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REVIEW: POOR FIRST ROUND IN LA LIGA

16 Jan 2013
Deportivo is presenting the worst numbers in 43 years after ending the first round in Primera at the drop zone. The Galicians have only won three matches. The good news is that the situation is pretty tight at the standings.

Poor first round of Deportivo La CoruŮa during the liga season 2012/13; the Galicians are penultimate at the standings after only clinching three victories plus seven draws for a total of sixteen points. The only positive thing is that the last six places are just separated by three points, which means that two or even one positive result could pull the Blanquiazul outfit outside of relegation.

And this taking in mind that Oltraís Depor had a positive start adding one victory and three draws within the first four games. In this undefeated period the team debuted defeating CA Osasuna at the Riazor (2-0), a result that was followed by three straight draws: a surprising 3-3 visiting Valencia CF, plus two straight 1-1 draws, first at home against Getafe CF and then visiting Granada CF.

But that hopeful start was followed by four straight defeats, without doubt the lower point in this first round as Depor leaked fourteen goals in the period. First it suffered a 0-2 loss at home hosting Sevilla CF, which turned to be the first home defeat in a year. Then it came the 1-5 loss at the Bernabťu visiting Real Madrid, plus a disappointing 1-2 loss at Rayo Vallecano and the 4-5 at the Riazor facing Barcelona CF, which has turned to be the match with more goals in the entire la liga 2012/13.

Deportivo bounced back in the following two matches thanks to a 1-1 draw in the derby against RC Celta, which was followed by a 1-0 win over RCD Mallorca. That was the first triumph of the club after almost three months. But then Depor returned to bad habits and suffered two straight losses.

The first was an unexpected 3-5 loss visiting Real Zaragoza, unexpected because the Galicians were winning 2-0 at some point of the first half. Then, Levante UD grabbed the three points at the Riazor (0-2). At this point the criticism towards Oltra started to reach a noticeable note. There was a minor reaction as Depor rescued a point visiting Athletic Bilbao (1-1).

But that only lasted one week as Deportivo suffered against two straight defeats, first losing at home against Real Betis (2-3) and then suffering a horrifying 0-6 loss at the Calderůn against Atletico Madrid, the worst liga defeat in 40 years. At that moment  the continuity of Oltra was under question. It didnítí help the following match as Depor only added a point in a goalless game hosting Rea Valladolid, the first 0-0 for the Galicians on this season.

And the decisive match for Oltra was the last game of 2012: a 0-2 loss visiting RCD Espanyol. Oltra stayed on the job for Christmas, but was already gone by New Yearís Eve. And new coach Domingos PaciÍncia has been aboard for the last two games conquering two positive results, first a 1-0 victory over Malaga CF and finally a 1-1 draw visiting Real Sociedad.

STATISTICS: RECORD OF ALLOWED GOALS
The most noticeable thing at Deportivo is the large number of goal allowed: 40 in the first 19 matches. Itís just the third time on this century that a Primera team allows 40 or more goals in a first round at Primera Divisiůn. The other three cases were Malaga CF (41, 2010/11) and Real Zaragoza (41, 2009/10).

This is the main reason why this is the worst first round for Depor at Primera since the campaign 1969/70. At the time the team coached by Martim Francisco had only added 14 points after the first 19 matchdays. This is the ninth time in which Deportivo end a first round lying in relegation, and in only two opportunities the Galician side achieved the permanence, the first on the campaign 1948/49 and the second with Lotina on the season 2007/08, time when the Blanquiazul team jumped from the 19th to the 9th position thanks to the impressive reaction in the second round.

In the other hand, Depor have scored 23 goals so far. Itís tying the record of Real Sociedad as the highest number on this century for a team ending the first round in relegation. And itís that on the 2000ís only eight previous teams ended the first round in relegation despite scoring 20 or more goals: Real Sociedad (23, 2001/02), RCD Espanyol (22, 2002/03), Zaragoza (20, 2009/10), CA Osasuna (20, 2008/09), CA Osasuna (20, 2007/08), Athletic Bilbao (20, 2005/06),  CA Osasuna (2000/01) and Racing Santander (20, 2000/01).

And itís that Deportivo is the eighth team in la liga in terms of more shots in favour (253), a list commanded by Real Madrid (369) and Rayo Vallecano (291).  Another interesting stat is the numbers of fouls committed: 223. The second lowest in la liga, only below FC Barcelona (180). However, Depor is the eight club with more yellow cards (58), only below  RCD Espanyol (81),Valencia (70), Rayo Vallecano (69), Athletic Bilbao (65), Levante UD (63), CA Osasuna (61) and Real Betis (61). Besides, the Galicians suffered three expulsions

A final stat: only in 9 of the 19 matches of the first round Deportivo had the ball possession. The highest percentage was the 66% in the 0-2 defeat at the Riazor facing Levante UD. The lowest was the 37% in the 4-5 loss against FC Barcelona, match that also took place at the Riazor. Globally, Depor only had the ball the 48.9% of the time, itís only the 11th best mark in la liga.

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/13

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