Matt Miazga likely played his last game for Alaves for quite awhile after gifting two goals to opponents Betis, while Yunus Musah impressed in a starting role for Valencia in their draw against Sevilla.
Real Betis 4 – 0 Alaves
Disaster struck for Alaves on Tuesday evening, with defender Matt Miazga one of the major culprits in their embarrassing blow-out at the hands of surging Real Betis.
For the second straight game, Miazga was handed a spot in the Alaves starting XI, however a pair of absent-minded plays likely cleared the path for usual starter Victor Laguardia to resume his role in the central defense after serving his current suspension.
Alaves were already off on the wrong foot in the 11th minute, when Miazga lost his mark Borja Iglesias on a set piece, which allowed the striker plenty of space and time to head in a cross from Sergio Canales for the lead.
Canales doubled the lead for the hosts just before the half-hour in a wonderful solo effort, streaking forward from the midfield line with all Alaves defenders hesitant to close him down, before unleashing a 22-yard strike tha clanged off the underside of the crossar and over the line for 2-0.
Miazga served up a picture-perfect assist – unfortunately for the opposing team – in the 41st minute when he attempted a no-look back-pass to his keeper, neglecting the fact that Borja Iglesias was directly in the path. The striker scooped up the gift and easily put it past the shocked Alaves keeper Fernando Pacheco for the 3-0 lead.
Betis were merciful for the second half and only scored one more on their overmatched visitors, with Juanmi being sent in behind the defense by Nabil Fekir in the 54th minute on a counter, and easily chipping his shot over Pacheco for the final 4-0 score.
This display will likely sideline Miazga for the near future, if not the remainder of his stay at Alaves, meaning that he will probably watch the team host Barcelona on Sunday evening from the bench. They remain in the relegation places, albeit with a one-point gap to safety.
Valencia 1 – 1 Sevilla
Yunus Musah got the start for Valencia as they scored twice, unfortunately one being in their own goal, in a draw against second-place Sevilla on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s inclusion in the starting lineup marked a fourth straight start across league and cup competitions for Musah, a huge boost fo the 19 year-old heading into USMNT duty where he is also likely to play a major role.
Across his 85 minutes on the field, Musah was limited in his action by their opponents Sevilla, with only 35 total touches and a 13/17 passing quota. This was largely due to an oppressive performance by the guests, who held 68% of possession and dominated the run of play from the opening until the final whistle.
Valencia were already facing a deficit only seven minutes into the game, when defender Mouctar Diakhaby was caught off-guard on a quick Sevilla counter-attack, and errantly redirected a cross from Gonzalo Montiel into his own net to put his team at a 1-0 disadvantage.
Musah looked like the key-man when Valencia initially appeared to equalize seven minutes later, with the American miraculously maintaining possession before finding José Gayà with a desperation no-look pass. However the Spanish international’s looping shot was called back for an offside infraction.
The hosts did manage to pull even just before the half, this time with Gayà as the provider, serving up a pinpointed cross from the left flank that Goncalo Guedes headed in to put the game back onto even terms.
Musah had one late foray into the danger zone in the 72nd minute, initiated by Guedes with a short pass from the middle to the right flank, but he was unable to make the most of it, sending his shot from the right side of the area well over the mark.
In the end, Sevilla’s clear dominance on the ball was unable to lead to any further advantages on the scoreboard, with the teams splitting the rewards.
The point lifts Valencia above Bilbao into ninth place in the La Liga standings. They will return to action on Saturday with their last match before the international break, a difficult visit to fourth-place Atletico Madrid.