Yunus Musah was the only American to take the field in Spain’s top two divisions over the weekend in Valencia’s tough loss to Rayo, although a lopsided Celta Vigo loss might give Luca de la Torre a path back to the field.
Rayo Vallecano 2 – 1 FC Valencia
Yunus Musah played the full 90 minutes on the right side of Valencia’s midfield, however the team put in an overall disappointing and wasteful performance in their road loss at Rayo Vallecano.
A dominant 5-1 win over Getafe last weekend had Musah and his teammates optimistic that they had worked out some of the early kinks of the season and were ready to start a run up the standings. This was put to rest on Saturday as their lack of clinical precision in the final third doomed them to a loss in a game where they could have easily expected more.
During his time on the right side from whistle to whistle, the American only had 42 touches and completed just 16 of his 26 passing attempts, while taking no shots and only setting up one chance, although he did draw a pair of fouls.
He did put in work on the defensive side, winning all three of his tackles, making a pair of clearances, winning eight of 13 duels, and making one clearance.
Highlights of the game can be seen here.
Rayo got off to the best start possible, taking the lead just past the four-minute mark, with the credit being equally shared by Oscar Trejo and Isi Palazon. The former whipped in a low free kick from the left flank that surprised the defense, allowing the latter to simply redirect it just inside the near post for the lead.
Valencia held the slight edge in terms of total possession (54%) and shots (17-14), but were simply wasteful, only putting four of their attempts on-target.
One such wasted chance, perhaps their worst, came in the 48th minute as Musah streaked unabated into the right side of the area found Nico González in the center of the area with no defender and a clear line on the equalizer, however the on-loan Barcelona midfielder sent his shot too high.
Three minutes later, González likely forgot about his prior miss after he did put one in the back of the net, however unfortunately it was his own. Rayo’s previous goalscorer Palazon fired in a corner from the right side, which flew through the area and took a hit off of González’s knee into his goal for the 2-0 home lead.
Musah was shown yellow, his second of the season, after 68 minutes for a hard foul on Álvaro García.
The visitors did finally pull one back late in the game. The 93rd minute header by Mouctar Diakhaby off of a free kick by André Almeida, while spectacularly athletic, was still little more than a consolation goal as the whistle blew three minutes later to confirm the disappointing loss for Valencia.
The result leaves Valencia in 12th place in the La Liga standings, although they could drop one more pending the outcome of Monday night’s game between 14th-place Almeria and Osasuna.
They are back on the field and will be aiming to return to form at home when they welcome Celta Vigo on Saturday afternoon.
Luca Koleosho was not in uniform for Espanyol on Saturday for their tough, 3-2 home loss to Sevilla, a game where they will be kicking themselves for not taking advantage of a late sending-off for the visitors.
Luca de la Torre was perhaps lucky to stay on Celta Vigo’s bench for the duration on Saturday, as they were utterly dominated by a 4-1 score on the road against Atletico Madrid. He will hope that the poor performance by his teammate will give him the opportunity to take the field when they visit Valencia next weekend.
Jonathan Gomez wasn’t with Real Sociedad’s first team on Sunday for their 2-1 road loss at Getafe. He was instead starting for the B-team in Spain’s third division, in their 2-1 home loss to Real Murcia.
Neither of the Shashoua brothers was in uniform for their respective teams on Sunday afternoon, as Armando’s UD Ibiza beat Samuel’s CD Tenerife by a narrow 1-0 score in La liga 2 action.