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REVIEW: ZARAGOZA 5 – DEPORTIVO 3 (LIGA)

11 Nov 2012
Another incredible match and another failure of Deportivo playing away from the Riazor. The Galician outfit had a 2-0 advantage after just 20 minutes, but the referee, and mainly the softness of the defense defending the aerial game, caused a debacle.

BEFORE THE GAME
Tiago Pinto debuted in liga covering the left-back position; it was the only novelty in the lineup of Oltra. The figure was a 4-2-3-1; Aranzubia covered the goal, Laure performed at the right side, while the central spots at defense were for Aythami and Ze Castro.

Juan Dominguez and Álex Bergantiños performed at midfield, Bruno Gama attacked from the right wing, Pizzi did it from the left flank, Valerón was the playmaker and Riki the central attacker.

At Zaragoza; there were no surprises in the 4-2-3-1 squad of Manolo Jimenez. Victor Rodriguez and Hélder Postiga were the main references in attack. In a curious news, David Fernández Borbalán got injured one day before the game, therefore the referee for the clash turned to be Teixeira Vitienes. He was going to have a protagonic role in the game. It was raining a lot before the kick-off.

FIRST HALF
Entertaining first part; at least within the last thirty minutes.  Depor had a poor start, but somehow it scored twice in a matter of nine minutes, later an inopportune penalty put Zaragoza back into the match. The best came at the end of the half with both teams having enough chances to score more goals.

The first goal attempt was for Zaragoza; Juan Dominguez lost the ball at the edge of the area before the pressure of Apoño, who ended releasing a shot that missed the target (5’). With the passage of the minutes the locals claimed the ball possession and Depor offered the same pale impression of past games: apathetic within the first minutes of the match.

Juan Dominguez and Álex Bergantiños weren’t feeling comfortable and were constantly losing the ball, therefore Valerón, Pizzi, Bruno Gama and Riki barely touched it within the first fifteen minutes. The locals were pushing, though without creating a clear scoring opportunity.

And suddenly Deportivo scored the first goal in its first chance in the game; Pizzi made a great solo-play eluding three rivals and broke the offside trap drilling the ball  to Bruno Gama, who scored the goal with an impossible shot that went into the opposite corner of a surprised Roberto Jiménez. It’s his second goal within the last two games.

The reaction of Zaragoza was to push even harder, the next minutes were complicated with Depor almost asphyxiated at the edge of the area; at the same time Depor was trying to breathe releasing counterattacks that gave some problems to the Aragonians.

And for the surprise of everyone Deportivo didn’t last too much in scoring the second goal; Tiago Pinto fought for the ball when he joined the attack on the left wing, Zuculini managed to get the ball and tried to make a long pass to keeper Roberto, but instead he assisted Riki, who just had to elude the keeper to score from close range.

Only twenty minutes had passed and Depor was already having a comfortable two-goal lead, a result that should have been bigger after Riki found the ball inside the area in a corner-kick action, his shot hit a rival and went out just inches away from the left post of Roberto. Deportivo was awakening and it stroke twice seizing its first two chances in the game; Bruno Gama was growing with the passage of the minutes and became into the most dangerous player at his team.

 At Zaragoza, Jimenez was mad and switched the system into a 4-4-2 replacing an unfortunate Zucculini -he also failed in the play of the first goal- with Aranda. And just two minutes later Zaragoza entered into the game as Tiago Pinto committed a doubtful penalty after the ball hit the ground and later his arm when he was marking a rival inside the area. Apoño scored the goal from the penalty spot and the game became more interesting.

The match became intense, with both sides really close to score; first Álex Bergantiños fired from long-range and his strong attempt hit the crossbar (34’); two minutes later Movilla ended a long collective play for his team, but his final attempt went close to the left post of Aranzubia.

At minute 38, Valerón was close to score after collecting a cross of Bruno Gama, his accurate header was looking for the left top-corner of Roberto, and the local goalie made a great save clearing the ball to corner-kick.

The exchange of blows continued at the last minute of the first part; firstly Postiga headed backwards a loose ball and Aranzubia made a great save clearing the danger at his top left-corner; in the next play Bruno Gama made a great play on the left and his strong shot from inside the area was firstly saved by Roberto and later cleared by his defenders. The half could have ended 1-4 in favour of Depor, but also 3-2 for the Aragonians; a clear indicator of what was going on at La Romareda.

SECOND HALF
A nightmare for Deportivo; the Galicians were early reduced to ten men and ended allowing four goals. The softness of the defense killed what was promising to be a sweet game for Oltra’s side. The referee was a factor in the game, but stronger were the errors of Depor defending the aerial game and the set-pieces.

The second half begun with a shocker for Deportivo, because Pizzi was sent off after just three minutes. He was booked in the first part for protesting the action of the penalty, and the second yellow came after he fell down inside the area before the pressure of two rivals. It wasn't penalty, but neither the player deserved the second yellow card, because he ended on the ground as a result of the inertia of that play. Therefore Depor played with ten men within the final 42 minutes.

Zaragoza was close to seize the distraction of Deportivo as both Aranda and Postiga had goal attempts; the first couldn’t end the play and the second missed the target from close range. Immediately Oltra ordered the first substitution and Camuñas entered for Valerón. The ex-Villarreal never showed up in the game.

The expulsion was just the final push that Zaragoza needed in order to go up front with everything for the equalizer; still they were missing fresh ideas and Depor looked focused. But the defense was broken in a corner-kick action that surprised everyone; Víctor Rodriguez made a short pass and Movilla, without any pressure, released an accurate cross that Francisco Montañes headed into the net. The ex-Alcorcón man was standing at the six-yard box and neither Ze Castro nor Aythami could do anything to stop him.

And just five minutes later the locals scored the third, and once again after a doubtful foul as Camuñas was covering his face trying to block a shot of Apoño. In the resulting free-kick Víctor Rodriguez released the cross and defender Álvaro González headed the ball backwards, his attempt turned into a perfect effort that entered by the top left-corner of Aranzubia.

It was an earthquake for Deportivo; the Galicians tried to react, but found out a rival that wasn’t satisfied and that sought for more. In this sense Álex had two chances to tie the actions; in one of them he incredibly missed the target from close range, though the referee whistled an offside (71’). Then it came the double hit, Victor Rodriguez and Postiga had consecutive attempts to score, the clearest one was the second with Aranzubia making the save (74’)

And the Portuguese striker was going to score twice in matter of five minutes, and both opportunities scoring with the head. In the first, Victor Rodriguez made a great play on the right wing and his resulting cross was headed into the goal by Postiga. Four minutes later Aranzubia made a great save before the attempt of Aranda, but in the resulting corner-kick the Portuguese attacker headed the ball home seizing the cross of Abraham.

Deportivo was now losing, disoriented and trying to understand why it was losing bigly after having a two-goal lead. Oltra made the last two substitutions allowing the entries of André Santos and Rodolfo Bodipo; they replaced Juan Dominguez and Riki. The game was already defined, but the Equatoguinean man was going to score the third goal for the Galicians as he headed the ball on target after a cross of Bruno Gama.  It was the goal number 1,900 for Deportivo at Primera; just an anecdote as Oltra’s team incredibly missed a great chance to clinch the three points.

AFTER THE GAME
Another incredible match and another disappointment for Deportivo as the Galicians wasted a great opportunity to win for the first time playing away from home. Oltra’s side had things under control, truly referee Teixeira Vitienes affected Depor, but it shouldn’t be an excuse as the soft defense couldn’t control a rival that was the second worst offense in la liga.

There are two things to emphasize from the goals allowed; the first is that four of the goals were scored in set-pieces; which indicates that the numeric inferiority was never a factor in the game. The second is that Zaragoza scored three goals through headers, it’s the second time that a Primera outfit scores three goals in one single game on this way, and the previous club that allowed it was precisely Depor visiting Real Madrid (5-1). Oltra’s team is soft defending the crosses from both sides, and this is not only a responsibility of the side defenders, but also of the wingers and centre backs.

This is the first time since 1968 in which Deportivo La Coruña end losing a Primera game after been winning 2-0. The precedent was a 2-4 loss at the Riazor facing Real Madrid (September, 22, 1968). In this way Deportivo is ending a terrible week, period of time in which the club was struck by terrible financial news and a new big defeat in liga. Together with the other results, Depor is back into the relegation zone, one point above RCD Espanyol and two above CA Osasuna. On next Sunday, Oltra’s side returns to the Riazor in order to host Levante UD (12h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Zaragoza: (4-2-3-1) Roberto – Sapunaru, Loovens, Álvaro, Abraham – Movilla, Apoño – Zuculini (Aranda 25’), Víctor Rodriguez (Edu Oriol 82’), Montañes – Postiga (Romaric 86’).
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Ze Castro, Aythami, Tiago Pinto – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez (André Santos 82’) – Bruno Gama, Valerón (Camuñas 52’), Pizzi – Riki (Bodipo 82’).
Goals: 0-1: (12’) Bruno Gama, 0-2: (20’) Riki, 1-2: (27’) Apoño (penalty), 2-2: (60’) Montañes, 3-2: (65’) Álvaro, 4-2: (76’) Postiga, 5-2: (82’) Postiga, 5-3: (90+1’) Bodipo
Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes. He showed yellow card to Loovens (16’), Tiago Pinto (26’), Abraham (49’), Alvaro (58’), Camuñas (64’), Laure (84’) and Sapunaru (90’). Pizzi was sent off (48’)
Venue: La Romareda (27,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (57% - 43%); Attempts to score (10 – 5); Total shots (23 - 12); Shots on target (9 - 6); Saves by the keepers (2 - 4); Corner-kicks  (7 - 6); Offsides (2 - 1); Fouls committed (14 - 8); Passing accuracy (85.5% - 77.04%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS NOV/12

ZAPPING

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