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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 3 – ESPANYOL 0 (LIGA)

01 Nov 2010
Refreshing victory for a Deportivo that won thanks to its intelligence; it scored once and later gave the ball possession to a rival that wasn’t able to do any harm, and later it only need to seize two of the five chances had in the second half to clinch the result.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina was presenting the expected formation with five defenders, same scheme used in Copa against Osasuna, the novelty was in attack as both Riki and Adrian were starters and with Saul Fernandez as one of the playmakers in the lineup.

Aranzubia was at the goal; Manuel Pablo was playing at the right-back position, Rindarřy covered the left side, while the three central defenders were Colotto, Lopo and Aythami. The two pivotes were Rubén Pérez and Juan Rodriguez; the two playmakers were Asturians Adrian and Saul, with the ex-Oviedo performing towards the left and the ex-Elche towards the right. Finally, Riki was the central attacker.

At Espanyol, coach Mauricio Pochettino chose Cristian Álvarez as the starting keeper leaving Carlos Kameni on the bench, while Andalusian José Raúl Baena was taking the place of < b>Javi Márquez at midfield. A novelty was that Argentine Jesús Dátolo was the left winger, which moved Luis Garcia to the right wing and then the striker’s role was for José María Callejón, leaving Sergio Garcia sited on the bench.  Ex-Depor duo Verdú and Duscher were starter in the match. To mention that former golden boot winner b>Luis Suárez watched the game from the stands.

FIRST HALF
It was an equal first part between two sides that were finding problems to deploy their offensive strategy, for that reason there weren’t too many scoring opportunities. Depor, however, was able to seize the best chance they had. Later the Galicians pushed for the second goal and ended the half locked at the back trying to release a counterattack to define the game.

There were no scoring opportunities within the first five minutes, but the game was fluid as both teams were attempting to release quick plays without committing fouls; with Espanyol playing through long passes and betting on the counterattack, while Depor was insisting on the right wing through Saul. The first shot on target came until minute 12 as Luis Garcia attempted from the edge of the area, but it was an easy save for Aranzubia.

Depor’s first attempt came at minute 14, it was a counterattack that ended with Adrian assisting Juan Rodriguez at the edge of the area, and the final shot of the Andalusian was stopped by visiting keeper Cristian Álvarez. Three minutes later Saul released a corner-kick that Riki headed out at the near post.

The Galicians were in need, a victory was an obligation in order to not lose the track of the other teams, but the truth is that it was an equal game between two sides that were ineffective in attack; and it’s that both teams were moving the ball at ease at their zone, but when they tried to attack no one had clear ideas to surpass the defensive line of the rival.

And just when the game seemed stuck Depor scored its first goal; it was a corner-kick of Saul from the left, the ball went to the far post,  place where Colotto bet Forlin to head the ball back to the box, it passed in front of Lopo and Riki, and in the end it was Adrian who came from behind to score the goal from the penalty spot. It is his first goal in liga breaking a drought of 1,028 minutes scoreless.

The goal awakened the Galicians, but also the pouring rain over the Riazor. The Galicians seemed now more dangerous in attack and were releasing quick plays that where giving problems to the visitors. At minute 31 Lopo was fouled inside the area by Victor Ruiz when Saul was taking a new corner-kick, it was a clear penalty but no call was made by the referee.

Four minutes later a free-kick of Saul was firstly headed by Colotto and then Lopo fell down again to the ground, the fans asked for a penalty again, but this time it wasn’t as the Catalan fell down as he tried to reach the ball. The curious thing is that Depor decreased the intensity of its attacks as soon as the rain stopped. And it’s that Depor spent the last ten minutes locked at the back zone and only releasing counterattack through long passes. It seemed to be an order from Lotina trying to protect the result, and in the end it was going to be the key to win the match.

Espanyol, despite having the ball possession, was unable to break the deadlock of the Galicians; neither Verdú nor Luis Garcia were finding the way to reach Aranzubia’s goal and their only approximation within the final twenty minutes was a later free-kick that no one could find inside the area (41’). The final attacking play on the half was for the locals; Saul took a free-kick at midfield and Juan Rodriguez headed the ball at the far post, but his high header was an easy catch for Cristian

SECOND HALF
Intelligent second half of Deportivo; the Galicians knew that they already had the advantage in the scoresheet and, as it happened at the end of the first part, it gave the ball possession to Espanyol, side that didn’t know what do with it and that never represented any danger to Aranzubia. Meanwhile the Galicians spent the time releasing counterattacks and scored two goals of the five chances they had; to mention that both goals were conquered during a set-piece for the locals.

Lotina sent a modification since the start of the half, Diego Seoane entered for Knut Rindarřy; the Norwegian made a decent first half joining the attacks of the Galicians, but he sustained a hamstring problem and already had a yellow card, therefore the coach didn’t want to take any risk. At the same time Pochettino sent youngster Álvaro Vázquezto take the place of Baena, move that demonstrated that the visiting coach was conscious that his team didn’t have any depth and that was missing ideas at midfield.

The script stayed at the same point; Espanyol was having the control over the ball, while Depor was locked at the back and trying to release a counterattack or seize a new set-piece. The problem for the visitors was that they were constantly missing the last pass and therefore the Catalans weren’t reaching the goal of Aranzubia.

At minute 57, one of Depor’s counterattacks was close to end in Depor’s second goal; the locals made several passes and moved the ball until Seoane released a drilling shot from the left corner of the area, Adrian couldn’t find the ball and it ended cleared to corner-kick.

At minute 67, Depor had the big chance to score the second goal and define the game; it was a ball that Aranzubia stopped at the border and then the Basque keeper released a quick counterattack sending a long pass to Adrián, who ran the half of the pitch to release a crossed shot that just passed inches away from the left post.

Then Lotina decided to replace Saul with Pablo Alvarez,  the Asturian was exhausted after been one of the ‘brains’ of the team and the change refreshed the attacking line. The true is that the ball possession was still for Espanyol, but the visitors never represented a danger to Aranzubia. Their most dangerous play in thirty minutes was a drilling pass of Verdú that the local keeper cleared with some problems (69’).

Depor’s last change was the entry of Lassad fro Riki, and immediately Depor scored the second goal, again in a set-piece. Pablo Álvarez took a free-kick from midfield and sent a high cross to the box, no one at Espanyol could clear the danger and in the end Diego Colotto released a drilling cross from the right that Lassad missed, but Albert Lopo was there to score from close range. It is his first goal in liga and he celebrated giving a hug to Lotina.

The most dangerous opportunity for Espanyol came at minute 79, Luis Garcia took a free kick and sent the ball to the box, Iván Alonso, who minutes before replaced a disappeared Callejón, missed the ball and it passed close to the far post of Aranzubia.  But the Catalans were already defeated as they did nothing more in the pitch, actually it was Depor the side that had time to score a third goal, and again during a set-piece.

Pablo Alvarez took a free-kick on the right wing, he sent the ball to the left corner of the box, place where Diego Colotto connected the ball to release a crossed shot that went to the far post of  Cristian Álvarez, keeper that did nothing as he thought the ball was going out. Depor even had the chance to score a fourth goal during a counterattack, but the shot of Ruben Pérez after the assist of Pablo Álvarez just passed close to the far post (90+1’).

AFTER THE GAME
The game of the ‘first times’. First win of Deportivo on the season, first home win of Depor within the last six months, first time that Depor scores three goals in one single game since March, first goal of Adrian on the season breaking a mark of 1,028 minutes scoreless, and finally first time in which Colotto and Lopo score a goal in the same game. Beyond that, it was an intelligent game of Depor in which it the Galicians gave the ball to an ineffective Espanyol, while it only needed to seize three of its set-pieces in order to clinch a refreshing win. Resurrection? Too soon to tell.

The victory means the confirmation to Lotina, coach that was at the tightrope after this poor start in la liga; Depor still living in relegation and actually it stills as the penultimate place in la liga, but it’s only separated from salvation by the goal difference. Actually, the last nine places  in the table are only separated by six points, one of the clubs in that fight is UD Levante, the next rival of Deportivo (Sunday, Ciutat de Valencia, 17h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: (5-2-2-1) Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Aythami, Colotto, Rindarřy (Seoane 46’) – Juan Rodríguez, Rubén Pérez –Saúl (Pablo Álvarez 67’), Adrián – Riki (Lassad 75’)
Espanyol: (4-2-3-1) Cristian Álvarez – Chica (Javi López 71’), Víctor Ruiz, Forlín, David García - Duscher, Baena (Álvaro Vázquez  46’) – Luis Garcia, Verdú, Dátolo - Callejón (Iván Alonso 65’)

Goals: 1-0: (28’) Adrian, 2-0 (76’) Lopo, 3-0: (85’) Colotto.
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco. He showed yellow card to Rindarřy (40’), David García (43’), Victor Ruiz (50’), Javi López (75’) and Colotto (86’).
Venue: Riazor (10,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (42% - 58%); Total shots (11 - 8); Shots on target (4 - 3); Saves by the keepers (3 - 0); Corner-kicks  (4 - 3); Offsides (2 - 1); Fouls committed (16 - 14); Accuracy in the passes (73.95% - 81.49%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS NOV/10

ZAPPING

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