Competition news

WHAT THE PAPERS WROTE: DEPORTIVO VS. REAL MADRID

16 Mar 2008
The media in La Coru�a was happy with the performance of the Galician team, although they are convinced it wasn't the best presentation of Lotina's squad. Meanwhile All the papers in Spain are criticising Real Madrid for his poor game at the Riazor, it was even appointed as their worst game on the present season.

La Opinion A Coru�a: The strength of tradition. The fears of Miguel Angel Lotina before the meeting with Real Madrid were fulfilled when the clash was just starting. Schuster's team managed the ball and it put it really close to the front of the area, because the Galician midfielders were virtually in the same line than the defenders. Despite the constant agony, Deportivo didn't suffer too much, because neither Guti nor Sneijder persevered to assist their more advanced partners. In that area of the pitch, the Galician defenders were too many as to see the Israeli Dudu Aouate intervening in the game. Lotina's team based its options in the fruits that might be obtained when the rival was losing the ball. On yesterday's game, we saw a Deportivo who lived almost exclusively of the counterattacks.

The game at the Riazor was a match in which none of Deportivo's players were somewhat stronger than the rest, maybe the wingers, because they were the ones who enjoyed the ball for more minutes. All fulfilled their mission. The side defenders covered well their area and were launching the attacks, while the central defenders were controlling Raul and Soldado.

The two midfielders fulfilled their goal too, as the first line of pressure over the white players, while Wilhelmsson and Lafita were always ready to exploit their speed at the beginning of the attacks and also their quality when they were near to Casillas. Lastly, Xisco was more unassisted than never before, but he returned to be a great support for the rest of his partners.

Tactically, yesterday's game will not go to the archives of coaching schools. A team, Real Madrid, was dedicated to pass the ball waiting for a gap between the wall of the rival, and another one, Deportivo, leaving the fate of the encounter in the hands of the inspiration of its  most talented players. Thus came the goal of Deportivo. An escape from Filipe Luis, which ended with a cross that Pepe introduced in his own goal. The white defenders made the work that was not done by Deportivo's strikers. From there, more space and more speed for the Galicians in order to be exploited. Arturo Pati�o.

La Voz de Galicia: They searched for each other, both teams studied each other, but they decided to not attack. As two scorpions in a box, that was the game played by Deportivo and Real Madrid at the Riazor. In tension and playing face to face, the two adversaries lived the duel with the sting prepared, pending of an opponent's weakness to unleash their venom. But after 57 minutes with the high guard, Luis Filipe was the one that found the weakness that killed the match.

It was a worked victory that allows Depor to add its fourth consecutive match without losing. Seven of nine points against Sevilla, Valencia and Real Madrid, something to take Deportivo off the drop zone, installing to Lotina's men a degree of calmness and opening the horizons over them, an unexpected thing just three matchdays ago. In addition, the legend continues to be nurtured and on the next year, we will talking about 18 years without falling at home. Deportivo remains true to its commitment to be writing the darker history of Real Madrid, which adds almost four decades without winning at the Riazor. And in the middle of this, one Supercopa and the Centenariazo.

The curse is still alive. It doesn't matter the Galicians are now residing in the drop zone or to see them giving the 70% of the ball possession to the white team, something that occurred during the first 20 minutes. The Madrilenians are, together with the Sevillans, a favourite guest against a relentless host. Twenty minutes lasted the domination of Real Madrid at the Riazor, as intense as sterile. 70% of ball possession, but also ineffective, because it was not even able to make a shot on goal. Talking about Deportivo, it took the defensive line our of their own area (an inexplicable positioning) and it shocked the domain, then the match was tilting for the local side.

The sting took 57 minutes to fall, but it did it with conviction when Filipe, which already made an excellent first part in attack, once again left Torres behind, he stepped on the field and sent a poisoned ball that found a contrary, the ball ended at the back of the net. The Brazilian side defender, which was an apprentice sorcerers in the white house, celebrated the goal with euphoria ahead of the Riazor Blues. The goal awaken the visiting team who put on the pitch its entire offensive arsenal: Robinho, Baptista and Higua�n, but just only to be smashed again against the wall of the 5-4-1.

Lotina bet in the counterattacks and sought speed with Riki and Guardado, but the Madrilenian wasn't able to find a good play while the Mexican showed that the month of inactivity has affected him. The better scorer in la liga, with an average of more than two goals per game, ended scoreless at the Riazor. The public was in the middle of a party and the team was dismissed with a wave of enthusiasm. Without losing the calm, the relegation begins to seem just an old nightmare. Alfonso Andrade.

AS (Madrid): to say first that Madrid lost, if it was the Real Madrid we all know. We can say that Casillas made a good game because he stopped one chance, the only one, a crossed shot, which stained more than talent. Deportivo didn't make any other attempt and the goal was scored by Pepe, which exempts the goalkeeper from all liability. He could have the day off, he could chose to go to the movies.

Meanwhile, the assessment of the defence is terrible. Specifically, it has to do with the side defenders: Miguel Torres and Heinze. Both failed as wingers. They never overflowed and only made a few crosses to the area, neither a pass of goal. And it is also very true their incorporations in the attacking zone were only delaying more the ball. However, they played well as defenders, as simple and runners as they are.

Here is located the great perversion of the system used by Schuster. Claiming that the side defenders should behave as wingers is a naive and to depend of this idea is an aberration. Torres is not Garrincha, nor should be blamed for that. And Heinze is a great defensive specialist, but not otherwise. Madrid is not jammed because of the wingers. Obviously, the tactics will disguise its shortcomings with the versatility of Sergio Ramos, but the team is stopped earlier, in the drawing.

There is not creation nor depth on the wings. Diarra seems a post and 'Robin' Sneijder is seeking for his Batman, he needs a boss. Wanting to put the balance of the team in Guti is unfair and it's not knowing him. Drenthe is a fellow, Raul deserves to go through the bench (no dramas, temporary) and Soldado has lost confidence. Those zeroes are justified as well.

We should be more generous with Deportivo, only because they won. Lotina raised the game from the economy of the war: five defenders, Spartan order, De Guzman with the stick, Lafita loose and Xisco sent to die for the motherland. Unable to criticise this cautious approach in a team that is (or was) two points away from relegation, but the combination of this approach with the game deployed by Madrid was painful. Juanma Trueba.

El Mundo Del Deporte (Barcelona): This time not. What happened at the Riazor can not be considered as a simple defeat for Real Madrid, not just one more in three nefarious decades in La Coru�a (1-0). It would be a mistake to think that it was a simple setback and not a ridiculous presentation of the highest level, the worst game of the season, with zero occasions against a very modest Deportivo who took advantage of an own goal of Pepe, the best of his team during an unfortunate night .

Many in Madrid are bound to self-criticism, because the team is a heavy sack downhill, under the powerful attraction of the disaster. It has the excuse of the eight point lead, but with actions like this, Barcelona can dream of anything.  Lafita, a little devil from Zaragoza, had clear the things since the beginning. It was all related to catch any option by the sides in order to surprise the rival, against Torres or Heinze. He only had the discreet help of Wilhelmsson, but still could make a fortune. Not during the first part, a constant boredom, but shortly thereafter, when fatigue opened spaces in both directions. And with an unexpected hero, the shy Filipe Luis, author of a simple manoeuvre that had the help from Guti. Pepe, the best of his team until this point, deflected the ball into the goal. Then came the well-deserved punishment to Madrid, which seemed content with the draw.  Miguel A. Herguedas.

Sport (Barcelona): No, it shouldn't' be a matter of witches. Playing as Real Madrid did yesterday at the Riazor, it will take many more years to find the victory in this stadium, because the statistics -people says this- are there to be broke, but it's impossible to win the lottery without buying tickets. Schuster's team, apart from the three points, lost a little more of its image in La Coru�a, the only city in which there is no pe�a of Real Madrid. Offering the 'show' of yesterday's game, it is virtually impossible for Real Madrid to regain followers in the Galician town.

Ninety minutes without shooting on target is the sad summary offered by the team of Schuster, which showed an unworthy image of a leader. Beyond the three points in dispute and that remains the main candidate for the title, the white team was stabbing its followers during the match, who certainly will be embarrassed for what they saw at the Riazor. With little, very little, the team of Lotina added the three points, situation that's considerably easing its position in the table. Depor had enough to achieve the win being serious with its defensive approach and taking advantage of its chance to finish a rival without pace. Josep Bosch.

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