Squad news

REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 1 – NUMANCIA 0 (LIGA)

05 Oct 2008
A single stationary play was enough to conquer the second victory in la liga for Deportivo. Lotina’s side made a decent first half and had a couple of chances to define the game, but in the second part Numancia pushed and the big effort done against Brann left Depor against the ropes. At least the defensive zone was solid this time and Lafita’s goal earned three important points for the Galicians.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina surprised with the appearance of Angel Lafita as the playmaker in the formation. Neither Verd?? nor Valer??n were starters and the Aragonian was responsible for the creation of game at Lotina’s team. Pablo Alvarez appeared as the right winger and Colotto made his debut in Primera Divisi??n covering the absence of Z? Castro. Manuel Pablo was also reappearing after surpassing the injury that left him out of action for a couple of months. In Numancia, coach Kresic was presenting the expecting formation, with Felipe Gur?ndez covering the suspended Juan Carlos Moreno.

FIRST HALF
The things started slowly at the Riazor. Everybody were fearing the physical and mental effort done in the past Thursday’s game would affect the squad, something that seemed like a reality during the first ten minutes of game, but the true is that neither Numancia did anything against Aranzubia’s goal, at least during the first twenty minutes.

Depor’s only approximation within the first ten minutes was a cross from Pablo ?lvarez that Lafita controlled near the box, but he wasn’t able to find Juan Rodr?guez and the danger was cleared. Suddenly, the goal of Deportivo arrived after a foul of Juanra over Felipe Luis on the left wing. Sergio took the free-kick and he sent a cross to the box that ?ngel Lafita headed when he was almost backwards the goal, his high header turned into a volley that entered near the far post, Juan Pablo could only saw how the ball was entering into his goal. That would be Depor’s only shot on target in the entire game.

It was exactly what Deportivo needed: an early advantage in order to face the rest of the match with more calmness, something missed in the previous home game with RCD Mallorca. The goal didn’t awake Numancia since the team from Soria continued locked in midfield. The first approximation from the visitors was a mid-distance shot of Brit that went over the crossbar (18’).

One minute before this action, Pablo ?lvarez had to leave the pitch injured, his place was taken by Riki. Curiously the Madrilenian attacker was whistled by the Riazor when he entered to the pitch, a sign of reprobation coming from the fans after been sent off in the game with Brann Bergen. The modification sent Guardado to the right wing while Riki was now occupying the left side.

Since Numancia was not doing anything in order to tie the game, it was Deportivo who pushed for the second goal, and all the danger was coming in set-pieces. The Galicians had three clear chances to score in a matter of three minutes. First Guardado took a free-kick that Riki found in the box, but his final shot went high (20’). One minute later the second opportunity arrived as Guardado made a run on the right wing that ended with a cross into Omar Bravo’s path, but visiting goalkeeper Juan Pablo was able to clear the danger into a corner. In the next play Omar Bravo found the corner-kick of Guardado inside the box, but the Mexican couldn’t sent a shot on target and the danger was cleared by Numancia’s defensive zone. These were the best moments of Depor in the game.

The first and only clear chance for Numancia in the first half came at minute 23. Lopo pushed Barkero on the left side and Mario took a free-kick, the midfielder sent a pass to the centre and Nagor? sent a shot on target that Aranzubia saved. The next fifteen minutes were very calmed for both goalkeepers, Numancia was trying but its players weren’t able to surpass the wall of Deportivo, while the Galicians were reserving strengths.

At minute 37 the home fans reclaimed a possible penalty after Filipe was pushed inside the area, but referee ?lvarez Izquierdo didn’t whistle anything. At minute 42 Sergio had a new attempt to score, the Catalan stole a ball in midfield and later sent a drilling shot that went out. The first half ended with a great play of Guardado, he made a great run on the right wing and passed the ball to Riki who sent a cross to the box that didn’t find a receiver.

It was a decent first half of Depor, the Galician team didn’t present the same intensity than in the past game with Brann, but the defensive line was focused and didn’t allow any chance to the visitors. The key was the early goal of Lafita, something that gave confidence and calmness to a squad that hadn’t won since the opening game in liga.

SECOND HALF
Sergio Kresic sent Del Pino to the pitch in order to replace Mario, Del Pino was one of the alternatives tested by the Croatian manager in order to replace the absence of Moreno. With this move Kresic was trying to give more strength to his attack, especially on the right wing. However the second part started with a great chance for Deportivo. Just one minute after the pause, Riki had the opportunity to define the game after he made a solo-play that left him alone against Juan Pablo, but his final effort was deflected by the keeper.

Then the best moments of Numancia arrived, at minute 53 the visitors were near to equalise the score during a counterattack after a free-kick taken by Sergio. It was a fast play in which Barkero assisted Bellvis inside the box, but Aranzubia made the save. One minute later Lotina decided to move the striking zone sending Mista to the pitch in order to replace Omar Bravo, the Mexican didn’t have a good game this time.

It seemed that Numancia was now decided to make an effort in order to conquer the equaliser, but then Depor had a double chance at minute 59. First Lafita sent a cross from the left that was cleared by a defender, then Sergio found the ball near the penalty zone, but his shot went out. At minute 67 Kresic replaced Bellvis with Juan Quero and the modification proved to be a right move as the Madrilenian winger started to give a lot of troubles to Manuel Pablo with his velocity.

The best of the chances generated by Quero occurred at minute 73 as he assisted Brit who later sent a dangerous cross to Del Pino’s path, but his right-foot effort went out. Then Lotina decided to refresh the playmaking function sending Verd?? to replace Angel Lafita. The Aragonian was definitely the best man in the home team, not only for the goal but because he was constantly creating danger against the rival. After Del Pino’s chance, Deportivo responded two minutes later with a long-distance shot of Guardado that went out. Then Numancia had a new opportunity with Gorka Brit firing from mid-distance, but once again Aranzubia was there to make the save.

Between minutes 50 and 77, Numancia gave a lot of problems to Deportivo, especially after Juan Quero entered to the game, the visitors were pushing for the equaliser while the Galicians were holding at the back waiting for a chance to define the game. But Numancia released the pressure for the final ten minutes and Depor had a couple of chances to score the second goal. At minute 79 Mista headed out a good cross from Riki. Five minutes later Verd?? sent a wide shot after a personal manoeuvre.

At minute 85, Numancia had its last chance as Depor lost a ball in midfield, but the shot of Brit, after the pass of Barkero, went out. The last opportunity for Depor came three minutes before the end, it was an acrobatic shot of Guardado after a cross from Verd?? coming from the right side, but the effort of the Mexican winger went out. The game ended with a Deportivo that was holding at the back against a Numancia that didn’t find the ideas to open a well placed defensive line.

AFTER THE GAME
Important win for Deportivo that allows Lotina’s side to reach the ninth place in the table, the Galician side didn’t present the same intensity of Thursday’s game in UEFA, and once again the squad presented the same lack of aim that caused the goalless game with Mallorca, but at least this time Lafita was able to find a ball in the box that meant an early advantage for Depor. Curiously and despite that Depor generated a lot of occasions in the game, the header of Lafita was the lonely shot on target made by Depor in the entire game.

Lotina’s team had enough chances to define the game in the first half and it ended suffering in the second part as Numancia pushed strongly during 20 minutes, but the defensive sector made a good job and achieved a new clean sheet at the Riazor. La Liga reaches now a pause as a long list of World Cup qualifiers will take place during the next week and a half. The competition restarts in two weeks as Deportivo will pay a visit to one of its favourite stadiums: El Sardinero in order to face Racing Santander (October 19).

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: Aranzub?a - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Colotto, Filipe Luis - Sergio, Juan Rodr?guez - Pablo ?lvarez (Riki 16’), Lafita (Verd?? 71’), Guardado - Omar Bravo (Mista 52’).
Numancia: Juan Pablo - Juanra, Palacios, Boris, Cisma - Nagore, Felipe Gur?ndez (Goiria 61’) - Mario (Del Pino 46’), Barkero, Bellvis (Quero 67’) - Brit. Goal: 1-0, (13’) Lafita.
Referee: ?lvarez Izquierdo. He showed yellow card to Cisma (23’), Palacios (31’) Lopo (43’), Del Pino (63’) and Colotto (66’).
Venue: Riazor (14,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (47% - 53%); Total shots (13 - 10); Shots on target (1  - 3); Saves by the keeper (0 – 2); Corner-kicks (4 – 4); Offsides (1 – 3); Fouls (25 – 15); Accuracy of passes (80.85% - 83.53%)

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