Squad news

REVIEW: ALMERIA 0 – DEPORTIVO 1 (LIGA)

30 Nov 2008
Deportivo prolongs its good moment on the season as it clinched it second away victory in la liga. It was poor game in which both teams did nothing in the first part, but things were defined in the second half as Negredo was sent off and as Verd?? missed a penalty and later scored the winning goal for Lotina’s squad.

BEFORE THE GAME 
No surprises in the lineups presented by both coaches, Lotina was keeping the 4-2-3-1 system used on the season with Joan Verd??, Angel Lafita and Andr?s Guardado as the main references in attack, this time they were joined by Mista. At Almeria, coach Arconada was trusting in Alvaro Negredo while he allowed the comeback of Albert Crusat, winger that was attacking by the side of Manuel Pablo.

FIRST HALF
As it usually happens when Depor plays away from home, Lotina’s squad was looking pretty harmless in attack. Joan Verd?? was carrying with the weight of Depor’s game, always trying to move the ball behind the defensive line of the rival. However, Depor was not able to make a shot on target in the entire first part.

The problem was that the connection with Lafita and Guardado was not working, while Mista was lost on the pitch, as a demonstration of this is to mention the fact that the ex-Valencia was caught in offside just seconds after the kick-off, it was during a long pass of Antonio Tom??s.

But a similar thing was occurring at the other side of the pitch, because Negredo, Piatti and Crusat weren’t appearing and Depor’s defence was also enjoying of a pleasant night. The home side was only able to make a shot on target throughout the game. With those arguments is possible to realise how poor was the game, especially during the first half.

The whole offensive proposition made by Deportivo during the first half can be resumed in three wide shots, the first one made by Mista after a pass of Lafita (6’), the second of Antonio Tom??s after a pass of Verd?? (16’), and the last one taken by Mista after a counterattack (41’). The best collective play of Deportivo occurred at minute 26, it was a series of passes between Guardado, Verd?? and Lafita, but this last one missed to connect with Mista and the ball ended in the arms of Diego Alv?s. It also seemed dangerous a cross of Guardado that Alv?s intercepted (34’)

At Almeria, things were not too good, Negredo was not finding any opportunity mainly because Depor’s defensive line was really focused. Like the case with Deportivo, the home team just had three attempts to score during the first half. The first one at minute 6, it was a wide shot of Crusat after a pass from Negredo, the second was a shot of Negredo after a pass of Ortiz, and it also ended out. The last one was the lonely shot on target made by both teams in the first part, it occurred at minute 39 and it was made by Juan Manuel Ortiz, but Aranzubia stopped the ball without any problem.

It was one of the most boring first halves on this season, the connection up front was simply inexistent and Depor didn’t have any occasion against Alv?s. At least the defensive zone was working as Almeria was also out of the game.

SECOND HALF
The excitement was bigger in the second part, though the level of the game continued to be poor. Depor had its first occasion in the game at minute 49, it was combination on the left between Mista and Lafita that ended with the Aragonian firing on target, the ball hit the body of Alv?s and then Lafita had a second chance, but his final shot went over the crossbar.

Just one minute later, Alvaro Negredo was sent off for elbowing Lopo in the head after both players were fighting for the ball, the true is that the call of referee Iturralde Gonz??lez was polemic, because it seemed that it wasn’t intentional. The exit of the only attacker at Almeria facilitated the things to Depor, though the home team tried to maintain the initiative in the game.

However what changed the game were the modifications made by both coaches. Gonzalo Arconada decided to be conservator as he replaced Juan Manuel Ortiz with Juanma, a modification that was putting more contention in midfield. Meanwhile Lotina was replacing the striker at his formation, this after Riki entered for Mista. The modification refreshed the offensive line at Depor as the Madrilenian was more active and participative.

Actually it was Riki who created the play that ended in the penalty for Depor (68’). The ex-Getafe started the play at the border of the area, he passed the ball to Verd?? who returned the ball to Riki when he was entering to the box by the left wing, then Carlos Garc?a tackled the Madrilenian when he was near to send a cross to the box. Referee Iturralde Gonz??lez called the penalty and Joan Verd?? took the shot, but the Catalan missed the chance as the ball hit the crossbar and then went to the ground before ending cleared by a defender.

It seemed that Depor was missing the big chance to take the three points, but Joan Verd?? came back five minutes later to claim for redemption as he scored the winning goal for Depor. The play was again started by Riki who had the ball at the centre, he assisted Guardado on the right wing, then the Mexican tried to send a cross to the box, but the ball hit a rival and Riki fought for it, somehow he managed to make a pass to Guardado who entered to the area by the right side to drill the ball to the penalty spot, Verd?? was there to fire on target, Carlos Garcia contained the shot with his chest, but Verd?? collected the dead ball to score the goal from close range.

The goal broke the game and gave more confidence to Deportivo, actually the Galician team had two clear chances to increase the score within the final minutes, while the goal killed an Almeria who didn’t have the way to respond. Lotina made his final substitutions allowing the entry of Cristian for Lafita and De Guzm??n for Antonio Tom??s.

Riki, who was the ?revulsive’ during second half, was the one who enjoyed of the final two occasions, first with a drilling shot that went close to the left post of Alv?s after a solo-play made by the Madrilenian (88’) and later after he missed to connect the ball when he was alone against Almeria’s keeper (90+1’).

AFTER THE GAME
Important victory for a Deportivo that didn’t shine but that took advantage of its opportunity, Joan Verd?? missed a penalty but he came back five minutes later to score the winning goal for his team. The work in defence was also pretty good and Lotina’s side added its 7th clean sheet in 13 liga games, something remarkable as no one else at Primera Divisi??n has achieved that mark.

The result is leaving Deportivo in the 7th spot, tied in points with Atl?tico Madrid who defeated Racing Santander (4-1). On the next weekend Depor will host Malaga FC at the Riazor (17h00), another important game against a direct rival that’s also trying to reach the European places. But before that, Depor travels to Poland in order to face Lech Poznan (Thursday 20h45), match that could mean the pass to the next round in the UEFA Cup.
 
MATCH STATISTICS
Almer?a: Diego Alves - Bruno, Carlos Garc?a, Pellerano, Man? - Juanito (Corona 77’), Julio ?lvarez - Jos? Ortiz (Juanma Ortiz 57’), Piatti (Natalio 75’), Crusat - Negredo.
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Z? Castro, Filipe - Juan Rodr?guez, Antonio Tom??s (De Guzm??n 85’) - Lafita (Cristian 78’), Verd??, Guardado - Mista (Riki 62’).
Goal: 0-1: (74’) Verd??.
Referee: Iturralde Gonz??lez. He showed yellow card to Lopo (16’), Lafita (47’), Crusat (51’), Mista (58’), Carlos Garc?a (60’), Antonio Tom??s (77’), Pellerano (87’) and Riki (88’). Negredo was sent off with a direct red card (51’)
Venue: Estadio de los Juegos Mediterr??neos (9,776)
Other statistics: Ball possession (46% - 54%); Total shots (5 - 13); Shots on target (1 - 4); Saves by the keepers (2 - 0); Corner-kicks  (6 - 1); Offsides (2 - 5); Fouls committed (13 - 17); Accuracy in the passes (87.20% - 85.06%)

ARCHIVE NEWS NOV/08

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