A Valencia populated by defenses was unable to hold a more combative than colorful Arsenal and suffered a heavy defeat (3-1) that reduces their chances of accessing the final of the Europa League. Although they put themselves ahead, thanks to a goal from Mouctar Diakhaby, the che suffered the unspeakable to hold Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, players who ended up decanting the balance in favor of the Gunners.
Facundo Roncaglia, Ezequiel Garay, Mouctar Diakhaby, Gabriel Paulista, José Luis Gayá and Cristiano Piccini. Up to six defenders (four central and two lateral) included Marcelino García in the starting lineup of Valencia. Although Diakhaby served as defensive midfielder, the presence of all this legion of defenders revealed the obvious desire of the coach to leave the Emirates Stadium without a goal against.
During the first 15 minutes, the plan worked like a charm. The Valencian caught by surprise to Arsenal and took advantage of their doubts to steal easily and go to the counter with a lot of speed. In that period, the unexpected Diakhaby became owner and master of the midfield and even had the honor of scoring the goal that put his team ahead, after an accurate assistance of Rodrigo Moreno out of a corner (11 ‘).
Apparently in this first phase of the meeting, nothing presaged that it would be the locals who came with an advantage to rest. However, after conceding the goal and listening to the first whistles from the stands, the Gunners took a step forward and managed to turn the scoreboard around. The draw came after a quick action from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that Alexandre Lacazette pushed to goal without opposition (18 ‘); while the 2-1 was the result of a header from the same French striker who finished unopposed a center sent from the left (26 ‘).
In the two actions that gave rise to the goals, and in a third that missed Aubameyang with a defective volley, it was clear that the wall raised by Marcelino had cracks and that not always accumulate players is the best tactic to leave your goal to zero.
Although the initial objective, that of not fitting in, had been blown up, Marcelino did not change his approach one step after passing through the changing rooms. It is true that, every time he crossed the line of media, Valencia gave a sense of danger, but also that his populated defense was still encountering real problems to cover the omnipresent Lacazette. In fact, if the Frenchman had been more accurate on two occasions almost point-blank, it is possible that the scoreboard would have shot up to almost become irreversible.
In 70, the Spaniard decided to finally move the bench and give entry to two more creative players like Daniel Wass and Kevin Gameiro. Although with both players in the field, the balance was balanced enough, the fact is that the clear chances did not come and it was Arsenal who, almost on the horn, took advantage of another slip of the back behind to make the 3-1. In the meantime, the work of Aubameyang, it became clear that it does not matter to have many defenses if no one tries to overtake the striker who will receive the pass.
Although adding two goals in Mestalla, with a support surely turned over, it does not seem an impossible task, the certain thing is that it seems necessary that in that clash Marcelino has an eleven in which the creative and attack players outnumber the defensive.