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NOTES FROM THE GAME VS MÁLAGA

07 Mar 2016
The feeling of impotence for dropping two points prevails, with the three goals allowed coming in set-pieces, but there were positive things, like the improvement in the use of the tactic and the performance of Cartabia.

The ten notes from the game Vs. Málaga CF:

1- The curse continues: It seems that Deportivo are under some kind of spell, because it is turning to be impossible to explain how the team has missed the victory in 2016 after watching games like this one. And it’s that, with errors or not and like it happened before against Villarreal, Valencia and Betis, Depor deserved more and dropped two points in the last play after overcoming the adversity. The rival ended scoring three goals only making two shots on target (the third goal was an own goal), which increased the feeling that it was an unfair result.

Depor remain winless in 2016, now pending of the other results in order to see how far they are from the drop zone. Among the top five European leagues only other three outfits have missed the victory in the new year:
Crystal Palace (Premier League), Atalanta SPA (Serie A) and GFCO Ajaccio (Ligue 1)

2- The comeback spirit: If something positive should be rescued from this game is the fact that Depor came from behind twice in this game, something that was happening a lot at the beginning of the season, but that was gone lately after chaining three straight losses.

There were frames in the games in which the team seemed lost, like when Lucas missed the clear opportunity with the 0-1 in the scoresheet, but the team was able to come back and add a point. If you cannot win, then the best thing is to at least pick up a point, though you don’t end happy with the outcome.

4- Better placement on the field: After the terrible presentations against Granada CF and Athletic Club, Víctor returned to the 4-3-3 and this time the team felt better on the pitch, and it was because the players were well placed. Álex and Borges were now attached to the centre and not to the wings (this job was for Cartabia and Luis Alberto), something that was crucial and that was the big error that caused the defeat with Granada CF.

There were fears with the trivote figure, but the true is that it had an acceptable performance. With all the players, with the exception of Navarro, playing on their natural positions, the defence was never caught by surprise as it happened against Granada CF. Mosquera returned to control midfield territory and Borges, despite not been too participative (only 38 touches in the game), was decisive with his goal.

5- The nightmare of the set-pieces: The most negative news from the game: Depor continue to be clueless in the corner-kicks. The team throw ten corners and the first nine ended with a rival clearing the danger, it was only until the last one (58’) that, after the combination Lucas-Luis Alberto, Álex managed to connect the ball, though he sent it wide.

There has been criticism for the way in which Depor are throwing the corner-kicks, with two players gathering at the corner, but the true is that it is a strategic move trying to unbalance the defence moving one player to sector, and the problem is not that strategy, the problem is that all the crosses aren’t creating a surprise and end cleared by a rival, which converts the set-pieces of Deportivo into harmless actions.

6- The three goals allowed came in set-pieces: Ironically, the soft set-pieces of Depor in offence were witnessed in the same game in which the rival scored three goals in set-pieces. This is another factor in which Depor were heavily criticized, but analyzing the plays it is not certain that Depor defended poorly these plays.

The first goal was clearly a lack of attention, because the cross of Recio in the corner was missed by three defenders and the keeper until it reached the path of Charles. But the second was mostly a big play of Camacho, who is a specialist in the aerial game (11 goals in these actions at Primera). Navarro and Arribas were well placed and even received the aid of Mosquera, who was at the back of Camacho, but the Malaga’s midfielder jumped higher and his downward header was perfect.

The third goal was simply bad luck, because the free-kick of Málaga was badly taken and Arribas was unlucky enough to send the ball into the bottom corner when the normal thing would have been to concede a corner-kick. Still, Depor left a negative impression in this regard as Malaga had three of their four chances in the four corners they had in favour (the two goals and a header of Albentosa that missed the target).

7- The two faces of Lucas Pérez Lucas showed again his two faces: a soft finisher and clinical finisher.  It’s incredible how he missed a clear chance to tie the game when he was at the box with Kameni injured on the ground, that failure affected him, but he continued insisting and scored the third goal in a clinical definition after a cross from Fajr. He ended the game making 4 of the 7 shots on target completed by Deportivo.

8- Navarro as a centre-back: There are fears for Sidnei’s absence and the response of Víctor was to replace Fernando Navarro as a centre-back, and this time he looked fine. In the game against Granada he looked misplaced, but it was for the back positioning at midfield that caused the deadly counterattacks.

This time the trivote was better placed and Depor didn’t suffer the quick attacks from Málaga, which made life easier for the centre-backs.  Navarro ended the game making three interceptions and two clearances and was even important in the output of the ball, having the best passing ratio among the defenders (86%). His only error was a bad clearance at the end of the first half that ended with a clear chance for Chory Castro.

9- Another bad referee: Poor criterion for referee Carlos Velasco Carballo. Deportivo can feel affected as the final equalizer came in a free-kick in which there was no foul of Oriol Riera over Atsu. Beyond this play he always drove crazy both teams, he wasn’t whistling clear fouls and the players got desperate and protested a lot. He showed nine yellow cards, four of them for protesting. Depor had four yellows, and three were for protesting and two under curious situations, because the first was over Álex when the first half had ended and the second was for Manu, who was at the bench. To “crown” his performance he sent off Camacho for throwing the ball away after whistling a foul, something that unleashed the fury at Málaga CF.

10- Great game by Cartabia: Without doubt the best game of Fede Cartabia since joining Deportivo. The Argentine made his eighth appearance as a starter and this time his performance didn’t decrease with the passage of the minutes. He made a clinical assist in the first goal and later made a great solo-play for the second.

To round up his performance that goal was the number 2,000 of Deportivo playing at Primera División. 
Cartabia was the most active player in attack, he made 50 touches, the highest number among the three players in attack for this game.

ARCHIVE NEWS MAR/16

ZAPPING

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