The 2-2 draw between Valencia and Chelsea may have been an enjoyable spectacle but it left us annoyed. Valencia did everything needed to win it, played excellently and put all they had into it (that image of Gayà collapsing at the final whistle, helped off the pitch due to pure exhaustion), but they ended a centimetre away from victory. That result means that they now have to come away from their game against Ajax tonight with no worse a result than Chelsea get at Stamford Bridge against Lille, the French side already having been eliminated. Essentially this means a win in required. A must-win game in Amsterdam against an Ajax side that has been somewhat dismantled in respect to last season's impressive side, but one that is still strong, with a great history and pride.
Valencia is doing fine. Celades, that calm lad who arrived in turbulent conditions, following the untimely dismissal of Marcelino, a manager liked by the fans, the media and the players. He came in seen as an imposter, one chosen by an unpopular board, even more so due to that decision. Even the players rebuffed him. He put them back in place quietly, mending everything with his work, his good manners and with a confidence that life gives you back what you put into it. The doubters did not last long. The players understood the same thing, that after the tantrum, they had to collaborate. And they did.
Positive vibes, and Lim, with Valencia
There have been games of late from Valencia that have returned a feeling of confidence, including Coming back from 2-0 to win 2-4 in Orriols at the weekend. Ajax come into this game on the back of a 0-2 loss to Willem II. There is a good feeling on the part of Valencia, to the point that Peter Lim is flying out to be in attendance, something he's not prone to doing. Celades, who has developed a fluid team capable of switching from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 or vice versa within the same game, always looking to improve, has a big test ahead of him at the Johan Cruyff Arena, a footballing temple. The opposition is difficult, but there are conditions to hope that Valencia will finish this evening with something that left them against Chelsea...luck.