Valencia failed to make the most of the scoring chances at hand as they settled for a 2-2 draw against Chelsea in the penultimate game of their Champions League group.
Los Che could have qualified for the knockout stage of the elite competition with a victory over Frank Lampard’s side but they were made to rue for missing as many as five clear-cut chances through the course of the game.
Still, the Spanish club have the qualification destiny in their own hands with a better head-to-head record over Chelsea and they should match or better the Blues’ result on the final matchday to guarantee their qualification.
Chelsea, on the other hand, looked defensively vulnerable for the second game on the bounce and it can be said that they were lucky to avoid punishment for the mistakes made.
The Blues fans should be partly disappointed with the outcome, given goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was beaten by Daniel Wass’ cross-cum-shot where he appeared to pull his hands away.
Three things we learned:
Kepa Arrizabalaga’s performance in goal: The Spaniard has looked anxious in goal in the past two matches but on both occasions, he was lucky to avoid conceding for his errors. The shot-stopper’s distribution has been average in the past few games and he surely needs to concentrate more on that aspect or else, he could pay the price sooner rather than later. Kepa could have also done better to stop Wass’ long-range strike but he did make a crucial impact prior to that by saving a penalty from Daniel Parejo.
Valencia squander chance to progress: Valencia had the opportunity to cement their berth in the round of 16 stage of the competition but they were poor with their finishing despite scoring twice. Maxi Gomez was the culprit in the opening half as he missed two gilt-edged chances. In the second period, Parejo missed the penalty while Rodrigo Moreno was also responsible for two poor attempts at goal including a simple tap-in at the far post with seconds left on the clock.
Chelsea’s defensive concerns: The Blues have been a genuine attacking force under the tutelage of Lampard but they have lacked the solidity at the back with just four clean sheets all season. Moreover, they have looked wary since the return from the international break and may have easily conceded more than four goals from those matches. Lampard needs to find a solution for this concern, particularly with the Blues preparing themselves for the festive schedule where they have nine games in the space of one month.