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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 2 – ATLETICO MADRID 1 (TERESA HERRERA)

19 Aug 2008
A new triumph for Deportivo in the Teresa Herrera. The Galicians clinched their 9th consecutive trophy after a game with two faces. The first half was entertaining with both sides searching the victory, while the final part was boring and full of fouls. But the important thing is that both sides must obtain conclusions in order to face their European matches of the next week.

BEFORE THE GAME
The main news was that Manuel Pablo had a toe cyst, reason why he will be operated on Thursday. With Barrag??n out until December (knee), Laure will be the starting choice in the UEFA clash with Hajduk Split. For the moment Lotina gave the youngster a chance in this game. Another novelty was to see the return of Lopo after surpassing a knee problem. Sergio and Valer??n were also returning to the starting eleven.

In Atl?tico Madrid, coach Javier Aguirre was using his starting squad mixed with some youngsters, including left-back Fernando de Abreu who started the encounter. Left winger Cedric and recent signing Assun?ao were also starters. Up front, Aguirre chose to play with the trio Luis Garc?a-Diego Forl??n-Sinama Pongolle.

FIRST HALF
Deportivo started strongly and dominated the actions during the first five minutes. Sergio was the first one having a chance, but he lost the ball against the defenders when he was ready to shot on target (3’). Later Pablo ?lvarez was close to face Leo Franco one-on-one, but the referee whistled an offside position. And when Atl?tico was trying to react, Valer??n fell down in the penalty zone after been fouled by Valera. It didn’t look like a clear penalty.

But Teixeira Vitienes whistled the penalty and Sergio scored the goal beating Leo Franco. Despite the early lead, Depor didn’t lose the spirit and the Galicians continued attacking. Two minutes after the goal, Depor was close to score again, this time after a cross from Pablo ?lvarez that ended with Antonio Tom??s firing over the crossbar. And Mista had his first chance of the night at minute 15, once again through a cross from Pablo ?lvarez, but the shot of the ex-Atletico player was repealed by Leo Franco.

The first chance for the visitors came at minute 16, but Daniel Aranzubia demonstrated his skills in a double action: first catching a corner-kick from Luis Garc?a, one minute later the Basque keeper denied the equaliser when he stopped Sinama Pongolle in a one-to-one action, it was the first and lonely combination between the attacking trio at Atletico, because the play was started by Luis Garc?a and Forl??n.

Things became more balanced in the following minutes, the ball spent more time in midfield and the occasions to score disappeared from the grass. Mainly because the ball wasn’t reaching Luis Garc?a, Forl??n and Sinama, while Pablo ?lvarez and Valer??n were leading Depor’s attacks, but without too much depth.

But the excitement retuned soon, because Depor replied and once again it was Sergio who scored. The Catalan watched that Leo Franco was standing over the goal line and he sent shot that turned into a volley after hitting defender Abreu, Leo Franco didn’t have a chance. Two minutes later, Mista had a new clear chance to define the game. All started with a misunderstood between Leo Franco and Valera, then Pablo ?lvarez stole the ball and the right winger made a pass to Mista who failed to score after his drilling shot was sent to the hands of Leo Franco.

Deportivo was near to solve the Teresa Herrera in the last minutes of the first half as a new penalty was awarded to the Galicians, this time it occurred after Pablo Iba?ez handled a header of Verd?? during a corner-kick of Filipe. But Mista wasted the chance as he slipped sending the ball over the crossbar. And just one minute later Atl?tico scored its goal after Fernando de Abreu headed inside the box a free-kick from Luis Garc?a.

Lotina’s squad reached half-time with the advantage in the score, the true is the Galicians were feeling really comfortable after talking an early lead. Atl?tico Madrid was always trying to push forward, reason why Depor faced a very different game compared to the one with Hajduk Split, because there were more spaces in midfield. Pablo ?lvarez and Valer??n were the most active players, Mista was also very incisive though he failed a penalty. The curious thing is that Depor passed to be near from a comfortable 3-0 to just leading 2-1 during the final two minutes of the half.

SECOND HALF
Lotina made a substitution: he replaced Verd?? with Juan Rodr?guez, while Javier Aguirre made three modifications: Dominguez, Diego Costas and De Las Cuevas entered for Pablo Iba?ez, Forl??n and Luis Garcia. All the changes were made thinking of the European confrontations of the next week. As it happened in the first half, Depor was the side having the first chances to score.

At minute 52 Juan Rodr?guez had an attempt to score after he was assisted by Pablo ?lvarez, but the shot went directly to the hands of Leo Franco. One minute later Mista failed a new opportunity after he sent the ball over the crossbar, he received a pass from Filipe. Later Atl?tico was near to create danger as Sinama Pongolle was ready to face Aranzubia in a new one-to-one action, but Filipe cleared the ball (59’).

The match lost the pace at the middle of the second half. Firstly for the multiple changes -Javier Aguirre made five modifications within the first fifteen minutes of this part- situation that reduced the level of the Madrilenians. Later because both teams started to provoke the rival, a series of tough challenges between Sinama Pongolle, Piscu and Diego Costas ended whit this last one pushing Riki to the ground. As result he was sent off while Antonio Tom??s was booked. Lotina took precaution measures and he replaced Antonio Tom??s with Bodipo, this in order to avoid further problems.

With the game broken in small pieces and with several fouls occurring over the grass, Lotina took off Valer??n. His place was taken by Rodri, defender already discarded by Lotina. In this way Deportivo lost its best man on the game. At minute 80, Antonio L??pez had a chance through a free-kick, but he hit the barrier (80’). This was the last occasion on the game, the final ten minutes were boring and with both sides thinking of the challenges they will face on the next week. The surprising thing was to see Rodri performing as defensive midfielder alongside Juan Rodr?guez, job he fulfilled really well.

AFTER THE GAME
Two different parts at the Riazor, the first half was entertaining, with both sides searching the goals. Depor was fortunate enough to take an early lead though it wasted the chance to end the half with a 3-0 score. But things changed in the second part as the actions became more violent. No clear occasions were created while referee Teixeira Vitienes had to show three yellow cards plus sending off Diego Costas.

But the game should be understood as an exam for both sides in order to face their real goals: Atl?tico Madrid searching the pass in Champions league and Depor in UEFA. Objectives they will try to concrete on the next week. Meanwhile, the conquer of the Teresa Herrera 2008 means the 16th trophy for the Galicians and the 9th straight occasion in which Depor wins the tournament.

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Laure, Lopo, Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’, Filipe - Antonio Tom??s (Bodipo 70’), Sergio - Pablo ?lvarez, Valer??n (Rodri 77’), Verd?? (Juan Rodr?guez 46’) - Mista (Riki 57’).
Atl?tico: Leo Franco - Antonio L??pez, Valera, Pablo Ib???ez (Dom?nguez 46’), Abreu - Assun?ao, Maniche (Cl?ber 57’), Cedric (Didi 53’), Luis Garc?a (Diego Costas 46’) - Forl??n (De Las Cuevas 46’), Sinama Pongolle.
Goals: 1-0: (8’) Sergio (penalty), 2-0: (37’) Sergio, 2-1: (45’) De Abreu.
Referee: Teixeira Vitienes. He showed yellow card to Sinama Pongolle (65’), Antonio Tom??s (69’), Assun?ao (76’). Diego Costas was sent off (70’)
Venue: Riazor (10,000)

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