Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Atlético Levante:
Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua was in action for Atlético Baleares on Saturday afternoon in the Spanish Segunda Division B Group III, when Manix Mandiola’s high flying side traveled to the Spanish mainland to face Atlético Levante. It was a very special game for young Samuel as he came up against his Spurs teammate Anthony Georgiou who is currently on loan at Atlético Levante. Shashoua put in yet another excellent performance for Mandiola’s side who managed to grind out a hard fought 2-1 win in Southern Spain to consolidate their place at the top of the league table to seven points. Young Samuel excelled out on the left flank as Atlético played in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation and he even chipped in with another goal, his sixth of the campaign. Samuel and the ‘ Balearicos ‘ started the game well and it didn’t take the 19 year old Spurs loanee long to get into the game. After Kike had played a quick one two with Samuel from a corner kick, the Atlético fullback whipped the ball into the danger zone where he managed to pick out the head of Marcos De la Espada who could only head the ball over Olmedo’s crossbar. A couple of minutes later Shashoua tracked back extremely well to try and close down Shaq Moore who had been in space down the right hand side of the ‘ Balearicos ‘ penalty area. Shashoua’s hard work paid off and after Moore had managed to latch onto Cantero’s cross, he seemed to be put off by the presence of Samuel, and he ended up firing the ball wide of Carl Klaus‘ goal. Atlético Baleares took the lead in the 11th minute of the game through none other other than a certain West Londoner. It was a well worked goal which came about after Rovirola played a defence splitting pass through the Levante defence which set Marcos De la Espada through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat. Levante goalkeeper Olmedo came rushing out to meet De la Espada but he managed to keep his cool and he slipped the ball into the feet of Samuel, who had made a good run down the left side of the six yard box. Shashoua then cooly placed the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the empty goal from seven yards out, with a composed side footed finish.
Samuel continued to play well during the opening stages of the game and after he managed to win the ball off of Levante’s Shaq Moore down the left flank, Samuel was able to hold off the USA international and advance forward into the Levante box. However, Genís managed to get in front of Samuel who then gave away a free kick for a supposed push on the Levante man. Atlético Baleares continued to dominate the game and on 18 minutes the Balearic club doubled their advantage courtesy of a fine finish from Marcos De la Espada. The lively Samuel Shashoua did well to intercept a pass from Levante goalkeeper Olmedo out on the left wing. After some good footwork from the skilful young winger, Shashoua swivelled around before trying to play a quick one two with Marcos De la Espada before darting into the Levante penalty area. However, a Levante defender managed to get in front of the Atlético forward to make an important interception. Manix Mandiola’s side were playing some lovely one and two touch football during the first half and the opposition found it very difficult to deal with. Rovirola showed the right idea after he tried to feed the ball into Samuel down the left hand side of the Levante penalty area, but his pass had far too much pace on it and Samuel was unable to prevent it from going out of play. Atlético Baleares could well have extended their lead right at the beginning of the second half after captain Francesc Fullana received the ball down the right hand side of the Levante box, but instead of cutting the ball back to Samuel who had created space for himself in the middle of the box, Fullana decided to go for goal but he was unable to test Olmedo and his shot went behind for a goal kick. Unfortunately Manix Mandiola’s side had allowed Cantero to pull a goal back for the home side however, the visitors were still in control of the game. After being picked out by Francesc Fullana down the left side of the Levante box, Pedro was able to knock the ball down to Samuel who controlled the ball well. Shashoua then nutmegged ‘ Granotas ‘ defender Pablo Serrano in sublime fashion before laying the ball off to Fullana whose side footed effort went over Olmedo’s crossbar.
Samuel had a possible penalty shout after being brought down by Pablo Serrano inside the Levante box however, nothing was given by the referee. Atlético Baleares were then reduced to ten men after Pedro was shown a straight red card for a reckless sliding challenge on Cantero. Following Pedro’s dismissal Samuel was playing a lot deeper and he was essentially playing as an LWB in front of Peris. Shashoua was brought off in the 75th minute of the game for Alvaro Vega. After the final whistle had went Samuel and his teammates all went over to celebrate with the traveling ‘ Balearicos ‘ fans as the reality of them winning the league became that little bit more real after Sunday’s impressive away win. In my humble opinion Samuel was Atlético’s best player yesterday for a whole number of reasons. He took his goal well to open the scoring early on in the game but he did an awful lot more than just score what proved to be a crucial goal. The 19 year olds excellent movement and dazzling skill caused numerous problems for Levante’s talented young right back and USA international Shaq Moore. And I thought that Shashoua’s unpredictability made him very hard to defend against. The teenager from Chelsea played with an air of confidence about him on Saturday afternoon and with his many weaving runs intricate pieces of play and at times mesmeric skill, the hardworking and defensively disciplined Shashoua put in another man of the match display for Manix Mandiola’s unstoppable side. Up next for Samuel and the ‘ Balearicos ‘ is a home league game against Valencia B next Sunday morning, if Samuel plays that game then it will be his 30th competitive appearance of the season for Manix Mandiola’s side!
Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares this season: