MUCH BETTER. We didn’t generate quite as many chances as I’d like but when you have a finisher like Paco Alcacer in the side that doesn’t matter. Two goals from him- the first particularly smooth- and a penalty from Gerard Moreno sees us take the three points.
Just going to hit some points quickly here as I get ready to record a podcast with Allen. Mario Gaspar was much, much better tonight and I don’t think that is primarily about the difference in opposition quality. The three man midfield and having the industrious Gerard on his side of the pitch meant that he had at all times more support than he had at any point in the Barca match.
Speaking of support, Vincente Iborra deserves a huge shout out in this match. He’s so much more positionally sound than Coquelin is that it more than makes up for the difference in pace. He snuffed out several attacks and attempted 70 passes. His ability to recycle play in volume, deliver the ball to Manu and Parejo to move up the pitch, and even hit at least one nice splitting ball over the top, gave Parejo much more room to move than he’s had at any other point this season. I absolutely loved the three man midfield.
We conceded a goal because Sergio Asenjo had a horrific moment of brain-deadness. Ultimately, it didn’t cost us, no harm, no foul, we move on.
Great match for the Yellow Sub. We’ll need Estupinan to shake off whatever knock he picked up tonight before Atleti on Saturday but otherwise no downsides to report.
MOTM for me is probably Paco with high honorable mentions to Estupinan, Mario, and Parejo.