Victory from Real Zaragoza over European-position contender Levante (1-0) after a very professional and compact performance. Despite the positive result, we still depend on third-party outcomes to avoid relegation.
Prolonged agony, or another step towards actually holding on to the category? This is the question many zaragocistas must be posing themselves after having taken the three points yesterday again Levante, with two games to be played before the end of the season.
The match started as expected, with the same eleven that beat Athletic Bilbao only a few days ago trying to find a way into the goal defended by Munúa. Levante, who have performed an outstanding season, proposed a very compact team (which is largely the key to their success) with two very close lines of 4+5 players with the clear objective of deactivating Zaragoza’s offensive movements. The home team was forced to take the initiative, something that we have not often seen this season. Already in the first minutes of the match, Lafita got an interesting shot on goal that was repelled by Levante’s keeper. In the 11th minute, Edu Oriol did however succeed in materializing a chance provided by a poor clearing from Levante’s central defender Cabrera inside the box.
After the goal, Levante consequently stretched their lines in search of an equalizer that would enhance their chances of European football next year (something historical for the team from Valencia). Two long range shots from Botello and Valdo posed serious threats to Roberto’s goal. Nevertheless, Zaragoza held on to the advantage until the half time whistle showing a great deal of commitment.
In the second half, Levante’s coach sacrificed a defensive midfielder (Farinós) to put Rubén Suárez on the field, who provided imagination and touch to the team’s offensive play. Levante’s best chance in fact came from a free kick delivered by Rubén, which was headed by Iborra, and found (yet again) a magnificent response from Roberto. From Zaragoza’s perspective, Pinter and Luis García entered the match during the second half, providing additional freshness, power and ideas to the team. Very intelligent substitutions from Jiménez. The team showed a great deal of professionalism and, carried by a home crowd absolutely devoted to their team, managed to hold on to the result.
Despite the three points and the positive inertia of the team, we do not only need to win the following two matches (against Racing and Getafe, who do not have much to play for, but can still be competitive opponents) but also hope that the rest of results go our way. A promising combination would be the defeat of Granada at home against Real Madrid (who hopefully will not be too hung over from their 32nd league title) and Rayo not wining away to Sevilla, which in addition to our victory against Racing would make us depend of ourselves in the match due to the direct game between Rayo and Granada on the last day. As Paredes mentioned today, this would already be a partial victory.
Any other combination however, will leave us depending on other results on the last day (provided we beat Racing and are still in the race). Therefore, it remains a difficult task, but still possible, and definitely worth giving every bit of effort. ALE ZARAGOZA ALE ALE!!!
Real Zaragoza: Roberto, P. Alvarez, Da Silva, Paredes, Abraham; Micael, Zuculini (Pinter, min. 58), Apoño, Edu Oriol; Lafita (Obradovic, min. 90) and Postiga.
Levante: Munúa; Pedro López, Ballesteros, Gustavo Cabral, Juanfran; Valdo, Iborra (El Zhar, min.59), Farinós (Rubén, min.46), Xavi Torres, Botelho; and Ghezzal.
Goal: 1-0. Min.11, Edu Oriol.Posted In Match summary
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