Competition news

REVIEW: OSASUNA 0 - DEPORTIVO 0 (LIGA)

24 Sep 2008
The defensive strategy of Lotina at Reyno de Navarra earned a point for Deportivo. The Basque coach planned carefully the game and it ended well as the defensive sector reduced Osasuna to only two shots on target despite its ball possession. The negative fact is that Depor wasn’t able to score a goal for the fourth consecutive occasion, also that De Guzm??n was sent off, the Canadian will miss Sunday’s trip to Mestalla.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina surprised sending an unexpected lineup full of novelties. Firstly Laure was replaced by Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’ in the right-back position. Later Juan Rodr?guez appeared as the playmaker on the formation, basically more like a third defensive midfielder. Cristian also surprised since he took the place of Pablo ?lvarez tough he was playing on the left wing while Guardado covered the right. Other surprise was to see Rodolfo Bodipo as starter. Mista was on the bench and Omar Bravo was discarded after the last appeal of the club was denied by the LFP. No surprises at Osasuna as Ziganda sent the expected squad with Masoud Shojaei as the leader and with ex-Real Madrid Portillo in attack.

FIRST HALF
Both teams started the game in a passive way, like taking all the precautions measures in defence. Things continued in slow motion after Monreal had to leave the pitch after a collision with Z? Castro (6’). His place at the left-back position was taken by youngster Oier Sanjurjo. Osasuna was having the initiative in the game, but without creating danger, actually there wasn’t any opportunity for both sides within the first twenty minutes.

Within minutes 10 and 20, both teams were trying to base their game on the wings. Juanfran and Guardado were the most active players in their respective teams. At minute 10 Plasil sent a cross from the left that didn’t find any head at Depor’s area, later it was Guardado who was searching for Bodipo, but the cross from the Mexican didn’t reach a receiver (13’). The game was slightly disordered, mainly because Depor didn’t have the proper men to make exact passes in attack, while the Iran connection in the home side, Nekouman-Masoud, wasn’t appearing.

However, as soon as this two talented players started to find each other, Osasuna begun to have its chances. The first warning occurred at minute 14, when Nekouman sent a long ball to Juanfran after a pass of Masoud, fortunately for Deportivo Lopo was there to clear the danger. Then the first big opportunity appeared, Masoud found the ball in the penalty spot and sent a drilling shot that was near to enter into Aranzubia’s goal (21’).

Then the game started to gain intensity as both sides were having clear chances to take the lead. The first opportunity for Depor arrived at minute 31 after a corner of Sergio, Juan Rodr?guez found the ball inside the box, but his header went wide. The response of Osasuna came one minute later as a cross of Juanfran found Portillo inside Depor’s area, but the shot of the ex-Real Madrid attacker went out.

Suddenly the game became exciting, a total different picture to the actions witnessed during the first twenty minutes.  At minute 33 Osasuna had its bigger chance of the first half, one more time Juanfran was sending a cross from the right, this time it was Plasil who found the ball in the box and his effort was slightly touched by Aranzubia and then it hit the crossbar.

And the response of Deportivo came three minutes later as Cristian made a great pass leaving Rodolfo Bodipo alone against Ricardo, but the Guinean attacker failed as his final shot went wide, that was Depor’s main opportunity in the game. It was clear that Lotina’s team was betting in the long balls and the control over the defensive zone, Osasuna was trying to base its game with the combination Nekouman-Masoud, but the ?trivote’ of Lotina was blocking everything.

In the few occasions in which the Iran duo appeared, Osasuna seemed really close to score. The game of Juanfran on the right (the side of Filipe) was also giving some problems to Depor, while the main danger for the Galicians came with Guardado. The match was very equal and increased its velocity with the pass of time, the chances arrived after minute 20. Curiously both sides had its best opportunities in a matter of three minutes.

SECOND HALF
Things didn’t change too much for the second part. Osasuna was trying to have the initiative, but the system put by Lotina on the pitch was obstructing every attempt. But the situation changed at minute 51, after a couple of tough fouls referee Ram?rez Dom?nguez decided to sent off De Guzm??n for a tackle over Juanfran. The Canadian saw a first yellow card minutes before halftime for another foul over Juanfran.

The polemic came because initially the referee didn’t want to show the second yellow to De Guzm??n, but the protest of the public and the insistence of one of the referee’s assistances moved him to do it. The decision was protested by Depor’s player and a new yellow card was shown to Sergio. Now that Deportivo was reduced to ten men, Lotina’s strategy became more defensive than never before as he decided to put nine men at the back and to play only with Bodipo in attack.

It was clear that now the Basque manager was betting in a counterattack in order to solve the game, that’s why he sent Pablo ?lvarez to replace Cristian and Joan Verd?? to do the same with Sergio. The entrance of the Catalan improved the mobility up front, but no clear chances were created. Despite that Depor was now playing with ten players and that its lung in midfield -De Guzm??n- was already out, the squad continued blocking the game of the home side. Piscu was very solid at the right, while the moves of Lopo, Filipe and Z? Castro were stopping any attempt of reaching Aranzubia. Therefore Osasuna’s attempts were reduced to long-distance shots, like the one of Masoud (68’) or the effort of Delporte (71’). This last player entered for Plasil in order to refresh the left wing.

And it was Delporte who had the first big opportunity for the Navarrans in the second half as his cross from the right was near to create troubles, but Aranzubia was there to clear the ball with his fists. It was then when Deportivo lived the most difficult moments on the night, first Z? Castro stopped a dangerous pass of Masould that was leaving Portillo alone against Aranzubia (75’), two minutes later Lopo was clearing a shot of Fla?o over the goal line. This last action was the second and last opportunity in which the Navarrans made a shot on target.

For the final ten minutes both coaches refreshed their attacking zone, in Depor Mista entered for Bodipo while H?ctor Font replaced Pu?al. At minute 82 Osasuna had its penultimate chance as a cross from Masoud was headed out by his compatriot Nekounam. The home insisted during the final five minutes, but the wall put by Lotina at the back blocked any attempt to beat Aranzubia. Depor even had a final chance at minute 90 with a free-kick taken by Verd??, but his shot went directly into the arms of Ricardo. The game ended with a dangerous cross of Delporte that hit the crossbar after been deflected by a rival.

AFTER THE GAME
Second straight goalless draw for Deportivo in la liga, and fourth consecutive official game in which the Galicians aren’t able to score a goal. The defensive approach of Lotina worked perfectly as Piscu played a great game at the right-back position and since Lopo and Z? Castro controlled the centre of the zone. Despite the ball possession of the Navarrans (66%), they were only able to shot on target in two opportunities, which speaks very well of the work at Depor’s defence. But the lack of goals is the negative note from this encounter, Bodipo had a single chance and he wasted it while Mista didn’t appear in the fourteen minutes he spent over the grass.

The game of Deportivo improved with Verd?? on the pitch, but this only occurred for the final thirty minutes and after Depor was reduced to ten men due to the expulsion of De Guzm??n. The suspension of the Canadian for the trip to Mestalla (Sunday 19h00 CET) is the second negative note from this game. Deportivo continues to live in mid-table, now with five points in four matches.

MATCH STATISTICS
Osasuna: Ricardo - Javier Fla?o, Roversio, Miguel Fla?o, Monreal (Oier 10’) - Pu?al (H?ctor Font 78’), Nekounam - Juanfran, Masoud, Plasil (Delporte 68’) - Portillo.
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’, Lopo, Z? Castro, Filipe - Sergio (Verd?? 60’), De Guzm??n - Cristian (Pablo ?lvarez 56’), Juan Rodr?guez, Guardado - Bodipo (Mista 76’).
Referee: Rafael Ram?rez Dom?nguez. He showed yellow card to Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’ (28’), Sergio (52’) and Juanfran (83’). De Guzm??n was sent off with two yellow cards (52’)
Venue: Reyno de Navarra (16,437).
Other statistics: Ball possession (66% - 34%); Total shots (14 - 6); Shots on target (2  - 1); Saves by the keeper (0 – 2); Corner-kicks (8 – 3); Offsides (1 – 1); Fouls (13 – 12); Accuracy of passes (81.55% - 78.49%)

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