Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Valencia CF Mestalla:
Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua was in action for Atlético Baleares on Sunday afternoon in the Spanish Segunda Division B Group III, when Manix Mandiola’s table toppers welcomed Valencia CF Mestalla to the Son Malferit. The inform Samuel Shashoua completed the entirety of the ‘ Balearicos ‘ 3-2 win over Valencia as Manix Mandiola’s edge ever closer to clinching the Spanish Segunda Division B Group III title and a place in the simplified section of the play offs, on what was his 30th competitive appearance for the Spanish club. Samuel put in an outstanding performance for the Balearic club on Sunday as he started the game out on the left wing. At times very David Silva-esque, it was a highly influential performance from the 19 year old. His intelligent movement, reading of the game, stamina, passing and all round craftsmanship proved to be pivotal in Atlético securing all three points and overcoming Valencia. Shashoua chipped in with an assist but on another day he could have had a hat trick of assists. Manix Mandiola’s side started the game well and after putting pressure on the Valencia defence during the opening stages of the game the visitors started to look vulnerable. After receiving Francesc Fullana’s pass out on the left flank Samuel did well to hold off Valencia fullback Guillem before attempting to cross the ball into the danger zone, but it was blocked by Valencia captain Miki Muñoz. A couple of moments later Shashoua was found once again by Fullana down the left flank, this time he opted to put a first time delivery into the Valencia box. Shashoua clipped an excellent first time cross into the danger zone where he managed to pick out Atlético striker Nuha who sent a dangerous looping header narrowly wide of Christian’s goal. Around five minutes later Samuel was given the ball by Nuha out on the left wing but Samuel’s resulting low cross into the Valencia box was cleared by Muñoz. Shashoua had been making some good sprints during the early periods of the game and he was constantly looking to create space for himself. After being given the ball by Peris out on the left flank Samuel laid the ball off for Fullana on the edge of the Valencia box but his resulting effort was saved relatively comfortably by Valencia goalkeeper Christian.
Despite being tightly marked by the oppositions defence Samuel continued to work hard in order to try and influence the game. A nice bit of skill down the left flank resulted in Samuel side stepping his way past Guillem before passing the ball to the overlapping Peris, but his resulting cross was cleared away by a Valencia defender. Another fine cross from Shashoua on the left flank caused more problems for the Valencia defence after it picked out Canario who was in space inside the danger zone, the Atlético wingers resulting overhead kick flashed narrowly wide of Christian’s goal. However, the visitors took a surprising lead in the 34th minute of the game through Javi Jiménez who scored from a Valencia free kick. Mandiola’s side tried to respond, after Nuha managed to head the ball down to Samuel inside the Valencia box the Spurs man attempted to pass the ball across the face of the goal but it was cleared away by a Valencia defender. A nice bit of play resulted in Shashoua controlling Canario’s long pass out on the left wing, he then shimmied his way around Pascu as he surged forward into the penalty area where he was met by Javi Jiménez who managed to put Samuel off, and he ended up putting the ball behind for a goal kick. Atlético Baleares managed to respond shortly before the interval after Villapolos headed home a free kick from Francesc Fullana a matter of moments before the referee blew his whilstle for halftime. The second half couldn’t have started any better for Samuel’s team, less than three minutes into the second half Atlético took the lead for the first time in the game and Shashoua had a lot to do with the goal. After sending an excellent clipped cross deep into the Valencia box Samuel managed to pick out the head of Vallori who headed the ball towards goal. However, it was jabbed past Christian by the alert Nuha from close range to give the home side the lead. Shashoua started to become even more involved in the game during the second half, after being given the ball by Kike López down the right side of the Valencia box, Samuel cut inside onto his left foot before laying the ball off to Marcos De la Espada on the edge of the penalty area. However, the Atlético midfielders resulting effort was deflected behind for a corner kick. A couple of moments after Nuha had had a goal harshly ruled out, Samuel managed his first goal attempt of the game. A clever move started with Marcos De la Espada who passed the ball to Shashoua who, then sprinted his way past both Muñoz and Guillem and into the Valencia penalty area before coming inside onto his right foot and curling an effort wide of Christian’s goal. Samuel’s effort was deemed to have taken a deflection off a Valencia defender by the referee and so a corner kick was given. Atlético’s third goal of the game duly arrived on the hour mark and it was set up by Samuel. After latching onto Kike López’s pass down the right flank Samuel cleverly turned his way past Guerrero
and into the Valencia box, before clipping an inch perfect cross into Marcos De la Espada. The Atlético midfielder rose up to meet Shashoua’s cross before powering an unstoppable header perfectly into the top right hand corner of the goal. A couple of minutes later the lively Samuel Shashoua decided to try his luck from long range but his shot was blocked by Valencia defender Miki Muñoz. The visitors did manage to pull a goal back through Sekou however, Atlético managed to see out the remaining minutes of the game with relative ease. An ambitious but cleverly thought of through ball from Samuel to Nuha was cut out by Javi Jiménez a couple of minutes before Samuel came inside from the right flank before lashing an effort well wide of Christian’s goal from long range. That was to be Shashoua’s final involvement in the game. It was an outstanding performance from the inform 19 year old, the West Londoner played like he was a seasoned pro. Not only was he excellent on the ball and highly productive as you would have just read, there was a remarkable intelligence about Shashoua’s game. I really paid close attention to his movement off the ball and it really was top class. His crossing, passing, vision, hold up play and ball control were all fantastic on the day but I thought that it was Samuel’s desire to run and create space for himself as well as the sharpness of his movement which were the important of all. This is a young man who is maturing by each passing game.
Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares this season: