Competition news

REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 3 – ATHLETIC 1 (LIGA)

24 Jan 2010
Two different faces of a Deportivo that suffered in the first part and that later defined the game in the second thanks to the entry of Valerón. The bad news was the serious injury sustained by Filipe, who might end missing the rest of the season.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina surprised with a new modification in the system; one week ago, at RCD Mallorca, he was playing with a 4-2-3-1, while in midweek’s game in Copa was using a 5-2-2-1 figure, and now the Basque chose to play with a 4-3-3, system that was implemented a few times on this season, like in the 1-0 win over Sevilla in la liga.

Aranzubia was the keeper, Manuel Pablo was the right-back defender, Filipe was at the left, while Colotto and Lopo were performing at the centre of the defence. In midfield, the triple pivote figure was composed by Antonio Tomás, Juca and Juan Dominguez.  the Fabril’s youngster was appearing for the second time as starter at the Riazor and was playing a little advanced compared to the position of the other two midfielders.

In attack, Bodipo was the central attacker, Pablo Alvarez was performing towards the right wing and Adrian towards the left. At Athletic Bilbao, Joaquín Caparrós was presenting the expected starting eleven, with Fernando Llorente as the main attacker.

FIRST HALF
One of the worst first halves for Deportivo on this season; Lotina’s team never found the key to unlock an Athletic Bilbao that seemed more motivated for this game. Even worse, the defense of Depor, so praised on this campaign due to its solidity, was showing some cracks that almost cost some goals, and only Aranzubia saved the team from the partial defeat.
 
Athletic Bilbao started the actions pushing strongly and Depor was forced to play locked at the back zone; at minute 5, Yeste took a corner-kick and, surprisingly, Llorente appeared alone to head the ball on target, but Aranzubia made his first save of the night though he couldn’t control the ball, the rebound was found by Iraola, but the defender sent the ball wide.

Depor looked lost and very confused within the first ten minutes, so much that Lotina was desperately yelling from the bench trying to correct the mismatches. And it’s that the Galicians weren’t completing three straight passes and it was necessary to wait until the 11th minute to see a decent combination in attack, which was elaborated between Juca and Bodipo, and that meant the first corner-kick for the locals.

But it was just a mirage, because the Basques continued attacking. At minute 13, Llorente attempted from mid-distance and Colotto barely deflected the ball and then it hit the crossbar to end in a corner-kick. In the next play Javi Martinez scored a goal, but it was annulled for a previous foul.

And just two minutes later, another goal was invalidated for the visitors, again Llorente was involved in the play as he appeared to head a cross assisting Toquero, who scored in offside position. In the next play Juan Dominguez lost the ball against Llorente, but the striker missed a great opportunity as his crossed shot just passed close to the post (17’).

Later, Lotina corrected the position of the players on the pitch and the Galicians were now having a better control, though without creating clear scoring opportunities. Anyhow, the Basque team still was the most dangerous team on the ground, but again Llorente missed the target (28’) and later Javi Martinez did the same (34’); Depor reacted with a run of Adrián on the left, but his cross was cleared by a rival (35’). The Asturian was the best man on the pitch for Depor, also important was the job of Pablo Alvarez, who was running everywhere, always trying to close the gaps.

The best –and only- clear opportunity for Deportivo in this half came until minute 41, it was after a combination between Antonio Tomás and Filipe that ended with the Brazilian sending a cross to the penalty spot, Adrián was there, but his attempt went over the crossbar. And the half ended as it started: with Daniel Aranzubia making a great save, this time as he cleared the ball going to the bottom-left corner after Javi Martinez found a cross of Yeste inside the box.

SECOND HALF
Lotina returned to the 4-2-3-1 system as he replaced Juan Dominguez with Juan Carlos Valerón, now Adrián was a real left winger and Bodipo was alone in attack. And the modifications worked out since the beginning as the Galicians started to play better and soon the goals arrived. Just four minutes after the pause, a good combination between Filipe, Antonio Tomas and Adrián ended with the Asturian shooting on target from the corner of the area, the ball hit the back of Amorebieta and Bodipo crossed the ball back with a header that Filipe Luis found at the far post, the Brazilian was brave enough to jump and connect the ball in the air, he was able to score the goal, but landed badly and suffered a serious injury on his right leg (later the doctors confirmed that he suffered a fracture and dislocation on the right knee and the player was rushed to the hospital).

With Filipe out of action, Lotina sent Laure to the pitch and the Madrilenian started to play at the right side of the defence, while Manuel Pablo moved his position to the left. The fans and everybody at the stadium were in shock with the injury of Filipe, but the truth is that the team was still mentalized and soon the second goal arrived.

It was started by Pablo Alvarez and ended with Adrián passing the ball with the heel into the path of Juca, who fired on target from the edge of the area, his attempt hit Iraola and the deflection turned into a volley that passed over Iraizoz. In this way, the entry of Valerón inspired Depor and the Galician team only needed fourteen minutes to completely change the horrible picture of the first half.

Later, Iván Pérez replaced Bodipo, modification that moved Adrián to the centre of the attack and the ex-Fabril was now covering the left wing. With the score in favour, the Galicians were feeling much more comfortable while Athletic disappeared of the pitch; the Basques were barely reaching the opposite area and their best chance at the middle of the half was a header of Llorente that was stopped by Aranzubia (66’)

And just when it seemed that the victory was already consumed, an isolate play meant the goal for Athletic, it was after a throw-in at the right side, Iraola received the ball and then the defender sent a cross that Colotto sent to the back of the net as he was trying to clear the danger. Ten minutes were remaining and it seemed that Depor was going to suffer, especially after the visitors reclaimed a possible penalty of Aranzubia over Toquero (82’) and after a crossed shot of Iraola that went out (84’).

But Depor was also creating some danger, and Juca (81’) and Iván Pérez (83’) warned with their shots from mid-distance, but both missed the target. And Valerón came to the rescue as he lighted the way for the third goal. A short free-kick at the edge of the area was completed between Valerón and Juca, then the Brazilian assisted Iván Pérez , and then he returned the ball to the ex-Partizan, who collided with Amorebieta inside he area, then the rebound reached Valerón at the left corner, and El Flaco drilled a perfect pass to Pablo Alvarez, who just sent it to the far post of Iraizoz. Game over.

Depor could have even scored a fourth goal during the stoppage time, this after a combination between Pablo Álvarez and Iván Pérez, but the effort of the Galician midfielder missed the target (90+3’).  The final whistle arrived and Depor’s players celebrated the win on the pitch showing the shirt of Filipe to the public.

AFTER THE GAME
Strange match at the Riazor; Depor played one of its worst first halves on the season and Valerón had to go out in order light the way. The Galicians were lucky enough to end 0-0 at halftime, and returned to show a different image in the second part. The bad news is the serious injury of Filipe, who will probably miss the rest of the season.

The victory left Depor fourth in the table, just waiting for the result of RCD Mallorca at RCD Espanyol; no matter what could happen in that game, Lotina’s team will end the first round of la liga occupying at least the fifth place, which means a Europa League spot. On the next Saturday Depor hosts Real Madrid playing for la liga (22h00 CET), but before the Galicians must play the second leg in Copa against Sevilla (Wednesday, 22h00 CET, Sánchez Pizuján).

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Filipe Luis (Laure 52’) – Antonio Tomás, Juca, Juan Dominguez (Valerón 46’) - Pablo Álvarez, Bodipo (Iván Peréz 68’), Adrián
Athletic Bilbao: Iraizoz - Iraola, San José, Amorebieta, Koikili (Muniain 62’) – Susaeta, Orbaiz (Iturraspe 73’), Javi Martínez – Toquero, Llorente, Yeste (Gabilondo 62’).
Goals: 1-0: (49’) Filipe, 2-0: (69’) Juca, 2-1: (80’) Colotto (o.g.), 3-1: (84’) Pablo Alvarez.
Referee: Xavier Estrada Fernández. He showed yellow card to Javi Martinez (64’), Laure (70’), Lopo (80’), San José (87’) and Amorebieta (89’)
Venue: Riazor (25,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (47% - 53%); Total shots (14 - 18); Shots on target (5 - 5); Saves by the keepers (1 - 4); Corner-kicks  (2 - 6); Offsides (2 - 2); Fouls committed (10 - 17); Accuracy in the passes (78.01% - 75.62%)

* RESULTS AND STANDINGS 

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/09

ZAPPING

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