Squad news


23 Oct 2008
New setback for Deportivo playing away from the Riazor during a European competition. The resume is quite simple: CSKA knew how to take advantage of its chances while the Galicians wasted their opportunities. Lotina’s team played well during the first 35 minutes, but the rest was a catastrophe. As it happened at Valencia, the defensive line was a mess and only Aranzubia avoided a biggest humiliation.

Coach Miguel Angel Lotina sent the expected starting squad with only one novelty: the continuity of Manuel Pablo at the right-back position. The Canarian was highly motivated for the match and Lotina decided to keep him in the squad. The main news at the formation was the presence of Cristian, player that was making his European debut as a starter.

Pablo Alvarez and Angel Lafita were left out of the final 18-list of players since both were slightly injured and since Lotina preferred to reserved them for la liga. At CSKA, coach Valery Gazzaev trusted in the combination Zhirkov-Dzagoev-V??gner Love in attack. The novelty in the starting eleven was to see Bosnian international Elvir Rahimic sited on the bench. His place was taken by Lithuanian Deividas Semberas.

The actions started with the Russians enjoying of two straight corners, the second one was taken by Dzagoev and it was headed inside the box by Vasili Berezutski, but Aranzubia was there to stop his effort (3’). Deportivo responded one minute later through a free-kick taken by Filipe, the ball was sent to the path of Valer??n, but the Canarian could only smash the ball into the body of Akinfeev though he was alone at the right side of the Russian area. An action that could have changed the development of the game.

During the first minutes Deportivo seemed comfortable playing over the artificial surface at the Luzhniki stadium, Lotina’s squad was moving the ball with criterion and without abusing of the long passes. At the 6th minute Guardado tested from long-distance, but his effort went over the crossbar. However, the pretty picture turned into a nightmare as Depor allowed two goals in just three minutes.

The first goal occurred after a foul of De Guzm??n over Semberas at the edge of the penalty area, 18-year-old Alan Dzagoev fired a 25-metres rocket that went directly to the top-left corner. Aranzubia didn’t have a chance. And the second goal came after Vagner Love easily surpassed Lopo in a divided action, then the Brazilian assisted Dzagoev  from the left and the Russian attacker doubled the advantage for his team with a close-range finish. With both goals, youngster Dzagoev took his tally to eight within the last seven official matches.

Despite the early setback, Deportivo didn’t lose the calmness and continued practicing its combinative game. The Galicians were dominating the match and came close to reduce the distances in two occasions. The first one was a solo-play of Cristian in which the Catalan eluded Akinfeev and sent a volley that was near to enter into the goal, but Vasili Berezutski saved his team over the goal line (16’)

The second chance was a great play of Valer??n that ended with an assist to Andr?s Guardado, the Mexican released a volley that passed near to the post (18’). It was clear that Deportivo was now commanding the game against a CSKA that was hoping to increase its lead with one of its deadly counterattacks. The Galicians continued insisting, mainly searching for Omar Bravo with high crosses coming from Filipe and Cristian, but the Russian defensive line was clearing all the danger.

Depor’s next chance came at the 30th minute, once again the action was started by Valer??n. El Flaco made a good pass to Cristian who was at the edge of the area, near to the left side, but his final shot went wide. The response from CSKA came one minute later, Lopo committed a foul over Dzagoev. In the resulting free-kick, Aranzubia had to act twice in order to stop the efforts of Dzagoev and Zhirkov.

Little by little, Deportivo was losing the pace and the calmness that it was trying to transmit, the Galicians spent the last minutes taking corner-kicks and sending crosses that were always cancelled by the rival’s defensive line. The true is that Lotina’s Depor started to play the game just after CSKA scored its two goals and after the Russians decided to lock themselves in their area. At least the offensive line seemed to be working with a Valer??n that was giving good passes and with the six shots made by the Galicians in this part, though in the last minutes the squad lost the concentration as it started to abuse of the aerial game. More worrying was the performance in defence, because Vagner Love and Dzagoev were always unstoppable forces for Z? Castro, Lopo and Manuel Pablo.

The final 45 minutes were a new nightmare for Lotina’s team. CSKA was now having the ball possession and the initiative. However the first warning was made by Depor at minute 51, it was a counterattack after a free-kick of Zhirkov that Omar Bravo couldn’t resolve. It was just a mirage, because the Russians took control of the actions and started to push strongly for the third goal.  The first chance for them was a great play of Yuri Zhirkov that almost ends in goal, again Lopo failed in contention and the winger was able to send a shot, but the ball went wide.

Then Daniel Aranzubia made two new crucial interventions, this time saving Depor from the efforts of Krasic (55’) and V??gner Love (57’). Depor was at the mercy of CSKA during the second half and the Basque keeper was the only thing preventing a bigger defeat for the Galicians.

And the inevitable thing occurred at the 61st minute. CSKA conquered the third goal of the night as Vagner Love scored from close range and after a cross from Milos Krasic that was headed first across the goal by Ignashevich. Game over for Deportivo.

Then Lotina decided to replace De Guzm??n with Sergio, a desperate move trying to awake a dead midfield. Gazzaev responded replacing Dzag??ev with Brazilian Ram??n. The first shot on target for Depor during the second half came until minute 67, Guardado took a corner-kick and Z? Castro, who was there searching for the header, found the rebound and fired directly to the hands of Akinfeev.

Sergio’s entranced wasn’t a real impact for the Galician squad, as it happened in the last minutes of the first half, Deportivo continued insisting with worthless crosses that weren’t causing any trouble to the local players. Despite the score, Lotina didn’t want to change the strategy, he preferred to keep playing with one striker as Mista entered for Omar Bravo, the Mexican remains scoreless in official matches though it should be appointed he didn’t have any clear opportunity in this game.

Depor’s best chance in the second half came at minute 76 as Sergio hit the post with mid-distance shot. But the desired reaction never occurred and the Galicians seemed defeated, actually it was what Lotina transmitted from the bench after the Basque manager decided to replace Filipe with Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’. With this modification, the coach was trying to rest Filipe for the upcoming matches. Piscu covered his position and Manuel Pablo continued on the right.

Lotina also ordered an exchange between Guardado and Cristian, the Catalan was now covering the left wing and the Mexican did the same on the right. But this move didn’t have any effect in the result as Depor continued lost on the pitch, always sending crosses that never met a friendly receiver. The last two chances for Depor came in the last minutes. First with Sergio taking a free-kick that went over the crossbar (89’) and later with a header from Mista that was saved by Akinfeev though referee Alon Yefet whistled an offside.

Another terrible performance for Deportivo playing away from home. The rival’s trainer, Valery Gazzaev, was hailing the defensive solidity of the Galicians, but that solidity never showed up in Moscow. Z? Castro and especially Lopo were humiliated by Dzag??ev, while Manuel Pablo spent hard times trying to stop the powerful moves of Vagner Love. Only the six saves made by Aranzubia prevented a bigger defeat.

At least Depor’s chances in this tournament seem intact since the Galicians still have to play three more games in the group. In the other game of the day, AS Nancy-Lorraine defeated Feyenoord Rotterdam at home (3-0). Deportivo will rest in matchday 02 and will host Feyenoord at the Riazor until matchday 03, crucial game according to Thursday’s results.. But before that, Lotina’s team will face Sporting Gij??n in liga (Sunday, 17h00 at the Riazor ) and the first-leg in copa against Elche (Wednesday, 21h00 at the Mart?nez Valero)

CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev – Aleksei Berezutski, Ignash?vich, Vasili Berezutski, Grigoriev - Krasic, Semberas, Aldonin (Rahimic 73’), Zhirkov (Schennikov 87’) - V??gner Love, Dzag??ev (Ram??n 65’).
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Ze Castro, Lopo, Filipe Luis (Piscu 79’) – De Guzm??n (Sergio 64’), Antonio Tom??s - Cristian, Valer??n, Guardado - Omar Bravo (Mista 72’).
Goals: 1-0: (9’) Dzagoev, 2-0: (12’) Dzagoev, 3-0: (61’) Vagner Love
Referee: Alon Yefet (ISR). He showed yellow card to Grigoriev (34’), Semberas (44’), Lopo (72’), Aldonin (73’), Piscu (84’) and Vasili Berezutski (88’).
Venue: Luzhniki stadium (20,000).
Other statistics: Ball possession (53% - 47%); Total shots (10 - 10); Shots on target (7  - 5); Saves by the keeper (5– 6); Corner-kicks (7 – 8); Offsides (1 – 4); Fouls committed (14 – 13).


























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