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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 3 – UD LAS PALMAS 1 (LIGA)

17 May 2012
Depor marches to Primera after clinching a new victory at the Riazor; it was a placid game against a rival that was playing for nothing. Oltra’s team had a great start, though it faded away in the second half of the encounter.

BEFORE THE GAME
No surprises at the starting eleven of Oltra; it was the same 4-2-3-1 figure that defeated CD Numancia on Sunday; German Lux was the goalkeeper, Laure covered the right side of the defense, Ayoze Diaz was performing on the left, while the centre backs were Diego Colotto and Ze Castro.

The pivotes at midfield were Álex Bergantiños and Juan Dominguez; the right wing was territory for Bruno Gama, Mexican Andrés Guardado attacked from the left flank, Juan Carlos Valerón was the playmaker in the scheme, while Lassad Nouioui was the central attacker.

The surprises were at the side of Las Palmas, because coach Juan Manuel Rodriguez switched the initial draw into a 4-3-2-1 draw, which meant a triple pivote figure at midfield with David Gonzalez plus twin brothers Sergio and Francis Suárez. The references in attack were Vitolo and former Real Madrid man Javier Portillo.

FIRST HALF
The first part was open, Depor was feeling pretty comfortable facing a rival that was playing without tension; only a few fouls were committed -6, though the fans protested several tackles over Depor’s players, even a possible penalty over Laure- and for this reason the game was fluid. Deportivo could have conquered a bigger score, but ended the half with a narrow advantage as they missed some good chances, while the visitors seized the best one in their favour.

It was the perfect start for Deportivo; both sides were studying each other within the first minutes, but the Galicians just needed twelve minutes to score twice during its first two approximations. In the first goal Bruno Gama made a perfect assist to Juan Dominguez, who scored the first goal in the game with a crossed shot past Mariano Barbosa. It was the fourth goal in liga for him.

The second goal just came five minutes later; Guardado threw a corner-kick from the left and he sent the ball into the near post, Lassad was there to placidly sent the ball into the back of the net. It’s the 12th goal in liga for the Tunisian attacker. Depor was now having a two-goal lead, and practically without doing too much.

Both Álex and Juan Dominguez weren’t feeling the expected pressure from the trivote sent by the visiting coach. Valerón was lighting the way, while the wingers were switching their position, so the attacking line was looking pretty active, and the deadly punch of the Galicians was moving the things into a placid victory at the Riazor.

The first approximation of the visitors was a combination between Vitolo and Portillo at the edge of the area, but the striker missed the target (20’). Four minutes later the Galicians could have scored the third goal, but Colotto headed wide a new corner-kick of Guardado. The Mexican winger had the next opportunity, but his curved shot from the edge of the area was stopped by Barbosa (26’).

Ayoze was close to score at minute 28, this after collecting a loose ball at the left corner of the area, but he sent the ball wide. Then Guardado made a great solo-play on the right that ended with a drilling shot that was cleared by Barbosa, then Lassad met the rebound, but the Tunisian sent the ball over the crossbar from the six-yard box.

It seemed that Deportivo was heading into a big win, but without any warning the Canarian outfit scored the goal in their first shot on target. It was a high cross sent into the area, Sergio Suarez jumped and fought for the ball against Ayoze, and his downward header turned into a pass that Javier Portillo collected at the penalty spot to cross Lux.

Suddenly the Canarians were pushing up front searching for the equalizer; they were moving the ball with criterion, though their only clear approximation was a new attempt of Portillo that missed the target (37’). More dangerous was the opportunity for Depor, again Lassad found the ball inside the area after a new corner-kick of Guardado and his shot was saved by Pignol at the goal line.

SECOND HALF
The final part followed the same script of the first; both teams were moving the ball at ease, but it was Deportivo the side that looked more dangerous at least within the first five minutes. At minute 48, a counterattack for the locals ended with a combination between Lassad and Álex, the midfielder released a curved shot from the edge of the area, and Barbosa cleared the danger to corner-kick.

The game was fluid within the first ten minutes, but the point is that there were no scoring opportunities after the change missed by Álex; the freshness saw in the first part at Deportivo was now changed for a great game in attack. The couple Álex-Juan Dominguez was pretty active moving the ball, but Valerón was now feeling uncomfortable, and both wingers, Guardado and Bruno Gama, were more delayed on the pitch.

But neither Las Palmas was doing too much, the visiting team was also looking fresh at midfield, but was totally harmless in attack, just to mention the fact that they were unable to complete a shot on target in this half. Still, the Canarians had a great chance to equalize the game at minute 64, this after a cross of David Gonzalez that went into the path of Portillo, but Ayoze arrived first and cleared the ball to corner-kick.

Depor was fading away, after a promising start in both halves, Oltra’s team was now missing too many passes up front, so Oltra ordered the first substitution and Borja Fernandez replaced Valerón. Then the Galicians started to shake the things up.

At minute 70, Álex tried to chip the ball from the edge of the area, but he missed the target. In the next play Bruno Gama fired from outside the area, but he sent the ball over the bar. Then Riki replaced Lassad. The first two substitutions were going to be decisive in the play of the third goal.

Because the Galician midfielder was the one that started the play and the Madrilenian was the man that finished it; Borja assisted Juan Dominguez and then he drilled the ball inside the area, Riki, who just had one minute over the grass, scored his 13th goal of the season with a strong shot from the right corner of the six-yard-box.

Eighteen minutes were remaining in the clock, but both sides were happy with the outcome; Depor was closer to Primera and, despite the loss, the other results were confirming the permanence for Las Palmas. So, both sides spent the time passing the ball without creating more scoring opportunities. The final minutes were a party at the Riazor, with the public chanted “Depor es de Primera!” and the Mexican wave moving around the stadium.

There was time for the third change at Depor, which was the entry of Pablo Álvarez for Guardado. The Mexican winger was applauded by the public at the Riazor in what could was his last game at the Riazor –It isn’t know if he will be in La Coruña for the last game at home before SD Huesca-

AFTER THE GAME
The match had a promising start, with Depor scoring twice within the first twelve minutes, but later the team faded away and turned to be imprecise. Still, the victory was never in danger despite Las Palmas scored a goal in one of the two plays in which they completed a shot on target. Deportivo is getting closer to Primera, something that could be confirmed on the weekend.

The next game is the visit to Xérez CD (Sunday, 20h00 CET). RC Celta won its match and Real Valladolid did the same on its visit to Barcelona B (1-2), so a new win for Depor,  combined with a failure of the chasers on Saturday, will certify the promotion to Primera División.

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Laure, Colotto, Ze Castro, Ayoze – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón (Borja 65’), Guardado (Pablo Álvarez 84’)  – Lassad (Riki 71’).
Las Palmas: (4-2-3-1) Barbosa – Pignol, Herner, Juanpe, Corrales – David Gonzalez, Sergio Suárez (Vicente Gómez 71’), Francis Suárez  (Randy 87’)- Javi Castellano, Vitolo (Castellano 61’) – Portillo.
Referee: Santiago Jaime Latre. He showed yellow card to Laure (2’) Vitolo (49’) Sergio Suárez (51’), Pignol (62’) and Colotto (85’)
Goals: 1-0: (6’) Juan Dominguez, 2-0 (11’) Lassad, 2-1: (34’) Portillo, 3-1: (73’) Riki
Venue: Riazor (33,500)
Other statistics: Ball possession (52% - 48%); Attempts to score (9 – 4); Total shots (14 - 7); Shots on target (8 - 2); Saves by the keepers (1 - 4); Corner-kicks  (6 - 6); Offsides (2 - 2); Fouls committed (9 - 12); Accuracy in the passes (.34% - 81.23%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

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