Competition news

WHAT THE PAPERS WROTE: RACING SANTANDER VS. DEPORTIVO

07 Apr 2008
Unexpected result at El Sardinero. The media in Spain appoints that nobody was expecting this kind of exhibition by Depor. The papers in La Coru?帶 are convinced that the main reason for the success was the tactical approach implemented by Lotina, while the papers in Cantabria were feeling sorry for the missed occasion in order to reach the Champions League positions.

La Opinion A Coru?帶: Deportivo surpassed Racing and Lotina did the same with Marcelino, who was surprised with an unusual approach. Garcia Toral, the fashionable coach in Spain, prepared the game in order to attack a defence with five men. That was his main headache, and he meditated about this during the whole week, but what he didn't expect was a rival playing with overpopulation at the centre of the field. Without Guardado nor Wilhelmsson -the two more deeper-men in Lotina's scheme- the Basque coach resigned to play with true wingers and he chose to accumulate people in the centre of the pitch. He did it with the only purpose of stifling Racing in midfield, and he succeeded since the kick off.

For this, Depor's trainer reinvented his midfield with a novel design: a diamond figure. With De Guzman further delayed, Lafita up front, and with Sergio and Juan Rodriguez fallen slightly to the wings. With this approach, Deportivo dominated the line of creation, especially in the first half, and prevented Racing to develop its offensive football with comfort. The Cantabrians crashed over and over again every time they exceeded their defensive zone. They rarely arrived to Depor's area, and when they did this, they met an ordered defensive line in which youngster Piscu made a great job, nobody remembered Albert Lopo.

Angel Lafita, again very well, played with a lot of freedom and he was falling into both wings, particularly on the left. From that position he formed a partnership with Xisco that was very productive, the Majorcan still in a state of grace. Depor once again proved that's very effective in the face of the goal, the same faculty missed during the first round.

As usual, the Galician team was feeling more comfortable and generated more danger using the counterattacks than which normal actions. Lotina's approach, without any specific man attacking by the wings, forced its side defenders, Filipe and Manuel Pablo, to join the offensive tasks with assiduity. Both showed once again that, in addition to defend, they also know how to attack. The Canarian even had a clear chance to score in the first part. After the break, Deportivo administered its advantage on the scoresheet and it did it dominating its opponent, but Racing never gave a real sense of danger. Eugenio Cobas.

La Voz de Galicia: The success of a system and the effectiveness of Depor. To score three goals at the home of the best defence in Primera Divisi??n -until yesterday- is a fact that speaks for itself about the excellent game of Depor in Santander. But apart from the obvious effectiveness in the team, with Xisco in a state of grace, the key to the victory at El Sardinero must be found again in the tactical approach of the team. At El Sardinero it has been demonstrated how difficult it's to play against Deportivo. All teams, without exception, are jammed in the 5-4-1 system, including this Racing located in European positions and with great numbers playing in its own stadium.

Deportivo didn't give a choice to the rival, its positioning jammed the traffic in the mid-zone and the opponent didn't know how to attack the line of five defenders. If in addition we're talking of a team that tries to move forward and searches the offensive solutions, soon it leaves enough spaces that the Galician team is increasingly knowing how to handle. These spaces even appeared by the middle, therefore even if the theory says that's easier to attack by the wings, in the practice the danger came mainly by the centre, as it was evidenced by the plays of the first two goals.

The one from Xisco, at the first minute of the match, is an example of what you should do when a forward is playing backwards to the goal: to search the open space in order to receive the ball closer to the area, excellent control to maintain the initiative, perfect orientation during the turn and a shot searching for the post. It was the favourite move of the best Tristan. The second goal also arrived by the centre, where Pablo Amo assisted Coloccini in an action in which they demonstrated the enormous contribution of the central defenders during the offensive plays using this system.

Despite Racing reduced distances -it could only do it in a stationary play- it continued leaving spaces at the back zone, and again the counterattack gave results in a short period of time. This time, yes, in a move led by wing. The connection was perfect, because you can't move the ball faster than in the action showed by Aouate, De Guzman, Lafita and Xisco. Extraordinary pass of the Aragonian and brilliant definition of the striker. With the 1-3 in the scoresheet, Depor redeployed the lines and completely gave the initiative to the rival, something Lotina failed to compensate with the entry of Verd?? in order to hold on the ball. Alfonso Andrade.

AS: Nobody expected this. Neither in Cantabria they were awaiting a halt to the hope of travelling to Europe with its Racing, and neither in A Coru?帶 they were betting in a strong blow like the one gave by this Depor. And I understand both positions. The paths of both sides were predicting a very different result to what we saw at El Sardinero. It was the opposed. We talk a lot, too much, of the Galician wall as the only obstacle to stop the Cantabrian possibilities of entering into Champions League, but we forget that this is football and that to calculate or forecast is a waste of time. But very common.

To prove it, Xisco was the protagonist of a vibrant meeting which began to fluctuate since the first minute. The Majorcan was responsible for demonstrating that Lotina's squad not only lives of the defensive solidity that has been found since the team plays with five defenders, but also on its excellent counterattack and deadly punch. So, with these virtues, the Galicians defeated Marcelino, justly. They see now the relegation as a bad nightmare from the past, leaving its opponent three points under the top four. But with their chances intact of entering into the next UEFA cup. Alfredo Matilla.

ABC (Madrid): Xisco was lethal for Deportivo. Depor became bigger at El Sardinero thanks to two goals from Xisco -five in two matchdays- in addition to the good work of the entire team, the first goal changed the match since the first minute of play and controlled the game basing the actions in the order, good passes and effectiveness. The early goal froze the optimism in the stadium, they were searching a place in the Champions League, a responsibility their players are not accustomed to deal. In fact, yesterday was the worst match played at El Sardinero during this season. Up front, they weren't playing with the usual fluency and at in defence, they were committing too many errors, which allowed Deportivo to capitalise all its arrivals. Not even when it shorten the result Racing knew how to react. Eloy Francisco Argos.

El Diario Monta?庸s (Cantabria): One has the feeling that maybe Marcelino has not been very successful throughout the week with his constant messages of distrust over Deportivo La Coru?帶. First, because it transmitted insecurity to a squad that was coming after an exhibition in Barcelona against Espanyol. And secondly, because he's charging with responsibility and anxiety his players facing the possibility of achieving an historic classification to Europe. If this previous situation is joined by the drawback of being with a goal leaked when the game was just beginning, the initial doubts did nothing else than eat you minute by minute.

Racing, the team we are used to see, only lasted one minute during yesterday's game. The time taken by To?得 to commit an error, Oriol to finish with his bones on the ground, and Xisco to demonstrate that he's living a positive streak. Within sixty seconds, Marcelino found out that everything he had tested over the week was worthless. That the patience he had requested turned into impatience. That the speed he was searching became precipitation. And that the wisdom he was dreaming with became mistake. An error after another. And one more. And 0-2 on the scoresheet with just 25 minutes disputed during a key game for the European interests of Racing.

What else Deportivo wanted! They were able to beat twice the safest keeper in Primera Divisi??n. And they did what no other team had accomplished at El Sardinero: to see the match was played with its own style and not with the one wanted by Racing. Besides, Lotina has a clear picture in his mind. With his defence of five men, he succeeded and took Deportivo away from the fight for the permanence and even converted his team into one of the best in la liga during the second round. His tactic is simple. Two lines that are close to each other, no space for the opponent and a deadly counterattack, full of speed and verticality, which draws the shames of rival defenders, yesterday with an special emphasis over Ayoze and Pinillos.

Racing died in the system of Lotina. With the goal against them when the game was just starting, all the planning stayed on Marcelino's board. The centre of the field that should provide speed and patience, drowned between the Galician midfielders. Colsa and Duscher did nothing but to give away the ball as they were lost in endless turns, more turns, passes and inaccuracies. Serrano and Jorge Lopez were missing on the wings, despite the attempts made by both men. Munitis and Tchit? failed to come in contact with the ball, especially the second player, completely disappeared. A. S.

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