Damn, son! VARAS’s gloves and feet (and other body parts!!) kept the match level and helped us keep the lead through the last 45-minute assault. He was stretching all around the face of the goal, parrying shots left, right, and over the crossbar. His greatness today cannot be understated, an was not by our friends at Marca, who wrote: “Valencia came up against an immense and inspired Varas an infinite number of times.”
Earlier this week, Rakitic said in an interview that he personally had not given up the fight for Champions League. He said he wanted more than anything to play in the CL with Sevilla. Looks like he meant it, as he scored the golden goal of the day off a repelled shot from Negredo. Negredo, as Jeremy mentioned in the comments, is so much of what I love watching about this current team: he runs his ass off, he makes intelligent plays, and he tries to the very end. He has scored a modest 16 goals this season, but his tireless harrying of defenders has made him one of my favorites of the team. He doesn’t talk, it seems. He plays. And that blue-collar attitude is exactly what this team needs to get back on track for next season. The dude is a $&#@!ing MAN.
We also took a big step forward today in our Europa qualification. We are now three points ahead of Atlético (in 8th) and four ahead of Mallorca (9th). Looking up (and sideways), we’re now level with Athletic, who lost at home to Villarreal (0-1), and only one point adrift of 5th place, where Espanyol continues to flail away, relying on the points they accumulated in the first half of the season to keep them in the top six. They lost today at poor, poor Málga (2-0) as many of us had predicted, and their poor run of form (two wins in nine matches) will hopefully continue.
Enough about them. Our boys put in some great work today, but better bring that lunch pail tomorrow. There’s still a-workin’ to do. Man of the match is VARAS (whose name I will only write in all caps now). ALL CAPS I SAID!
Full Highlights: http://video.rutube.ru/8d4ff0cc1cab2e2507fa88b86e8015f5