Monday, March 9, 2009

Sevilla v Almeria, La Liga, March 8

Way below the suddenly engrossing battle for top spot in Spain, sit Sevilla in third signaling they are again ready to aspire to match the glory days they attained under Juande Ramos’ reign. Surprisingly Manolo Jimenez finds himself under intense pressure to keep his job but that for me is more a reflection of the times than his own or his team’s performance on the pitch.

Sevilla dominated the first half completely and tenth placed Almeria never once threatened the home side’s goal. Sevilla had the lead in the fifth minute, after Kanoute trapped a cross from the left from Romaric and finished efficiently. Later on replays showed that Kanoue had handled the ball but it was too late to change the score by then.

Almeria had a better second half and they threatened a lot more. They fell two behind however, when Kanoute trapped a pass from Capel and set up Renato who managed to steer the ball into the net even though he completely misconnected. He had already missed a sitter before and was fortunate to score on a day when his performance was distinctly average. Fortune though was smiling gently on the entire Sevilla team as it turned out that Kanoute was well offside when the ball was played to him and the second goal should not have been either. Almeria kept pushing on and at least they got a consolation goal through a penalty which was the least they deserved for their second half showing as well as the crushing impact of bad decisions.

Now I come to the part, which had made me eager to write this post since I saw the game.

First, the performance of Romaric, the Ivory Coast strongman. Midfielder with a preference for the left foot who can be found everywhere on the pitch. Tough tacking, hard working and creative. It’s not funny the number of quality midfielders who are out there, and it is stunning to note that none of them is at Arsenal.

Second, Crusat the little known Spaniard playing attacking midfield for Almeria. Made major impact and has the ability to pull his team up. If he ever moves to a bigger club, he could make a name for himself.

Third, Diego Perotti. Twenty year old Argentine forward who switched from left wing to right with ease on debut and seemed very very gifted. Watch out for this guy!

Been a long time since I saw either Barca or Real play ninety minutes but any dose of La Liga is good for the mood and add to that the joy of discovering players you didn’t know about and the weekend seems to have been very productive indeed. One final word, Kanoute plays very much like Anelka and looks a little similar too.

No comments: