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REVIEW: ATHLETIC BILBAO 1 - DEPORTIVO 2 (LA LIGA)

07 Jan 2006
Two defensive mistakes gave Deportivo the victory at the San Mames, and allowed the Galicians to continue the good run of 2006. Munitis and Valeron again proved essential in the victory but the good news is that Arizmendi scored his first goal in the shirt of Deportivo.

BEFORE THE MATCH
Javier Clemente knew that a home victory would prove essential for the relegation battle and thus operated a minimal number of changes in the line-up that faced Real Madrid in midweek. Amorebieta replaced the suspended Gurpegui in the defense, and Urzaiz was left on the bench with Aduriz and Guererro leading the offensive charge of a conservative 4-2-3-1 formation.

Meanwhile Caparros had all his options open, but chose to change the entire right wing by using Victor instead of Arizmendi, and Coloccini instead of Manuel Pablo.

THE FIRST HALF
The match started with Athletic dominating the pitch, by pressuring their opponents and moving the ball around quickly. This strategy had worked quite well against Real Madrid, but again left the Basques vulnerable to counter attacks. And it was a counter attack of Deportivo that broke the deadlock in the 24th minute. Tristan cleverly created space for Valeron on the left and Victor found the Canarian playmaker with a long pass. Depor's second striker controlled the ball well and managed to make a weak pass past Aranzubia only for Lacruz to put the ball in his own net without being pressured by an opponent. The rest of the first half would have been without any more highlights, had Munitis, Coloccini and Juanma not received a yellow card each in the last minutes before the break.

THE SECOND HALF
Caparros made only one change at the break, replacing Tristan with Arizmendi. Meanwhile Javier Clemente was forced to bring Urzaiz from the bench to search for the equaliser. But it was Depor who had the first opportunity of the half, when Arizmendi's action finished with a corner. Minutes later, Urzaiz scored the equaliser with a strong header after an excellent cross by Etxeberria and with the fans behind them, the Basques decided to go for the victory.

Only three minutes later, another defensive mistake, this time by Aranzubia, settled the final score. Munitis executed a freekick from the right and Arizmendi managed to touch the ball from a difficult position in the area, just enough to fool the Basque goalkeeper and make him spill the ball between his legs. With another defeat around the corner, Athletic threw everything at their rivals, but Orbaiz and Urzaiz couldn't convert their opportunities. In the dying minutes, it was Capdevila who could have raised the score with a fierce freekick, but the ball hit the left post and went out.

AFTER THE MATCH
Depor are again on the third spot, but only a draw between Villareal and Real Madrid combined with a defeat of Valencia would allow them to maintain this position. Atheltic on the other hand are living dangerous, and this matchday could see them on 19th place should Cadiz and Betis win their matches.

MATCH STATISTICS
Athletic Bilbao: Aranzubia; Iraola, Lacruz, Amorebieta (Murillo,   min.69), Exp??sito; Orbaiz, Tiko (Urzaiz, min.46); Etxeberria, Guerrero,   Da?±obeitia (Bordas, min.61); Aduriz.
Deportivo: Molina; Coloccini, Andrade, Juanma,   Capdevila; Sergio, Duscher; V?­ctor (Scaloni, min.87), Valer??n,   Munitis (Romero, min.79); Trist??n (Arizmendi, min.46).
Goals: 0-1: m. 24, Lacruz in his own goal. 1-1: m.61, Urzaiz. 1-2: m. 64, Arizmendi.
Referee: Ayza G??mez (Valencia). Showed yellow cards to Etxeberria from Atheltic and to JCapdevila, Munitis, Coloccini, Juanma and Andrade from Deportivo.
Venue: San Mames (38.000 attendees).

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PREVIEW: ATHLETIC BILBAO - DEPORTIVO (LIGA 21h00)
REACTIONS TO THE WIN IN LIGA
WHAT THE PAPERS WROTE: ATHLETIC VS. DEPORTIVO
ARIZMENDI: "I WAS LUCKY IN THE GOAL AGAINST ATHLETIC"


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