Better late than never, a slightly downbeat @VelezinEnglish takes a look on what Vélez did well and what went wrong on Sunday's defeat.
The Racing game showed that in terms of individual quality Velez lags way behind those who aim to finish high in the league, so my expectations were not really high coming into the Boca match. Unfortunately my fears proved to be founded.
There's a point to be made that El Fortín more than held its own on Sunday night and looked in control for many passages of the game. The team had the ball almost two thirds of the game, completed 200 more passes than Boca and took a higher number of shots. Vélez didn't look bad as a unit and the numbers (Sort of) back up the eye test. So why Vélez lost? Mainly because Boca's players made their individual quality count at the right time in the right place. Adding to the misery, it's worth remembering that Boca took our last season's best player and didn't need to use him for defeating us 3-0.
But reducing Vélez defeat to that only factor would be delusive. Aside from the diffrence between the two sets of players there were situations in defense that were self-inflicted and contributed greatly to the defeat. The high defensive backline created a huge space behind the fullbacks which Boca seemed looking forward to take advantage of before the game started. In the case of a natural winger like Ortega, expecting him to push forward and get back in time to contain players of the caliber of Pavón is wishful thinking at best, specially when he had his share of problems against Centurión 14 days before.
In attack there were issues that made the team look toothless. The structure helps the team to keep the ball for long, but the lads had issues working the ball into the box and when they managed to do it, brought little danger because the only pure striker in the team Ramis is not a meaningful presence in the penalty area. Crosses are thrown into the box for no one. Full backs push forward, helping the team to keep possession but don't get into positions where they can create danger, What makes he situation worse is that Vargas looked isolated in the wing, far from any zone in the pitch where he could have had a meaningful impact on the game. Don't get me wrong please, I'm not trying to contend the idea of having the ball, as I firmly believe in Heinzeball principles, but there are things to change if the team wants to score goals and stop chasing games from behind.
As I have said after the game in Avellaneda, this team has improved a lot but also has a long way to go if it wants to achieve peak performances against top teams any given sunday. After this international window, El Fortín is entering a meaningful run of games that will determine if we have to keep following the dreaded table closely or if we can definitely look forward to shorten the distances with the top teams. Putting to the ball in the back of opposition net will definitely go a long way if Vélez is to forget any relegation issues.