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REVIEW: ATHLETIC 1 – DEPORTIVO 1 (LIGA)

10 May 2015
Drama at San Mamés. Depor lacked ideas to attack, but it didn’t deserve to lose. It suffered a disallowed goal in a very doubtful call, it was close to lose in a miraculous play that hit the bar and got the tie at the last second through Lopo.

BEFORE THE GAME
Víctor Sánchez repeated the lineup for the first time since his arrival to Deportivo. Fabricio Agosto was the goalkeeper, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ covered the right side of the defence, Manuel Pablo played at the left, while the central positions were for Sidnei Rechel and Albert Lopo.

Álex Bergantiños and Celso Borges were the centre midfielders, Juanfran Moreno attacked from the right wing, Luisinho did it from the left, Lucas Pérez was the playmaker and Oriol Riera was the centre forward.

At Athletic Club, Ernesto Valverde said before the game that he wasn’t going to make experiments ahead of the final in Copa, but in the end there were a lot of novelties at his lineup, starting with the draw: a 4-3-3 figure, plus the presence of goalkeeper Iago Herrerín, who was making his second appearance on the season. In attack, Aduriz was joined by Iñaki Williams and Borja Viguera, the later had only scored once after eighteen liga matches.

There was a lot of expectation with the game, the defeat of SD Eibar (0-2 hosting RCD Espanyol) was allowing Depor to reach the safety zone in case of adding a positive result. 1,100 fans traveled to San Mamés in order to support the team.

FIRST HALF
Hard start for Deportivo in another final for the permanence; the Galicians never knew how to play before a strong rival in the aerial game. The Galicians were pushed to rely in the long throws, just what Athletic wanted, and that strategy never worked. To make things worse a legal goal was disallowed to Depor at the end of the half.

Athletic dominated the meeting since the start; at minute 4, Williams fired a strong shot from the edge of the area and it was blocked by Fabricio. In the next play Lucas Pérez released a low cross from the left that Riera missed by inches, and in the counterattack Mikel Rico sent the ball out after collecting a cross from the left.

At minute 8, Mike Rico appeared again to head a new cross from the left, again Fabricio was there to block the attempt. Depor were having big problems to contain the attacks by the Basques, while their presence in attack was almost inexistent. The problem was that they were feeling the pressure at midfield and were attempting to attack through long throws, a harmless strategy before the locals.

So, it wasn’t surprising to see Athletic claiming the lead. It was a free-kick with Rico putting the ball inside the area, Laporte headed the ball at the left side of the box, it went into the path of Aduriz, who scored the first goal with a new header.

For the sixth time with Víctor on board Depor were down in the score; last week the equalizer arrived immediately, but this time Depor weren’t creating any harm and lasted in creating goal opportunities. Just a couple of quick counterattacks with Lucas leading the moves. Deportivo were playing on counterattacks because, despite the advantage, Athletic were still dominating and having the weight of the game in their shoulders.

Depor’s first clear opportunity in the game came at minute 29, Luisinho stole the ball at the left corner of the area, he eluded a rival and attempted a curved and crossed shot, but the ball passed close to the far post. Two minutes later Manuel Pablo collected a clearance by local goalie Iago Herrerín, but the ball went wide.

The polemic play of the game came before the pause. Depor scored and it was disallowed due to an inexistent foul. Luisinho was fouled at the edge of the area, in the resulting free-kick the play was ended by Álex Bergantiños heading the ball at the near post, but referee Gil Manzano disallowed the goal for an inexistent foul. According to him the midfield pushed a rival, but it didn’t happen.

In the act of the game the referee reported that president Tino Fernández went to the field and protested the decision. According to the act the president said three times the phrase: “Can you tell me what you whistled? We are playing for a lot!”

SECOND HALF
Drama for the final part despite there were only a few clear scoring chances. A new error in defence was close to cost the second goal, the ball only hit the crossbar and when the game was dying Lopo scored the equalizer through a header.

Just seconds after the kick-off Juanfran had a chance to score, it was a quick move in which he entered the area by the right side, but he lost the ball before having the chance to shot on target (46’). Later the game returned to the same path of the end of the first part: Depor continued relying in the long throws, something that never created any problem to Athletic.

What happened was that the Basques used the offside trap and the Galicians never knew how to deal with it. They were caught in offside position in ten opportunities during the second half (twelve in the whole game).

Still, Depor were looking better in the half, trying to have the initiative before a rival that was more passive compared to the first part. And it’s that Athletic were relying on the counterattack, mainly on the left side with Williams. Their first chance in the half was a shot by substitute Susaeta that missed the target (60’).

Víctor made the first substitution and Diogo Salomão replaced Manuel Pablo. With the move Luisinho delayed his position on the field and Salomão was now the left winger. He made a few appearances without been determinant.

Athletic had the big chance to define the game at minute 70; Álex made a bad pass and Aduriz was left alone before Fabricio, the striker tried to drill the ball under the body of the keeper, but it hit the Canarian and later the crossbar. That was one of the key plays in this half as it would have meant the 2-0.

Then Víctor made the last two changes with Postiga and Cavaleiro entering for Juanfran and Oriol Riera. The draw was now a 4-4-2 and the Galicians were desperate to reach the equalizer.

Their first big chance to tie the game came at minute 80, Depor had its first corner in the meeting, Lucas released the cross from the left, Álex deflected the ball at the near post, nobody was able to clear it and Postiga was close to push the ball in, but Williams arrived first and cleared the danger.

And when everything seemed defined the equalizer arrived, just seconds before fulfilling the third minute in the stoppage time. Borges got the ball at the edge of the area, he was backwards the goal and decided to pass it to Cavaleiro, who released a low cross from the left, the ball went into the penalty spot, Lopo headed the ball on target, Herrerín tried to block it, but it only deflected it and the ball ended the back of the net.

There was a big joy between the players and the fans after the goal, because the point was pushing Depor out of the pit. Lopo was even booked for taking his shirt off. There was no time for a reaction from the locals, who paid a big price for their passive attitude in the second part.

AFTER THE GAME
Dramatic end with Depor rescuing a point at the last second. Athletic were better in the first part and had a great chance to score the second hitting the bar, but Depor at least deserved a point after suffering a disallowed goal.

Deportivo needed the victory, but the point is pulling the team out of relegation for now after the defeat by SD Eibar. Now, if the strike is finally lifted, the Galicians return to the Riazor in order to face Levante UD in the last home game of the season (Sunday, 19h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Athletic: (4-3-3) Iago Herrerín – De Marcos, Etxeita, Laporte, Balenziaga – San José, Beñat (Unai López 71’), Rico (Iturraspe 86’) – Aduriz, Viguera (Susaeta 46’), Williams
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Laure, Lopo, Sidnei, Manuel Pablo (Salomão 63’) – Álex Bergantiños, Borges – Juanfran (Postiga 71’), Lucas, Luisinho – Oriol Riera (Cavaleiro 71’).
Goals: 1-0: (13’) Aduriz, 1-1: (90+3’) Lopo
Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano. He showed yellow card to Aduriz (39’), Laporte (48’), De Marcos (66’), Postiga (77’), Lucas (84’), San José (84’), Borges (89’) & Lopo (90+3’)
Venue: San Mamés (50,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (51% - 49%); Attempts to score (5 – 4); Total shots (11 - 8); Shots on target (5 - 2); Saves by the keepers (1 – 4); Corner-kicks (3 - 3); Offsides (5 - 12); Fouls committed (14 - 10); Passing accuracy (69% -66%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS MAY/15

ZAPPING

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