Squad news

REVIEW: ATLETICO MADRID 4 - DEPORTIVO 1 (LIGA)

16 Nov 2008
An unlucky Deportivo got crushed again in la liga, this time at the Vicente Calder??n. Unlucky, because it lost against an Atletico that didn’t have a brilliant performance as the score suggest. And it’s that the team from Madrid achieved the victory just capitalizing three big errors from Depor’s defence, once again the lack of concentration at the back zone is costing a huge set-back on the season.

BEFORE THE GAME
No surprises in the lineups of both teams, Lotina started with the same squad that defeated Espanyol at the Riazor with the only novelty of Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’ playing for Z? Castro in defence and with Riki, Guardado and Lafita as the main references in attack. At the other side, Javier Aguirre was returning to play with the 4-4-2 figure and with Simao Sabrosa, Diego Forl??n, ?Kun? Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez as the bets for the goals. President Lendoiro traveled to Madrid and watched the game from the stands.

  FIRST HALF
The true is that the first 45 minutes were really poor. As it was expected, Deportivo was holding at the back and trying to speculate with counterattacks, but once again Lotina’s side missed intensity and precision, reason why the squad fell drowned on the pitch. Meanwhile Atletico had the ball possession, but also faced big difficulties to create occasions to score, mainly because Maxi Rodriguez and Aguero weren’t appearing. However the locals scored a goal and were close to add another four after hitting the post twice and after Sergio cleared a chance over the line.

It seems strange to realise how a team had four clear chances in just forty five minutes without doing too much, but there’s an explanation: the lack of concentration and the frequent errors at Depor’s defence. A worrying thing, because it isn’t the first time that it happens as the results against CSKA Moscow (0-3), Valencia (2-4) and Sporting Gij??n (0-3) point out.

Atletico started the game having the initiative and with a Depor that was locked in defence, the first chance to score came at minute 2, Simao took a corner on the left and Aguero was able to head the ball, it was going to the left side of Aranzubia and Sergio saved Depor clearing the ball with the head when he was standing over the goal line. Four minutes later, Maxi Rodr?guez was entering to the area by the right side, but Manuel Pablo cleared the ball when the Argentine was planning to send a deadly cross.

The next ten minutes were really calmed, with both sides stuck on the pitch. The first chance for Depor came at minute 14, Pern?a committed a foul offer Juan Rodr?guez, Guardado took the free-kick and he sent a direct shot into the hands of Leo Franco. Lotina said before the game that he never spoke with Guardado and Lafita about switching positions on the pitch, but actually that was what both did in the first minutes, because the Mexican was playing on the right wing and the Aragonian on the left.

But Depor missed depth in its attacks, mainly because Pern?a and Perea were advancing their positions on the pitch and were obstructing the exits of Depor’s winger, something that left Riki alone up front. The Madrilenian had a decent game, always giving troubles to Atletico, but diluted as he was constantly running to the sides.

Depor had its first clear counterattack until minute 23, it was a combination between Riki and Guardado, but the cross from the Mexican didn’t find a receiver in the area and was cleared by the defenders. And just three minutes later, the home side found the first goal. It was a big error of the whole Depor’s defence. Simao was taking a corner on the right, the Portuguese sent a low cross that hit the ground when it reached the box, but neither Manuel Pablo nor Piscu cleared the ball and the rebound was found by John Heitinga who just had to push it against an Aranzubia that was lost. It was an error of Lopo too since the Catalan lost the mark over the Dutchman.

The goal gave some impulse to Atletico and the home side lived its best moment on the first part, first with Pern?a sending the ball out from long distance (28’) and later as Diego Forl??n sent an impressive rocket that hit the left post, Aranzubia slightly touched the ball as he flied through the skies. Luckily for Depor, the ball went out and into the opposite way (32'). Depor tried to find itself again and had a clear chance through a great counterattack that almost meant the equaliser (33’).

It was a long ball of Aranzubia that Riki found on the right wing, the Madrilenian fought for the ball and surpassed three rivals, later he drilled it to Angel Lafita who was alone inside the box, Atletico asked for an offside, but the referee allowed the play, the Aragonian sent a crossed shot that Leo Franco deflected to corner-kick.

Seven minutes later, Atletico hit the left post again, it was during a free-kick that Simao sent to the box, after a series of rebounds, Forl??n found it and sent a shot from close range that hit Juan Rodr?guez first and later it hit the post. The only appearance of Kun Aguero on the first half was during a counterattack of the home side after Juan Rodr?guez lost a ball in midfield (43’). He made a combination with Simao, but the Portuguese sent the ball out. The first half ended with Depor having a chance through a free-kick after a foul of the same Simao over Riki. The Madrilenian took the opportunity sending a shot on target, but directly to the hands of Leo Franco.

The first part was poor, Atletico didn’t do too much, but the errors of the visitors allowed Aguirre’s team to take the advantage in the score. Depor was having big difficulties to create something in attack, a fact that always happens when Depor plays away from home. The second half wasn’t inviting to be optimistic, mainly because on this liga season, Depor had never added points in a game after been in disadvantage on the scoresheet.

SECOND HALF
For the second part, Lotina ordered to advance the lines, Depor was now trying to have the initiative and the defenders started to play deep on the pitch, something that would only carry more problems to the visitors. But it seemed everything was starting well for Deportivo, at minute 48 Lotina’s side was close to reach the equaliser after Guardado sent a cross from the left, but the Mexican didn’t find a receiver and the ball went out.

And just three minutes later, Atl?tico Madrid scored the second goal. And once again after a huge error at Depor’s defence. Albert Lopo was having the ball on midfield, as it was mentioned previously, Deportivo’s defensive line was playing in an advance position on the pitch, but the Catalan felt the pressure from two rivals and decided to pass the ball to Piscu, the pass was too long and Diego Forl??n bet the Galician boy and later faced Aranzubia one-on-one, then the Uruguayan marksman easily drilled the ball between the legs of the keeper. Two mistakes were now costing the game to Depor.

Atletico was now in a comfortable position, having a two-goal lead without doing too much and facing a Depor that was insisting, but that was missing punch. At the 55th minute, Riki had an attempt to score, but the shot went over the crossbar. The Madrilenian was working hard in attack, but he just missed more company as his game was getting lost on both wings.

One minute later, Simao was clear to score the decisive third goal, it was a solo-play in which the ex-Benfica man eluded Manuel Pablo and Lopo, but he sent the ball out after facing Aranzubia one-on-one. At minute 65, Lotina moved the things in attack, a very poor Joan Verd?? left his place and Pablo Alvarez entered, while Rodolfo Bodipo was doing the same for Riki. With the move, Lafita started to perform in the playmaking function while Alvarez took the right wing. The true is that the changes were worthy, specially the one of Bodipo, because Depor started to enjoy of more depth on its attacks. Actually, the Guinean had an attempt to score just seconds after his entry, he headed a cross from the left, but Leo Franco contained the danger.

 However, it was Atl?tico who scored the third goal just minutes after these changes. It was the best collective play of Atletico in the whole game, it was a fast move started with Maniche in midfield sending a long ball to Maxi Rodr?guez, the Argentine gently touched the ball with the head to 'Kun' Aguero, who later made a small pass to Maxi, then the captain of the home team defeated Aranzubia with a drilling shot. Game over for Depor.

Maybe the best thing for Depor is that no matter the score, the visiting team never lost the intention of attacking, because the last twenty two minutes were the period of time in which Lotina’s side attacked the most. At minute 68, Bodipo had an attempt to score after a long ball from defence, Leo Franco again saved his team. Five minutes later the Guinean had one of the clearest chances in the game after a drilling pass from Guardado. Bodipo was alone against Leo Franco, but just when he was ready to fire on target, Colombian Perea came from behind and cleared to a corner-kick.

With the game decided, Aguirre gave rest to his two midfielders, Assuncao and Maniche, then Ever Banega and Ra??l Garc?a entered to the game (75’). Five minutes after the modification, Atletico scored the demolishing 4-0. Again during an error at Depor’s defence. This time committed by Daniel Aranzubia. The Basque was having the ball and was desperate to start an attack, he sent a long pass to Manuel Pablo on the right, but it was too long as the Canarian didn’t’ reach the ball, worst than that, he lost the position to Simao who assisted Pern?a on the left wing, then the ex-Getafe passed the ball to Diego Forl??n who scored his second goal of the game through a crossed shot to the left post of Aranzubia.

Then Juan Carlos Valer??n replaced Lafita and Depor continued attacking. At minute 83 the visitors had a corner-kick, Guardado sent the cross to the box, but Bodipo missed the target. Three minutes later, Lotina’s side scored its lonely goal. It was a solo-play of Filipe Luis who eluded several rivals until he entered into the area, then accidentally the ball reached Valer??n after a rebound in a defender, El Flaco drilled the ball and Filipe just had to push the ball in.

Despite things were already decided, both sides enjoyed of several occasions within the last two minutes plus the stoppage time, more precisely two opportunities for Atletico and three for Depor. At minute 88 Valer??n assisted Guardado and the Mexican sent an impressive volley from outside the area, but the ball went out. Seconds later, Leo Franco had to clear out a header of Filipe after a series of rebounds. In the next play, Vanega made an attempt to score from long distance, and Aranzubia saved Depor. The resulting corner-kick almost ended in goal  as Heitinga headed the ball inside the box, it was the same play of the first goal, including the errors on the marks at Depor, but this time the Dutch defender sent the ball out. The last play of the game was a deep cross of Guardado that Pablo ?lvarez received in the other side, he drilled the ball to the box, but the pass was made behind Bodipo and nobody else at Depor was able to reach it.

AFTER THE GAME
Curious game at the Vicente Calder??n, the score invites to think in a great work of Atletico’s attackers, but the true is that only Simao Sabrosa shined, while Diego Forl??n appeared from time to time. Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez were disappeared. The reading of the game is that the big score suffered by Depor was caused by its own miseries, because three of the four goals came alongside big errors at the back zone. Maybe the only positive thing is that the squad kept insisting no matter the game was already decided, that’s why the Galicians scored a goal and even had three clear chances in the last minutes.

Without doubt Lotina must be worried for the work of Deportivo, because the lack of concentrations and the errors in defence appeared again, just as it happened at CSKA, Valencia and in the home game with Sporting. This time Depor allowed four goals (the first time on the season) and the true is that despite its poor game in attack, Atletico was even able to score more goals as it missed some chances and as it hit the post twice.

At least Depor is not losing too much after the defeat, because the Galician side just lost one position on the standings has Atletico is now sixth in the table with 17 points. Depor is two points behind the Madrilenians and occupies the seventh spot though UD Almeria and Sporting Gij??n have the same number of points. On the next Sunday Depor will host Athletic Bilbao at the Riazor (21h00), Caparr??s’ side still in relegation though it defeated Osasuna at home (2-0).

MATCH STATISTICS
Atl?tico Madrid: Leo Franco - Perea, Heitinga, Ujfalusi, Pern?a - Paulo Assuncao (Ra??l Garc?a 75’), Maxi Rodr?guez, Maniche (Banega 75’), Simao – Forl??n, 'Kun' Ag??ero (Sinama-Pongolle 85’).
Deportivo: Aranzub?a - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Adri??n L??pez, Filipe - Juan Rodr?guez, Sergio - Lafita (Valer??n 81’), Verd?? (Bodipo 64’), Guardado - Riki (Pablo ?lvarez 64’).
Goals: 1-0: (25’) Heitinga, 2-0: (51’) Forl??n, 3-0: (66’) Maxi Rodr?guez, 4-0: (80’) Forl??n, 4-1: (86’) Filipe Luis.
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz. He showed yellow card to Lopo (38’) and Juan Rodr?guez (61’).
Venue: Vicente Calder??n (45,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (58% - 42%); Total shots (16 - 14); Shots on target (7 - 6); Saves by the keepers (4 - 1); Corner-kicks  (8 - 5); Offsides (2 - 2); Fouls committed (22 - 24); Accuracy in the passes (84.73% - 85.47%)

ARCHIVE NEWS NOV/08

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