Squad news

REVIEW: LAZIO 3 – DEPORTIVO 1 (FRIENDLY)

23 Aug 2010
Depor showed two faces in the last friendly game on the pre-season; in the first half it gave the sensation of been a mature team, but it the second it brought doubts to the fans due to its defensive display. In the end the second defeat of the summer.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina trusted in the 4-2-3-1 for the last friendly match on the pre-season, which could indicate the plans for the opening day against Real Zaragoza. Ex-Real Madrid goalkeeper Felipe Ramos was the main novelty as he was debuting as a Depor’s player, Laure performed at the right-back spot, Aythami and Ze Castro were the central defenders and Diego Seoane covered the left.

Antonio Tomás and Juan Rodriguez were the two pivotes, Michel was returning after surpassing an injury in order to claim the spot at the playmaking function, Desmarets was improvised as the right winger, Guardado played on the left and Adrian was the central attacker. For Lazio it was also the last game before the Calcio debut against Genoa, the Romans were presenting several normal starters, including Uruguayans Muslera and Zárate.

THE MATCH
The actions started with Depor having the ball possession, which has been a common thing on the pre-season. But the first attempt to score was for Lazio. It was a long pass from defense that found Zárate alone on the left, the Argentine ran and entered into the box, but his drilling cross didn’t find a receiver (2’). Depor responded with a high cross from Guardado that was cleared by Stendardo.

Desmarets made the first shot on target after a long play built up by Michel, but the drilling shot from the French winger was easily stopped by Fernando Muslera (8’). And suddenly Lazio took the advantage in the scoresheet, it was a counterattack in which Stefano Mauri drilled a pass from midfield that left Cristian Rocchi alone inside the area, then the Italian striker released a short and drilling cross that Argentine marksman Mauro Zárate capitalised as he crossed Felipe Ramos. The true is that it was a defensive error as Aythami was too slow in an action in which the team was trying to use the offside rule.

Despite the goal, the game continued with the same script: Depor was having the ball, but without having too much depth, while the Italians were patiently waiting for Deportivo at their own side of the pitch. A scoring opportunity for Depor came at minute 20, Guardado was fouled at the left side and his free-kick was cleared by a rival and then Desmarets attempted from the edge of the area, but his effort was cleared to corner-kick.

And Depor found the equalizer at minute 23, it was after Michel drilled a pass from the centre that left Adrian alone against Muslera, then the Asturian striker just drilled the ball crossing the Uruguayan keeper.

The goal encouraged Depor and the Galicians searched for the second. Firstly, Adrian made a great play on the right eluding three rivals, he sent a drilling cross inside the area, but the final shot of Michel was deflected (26’). In the resulting corner-kick Muslera missed the ball and Aythami was close to score, but Garrido cleared the danger from the goal line. In the next play Guardado sent a high cross to the box, Desmarets hardly controlled the ball, but he was able to assist Antonio Tomas, who fired from close-rage, but it was too easy for Muslera

Depor continued insisting though without having more clear opportunities, meanwhile Lazio had a great chance at minute 41. It was a counterattack after a corner-kick of Depor, a long ball was sent from defence, Rocchi and Zárate were left alone against Seoane and Antonio Tomás, in the end an offside was called, though Antonio Tomás was able to clear the ball before Zárate could send it into the back of the net). It was warning of the problems that Depor was going to face in the final part.

The second half started with Lazio having a stronger intention in attack. The entry of Pasquale Foggia and especially Brazilian Anderson Hernanes was the key to unlock Depor’s defensive system.  Just one minute after the pause Foggia attempted from mid-distance, but Felipe Ramos stopped the ball. Four minutes later the same Foggia sent a high ball to the area and Mauri attempted a scissors-kick, and Felipe Ramos cleared the danger to corner-kick.

Then Lotina ordered the first two substitutions as Saul and Ruben Perez entered for Michel and Antonio Tomas. The changes momentary switched the system into a 4-3-3, with Adrian, Desmarets and Saul composing the attacking trio, Guardado performing towards the centre, Ruben Perez at midfield and Juan Rodriguez almost acting as a fifth defender.

It seemed the switch was working, because just one minute after the substitutions a fast combination between Juan Rodriguez and Desmarets at midfield left Adrian alone against Muslera, but this time the Uruguayan was able to deflect the ball as the Asturian was trying to chip the ball over his body. In the resulting corner-kick Juan Rodriguez missed the target with a header from the box.

The game was now more balanced and opened and it seemed that any side was close to score; at minute 63 Depor had a great chance after a long and high pass of  Guardado searching for Adrian, but Muslera was faster and cleared the danger with the head. Then, Valerón entered for Desmarets. The modification switched the system again as Depor returned to the 4-2-3-1, now with Valerón in the playmaking function, Saul on the right wing, Guardado on the left and Adrian alone in attack. Since that point Depor’s team fell down as Lazio increased his physical display on the pitch.

The Italians were creating fast combinations and always searched for the cracks at Depor’s defensive wall, which showed the deficiencies of a defensive line that, after all it’s considered as the ‘substitutes’ of Lotina. Then a crucial play occurred as Hernanes fell down inside the area after feeling the pressure from Laure, the true is that it was a doubtful call from referee Carmine Russo as Depor’s defender never touched the rival. The same  Hernanes came to score the second goal goal from the penalty spot. For the final fifteen minutes ex-Depor captain Lionel Scaloni entered at Lazio.

And Italian striker Sergio Floccari decided the things as he scored the third goal for the Romans. It was a drilling pass from Foggia that Aythami missed to stop, then Floccari eluded Ze Castro and released a strong shot form the edge of the area that beat Felipe Ramos. After the goal Pablo Alvarez and Riki entered for Guardado and Adrian. But nothing changed.

The pressure from the Italians continued. At minute 80, Foggia released a strong shot that Felipe Ramos cleared with the fists , two minutes later the ex-Real Madrid keeper saved his team again as he cleared a drilling effort coming from Brazilian Matuzalem. The final opportunity for Depor came in a combination between Valerón and Riki; El Flaco drilled a perfect pass into the edge of the area, but the Madrilenian striker sent the ball over the bar (90’)

AFTER THE GAME
Double reading from the last friendly game on the season; in the first half Depor showed a mature face, a team that still missing punch in attack, but that is now used to have the ball possession. Guardado, Desmarets and specially Adrian showed interesting moves, while Seoane and Laure were pretty active on the sides. Things were different in the second part as Depor had big problems to control the offensive moves from the rival, which in the end cost the second defeat on the pre-season. The defensive zone never knew how to stop the fast moves from the rivals, and there was no response in attack after Lazio’s second goal.

The true is that it must be remembered that the defensive line used by Lotina in the game (the four defenders and the keeper)  is considered to be the substitutes of Depor, which invites to think that things should be different in la liga. Now the team returns to La Coruña and will start to prepare the debut on the liga season against Zaragoza (Sunday, 17h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Lazio (4-3-1-2): Muslera (Berni 75’) - Biava (Radu 46’), Stendardo (Kozak 86’), Dias (Cribari 80’), Lichtsteiner (Scaloni 75’) - Gonzalez (Brocchi 46’), Ledesma (Matuzalem 46’), Mauri (Hernanes 50’) - Garrido (Del Nero 75’) - Rocchi (Floccari 46’), Zarate (Foggia 46’). 
Deportivo (4-2-3-1): Felipe Ramos - Laure, Aythami, Ze Castro, Seoane - Juan Rodriguez, Antonio Tomas (Ruben Perez 56’) - Desmarets (Valeron 67’), Michel (Saul 56’), Guardado (Pablo Alvarez 78’) - Adrian (Riki 78’).
Goals: 1-0: (11’), Zárate: 1-1: (23’) Adrián,  2-1; (72’) Hernanes (penalty), 3-1: (77’) Floccari.
Referee: Carmine Russo (ITA). He showed yellow card to Juan Rodríguez (58’) and Cribari (85’)
Venue: Stadio Olimpico (10,000)

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