Squad news

REVIEW: OSASUNA 0 - DEPORTIVO 1 (LIGA)

20 Apr 2008
Fourth straight win in la liga and Depor reaches the Intertoto spot, something that seemed impossible a couple of months ago. But it wasn't a comfortable win for the Galicians, because Osasuna had enough chances to secure a better result, the home strikers wasted all the opportunities while Depor capitalised one of its two chances. The hero of the day was Sergio who scored the goal after a doubtful penalty and who also saved his team from the goal line.

BEFORE THE GAME
Big surprise at Deportivo's squad, Lotina left Angel Lafita sited on the bench and his place on the left sector was taken by Xisco, while Sebasti�n Taborda entered into the starting eleven in order to play as the lonely striker. It was just the second appearance of the Uruguayan as starter during the present season and the first one since September of the past year (matchday 02 Vs. Valladolid). Other novelty was Antonio Barrag�n who was replacing the suspended Manuel Pablo. There were a lot of rumours about the absence of Lafita from the line-up, some related to his previous declarations before the game started ("All the people in Pamplona hate Zaragoza").

In Osasuna, Ziganda was presenting the expected team. With Kike Sola, Carlos Vela and Plasil as the main references up front. The main novelty was to see Corrales covering the left-back position since Nacho Monreal was suspended. Osasuna's officials declared this game as the day for the pe�as, reason why Reyno de Navarra had an acceptable attendance (18,122).

FIRST HALF
The actions were clearly dominated by Osasuna, Los Rojillos enjoyed of the ball possession -at minute 30 it was 62%- and had the better chances to score. As Ziganda said before the game, it was going to be a very tactical game, and it ended like that, he ordered that all the attacks of Osasuna should be focused on Depor's right side, place were Barrag�n was covering the absence of Manuel Pablo. The first opportunity arrived at the 2nd minute, it was an individual play of Carlos Vela that ended with a shot that Aouate stopped.

One minute later, Corrales tested from long-distance after he received a pass from the same Vela, the ball went wide. Coach Lotina was fearing a defeat, he insisted before the game that his men shouldn't lose the concentration after accepting the permanence was already a materialised event. This time the Me�aka-born trainer presented a very passive scheme, with Wilhelmmson marking Pu�al in midfield, this in order to obstruct the ideas of Osasuna.

Depor seemed to react at the 7th minute, Barrag�n sent a cross to the box from the right wing and Filipe Luis headed the ball on target, but Ricardo was there to sent the ball to a corner-kick. But this reaction was just an illusion. In fact, Filipe's attempt was the lonely shot on goal for Depor throughout the first period. With Wilhelmsson more worried in defending and with Xisco lost on the left, all the game was focused in long balls searching for the head of Taborda.

And then the best minutes of Osasuna arrived. At the 16th minute, Coloccini committed a foul over Plasil, Pu�al took the free-kick and the ball hit the barrier, then the rebound was found by Juanfran who was alone against Aouate, the Israeli keeper deflected his shot and the action ended in a corner-kick. Then Plasil took the corner and after a rebound in the penalty spot, Argentinean Astudillo headed the ball into the top-left corner of Aouate, everybody at Reyno de Navarra was starting to celebrate the goal, but Sergio was standing in the goal line and the Catalan was able to clear the danger with the head.

Lotina's side was suffering while Osasuna was showing once again the lack of aim of its strikers, same problem that caused the last two home defeats for the Navarans. Osasuna continued insisting and at the 20th minute, Cruchaga headed a new free-kick taken by Pu�al, this time the ball went out. One minute later, the action was repeated, but in this opportunity Miguel Fla�o was the one that missed the chance.

At least Deportivo had two chances before the first half ended, the first one occurred at the 33rd minute, Filipe Luis took a free-kick on the right wing and Taborda throw himself to the ground in order to head the ball, but his effort went out. Four minutes later,  during a counterattack, Barrag�n tried to surprise with a long-distance shot, but the ball went wide. Osasuna had a final chance at the 42nd minute, Pu�al was assisted by Juanfran, but his shot was deflected by a defender.

The scheme of Lotina wasn't working, Wilhelmsson was having troubles with Pu�al, and the ball wasn't arriving to Taborda nor Xisco. Depor's only attempts came through counterattacks and set-pieces and the team wasn't feeling comfortable over the grass. At least Osasuna was wasting its chances, something they would pay during the second part.

SECOND HALF
Things didn't change during the final 45 minutes. Osasuna continued enjoying of the ball possession, while Depor was waiting at the back and speculating with counterattacks. And the home side just lasted four minutes in order to create panic at Depor's defensive side. Once again during a free-kick taken by Pu�al, the ball was deflected first by a defender and Astudillo found it sending a drilling shot that hit Aouate's left post.

The reaction of Depor came with a counterattack leaded by Barrag�n, the right-back sent a cross to the box that was headed by Taborda, but the effort of the Uruguayan went out (50'). Carlos Vela had two opportunities during the following minutes, both chances stopped by Aouate. The first one in a one-on-one action against the ex-Racing keeper (57') and later after the Mexican found in the box a cross from Corrales (59').

Ziganda felt a sensation of D�j� vu as he saw how his team was wasting its chances, then he decided to replace a disappeared Kike Sola with Dady, while Lotina was forced to make a modification after Barrag�n suffered a muscular problem, his place was taken by Cristian, the Catalan winger had to play as a right-back during the final thirty minutes.

And Dady had a clear chance just seconds after his entrance, he sent a powerful shot after receiving a good pass of Carlos Vela, but Aouate made the save (63'). Depor was suffering and a draw seemed like a good result for the visitors. Midfield wasn't working and Lotina was even playing with an emergency solution at the right-back position, But then it came the unthinkable, an error of referee Ram�rez Dominguez that meant a decisive goal for Depor.

Filipe Luis was entering into Osasuna's penalty area by the left sector, he was alone against three rivals, suddenly he felt down after a challenge of Cruchaga, the referee called the penalty although the repetition in the TV transmission showed that the defender didn't touch the Brazilian. But Sergio didn't mind and scored the winning goal from the penalty spot. It's his fifth goal on the season, his second in two games and his third within the last four games played by Depor at Reyno de Navarra.

Osasuna didn't surrender and just two minutes after Depor's goal, the home side had a clear chance to equalise the actions, this time it was Plasil who headed a cross from Dady, the ball went out (66'). Later the same Dady assisted Pu�al who sent a wide shot (70'). Then, Lotina made his two final changes. Riki entered for Xisco and refreshed the striking zone, the Majorcan didn't had any clear chance during the 67 minutes he spent on the pitch. Later Juan Rodr�guez replaced Wilhelmsson, it was a tough game for the Swedish winger, he had the complicate mission to stop Pu�al and now the Andalucian midfielder was responsible of that particular task.

The home team continued insisting, but without the same intensity. Walter Pandiani replaced Astudillo for the final fifteen minutes, he had two chances with the head. The first one went out after a good cross from Corrales, and the second ended in the same way, this time the cross was made by H�ctor Font, player that replaced Juanfran some minutes before. The game ended with two mid-distances shots from Sergio and De Guzm�n, but without consequences.

AFTER THE GAME
Suffered victory for Deportivo. It wasn't the most brilliant game of the Galicians, but the effort done in defence and the effectiveness to capitalise one of the two shots on target was enough to add the fourth straight win in la liga. Osasuna just suffered what Depor has suffered during the first round: lack of aim. The Navarans enjoyed of the ball possession and had five opportunities to score, but they failed too much while Aouate did the rest.

With this great result, Depor is now eighth in the table, meaning the Galicians are already occupying the Intertoto spot (Almeria is 7th but the Andalucians aren't inscribed for the competition). Besides, Lotina's side is just six points under Sevilla, the 6th place in the table and the frontier that represents a direct qualification for the next UEFA cup. However, the mathematical salvation isn't secured as the 18th place continues to be nine points away, all of this with just five matches remaining in the calendar. Depor's next game is the visit of Barcelona to Riazor (Saturday 20h00).

MATCH STATISTICS
Osasuna: Ricardo - Azpilicueta, Cruchaga, Miguel Fla�o, Corrales - Pu�al, Astudillo (Pandiani 75') - Juanfran (H�ctor Font 60'), Plasil, Vela - Kike Sola (Dady 60').
Deportivo: Aouate - Barrag�n (Cristian 60'), Lopo, Pablo Amo, Coloccini, Filipe Luis - Sergio, De G�zman - Wilhelmsson (Juan Rodr�guez, m.79), Taborda - Xisco (Riki 67').
Goal: 0-1: (65') Sergio (penalty).
Referee: Rafael Ram�rez Dom�nguez. He showed yellow card to (41'),  Sergio (46'), Wilhelmsson (60'), Cruchaga (63'), Plasil (64') and De Guzm�n (68')
Venue: Reyno de Navarra (18,122)
Other statistics: Ball possession (59% - 41%); Total shots (16 - 7); Shots on target (5 - 2); Saves by the keepers (1 - 6); Corner-kicks  (5 - 3); Offsides (1 - 1); Fouls committed (16 - 22).

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