Honours even after late penalty woe
Friday 27th November, 2020
Estadio José Zorrilla, Valladolid, Spain
REAL VALLADOLID 1
Marcos André 57’
José Campaña (Pen.) 83’
The points were divided equally between Real Valladolid and Levante at the José Zorrilla, as Marcos André scored for the third time in as many matches but Pucela were undone by a late penalty from José Campaña.
After last week’s win at Granada – which had given the blanquivioletas back-to-back victories – confidence was high as they welcomed the Valencian side who sat one place behind them in the table after four consecutive 1-1 draws. A further boost for the hosts came in the shape of young Levante goalkeeper, Dani Cárdenas, who was making his LaLiga debut in place of regular choice Aitor Fernández.
André looked the liveliest of the home players, flashing two angled drives into the near side of the goal as he looked to find a way past Cárdenas. At the other end, José Luis Morales proved to be a perpetual thorn in Pucela’s side, finding success down the left flank on several occasions. Sergi Guardiola saw his downward header parried away by Cárdenas in what was probably Real Valladolid’s best chance of the opening 45 minutes. However, a scoreless first half outlined the similar fortunes of the two teams up to this point in the season, with both experiencing frustrating starts to the campaign.
In the second period, Pucela took the lead through André on 57 minutes when Óscar Plano swing a deep ball into the box from the left-hand side and the Brazilian striker did well to adjust his position to make contact and headed past the debutant goalkeeper.
It appeared that Sergio González had confidence that his team would be able to stifle any attempt to reply by the visitors as he set out to defend from that point on. Furthermore, he replaced Pablo Hervías – who has found a new home as right-back despite his natural aptitude as a winger – with Saidy Janko.
Despite this guarded approach, Pucela were able to fashion an opportunity which would have killed the match in all likelihood. Rubén Alcaraz found himself through on goal but pushed his effort wide of Cárdenas’s left post in a miss which was eerily similar to that of Plano’s early error against Granada the previous week.
With less than ten minutes remaining, disaster struck and Real Valladolid were left to rue Alacaraz’s miss. As Levante pushed for the equaliser, Joaquín felled Dani Gómez, who had replaced Morales on 70 minutes, from behind as the attacker bore down in the box. Campaña stepped up and dispatched the resulting spot-kick past Jordi Masip to level the score with seven minutes of regulation time to play.
Jota came on for Plano immediately after the goal, but Sergio remained steadfast in his defensive ethos and sacrificed Fede San Emeterio for an extra defender in the form of Javi Sánchez, who played in the middle of a 5-man back line. Curiously, he made just three out of his available five substitutions in this match and left more attack-minded players like Shon Weissman, Waldo and Toni Villa in the stands when any one of them could have made a contribution to snatching a late win.
However, a point apiece was the outcome in what felt like an opportunity missed to put daylight between Real Valladolid and the bottom three sides. Levante would be the happier of the two sides, despite it being their fifth 1-1 draw in succession. Los Granotas are at home next week to Getafe, while Pucela face the unenviable task of trying to overcome Atlético Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano.
REAL VALLADOLID (4-4-2): Jordi Masip (Capt.); Nacho, Bruno, Joaquín, Pablo Hervías (Saidy Janko 70’), Óscar Plano (Jota 85’), Rubén Alcaraz, Fede San Emeterio (Javi Sánchez 88’), Fabián Orellana, Marcos André, Sergi Guardiola.
Subs unused: Roberto; Luis Pérez, Raúl García, Kike Pérez, Roque Mesa, Toni Villa, Míchel, Shon Weissman, Waldo.
LEVANTE (4-4-2): Dani Cárdenas; Carlos Clerc, Sergio Postigo, Rubén Vezo, Son (Rober 71’), José Luís Morales (Capt.) (Dani Gómez 71’), José Campaña, Mickaël Malsa (Coke 80’), Rubén Rochina, Gonzalo Melero (Jorge De Frutos 67’), Roger Martí (Sergio León 80’).
Subs unused: Koke; Toño, Óscar Duarte, Jorge Miramon, Nemanja Radoja, Nikola Vukcevic.