28th August 2016
After a promising end to last season Las Palmas kicked off the new La Liga with a very impressive away win at Valencia last Monday night winning 4-2. With a few new players signing during the summer, the home fans arrived to the Gran Canaria stadium full of enthusiasm for the season ahead.
Arguineguin local sports pundit, Juan Antonio, gave us his run down for the coming season:
“In my opinion, the most reasonable target for UD Las Palmas next season is to stay in La Liga. In spite of their great end to last season, we must keep our feet on the ground and focus on remaining a La Liga team for the club’s best success in 2016-2017.
Hopefully with the new pitch in perfect condition, Quique Setién’s passing game style will make our recently renovated stadium a very difficult place for visiting teams. UD Las Palmas players have shown that they can keep ball possesion as much as any of the La Liga top clubs. Once again, the main point is to improve scoring.
UD Las Palmas have signed 4 new players for the next season:
Twenty-two-year-old Croatian forward (9) Marko Livaja is the player who must help Argentine Sergio Araujo improve his performance from last season, by signing Livaja manager Quique Setién is sending the superb Argentinian striker an ultimatum;
Twenty-six-year-old Brazilian back right (12) Michel Macedo Rocha is a great signing. A typical Brazilian attacking defender, Macedo has shown in the pre season friendlies that David Simón is going to struggle finding his place in the starting line up.
Young Argentinian left wing (19) Mateo García is totally unknown to me. This player has been playing for Instituto Atlético Central de Córdoba in the Argentinian Second Division. Hopefully he will adapt quickly to the European style, particularly considering UD moves the ball very quickly.
And finally, (7) Kevin Prince Boateng. A totally unexpected signing. He is going to be the best paid player in the team and of course everyone is expecting a lot from the African midfielder. We must be a bit patient with his performance, as he has been off for a long time in the last months. I find Boateng a very good complementary player to release Jonathan Viera from defenders’ close surveillance.
Let us hope the best of this new season.”
UD Las Palmas already have a great start to the season, a decisive win in their first match away against Valencia, a totally renovated team, a new manager and plenty of money. Can it be any clearer to thier rivals? Las Palmas have continued in the same direction as the end of last season.
The game starts brightly with both teams playing some neat passing moves.
On 5mins El Zhar gets into a good position inside the box but somehow misses the target.
New striker Marko Livaja breaks the offside trap and is in on goal, he goes around the keeper but is brought down only to be booked for diving and nothing given by the ref.
On 23 mins LP break again down the right, Granada fail to clear the ball, El Zhar breaks and this time smashes a right foot shot into the bottom corner of the net, 1-0 LP. LP are well on top now and our playing a pressing game and are forcing the visitors into mistakes.
Vicente finds himself in a great position but his shot is well saved. Then 2 mins later, El Zhar goes clear down the right but again his shot is saved. He should have doubled the lead there.
New signing Prince Boateng gets booked for a late tackle. Right on half time, and their first real chance of the match, Granada equalize. A good move followed by a shot from the edge of the box finds the bottom corner leaving Varas in the home goal no chance. 1-1
Half Time – Las Palmas 1. Granada 1.
The Verdict of The Saint- LP will be very disappointed going in level at half time. They have dominated the first half and missed a couple of really good chances. They need to start taking their chances in the 2nd half and keep up their high pressing game.
2nd half begins brightly again with LP on the attack.
Livaja breaks clear after a great turn and pass by J. Viera but Livaja puts his shot over when he should of scored.
Granada are on the attack but nothing comes of the move.
Varas in the home goal launches a quick long ball and finds Livaja in space on the left wing. He runs clear and finds Boateng in space on his own, on the edge of the box. He manages to out jump the on rushing keeper and the ball loops over him into the empty net. 2-1 LP. That was an excellent quick move and a great finish but Boateng got caught by the keeper and after the re-start has to go off injured, which is a shame for the home fans who have been very impressed by his home debut.
60 mins played and LP go close again with a free kick by Viera, more good work from Viera sets up El Zhar on the far post who neatly chips the ball over the advancing keeper to make it 3-1.
It’s one way traffic now and El Zhar breaks clear down the right wing, pulls an excellent ball back to the unmarked Mono who slots in another, 4-1.
75th min Sub Araujo puts Vicente clear but he sees his shot cleared off the line by a last ditch effort from the away defender. Some more attacking play sees Viera break down the left wing and finds Araujo in plenty of space and calmly slots home a 5th for the home side. Viera again goes close in injury time but a good save by the keeper keeps it to 5.
Full time – Las Palmas 5 Granada 1
The Verdict of The Saint – well what a performance by the boys in yellow, they totally controlled the game from start to finish and the score line could have been even higher. The new signings looked good, they played some excellent, fast flowing football especially in the 2nd half where Granada were totally outplayed.
The pitch, which was awful for most parts of last season, looks good which helped the home side with there neat passing game.
The 18,832 crowd went home very happy and it’s a shame that there is an international break now and no game for 2 weeks. Next home game is on Saturday 17th September, 19.45 KO.
Let’s hope we can keep this form going. Could LP be the next Leicester City of the Spanish league? You just never know!!!!!
If you are interested in finding out more about attending UD Las Palmas matches, or you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you can email The Saint directly on TheSaint@TheCanaryNews.com