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NOTES FROM THE GAME AT ELCHE

25 Jun 2020
A team that finally played the same for the full 90 minutes, accurate modifications that paved the way to the victory, and a couple of players that had a noticeable performance.

1- A strategy that worked for the full game: In the past two games Deportivo had big lagoons in the first half, now it was possible to see a pattern that lasted for the full 90 minutes, it was a team that was always well placed, with a 5-3-2 figure that turned into a 5-4-1 when Borja Valle was joining the back line in order to block the game of  Iván Sánchez. Even with ten men Depor never lost the block and Elche CF had big problems to create opportunities. In the second half things were simpler, because the rival got desperate and opened at the back, opportunity that was seized with the modifications made by the coach.

2- The key: the changes: Deportivo clinched a clean sheet because of the strategy planned by Fernando Vázquez, and it won the game thanks to the modifications made by the coach. He saw a window of opportunity in the second half when Elche CF tried to open the field, and that’s when Hugo Vallejo and Víctor Mollejo entered the field, both men helped to create a more vertical game and in the end assisted and scored the winning goal. Later Aketxe entered and his presence deepened the counterattack, though the second goal never arrived.

3- Uche Agbo: The Nigerian midfielder is turning into a basic piece at midfield. His fourth presence as a starter witnessed a very complete game, leading midfield with his presence and also helping in attack. He completed 38 passes (82% accuracy), made 8 recoveries and was close to score a great goal at the end.

4- Álex as a centre-back: Álex Bergantiños returned to perform as a centre-back after the injury of Peru Nolaskoain, a position that he knows from previous seasons and from his years at the academy. And it was one of the reasons why Depor clinched the clean sheet. He brought calm to the sector and turned to be always well placed to clear the countless crosses from Elche CF.  demonstration of this is that he ended the game as the player with more clearances (15).

5- The compensation of the referee: As it happened in the previous game with Rayo Vallecano, the referee seemed to be pushed to compensate for a previous decision that was affecting the outcome. It cannot be denied that the foul of Gaku was a hard tackle, sometimes the referees pass these fouls for been too early in the game and they don’t even book a player for actions like this one, but referee Arcediano Monescillo decided to show a red card. It cannot be said that it was a bad call, the problem was that later the referee tried to compensate and just made things worse. Later in the first half he showed a yellow card to Manu Sánchez that could also be passed, and the same could be said of both yellow cards shown to Tekio. In the end the referee was forced to compensate due to his “soft” criterion to show the cards.

6- Seventh red card on the season: The expulsion of Gaku meant the seventh red card saw by a Deportivo’s player on this season. Last year there were multiple complaints for how the referees treated Depor’s players after been sent off in nine opportunities. This season is about to tie that mark. Also, this is the second expulsion of Gaku on this campaign, the previous was for two yellow cards in the home game with Real Zaragoza (February 23).

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