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REVIEW: RACING SANTANDER 1 - DEPORTIVO 3 (LIGA)

05 Apr 2008
A great Deportivo did the unthinkable: it scored three goals against the best defence in Spain and later it gave a lesson of defence. All of that at El Sardinero, stadium in which Racing had only leaked eight goals on the present season. The Cantabrians were only able to make some damage through stationary plays. Once again Xisco (and his bandage) was the hero, this time scoring two goals.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina cleared the mystery and it was Juan Rodr?­guez who replaced Wilhelmsson in midfield, meanwhile Adri??n L??pez 'Piscu' was returning to the first squad in order to take the place of Albert Lopo in the centre of the defence. The curios thing was to see Xisco wearing the same bandage of the past game, the stitches in his ear were already removed but he thought it was bringing him good luck. In The other side, Marcelino was trusting in the expected squad with Duscher, Colsa, Munitis and Tchite as the references.

FIRST HALF
Coach Marcelino said before the game that in order to defeat Depor, his team would need an early goal or instead a lot of patience. His words turned into a premonition because patience was exactly what Racing missed throughout the game. The Cantabrians are chasing the fourth spot in la liga, the same one that gives a ticket to the next Champions League, that was their doom.

Because the lack of patience was what lead them to defeat. With just one and a half minute on the clock, goalkeeper To?±o was desperate to start a quick counterattack after he caught a free-kick of Sergio that was previously headed by Pablo Amo. The shot of the keeper was so defective, that the same Sergio intercepted the ball in midfield, Racing's defence was starting to make the transition to the attack and they lost the concentration, then Sergio sent a long ball to Xisco who eluded Oriol at the edge of the penalty area and sent a drilling shot into To?±o's bottom-left corner.

The goal stunned the local side and it meant the perfect start for Deportivo, who just had to expend the rest of game controlling the ball. With a Juan Rodr?­guez that was more involved in destructive tasks, Sergio and De Guzm??n dominated midfield while neither Duscher nor Colsa were making the correct passes to Tchit?© and Munitis. Therefore Racing was only able to create troubles through stationary plays.

One of this actions ended with the first shot on target for the Cantabrians, it was Pedro Munitis with a shot controlled by Aouate after a free-kick taken by ?“scar Serrano (12'). Munitis replied nine minutes later with a new shot on target after receiving a pass from Jorge L??pez, but once again Aouate contained the danger. Pablo Amo warned that Depor was a dangerous side in corner-kick actions after he headed out a cross from Filipe Luis (22'), and three minutes later the second goal arrived.

Once again a proof of the precipitation at Racing, Sergio took a corner on the left side, the ball was cleared by a defender and the local players started to run trying to start a quick counterattack, but what the found was the same medicine, because Lafita headed the ball first than Serrano, then Pablo Amo replied at the edge of the penalty area and the ball turned into a perfect volley to Fabricio Coloccini who entered by the left in order to send a new drilling shot that To?±o couldn't stop.

0-2 and Racing seemed knocked down, the Cantabrians couldn't do anything during the following ten minutes and Depor was having a pleasant game, but things started to shake after Pablo Amo handled a ball at the edge of Depor's area. As result of this action, Jorge L??pez took advantage of the occasion and scored the goal with a great free-kick.

Suddenly, it seemed that Deportivo would suffer during the rest of the game, specially after C?©sar Navas headed a new free-kick taken by Jorge L??pez, this time the ball ended in Aouate's hands (42'). But the ghosts of Racing were stronger, because Depor scored during the counterattack of that particular play, Aouate gave the ball to De Guzman and the Canadian sent a long pass to Angel Lafita, the Aragonian  made a wonderful play on the left wing and drilled the ball between Pinillos and Ayoze, then Xisco arrived alone and sent the third low shot that defeated To?±o, this time into his bottom-right corner. It's the ninth goal for the Mallorcan on the season and his fifth within two games. Game over. Xisco even had the chance to score a new hat-trick, but he headed out a corner-kick of Filipe when the first half was ending.

SECOND HALF
Marcelino knew he was needing a revulsive in the second half and that's why he sent Euzebiusz Smolarek in order to replace Mohammed Tchit?©, the ex-Anderlecht striker did nothing in the first part, but it was Gonzalo Colsa who had the first chance for his team. Once again after a stationary play taken by Jorge L??pez (corner-kick), Aouate cleared the danger (48').

Racing made a better job in the second half, but Deportivo gave a lesson in defence against the best defence in Spain. The three central defenders never gave clear opportunities to the rivals and the Cantabrians only had three new attempts in the rest of the game. Special mention to Piscu who seemed as a veteran alongside Pablo Amo and Coloccini.

The first of Racing's three occasions was a new action in a free-kick taken by Jorge L??pez, this time it was a double attempt because the initial chance hit the barrier (62'). Ten minutes before, Juan Rodr?­guez started one of the few opportunities in which Depor tried to increase its lead in the score, but his shot from inside the penalty area ended out.

With time passing, Marcelino made a desperate move, he replaced a defender -Ayoze- with striker Iv??n Bolado, the third youngest player in Primera Divisi??n. The change didn't modified the pace of the game, Bolado was unnoticed on the pitch but neither Depor was pushing up front.

The most dangerous play for Racing came at the 71st minute, once again in a stationary play taken by Jorge L??pez, this time a corner-kick that was headed by Smolarek, the ball was near to enter but Coloccini headed the ball out when he was standing in the goal line. The home team had an additional chance through Colsa with a mid-distance shot that was contained by Aouate. (76')

And that was all, because Lotina spent the last fifteen minutes making his substitutions, first replacing Lafita with Joan Verd?? and later Xisco with Riki. During the final minute Antonio Tom??s entered for Sergio, the Catalan made a new solid presentation and participated in two of the three goals. The final chance for Racing came during the stoppage time, Iv??n Bolado headed without consequences a corner-kick taken by Munitis.

AFTER THE GAME
Solid demonstration of Deportivo at El Sardinero, Lotina's team scored three goals against the best defence in Spain and it did it capitalising the anxiety of the local players, because the three goals were conquered at the precise moment, just when the rival was more distracted. Later in the second half, Depor made a good job in defence and Racing only created danger through the stationary plays of Jorge L??pez.

For the first occasion in a long time, Depor is more near to Europe than to relegation, because now the Galicians are just five points under the 7th spot (Espanyol with 45), while the relegation zone is now seven points under Depor (Zaragoza, 18th with 33). However, Lotina's team isn't saved yet and must give a step forward during the next game, encounter against an 'old friend': Joaqu?­n Caparr??s and his Athletic Bilbao (Sunday 17h00 at the Riazor).

MATCH STATISTCIS
Racing Santander: To?±o - Pinillos, Oriol, C?©sar Navas, Ayoze (Iv??n Bolado 65') - Jorge L??pez, Duscher, Colsa, Serrano - Munitis, Tchit?© (Smolarek 46').
Deportivo: Aouate - Manuel Pablo, Piscu, Pablo Amo, Coloccini, Filipe - Sergio (Antonio Tom??s 90'), De Guzm??n - Juan Rodr?­guez, Lafita (Verd?? 76') - Xisco (Riki 85')
Goals: 0-1: (2') Xisco, 0-2: (25') Coloccini, 1-2: (37') Jorge L??pez, 1-3: (42') Xisco.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo. He showed yellow card to Lafita (41'), Serrano (52'), Pablo Amo (58'), Colsa (73'), Iv??n Bolado (82'), Smolarek (83') and De Guzm??n (89').
Venue: El Sardinero (20,131).
Other statistics: Ball possession (64% - 36%); Total shots (13 - 10); Shots on target (8 - 3); Saves by the keepers (0 - 6); Corner-kicks  (9 - 3); Offsides (4 - 2); Fouls committed (22 - 18).

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