Squad news


02 Nov 2008
First away victory for Deportivo during the liga season. It was a masterpiece in terms of how Lotina’s team managed the counterattack during the second half. And it’s that everything worked well for the Galicians: the defensive line was very solid after allowing three goals in each one of the previous games against CSKA and Sporting, but especially the squad found the effectiveness up front as the team capitalised its main chances to score.

No big surprises at Lotina’s squad, the Basque coach was celebrating his game number 300 at Primera Divisi??n and he decided to send a 4-2-3-1 with Verd?? as the playmaker of the formation and with Riki up front. In midfield he started with the combination De Guzm??n-Juan Rodr?guez while Z? Castro kept his place alongside Lopo in the centre of the defence.

At Betis the main news was that Melli didn’t start the game. It was expected he would take the place of Juanito in the centre of the defence, but in the end it was David Rivas who played alongside Arzu in that position. Coach Chaparro was trusting in Mariano Pavone and Sergio Garc?a in order to score the goals

Both squads started the actions studying the rival and waiting to enjoy of any possible occasion, Emana (2’) and Guardado (3’) had the first attempts to score, but the actions ended in nothing positive for their teams. And just when Depor was trying to be settled on the pitch, it lost one man as Julian De Guzman had to be replaced by Sergio at the 7th minute due to a muscular problem. The forced modification affected the plans of Lotina who was hoping to put a lot of pressure in midfield with the couple De Guzman-Juan Rodr?guez, now he had to change the plans with a more offensive man.

Then Betis started to push for the first goal. First Mariano Pavone sent a cross from the left that went out (8’), later Emana was searching for Fernando Vega on the right side, but the defender was offside (10’). The response of Deportivo was a cross of Joan Verd??, who was at the right wing, searching for Riki’s path, but keeper Casto arrived first. Then Sergio took a free-kick and sent the ball to the box, but it didn’t find a receiver (15’).

A curiosity during the first minutes of the game was to see Lafita running over the left wing, while Guardado was covering the right. At minute 19, Sergio searched for the Aragonian with a long pass and then he made a new pass to Riki, but the Madrilenian was offside. One minute later Sergio Garc?a had an attempt score with a 30-meter shot and Dani Aranzubia appeared to make his first save of the game. It was the clearest chance for Betis in the first half an hour.

The home team was having the ball possession, but the true is that Deportivo was feeling very comfortable over the pitch. The Galicians were waiting for a counterattack in order to search the goal. However the problem for Lotina’s side was that there was no depth at Depor. A fact that occurred because the plays were not finalized as the players were failing in the last pass. Joan Verd?? was very active, but he was facing a lot of troubles in order to find Lafita and Guardado. The connection with Riki was also broken.

At minute 25, Emana took a free-kick and sent the ball to the box, but Guardado cleared the danger. Despite that Betis was not creating too many clear chances, the true is that Sergio Garc?a was giving a lot of problems to the visitors, the ex-Zaragoza was constantly switching his position on the pitch, something that was opening some holes at Depor’s defense.

Then things turned more exciting. All started with Deportivo enjoying of a double chance, first Riki heading a cross of Guardado, the ball ended in the hands of Casto (27). One minute later a counterattack of the visitors was transformed into a mid-distance shot from Sergio, but the ball went out. In the next play Betis was close to score the first goal. Capi took a corner-kick and Mehmet Aurelio headed the ball inside the box, the ball was going in, but Sergio cleared the danger over the goal line. In the counterattack of this play, Verd?? was near to score with a surprising volley, but Casto cleared the ball to corner-kick.

All these four occasions occurred within four minutes, both teams were ?enlarging’ the pitch and the strategy was allowing the players to find the needed spaces in order to have more occasions. In the final minutes of the first part Betis pushed strongly for the goal, but the locals also missed effectiveness in the moment of fulfilling the last pass. At minute 39, Mehmet Aurelio found the ball inside the box after a corner-kick, but his final shot was stopped by Aranzubia. The response of Depor came with a wide shot of Verd?? after a pass of Sergio (42’). The first half ended with two shots from Lafita and Emana, both went out.

Juanma replaced Achille Emana at Betis, it was a move of coach Francisco Chaparro trying to lift the deadlock in midfield. The first chance of the second part was a free-kick of Guardado that the Mexican sent to the box, it reached Riki but the Madrilenian missed the target (47’). Betis responded with a shot of Sergio Garc?a that ended at Aranzubia’s arms.

Things were the same compared to the first half, Betis was trying to have the initiative and was enjoying of the ball possession, but the local players were not able to surpass Albert Lopo or Z? Castro, the stones at Depor’s defensive zone. Meanwhile the visitors were waiting for a chance through a counterattack. The first chance for Betis in the second part was a play of Sergio Garc?a inside the box, but the ball went to Aranzubia’s hands after Manuel Pablo intercepted the ex-Zaragoza striker. One minute later the same Sergio Garc?a sent the ball out after a deflection in a free-kick of Capi.

Once again it seemed that the main problem for the Galicians was the lack of depth, because Depor was easily losing the ball in midfield and its attacks were simply inexistent, something that was just putting more pressure in its the defensive line. But when things seemed to be more complicated, Deportivo found the first goal through a deadly counter-attack.

It was an action leaded by Angel Lafita, the public protested because Capi fell down to the ground, but the true is that he was fouled by his own team mate. In the resulting attack, three men faced a defender and keeper Casto, the ball reached Guardado who made a shot on target, Casto made a great save with his foot, but the Mexican found again the ball and he sent a cross that Riki headed inside the box and into the goal. It is his first goal in liga and is second straight goal after the one conquered against Elche in Copa.

Now Deportivo was living the kind of game that Lotina wanted, Betis was becoming desperate and the Galicians were finding more spaces in the counterattack, in this part of the match Guardado and Lafita were the main protagonists as his long runs were creating a lot of troubles to the home team. Then Rodolfo Bodipo replaced Riki, while at Betis Pavone was replaced by Jos? Mari. Both modifications were trying to refresh the attacking zone.

At minute 70, Juan Rodr?guez had an attempt to score from mid-distance, but the ball went into the hands of Casto. One minute later Jos? Mari headed out a cross from Fernando Vega. Betis continued insisting, but this time Depor’s defensive line was very well placed and was stopping all the attacks from Chaparro’s team. The most important chance for the Andalusians came at minute 77, it was a header of Arzu after a free-kick of Capi, the ball passed near to the left post.
And Deportivo killed the game with a new and deadly counterattack. All started with a cross of Capi that was intercepted by Depor’s defensive line, then Lopo passed the ball to Verd?? and the Catalan to Angel Lafita, the Aragonian winger entered to the box and eluded Rivas in a brilliant move, he sent what it seemed to be a cross that later turned into a volley that went to the upper corner of Casto. Game over.

Betis was dead now, especially after Sergio Garc?a was sent out after picking his second yellow card of the game for simulating a penalty. With the things defined, Juan Carlos Valer??n entered and replaced Joan Verd??, the Catalan made a very good game and had to leave the pitch injured. The true is that it was the perfect game for Valer??n, because the open spaces on the pitch are what he always needs.

And it was Valer??n who created the play that ended with Depor’s third goal, all started again with Guardado who begun the action after a tough foul of Mehemet Aurelio over Lafita, the ball reached El Flaco who made a great play inside the box drilling a pass that Angel Lafita had only to push into the goal. It’s the fourth foal for the ex-Zaragoza in the liga season, he’s the Pichichi at Depor. The true is that he was off side though referee Delgado Ferreiro didn’t whistle anything. The game ended with two attempts of Mehmet Aurelio and Nelson, but Aranzubia saved both occasions.

Great demonstration of Deportivo in the second half, mainly for the way in which Lotina’s side managed the counterattack. Curiously it seemed the Galicians would suffer due the pressure put by Betis and also for the lack of effectiveness saw in the first 60 minutes, but everything changed in the final half an hour, minutes in which Depor was deadly in the counterattack. Also, the defensive line was a solid rock that blocked everything.

The victory is a boost for Deportivo who now lives in mid-table (9th with 12 points), just one point below the sixth place (Atletico with 13) and five over the relegation zone (Recreativo with 7). Lotina’s team will rest during matchday 02 in the UEFA Cup and will play again until the next weekend, it will be during the visit of RCD Espanyol to the Riazor (Sunday, 17h00).

Betis: Casto - Nelson, Rivas, Arzu, Fernando Vega - Mehemet Aurelio, Capi - Dami??, Emana (Juanma 46’), Sergio Garc?a – Pavone (Jos? Mari 70’)
Deportivo: Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Z? Castro, Filipe – De Guzm??n (Sergio 7’), Juan Rodr?guez – Lafita, Verd?? (Valer??n 81’), Guardado – Riki (Bodipo 70’)
Goals: 0-1: (60’) Riki, 0-2: (79’) Lafita, 0-3: (86’) Lafita.
Referee: Delgado Ferreiro. He showed the yellow card to Sergio (32’) and Mehmet Aurelio (83’). Sergio Garc?a was sent out with two yellow cards (61’ and 81’)
Venue: Manuel Luis de Lopera (38,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (56% - 44%); Total shots (20 - 15); Shots on target (7 - 7); Saves by the keepers (2 - 4); Corner-kicks  (13 - 1); Offsides (2 - 5); Fouls committed (12 - 11); Accuracy in the passes (84.64% - 85.20%)


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