Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Ejea:
Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua made competitive appearance number 19 of the season for his parent club Atlético Baleares in their league game against Ejea on Sunday. Shashoua completed the full 90 minutes of Atlético’s impressive 4-1 home win over Ejea at the Son Malferit. The 19 year old was arguably the best player on the park on Sunday afternoon and after opening the scoring with a glorious curling effort from inside the oppositions penalty area, Samuel went onto create many good chances for the home side. He was really threatening down the left flank and he made Ejea’s right back Kevin work hard all game. Shashoua started the game out on the left wing as Manix Mandiola’s side lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. After Atlético’s goalkeeper Carl Klaus had managed to make a superb reflex save to prevent the home side from going behind early on, Samuel’s first touch of the ball occurred a couple of minutes later. After the teenager had received Rubén González pass down the left wing he managed to whip a dangerous low cross into the box, but it was cleared by Ejea defender Moustapha. Then in the seventh minute of the match the Balearic club took the lead through none other than Samuel Shashoua, who netted his fourth goal of the campaign. After passing the ball to Rubén González the Atletico defender gave the ball back to Samuel down the left side of the Ejea penalty area. The nimble footed winger then did exceptionally well to sort his feet out and to side step his way away from Kevin, before curling a sumptuous effort into the top right hand corner of Loscos‘ goal. It was a truly delightful finish from Shashoua but he showed excellent feet just to be able to get the shot away in the first place. However, the opposition equalised less than two minutes later through their captain Ramón. Samuel was making some intelligent runs both down the left wing and inside through the middle of the pitch. The Spurs loanees next involvement in the game came from one such run. After cutting inside onto his right foot down the left channel Shashoua tried to pick out Alberto Villapalos in the box with a delicate curling cross. However, the Atletico defender was just unable to make contact with his cross, and the ball ended up curling a fraction wide of the Ejea goal.
Following his early goal Samuel was still heavily involved in the game and after he received Marcos De la Espada’s pass down the left wing, Shashoua cut inside before travelling into the penalty area where he clipped in an inviting cross which was cleared by Moustapha at the back post. The teenager created a good chance for Nuha shortly afterwards when he received De la Espada’s down the left channel before shifting the ball onto his right foot and picking out Nuha in the box from his curling cross. However, the Atlético strikers powerful headed effort on goal was well saved by the alert Loscos. That was to be Samuel’s last involvement from a very good first half performance. Unfortunately for Shashoua he didn’t see much of the ball during the beginning of the second half as Atlético seemed to be reluctant to attack down the left flank, as Ejea grew in confidence. The Londoners first major contribution to the half was winning a free kick in a promising position on the edge of the Ejea penalty area. Shashoua stepped up to take the resulting free kick but his curling effort up and over the Ejea wall was saved, and held comfortably by Loscos. After receiving Vallori’s pass Samuel attempted to play Nuha through on goal with a cleverly weighted pass however, Ejea defender Catalá managed to cut out his pass at the vital moment before it came through to Nuha inside the penalty area. Samuel started to get back into the rhythm of the game, and after picking up the ball on the edge of the oppositions penalty area he swivelled around before having a pop on goal. Shashoua’s effort took a big deflection off of Catalá before going behind for a corner kick. Atlético took the lead from the following corner kick through Vallori before Villapalos made it 3-1 less than three minutes later from another corner kick. And it was young Samuel who played a significant part in Manix Mandiola’s sides fourth and final goal of the game in the second minute of stoppage time. After latching onto Hugo Díaz’s long pass down the left side of the Ejea penalty area, Shashoua twisted and turned before slipping the ball into the feet of De la Espada. The midfielder then passed to Díaz who played a quick one two with De la Espada down the right side of the box before firing the ball past Loscos to cap off an excellent team performance.
This was a very good performance from Samuel Shashoua who played a major part in helping Atlético to overcome Ejea on Sunday. Apart from his wonderfully taken goal and clever feet inside the penalty area and the chances that he created throughout the match, there were so many positives that you can take away from Shashoua’s performance. Unsurprisingly he tracked back excellently and helped out Atlético fullback Rubén González defensively. Shashoua used the ball intelligently on Sunday and everything from the timing of his runs to his positioning, and the strength that he showed while he was on the ball, was really impressive. Samuel richly deserved his goal and it was great to see him find the back of the net again, for the first time in quite a while. The 19 year old was for me the best player on the park on Sunday and as he has demonstrated so often before this season it is his ability to change a game which has a lot to do with why Atlético are only three points of league leaders Villarreal B. It was a pleasure to watch Samuel play against Ejea and at only 19 years of age he is already one of the first names on the Atlético team sheet. Up next for Samuel and his parent club is an away game against Sabadell who they will face next Sunday. I would just like to say well done to Samuel on his goal today and on the fantastic season that he is having with the Spanish third tier outfit. The confident teenager is doing exactly the same stuff that I saw him do to such great effect for our under 18’s, when he was in his second year of scholarship at Spurs.
Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares this season: