Squad news

REVIEW: MALLORCA 1 - DEPORTIVO 0 (LIGA)

22 Mar 2008
A Soulless Deportivo picked its thirteen defeat on the season and played one of the worst games during Lotina's era. The Galicians didn't show the spirit nor the ideas to defeat a simple Mallorca. The home team just capitalised a single stationary play of the best man on the pitch: Juan Arango. After this result, Depor continues to suffer at the bottom of the table.

BEFORE THE GAME
Coach Lotina sent the expected line-up, the only novelty compared to the team that defeated Real Madrid was the presence of Antonio Tom�s replacing De Guzm�n, the Canadian missed the game since he picked his fifth yellow card of the season during the past weekend. The novelty in Mallorca was that Fernando Varela replaced Lionel Scaloni in the starting eleven. The ex-Depor player wasn't totally fit and his place was taken by the Sevillan.

FIRST HALF
Both teams knew the importance of the three points, but nobody did too much during the beginning of the match. The main thing during the first five minutes was the imprecision. Neither Sergio, nor Antonio Tom�s, nor Borja Valero nor Varela were accurate with their passes and all the offensive efforts were ending in the boots of the defenders.

The first chance for the home side came until the 6th minute, a throw-in left Arango in a good position, but he couldn't control the ball and it ended in the arms of Aouate. The following opportunity arrived five minutes later, it was a dangerous drilling cross from Jonas Gutierrez that was coming from the left wing, Coloccini cleared the ball before Guiza was able to find it in the box. This were the only two opportunities within the first ten minutes of a game that was promising to be boring.

Depor's first chance came until the 19th minute, it was the first -and the only- opportunity in which Wilhelmsson was able to combine with Lafita, the ball ended in a corner-kick, later in a long distance shot from Antonio Tom�s that went over the crossbar. The defensive line of Deportivo was controlling the actions without too many problems, but the main difficulty for the Galicians was occurring in midfield and in attack: nobody had the vision to construct the game and all the offensive efforts were ending in long balls that were easily solved by the home defenders. This time neither Lafita nor Wilhelmsson were the inspired players of previous occasions. Reason why Depor's  attacks by the wings didn't have the necessary depth.

Suddenly, it came the play that would define the game. A foul on the right wing that was capitalised by Juan Arango, without doubt the best man on the pitch, at least the only one that was using his brain in order to create something. The Venezuelan threw the free kick searching for a header in the penalty spot, but nobody was able to connect the ball, Aouate lost the vision of the play and reacted late, the ball just hit the ground and it ended at the back of the net, near to the far post. It's the 14th goal for Arango on this season.

Everybody was expected a reaction from Deportivo, but this never happened. Contrary to this, it was Mallorca who continued enjoying of the ball possession, the first intervention of Mora came until the 31st minute, it was a long-distance free-kick coming from midfield that arrived to the keeper's hands without any problem. This was the only shot on target of  Depor during the entire first half (at the end the Galicians just made two throughout the encounter).

More dangerous was Mallorca, because the home team seemed more near to a new goal than Depor from the equaliser. At the 32nd minute, Pablo Amo had to intervene and cleared and new complicated cross that was searching for Guiza, this time the play was started by Varela. Two minutes later, the same Guiza wasn't able to control a long ball that was stopped by Aouate, the Israeli keeper had to intervene once again when Valero sent a shot from long-distance, the ball was contained with difficulties by the ex-Racing keeper (38').

Depor was feeling uncomfortable over the pitch, Lotina's offensive players weren't finding the ball and the pressure of the local team was choking the exits from the defenders and the movements of the midfielders. Example of this was the last chance for Mallorca during the first half. Manuel Pablo lost the ball in midfield when he was trying to build something on the right sector, the reaction of Mallorca was a quick play of Arango that ended with a pass to Borja Balero who was at the edge of the penalty area, but the shot of the Madrilenian went over the crossbar. Without doubt one of the worst first parts of Deportivo on the present season.

SECOND HALF
Lotina didn't want to make modifications for the second part and his team continued practising a 'dead' game, the defenders were searching for long balls while Sergio and Antonio Tom�s were having troubles to find Lafita and Wilhelmsson. Xisco was just fighting with the defenders. The home team seemed contagious with this 'virus' and has it happened during the first minutes of the first half, the imprecision was the thing that prevailed between the minutes 46 and 54.

Then Lotina realised that his team was needing more freshness up front, he decided to make two changes: Taborda and Guardado entered for Xisco and Lafita. Xisco once again battled for each ball (he even ended bleeding due to a wound in one ear) but he never had a clear chance, while Lafita wasn't the same brilliant player of past games.

This changes game more mobility to Depor, specially the one of Guardado who was more incisive than Lafita. The entrance of Taborda also meant that Lotina was betting in the aerial game in order to clinch something positive from this game. The first chance for the Uruguayan was a long free-kick from Sergio, but the shot was too wide and neither Taborda nor Lopo were able to find the ball in the box (57'), although a penalty was protested by the visitors after a defender pushed Lopo inside the penalty area. But the referee didn't whistled anything.

Depor's most dangerous opportunity occurred one minute later, a good sequence between Guardado and Filipe on the left ended with a lost ball at the edge of the penalty area, Sergio found it and sent a powerful shot that Moya deflected. It was the only opportunity in which the home keeper had to intervene in order to save his team.

After the first two modifications of Lotina, Mallorca decided to give the ball to Deportivo, the visitors enjoyed of the possession during big part of the second half, but they never knew what to do with it. Depor's players were just sending cross after cross, always searching for the head of Taborda.  Meanwhile the locals were speculating with dangerous counterattacks, actions that were leaded by Arango and by an imprecise Guiza.

One of the most dangerous crosses from Depor came at the 64th minute, Guardado sent the ball from the left and Wilhelmsson tried to make an acrobatic shot, but the ball went over the crossbar without any problem for Moya. The response from Mallorca was double, first Arango with a mid-distance shot that Aouate contained with problems (67'), one minute late Guiza lost a long ball from midfield when he was ready to face Aouate one-on-one.

At the 75th minute, the combination Arango-Guiza gave once again problems to Deportivo, the Venezuelan stole a ball and sent a quick pass to the Andalucian but one again Guiza sent the ball to Aouate's arms. At this point of the game, the script was simple: Depor was having the ball and Mallorca was holding at the back waiting for a deadly counterattacks. The main problem for the Galicians was that they were moving too much the ball in their zone, they never felt comfortable with the situation and once again all the danger had to be created trough long balls and stationary plays.

Another good opportunity for Depor came with Filipe Luis, who once again was constantly participating in the offensive plays on the left wing, this time he found a secondary play at the edge of the area after Taborda headed a long ball, but the Brazilian wasn't able to connect properly, his effort went wide.

It was the last play for Filipe, because one minute later he was replaced by Riki. It was a strange and desperate movement by Lotina. Depor started to play with four defenders, while Riki started to perform as second striker, just behind Taborda. The variant didn't work, because the Madrilenian was sent off by the referee after thirteen minutes on the pitch. Riki picked two yellow cards, first for a doubtful foul in midfield and later for handling the ball in the last minute of the game.

Deportivo's main hope was to recollect a dead ball at the edge of the area or to capitalise a corner-kick, but this time the occasions never came, all the rebounds were favourable to Mallorca and the home team was even close to double its advantage during the last minutes. First with a long ball of Arango to Guiza, the Andalucian wasted the chance despite he was able to elude Aouate, later the same Guiza headed out a cross from Jon�s Gutierrez. It was a miracle because Aouate was lost in the play and the easiest thing was to score the goal, but Guiza sent the ball wide. Mallorca didn't do too much, but they seemed more dangerous than Depor every time they were reaching Aouate's area.

AFTER THE GAME
Pathetic game for Deportivo. Pathetic because Mallorca never seemed to be a dangerous  rival, contrary to this, the home team was happy with the small difference in the score achieved in the first half and spent the second part of the encounter wasting time and speculating with sporadic counterattacks. But Deportivo was a dead team, one that didn't had the ideas nor the spirit to search the equaliser.

The same Lotina seemed resigned to search the equaliser using the head of Taborda and the crosses from Guardado. At the end one of the worst games in Lotina's era. The Galicians wasted the chance to climb in la liga and now they will have to wait for Saturday's results in order to know how close will they end from the relegation. The next opportunity to react will be on the next Sunday, it's a game at the Riazor against Real Murcia (20h00).

MATCH STATISTICS
Mallorca: Moy� - H�ctor, Nunes, David Navarro, Fernando Navarro - Varela (Web� 77'), Ramis, Borja Valero (Scaloni 82'),  Jon�s Gutierrez - Arango (Tuni 90+3'), G�iza.
Deportivo: Aouate - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Pablo Amo, Coloccini, Filipe (Riki 77') - Sergio, Antonio Tom�s - Wilhemsson, Lafita (Guardado 56') - Xisco (Taborda 56').
Goal: 1-0:  (21') Arango.
Referee: Fern�ndez Borbal�n. He showed yellow card to Pablo Amo (18'), Ramis (48'), Varela (71'), Coloccini (72'). Riki was sent off (90+3').
Venue: Ono Stadi (10,000).
Other statistics: Ball possession (42% - 58%); Total shots (7 - 9); Shots on target (5 - 2); Saves by the keepers (1 - 3); Corner-kicks  (5 - 5); Offsides (1 - 1); Fouls committed (18 - 18).

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