Valencia 4-1 Eibar
Gonçalo Guedes is enjoying some fine form ahead of the European Championships, with a brace on Sunday evening helping Valencia to victory over Eibar in their final home match of the Spanish season.
Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium was permitted to host 5,000 supporters as they attempted to put a positive end on a forgettable season, and two goals from Guedes inspired Los Ches to victory and relegated Eibar to the Segunda Division.
The former Benfica man opened the scoring in the 3rd minute, beating Eibar goalkeeper Marko Dmitroic with a left-footed finish after being found by Carlos Soler. Midfielder Soler then scored twice and Eibar pulled one back through Bryan Gil, before Guedes rounded off the scoring with his second early in the second half, using his right foot this time to finish coolly.
Valencia have endured a miserable season and occupy 13th place heading into the final matchday at Huesca next weekend. The team’s plight makes Guedes’ upturn in recent form more significant, as he stakes his claim to make Fernando Santos’ 26-man squad to defend Portugal’s European Championships crown this summer.
No point playing without fans - Guedes
“I worked hard to play well,” Guedes told www.valenciacf.com after the match. “I was not having much continuity and I have had two good months. I’m happy. The important thing is that your good performance helps your team win. Today I am much happier. I felt very good. I think I had a good game, and the team took all three points.
“The fans? It's always good to hear people in the stands supporting us. There is no point in playing without spectators present.
“It felt like going 'back to normal' and what we players like. It’s good to have pressure and be able to celebrate with the fans. For us it is always an honour to have fans here. Not having them here was difficult, but hopefully everything will return to normal soon.
“We had a great game. The fans deserved it. We showed that we have quality, and the fans clearly help us out.”
Guedes has ten goal contributions in La Liga this season (five goals; five assists) with eight coming since March. Pedro Neto has been ruled out of Euro 2020 and with emerging concerns over the fitness od Diogo Jota, the position of wide attacker could see an opening for the 24-year-old in the Seleção ranks.
What do you think? Is Guedes playing himself into Santos’ plans? Let us know your views
By Sean Gillen