Squad news

REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 0 - 1 VALENCIA (LA LIGA)

04 Feb 2006
Deportivo suffered another home defeat last night against Valencia, bringing the total number of home defeats to five. But this match will be remembered for a crazy first half, during which David Villa scored a beautiful goal from more than forty meters, while Victor squandered two penalties just minutes later. In the end Valencia got their revenge for the Copa exit and are still in the race for the Liga title, while Depor will have to catch up again after lying six points away from the Champions League positions.

BEFORE THE MATCH
Both teams were struggling with a number of absentees, so Caparros and Flores had to improvise in their lineups. Valeron, Andrade (both injured) and De Guzman (suspension) were all missing
for Deportivo. Valencia had even more problems, with Mista, Kluivert (both injured), Baraja and Marchena (both suspended) missing along other long term absentees like Vicente.

But the surprises were kept to a minimum by the two coaches. Tristan was relegated to the bench once again, as Capa opted for Senel and Arizmendi in the striking zone. Meanwhile, Angulo, Navarro and Albelda found their way in the starting eleven for Valencia.

Before the match, it was already known that Real Madrid had won against Espanyol, leaving Valencia on the third spot, and a win was necessary to climb back in the second position. Even more, this match was an opportunity for Valencia to seek out revenge for the Copa exit earlier this week. For Deportivo is was also an important match, a victory would improve the shaky home record as well as bring them closer to an European spot.

THE FIRST HALF
The match started with Valencia in control, pressing and trying to recover the ball as soon as possible, a tactic that prevented Deportivo from starting any dangerous attacks. On the counter, Villa and Aimar were having good moments againt a slow Deportivo defense. This how the first chance for Valencia arrived, when Aimar fell after a foul just 20 meters away from Molina's goal. Villa took the shot but Molina managed to deflect it into the post with a miraculous save. Minutes later Depor also had the first chance when Victor faked a shot from inside the box to wrongfoot the Valencian defense and the cooly placed a shot that hit the post.

The match became more balanced as Valencia were giving away more space, but still neither team could create any real danger until Villa picked up a ball near the middle of the pitch. The Valencian striker saw Molina out of the goal and tried his luck with a very precise shot that Molina couldn't reach in time, making it 0-1. Deportivo reacted and started to press harder, but the long passes inside the box for Senel and Arizmendi were rarely a menace to Canizares until a hand ball in the area awarded Deportivo a penalty. Victor missed the first try but the referee decided that the penalty must be retaken as Valencian players had enetered the box too early. Victor also took the second penalty and missed again after Canizares held onto his weak shot. Afterwards Depor went looking for the equalizer, but the Valencian defense held firm.

THE SECOND HALF
Capa made a first substitution during the break, replacing Senel with Tristan, but the effects were negligible during the first minutes. Valencia were defending well, while Depor was only sending long balls into their area. Still, it was again such a situation that should have ended in a penalty when Tristan was clearly fouled in the box, but the referee decided to look away.

With another home defeat around the corner, Capa decided to push the attack and sent Xisco in for Manuel Pablo, but it was Arizmendi who had the biggest opportunity towards the end. His header could only be deflected by Canizares into a corner. Still, Valencia held on the result and
inflicted another painful defeat for Deportivo at the Riazor.

AFTER THE MATCH
Deportivo suffered the fifth home defeat this season, and together with other three draws at the Riazor it raises serious doubts about their ability to manage home matches and thus to gain those necessary points in the fight for a European spot. Valencia on the other hand climb back into second position, and continue to fight for the title, with Real Madrid close behind.

MATCH STATS:
Deportivo: Molina; Manuel Pablo (Xisco; m.78), Coloccini, Juanma, Capdevila; V?­ctor, Sergio (Acu?±a; m.70), Duscher, Munitis; Arizmendi and Senel (Trist??n; m.46).
Valencia: Ca?±izares; Miguel, Albiol, Navarro, Moretti; Albelda, Hugo Viana; Angulo, Aimar (Rufete; m.86), Regueiro (Fabio Aurelio; m.77); and Villa (Jorge L??pez; m.94).
Goals: 0-1; m.22, Villa.
Referee: Rubinos P?©rez. Showed yellow cards to V?­ctor (m.12), Juanma (m.62) and Capdevila (m.89) from Deportivo; and to Albiol (m.25), Angulo (m.25), Navarro (m.31), Moretti (m.34) and Albelda (m.79), for Valencia.
Venue: Riazor (28,000)

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