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Valencia confirm £12m Francis Coquelin signing from Arsenal

Published in Spain Primera Division
Friday, 12 January 2018 10:59

La Liga side Valencia have confirmed the arrival of Francis Coquelin from Arsenal, with the midfielder signing a four-and-a-half year deal.

Coquelin had earlier been linked with a move to West Ham but a couple of days ago Valencia reportedly took the lead in the deal.

They confirmed on Thursday afternoon that his deal had been completed and would sign until June 30th 2022. The club also confirmed the player's buy-out clause is €80 million.
"I am very happy, it is a big challenge, it is the start of a new life for me, therefore I am very excited about it," Coquelin said in a statement.

"I have seen the team, they are going along very well, they are third in the table.

"I have watched their recent games, since I knew that the negotiations between the two clubs were picking up, such as the Copa del Rey game versus Las Palmas. They were very good."
The fee is reported to be £12 million.

Coquelin joined Arsenal in 2008 and made 160 first-team appearances, but struggled to get first-team opportunities this season.

He featured in just seven Premier League matches, coming on as a substitute in six of them.

Barcelona earn late draw against Valencia as 'ghost goal' not given

Published in Spain Primera Division
Monday, 27 November 2017 08:18

La Liga, Mestalla - Valencia 1 (Rodrigo 59') Barcelona 1 (Alba 82')

Jordi Alba scored a stunning equaliser against Valencia to salvage a 1-1 draw for Barcelona in a match best remembered for a Lionel Messi ‘ghost goal.’
The Argentine looked to have given the visitors to the Mestalla a first half lead, with goalkeeper Neto allowing a shot to squirm through his legs over the line. But the officials failed to spot it, despite the protestations of the Barcelona players.
Valencia emerged reinvigorated for the second half and took the lead after an hour, with Rodrigo finishing from close range after good work from Jose Luis Gaya at the byline. It was a goal that could have drawn Marcelino’s side to within a point of Barca at the top of La Liga.

But Alba denied Valencia all three points, getting on the end of a wonderful Messi pass to send a volley on the stretch into the far side of the net. The goal ensured that Barcelona stayed four points clear at the top of the Liga table.
TALKING POINT - When will Spanish football catch up with the rest of the world?

While the rest of the world is now debating the benefits of VAR, La Liga is still talking about implementing goalline technology. The same technology that every other major league in Europe has and has had for years.

Spanish football has been left behind in the technology stakes, and that was exposed by the ‘ghost goal’ scored by Messi. Everyone in the stadium saw it, but not the officials. So why are they still being denied help?

MAN OF THE MATCH - Rodrigo (Valencia)

His goal looked like being a turning point, not just in the match, but in the 2017/18 La Liga season. Rodrigo came to life in the second half of this match, scoring the opener and causing Barcelona problems.

Ultimately, he was denied the accolade of being the match winner, but his contribution still underlined how Valencia have the attacking quality to compete at the top of the table.
PLAYER RATINGS

Valencia - Neto 7, Montoya 6, Gabriel 6, Garay 6, Gaya 7, Soler 5, Parejo 6, Kondogbia 8, Guedes 7, Rodrigo 8, Zaza 6. Subs - Vezo 5, Mina 5, Pereira 5.

Barcelona - Ter Stegen 7, Alba 7, Vermaelen 6, Umtiti 7, Semedo 5, Busquets 6, Iniesta 5, Rakitic 5, Paulinho 6, Messi 7, Suarez 5. Subs - Denis 5, Vidal 5, Deulofeu 6.

KEY MOMENTS

30’ GOOOOOOOOOOOOAA... NO! Messi's shot is fumbled by Neto and crosses the line! Everyone saw it, besides the referee and the linesman. Play continues! Barcelona are livid!

60’ GOAL! Valencia 1-0 Barcelona: A massive goal in this season's Liga title race! Guedes released Gaya down the left wing, who got to the byline before squaring to Rodrigo to finish from close range. Massive goal!

64’ PENALTY SHOUT! Could that have been a spot kick to Valencia? Umtiti swung a leg and brought down Guedes inside the area, but the referee (who isn't having a good night) shakes his head.

83’ GOAL! Valencia 1-1 Barcelona: Barcelona have equalised! Messi picks out a wonderful pass to Alba at the back post, who does brilliantly to meet it on the volley and send the ball into the far corner of the net. Wow!

KEY STATS

Lionel Messi has had a hand in 27 of Barcelona’s last 34 goals against Valencia in La Liga.

Jordi Alba has been directly involved in more goals than any other defender in La Liga this season (five).

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