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REVIEW: ATHLETIC 4 – DEPORTIVO 1 (LIGA)

03 Mar 2016
The drama continues for Deportivo, Aduriz scored a hat-trick before a vulnerable defence and an offensive line that lost the spark a long time ago.

BEFORE THE GAME
Massive changes at Deportivo’s lineup, something announced by coach Víctor Sánchez the day before. Up to five men were new compared to the team that lost before Granada CF, including goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa, who was playing for the first time with Deportivo becoming the oldest player making a debut at Primera División.

It was a 4-4-2 draw, Pletikosa was the starting goalie, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ was performing at the right side of the defence, Fernando Navarro covered the left sector, while the central positions were for Albert Lopo and Alejandro Arribas. Celso Borges and Pedro Mosquera were the centre midfielders, Faycal Fajr covered the right wing, Jonás Gutiérrez attacked from the left flank, then Oriol Riera joined Lucas Pérez in attack.

At Athletic Club, both Aritz Aduriz and Mikel San José were fit to start, but  Mikel Balenziaga was unexpectedly left on the bench, so Iñigo Lekue was performing at the left side of the defence. Iker Muniain and Markel Susaeta were the other references in attack.

FIRST HALF
Another horrible game for Deportivo, in the first half Athletic could have scored three or four times, but they lacked aim, while the Galicians simply weren’t in the game. The defence gave a lot of facilities, mainly on the left sector, while the attacks weren’t causing any harm.

The first opportunity in the game was for Athletic, it was a quick attack that left Aduriz alone before Pletikosa after a long run of ten meters, but the Croatian made his first save blocking the attempt of the Athletic’s marksman.

The game was open in the first stages, Athletic dominated with long ball possessions and fast transitions taking advantage of Depor’s cracks at midfield territory, while Deportivo were relying in quick attacks, though they were missing depth.

Depor’s first approximation came at minute 9, it was a high cross from the left that Lucas collected at the far post, but his attempt was blocked by local goalie Gorka Iraizoz. That was the lonely shot on target by Deportivo in the entire first part.

Then Athletic scored the first goal. De Marcos released a high cross from the left, Raul García headed the ball at the far post, it went into the centre., just into the path of Iker Muniain, who just had to push the ball in without facing any opposition.

The Galicians didn’t react after the goal, they were still waiting for the counterattack, but later they didn’t have the needed depth to complete shots on target. Instead Athletic were still looking like the best team on the pitch, also missing depth to make shots, but at least arriving manly through the right wing to end releasing crosses that gave problems to the defence. The bleeding was on the side defended by Navarro, who was unable to stop the combinations between Susaeta and De Marcos.

The best play for Depor in this frame was a counterattack with six players touching the ball before Jonás released a cross that was cleared by the defence. The visiting side was lacking the pass accuracy of this play in order to make damage.

Athletic were close to score the second goal at minute 32, it was a lack of concentration by Depor in a free-kick action in which Aduriz headed the ball when he was alone at the far post, miraculously he missed the target. In next play Pletikosa made a bad clearance and Aduriz tried to surprise the referee throwing himself to the ground, but no penalty was whistled after Arribas touched him.

Then Athletic scored the second goal, again the play was born on the left side of the defence. De Marcos drilled the ball into the path of Susaeta, who later released a low cross that Aduriz pushed from the box.  Aduriz could have scored the third before the pause in a quick counterattack in which he missed the target, the whole Depor’s team protested a possible offside in this play (41’).

SECOND HALF
 Deportivo continued to be a fragile team in defence and clueless in attack, it found an early goal by Riera, but didn’t have time to dream of a comeback as Aduriz completed his hat-trick to sentence the Galicians.
 
The final part started with a double change as Juanfran Moreno and Fede Cartabia replaced Laure and Jonás.  It was an electric start as there were two goals in less than ten minutes. The first one was scored by Deportivo.

A long ball from midfield was collected by Lucas, who ran ten meters towards the goal eluding Iraizoz to latter drill the ball into the path of Oriol Riera, who just had to push in from close range. It’s his first goal on this season.

Depor were starting to dream of a possible comeback, but it was erased at the stroke of a pen, because Athletic scored the third goal, again Aduriz showed up to head at the far post the high cross from Susaeta. The reaction of Deportivo, if it ever existed, ended there.

It cannot be said that the Galicians surrender after the third goal, because they were still trying, what happened is that they didn’t have any idea on how to attack the rival and continued facing defensive problems; >Aduriz was a real nightmare all night long, not only with his moves, but also for his fights.

The attacker was booked in the first half and had three interventions that should have meant the second card (simulating a penalty and continuing the play in an offside were the first ones), in the last one he hit Navarro in the face. It neither is an excuse for the poor game by the ex-Sevilla man, who failed in the three goals.

And there was a fourth goal, and it was the hat-trick for Aduriz, who somehow managed to collect the ball inside the area taking advantage of the passive attitude of Mosquera. After the fourth goal Manuel Pablo replaced Navarro, a change with different meanings, because he was not only failing, but also is dragging four yellow cards and Víctor could be preferring to avoid suspensions with the game already resolved.

Perhaps Depor had more chances than Athletic after the fourth goal, but it was a mirage, because the Basques were already content while the Galicians continued to lack ideas and were looking tired. Lucas had the next chance with a volley from the edge of the area that was caught by Iraizoz (65’).

Five minutes before the end substitute Sabin Merino should have scored the fifth goal, but he didn’t connect the ball properly after collecting a cross from the left and Pletikosa somehow cleared the danger.

The last two chances in the game were for Depor, in the first Cartabia missed the target from the edge of the area (87’), while in the second Mosquera collected a drilling cross from Juanfran, but he sent the ball over the crossbar firing from inside the area (89’)

AFTER THE GAME
Another unfaithful night for Depor, defensive errors and mainly a lack of ideas extended the downfall of the Galicians. The team never knew how to defend the crosses and the penetrations by the left sector, while the only good news is that Oriol Riera finally scored.

Deportivo have now chained three straight losses and the crisis seems to not have ended, the Blanquiazul outfit are now 12th at the standings. The next game takes place on Saturday as the team hosts Málaga CF (Riazor, 22h05 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Athletic: (4-2-3-1) Iraizoz – De Marcos, Etxeita, Laporte, Lekue – Beñat (Mikel Rico 66’), San José – Susaeta, Raúl García, Muniain (Balenziaga 73’) – Aduriz (Merino 79’)
Deportivo: (4-4-2) Pletikosa – Laure (Juanfran 46’), Lopo, Arribas, Navarro (Manuel Pablo 63’) – Fajr, Borges, Mosquera, Jonás (Cartabia 46’) – Lucas, Oriol Riera.
Goals: 1-0: (12’) Muniain, 2-0: (35’) Aduriz, 2-1: (50’) Riera, 3-1: (52’) Aduriz, 4-1: (60’) Aduriz
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz. He showed yellow card to Mosquera (16’), Aduriz (17’), Borges (21’) and Lopo (58’)
Venue: San Mamés (25,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (61% - 39%); Attempts to score (11 – 5); Total shots (12 - 7); Shots on target (6 - 4); Saves by the keepers (3 - 2); Corner-kicks (1 - 2); Offsides (3 - 3); Fouls committed (5 - 14); Passing accuracy (79% - 75%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS MAR/16

ZAPPING

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