the box. The whole field bought that, and it gave Alexis just the space and time he needed. Great work, big Fredi.
–As Aaron said in the comments, it’s incredibly heartening to see the team pull back from deficits and earn positive results. It speaks to character of the team, which in recent months has certainly been in question at times. More than eking out a 0-1 victory even, games like this build confidence, momentum, and morale, which have obviously been in short supply for too long.
–Yesterday’s result makes it five consecutive games without a defeat and only one loss (to RM) in our last seven since the draw with Dortmund. We need to keep winning in La Liga (where our poor form has had the toughest consequences), but gosh this has been quite a turnaround and frankly I’m happy that we’re playing a game every 3-4 days right now; as long as we’re on this (relative) hot streak I’d be happy to play a game every 6 hours.
This Saturday we play the last game of the first half of La Liga season against Espanyol, easily La Liga’s surprise team of the term. Currently in 5th place, they’re one game out of CL spots, which is ridiculous and I am confident will not last long. I agree with whichever commenter said recently that we don’t need to worry about who’s above us in the table right now and instead just need to focus on winning, but it’s worth noting that while we’re still in 10th place right now, we’re all of one point out of Europe. Let’s go get some points.