0-0: UD Almería to battle for survival in last crunch clash after goalless stalemate
The Rojiblancos, despite deserving a victory, were not able to beat Real Valladolid CF and will have to secure their LaLiga Santander status away to already-relegated Espanyol de Barcelona
UD Almería will play for their LaLiga Santander lives in the last crunch clash of the season away to already-relegated Espanyol de Barcelona next Sunday. They could seal league safety through a victory and a draw, and even a defeat, although for this it will be necessary to switch the calculator on. This Sunday, the Rojiblancos missed the great opportunity to make it mathematically certain since they were playing at home in a sell-out Power Horse Stadium and against a team who usually struggle on the road, Real Valladolid CF. The Indálicos could have got it done either with a triumph or a share of the spoils depending on other Matchday 37 results, but they will have to do everything in their power to stay up in the last fixture of the 2022/23 season.
UD Almería truly deserved to win as they outplayed direct rivals Real Valladolid CF. In fact, they were able to take control of the match over the opening half. In addition, they created enough clear chances to take the lead. The Rojiblancos walked out onto the pitch utterly resolute. Line breaking passes, grit and effectiveness to win the ball back so that they held Pucela to an unsatisfying goalless first half. In the 17th minute, Embarba failed to score; Dyego Sousa wasted a clear sight of goal 28 minutes in, altough he played brilliantly as a No. 9. Neither Centelles within 39 minutes nor Samú Costa on 45 minutes could hit the target. It was all square at half-time with the hosts heading down the tunnel knowing that they had league safety in their hands according to other Matchday results (0-0).
But things went wrong in the second period. UD Almeria could not guarantee survival with a tie according to the results displayed on other stadiums’ scoreboards within the relegation scrap. The goal did not arrive either and on top of that, Real Valladolid CF managed to create danger in the final third. If in the first 45 minutes, UD Almería showed great resilience to nullify Pucela’s attack under control, in the second, they did not. It was more of a game with alternate dominance, and therefore, with growing uncertainty. The visitors had their goal-scoring opportunities, yet Fernando averted danger at all times. Lázaro Vinicius hit the woodwork and later scuffed another chance. El Bilal Touré came on from the bench and unfortunately squandered his chance after 87 minutes.
Honours even and crunch survival clash next Sunday. Luckily, Espanyol de Barcelona, who were winning against Valencia CF, have been relegated as they tied in the end. It would not have been the same to play in their stadium if they were also playing to save the campaign.
UD Almeria: Fernando; Pozo, Rodrigo Ely, Babic, Dentelles (Akieme, 88’); Robertone, Samú Costa, Melero (Portillo, 77’); Lázaro, Sousa (El Bilal Touré, 77’) and Embarba (Ramazani, 69’).
Real Valladolid CF: Masip; Fresneda (L. Rosa, 73’), Javi Sánchez, M. Hongla, L. Olaza; Óscar Plano (Kike, 74’), Roque Mesa (D. Torres, 65’), Aguado (Kenedy, 65’); Gonzalo Plata, Larin and D. Machis (Monchu, 58’).
Referee: Javier Alberola Rojas, from the Castilla La Mancha Referees Association. He booked Monchu, Gonzalo Plata, and Hongla.
Observations: Last league game at the Power Horse Stadium with 14,608 spectators. There were different messages and banners to stand up against racism. A minute of silence was observed for the UD Almería season-ticket holders who have passed away in recent months: Antonio López Montellano, Juan Montoya López, José Antonio Cuadra Moreno and Miguel González Maldonado.