Squad news


20 May 2011
For the seventh time in the history of Deportivo, the team is trying to avoid the relegation at the last matchday of a liga season. Depor has failed in four of the previous six opportunities.

Deportivo’s youngest fans aren’t used to this kind of suffering, because since the last promotion to Primera, and excluding the playoff on the season 91/92, the team had never faced a relegation crisis as the present one. And it’s that Depor needs a victory in the last matchday against Valencia in order to secure the permanence, all after an irregular season for the Galicians that has coincided with a very competitive tournament at the bottom of the standings.

But in the centenary history of the club, the Galicians already faced a similar situation in six previous opportunities; five of them trying to avoid the relegation to Segunda, and the other to avoid the inferno of Segunda B. The club only succeeded in two of these six opportunities, though it only lost one of those “finals”. The following is a small review of each case.

1- SEASON 1946/47: Deportivo 3 – Athletic Bilbao 3
Deportivo was playing its fifth season at Primera División; the team reached the last matchday (26) fighting to avoid relegation, but it was forced to achieve a victory in order to surpass Espanyol and Murcia at the standings, the problem was that it was facing an Athletic Bilbao, team that was needing the victory in order to clinch the liga title.

In the end both sides missed their goals, because the draw, that was possible thanks to a hat-trick of Athletic’s legendary striker Telmo Zarra, sent Depor back to Segunda División alongside Castellón, while the Basques ended tied in points with Valencia at the top of the table, but in the tiebreaker the Valencians earned to gold. It was the third time in which Deportivo was relegated to Segunda.

Date: April 13, 1947
Deportivo: Acuña, Pedrito, Ponte, García, Bienzobas, Elzo, Marquinez, Guimerans, Latorre, Manuel Vázquez, Chao. Coach Hilario Marrero.
Athletic: Arruti, Fernández, Oceja, Celaya, Barrenechea, Nando, Iriondo, Panizo, Zarra, Iraragorri, Gainza. Coach: Juan Urquizu.
Goals 1-0: (1') Chao, 1-1: (9') Zarra, 1-2: (21') Zarra, 2-2: (25') Guimerans, 2-3: (28') Zarra, 3-3: (70') Latorre.

2- SEASON 1948/49 – Gimnastic 1 – Deportivo 4
Depor returned immediately to Primera, but it didn’t learn the lesson from the previous occasion and once again it reached the last matchday (26) still trying to survive. Depor was fighting against Celta, Valladolid and Alcoyano in order to avoid one of the two tickets to hell (the other relegated team was already decided at this stage of the season: Sabadell). The rival was Gimnastic, team that wasn’t playing for anything.

This time Depor succeeded as it achieved a comfortable 4-1 win; the true is that the team never suffered as by minute 28 it was already winning 0-3 at the Nou Stadi. The main protagonist in the game was Antonio Villar ‘Chao’, who scored a hat-trick. It was also his last game at Depor. In the end the Galicians clinched the salvation, while Alcoyano went down after a 1-1 draw with Real Madrid.

Date: April 17, 1949
Gimnastic: Dauder, José Cobo, Catala, Martínez, Taltavull, Perdomo, Roig, Gallardo, Martín Alonso, Santiago Vázquez, Bravo. Coach: Nogues.
Deportivo: Acuña, García, Ponte, Pedrito, Fontela, Carlitos, Marquinez, Guimerans, Franco, Dieste, Chao. Coach: Bienzobas.
Goals: 0-1: (9') Chao, 0-2: (22') Carlitos (penalty), 0-3: (28') Chao, 1-3: (39') Martín Alonso, 1-4: (47') Chao.

3- SEASON 1956/57:  Deportivo 3 – Valladolid 0
Eight years passed before Depor had to play for its life at the last matchday of a liga season (matchday 30); in this opportunity Depor was the last place at the standings, but it was still having the chance to survive against Jaén and Condal. The rival was Valladolid, team that was playing for nothing

As it happened in the previous occasion, and despite the tension of the situation, Depor achieved a comfortable 3-0 win at the Riazor, even scoring the three goals during the first half. The problem was that Jaén defeated Atletico Madrid, result that sent Deportivo and Condal to Segunda División. To mention that one of the goals was scored by Arsenio Iglesias, who later became the coach of the Super Depor.

Date: April 21, 1957
Deportivo: Otero, Tomás, Rodolfo, Barragán, Arenas, Irusquieta, Liz, Arsenio Iglesias, Mourelo, Villarrubia, Tino. Coach: Diego Villalonga.
Valladolid: Benegas, Matito, Lesmes, Losco, Lolo, Tini, Gallet, Badenes, Murillo, Cerdán, Rodriguez Pedero. Coach: Rafael Yunta
Goals: 1-0: (30') Irusquieta, 2-0: (35') Tino, 3-0: (37') Arsenio Iglesias.

4- SEASON 1969/70 – Deportivo 3 – Granada 0
Four teams reached the last matchday (30) trying to avoid one of the three relegation spots: Sabadell, Las Palmas, Elche and Deportivo. As it was already a tradition, the Galicians bet the tension and conquered a comfortable victory during its darkest hours, again scoring three goals in the first half. But it wasn’t enough, because the other results were negative. Eduardo Beci, who later was a sporting secretary at the club, scored one of the goals.

Elche beat Barcelona (1-0), Las Palmas did the same with Sevilla (3-0), and although Sabadell lost to Atletico Madrid (0-2), Depor ended at Segunda División, and all thanks to just one goal. Because the goal difference of Sabadell was of -6 against the -7 of Deportivo.

Date: April 19, 1970
Deportivo: Joanet, Bellod, Luis García, Manolete, Cholo, Bordoy, Juanito (Sertucha 45'), Chapela, Beci, José Luis Peréz, Martínez.  Coach Martim Francisco.
Granada: Ñito, Pazos, Barrenechea, Lorenzo, Santos, Pedro Fernández, Juanito G., José López, Barrios, Vicente, Hidalgo. Coach: Nestor Rossi.
Goals: 1-0: (5') Juanito, 2-0: (29') Beci, 3-0: (32') Chapela.

5- SEASON 1972/73: Atletico Madrid 3 – Deportivo 1
Like it’s happening on the current season, the battle to avoid relegation was tough on the campaign 72/73, the difference between the 10th and the 17th place was minimal and up to six clubs were still battling at the final matchday (34) in order to avoid relegation: Granada, Las Palmas, Deportivo, Celta and Sporting Gijón. The problem was that Depor was visiting Atletico Madrid, side that needed the win in order to clinch the liga title.

And it turned to be an impossible mission for Depor as they lost 1-3 at the Vicente Calderón; it was the first time in which Deportivo lost a game in the final matchday during a season in which it was fighting to survive. It also marks the last relegation to Segunda as Deportivo lasted twenty years in returning to Primera. A curiosity is that both Luis Aragonés and Javier Irureta were starters for Atletico. Another curious fact is that the coach of the Galicians was Arsenio Iglesias, who precisely pushed the team up twenty years later.

Date: May 20, 1973
Atletico: Pacheco Gómez, Paco Melo, Quique, Adelardo, Iglesias, Ufarte, Benegas, Luis Aragonés, Garate, Javier Irureta, Alberto. Coach Max Merkel.
Deportivo: Seoane, Bellod, Zugazaga, Bustillo, Luis García, Rubiñan, Prieto, Loureda, Piño, Pedro Vales (Cervera 67'), Rabadeira. Coach: Arsenio Iglesias.
Goals: 1-0: (39') Luis Aragonés, 2-0: (63') Adelardo, 3-0: (66') Garate,  3-1: (78') Prieto.

6- SEASON 1987/88: Deportivo 1 – Racing 0
There was another final to avoid relegation, but it occurred at Segunda A during the season 1987/88. The team was at the border of ending at Segunda B, but a miraculous goal of Vicente Celeiro at the stoppage time secured a 1-0 win over Racing Santander and allowed the permanence at Segunda. A key factor was the help of Xérez CD, team that achieved a win over al Bilbao Athletic at Chapín.

That goal is considered as one of the most important ones in the history of Deportivo, because it secured the permanence and paved the way to the arrival of president Augusto César Lendoiro, who was elected as the president of the club in the following year, which was the base of the golden years to come. And all thanks to a goal scored at the stoppage time.



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