Competition news


09 Nov 2008
Step forward for Deportivo as it achieved its second straight win in la liga, something that occurred for the first time on the season and that’s allowing to reach the sixth place in the table. It was a game in which Depor was more effective as it capitalised one of its two big chances to score. Meanwhile Espanyol did nothing and just pushed during the final minutes.

Portuguese central defender Z? Castro passed a late test early on Sunday and he was able to play alongside Lopo at the centre of the defence. Meanwhile Sergio was returning and taking the place of De Guzm??n in midfield, the Canadian got injured in the past game with Betis. The rest was the expected formation including the combination Verd??-Lafita-Guardado-Riki in attack. Cristian, player that was called for the game, had to leave to Barcelona at the last hour after the death of a relative.

At Espanyol, the novelty was that coach ?Tintin’ Marquez was choosing Argentinean playmaker Rom??n Martinez as the replacement of De La Pe?a in midfield. Meanwhile Jes??s Mari Lacruz was replacing suspended Daniel Jarque in defence. Luis Garcia and Ra??l Tamudo were the references in attack.

Deportivo had the weight of the game on its shoulders during big part of the encounter, especially during the first thirty five minutes, but it was incapable to create clear chances against Kameni, mainly because Lafita and Guardado weren’t finding the connection with Riki. Only Joan Verd??, one of the best players in the match, was trying to bring a surprise by the centre, actually it was the Catalan the protagonist of the lonely clear opportunity enjoyed by Depor in the first half an hour.

It was a counterattack started by Filipe Luis that ended with a shot made by Verd??, but the ball went close to the post (3’). It was necessary to wait until the 19th minute in order to see a new approximation made by the Galicians. It was a header of Sergio after a cross from Lafita, but the ball went out. The first chance for Espanyol in the game occurred two minute later as Moises Hurtado headed a cross of Nene, the ball went wide. Later Tamudo made a new cross that Aranzubia failed to contain, but Luis Garc?a didn’t capitalise the dead ball as he touch it first with his hands. At minute 30 Tamudo had an attempt to score after he found the ball inside the penalty area, but his shot went out.

The pace of the game was broken, both midfield sectors were lost on the pitch and the clear plays in attack weren’t appearing. Without De La Pe?a, Espanyol missed the connection between Tamudo and Luis Garcia as Rom??n Martinez passed unnoticed in the game, meanwhile Sergio was having a bad day since he was missing too much passes.

But then, lust when it seemed that things would be complicated, the goal for Deportivo arrived. Lafita started the play sending a cross from the right, Riki received the pass and controlled the ball with the chest, then it went to the back and Andr?s Guardado was there to send an unstoppable volley that passed near to Kameni’s hand. Curiously it is the first goal of Depor at the Riazor in a normal play and also the first goal of the Mexican winger during this season.

After the goal and before half-time, the fans at the Riazor only saw one more chance to score, it was a shot of Verd?? that went out after the Catalan received a pass from Guardado (41’). Depor was lucky to find the goal before the pause, because it was facing a rival that wasn’t risking too much and that was trying to speculate with the counterattack. Something that would have made harder the game during the second half, but now the Galicians were having the game under control, and with the big chance to use the same medicine of the Catalans in order to define the game during the second part: the counterattack.

And now Espanyol was forced to search for the equaliser, coach Marques even risked replacing central defender Pareja for ?ngel Mart?nez, the U-21 international midfielder that was supposed to be the replacement for De La Pe?a, later the Catalan coach confirmed the bet as ex-Osasuna Valdo replaced Nen? on the pitch.

But the true is that despite Espanyol was trying to have the initiative, it wasn’t creating chances to score. It’s first one on the second half arrived until minute 60, moment in which Sergio S??nchez fired on target after a pass from Mois?s Hurtado, but Daniel Aranzubia was there to send the ball to a corner-kick.

If Espanyol was having troubles in attack, it was because Deportivo was feeling really comfortable at its back zone, more than that, Lotina’s team was creating dangerous counterattacks that were close to be capitalised. Before the chance of Sergio S??nchez previously described, Depor enjoyed of one occasion. It was a great play of Joan Verd?? who assisted Guardado with a drilling pass, but the Mexican missed the target (56’). Later, it was Riki after the Madrilenian made a shot that passed near to the post (61’)

That was the last play of Riki in the game because he was replaced by Rodolfo Bodipo, later Z? Castro had to leave the pitch after suffering a new injury, this time a muscular pain on his left thigh, different problem to the ankle injury that had him on doubt since Thursday. Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’ took his place. Meanwhile Espanyol continued dead in the game, the second opportunity for the Catalans in the second half arrived until minute 71, it was a wide shot of Corominas after a pass from Luis Garc?a. It was clear the absence of De La Pe?a was a hard hit for coach Marquez as neither Angel nor Rom??n Martinez were appearing.

At the 76th minute, Deportivo had the greatest chance to define the game as Rodolfo Bodipo hit the post. Once again the play was started by Joan Verd??, the Catalan assisted Sergio on the right, then he sent a cross that the Guinean attacker connected with his right foot, he was in a difficult position though his shot was near to cross the line. Eight minutes before the end, the same Bodipo missed a new chance after a great pass of Guardado inside the box, this time Kameni contained the ball.

Then Lotina made the last modification sending Juan Carlos Valer??n to replace Joan Verd??, the Catalan received a standing ovation at the Riazor. Depor even had a last chance at minute 89 as Lafita sent a shot on target after a pass from Valer??n, once again Kameni stopped the ball. Espanyol just pushed strongly in the stoppage time. Corominas and Tamudo were the ones that searched the goal with attempts from short-distance, but Aranzubia made the save in both occasions. Goalkeeper Kameni even headed the ball inside Depor’s area during the last play of the game, a corner-kick that ended out.

Great victory for Deportivo over an Espanyol that didn’t create too many troubles at the Riazor. Both sides arrived to this game with big troubles to score the goals, but the Galicians found its goal at the right moment of the first half, something that allowed the squad to manage with more calmness and confidence the rest of the match. Bodipo even had the chance to define the confrontation after he sent the ball to the post, in the end Espanyol pressured during the final moments, but without any luck.

The win means an important boost for Deportivo, because is pushing the squad to the European positions, All the direct rivals failed in the matchday: Atl?tico Madrid drew at Osasuna (0-0), Getafe lost against Valencia (0-3), Malaga lost at Real Madrid and Sporting lost at Racing (0-1), for these reasons Deportivo is now sixth in the table with 15 points, now it travels to the Vicente Calder??n in order to face seventh place Atl?tico Madrid (Sunday 17h00), important game in the quest for the European positions. But before that, Depor must confront the second-leg in Copa del Rey against Elche CF, match that will take place on Wednesday at the Riazor (21h00). Lotina’s side already has a 2-0 advantage in the series.

Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Z? Castro (Adri??n L??pez 73’), Filipe - Sergio, Juan Rodr?guez - Lafita, Verd?? (Valer??n 85’), Guardado - Riki (Bodipo 66’).
Espanyol: mamen – Sergio S??nchez, Lacruz, Pareja (?ngel 46’), Beranger - Mois?s, Rom??n (Lola Smiljanic 81’) - Corominas, Luis Garc?a, Nen? (Valdo 64’) - Tamudo.
Goal: 1-0: (38’) Guardado
Referee: Ram?rez Dom?nguez. He showed yellow card to Lafita (60’), ?ngel (71’) and Sergio S??nchez. (78’)
Venue: Riazor (18,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (51% - 49%); Total shots (14 - 10); Shots on target (3 - 4); Saves by the keepers (3 - 2); Corner-kicks  (6 - 5); Offsides (4 - 3); Fouls committed (16 - 11); Accuracy in the passes (82.81% - 79.07%)


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