Squad news

REVIEW: LECH POZNAN 1 - DEPORTIVO 1 (UEFA)

04 Dec 2008
Not a good game for Deportivo, but at least the Galician squad returns from Poland with a point inside the pocket. Everything seemed in favour thanks to a quick goal of Colotto, but Lotina’s squad fell down as Lech started to push strongly. Now everything will be decided in the last matchday of the group.

BEFORE THE GAME
Coach Miguel Angel Lotina sent the expected squad with Piscu at the right-back position, Colotto joining Lopo at the centre of the defence, De Guzm??n and Sergio returning to midfield and with the trio Guardado-Valer??n-Cristian playing behind Mista in attack.

At Lech Poznan, coach Franciszek Smuda surprised leaving his main goalscorer, Robert Lewandowski, sited on the bench. Instead Rafal Murawski was playing alongside Hern??n Rengifo in attack. The temperature on this pitch, one of the feared things for the game, was around 2 degrees C, but there was a strong cold wind at the hour of the match (21 KM/H).

FIRST HALF
It was previously appointed that Lech Poznan scored three quick goals during its four previous presentations at home during the present edition of the UEFA Cup. But this time it was Depor who took an early lead in the scoresheet. It was during the first approximation of the Galicians and as it has happened in recent times, it came after a stationary play.

It was during a corner-kick and after a great play of Valer??n. Guardado took the shot and sent the cross to the area, both Albert Lopo and Diego Colotto, were inside the box waiting for the ball, it was the Catalan who connected the ball first to make a small deviation that Colotto found to sent a shot to the bottom-left corner of Turina. It’s the third goal of the ex-Atlas on the season, the first one after the two crucial goals conquered against Brann.

The goal hurried up the things at Lech, the home team started to push strongly up front and soon they enjoyed of two attempts to score. The first one during a free-kick that Stilic sent to the barrier, and one minute later as Colombian Arboleda missed the target during a corner-kick taken by Djurdjevic. 

After the initial response from the Polish team, Depor had a couple of occasions, first with Mista whit a shot contained by keeper Turina (17’). Four minutes later De Guzm??n sent the ball over the crossbar after receiving a pass from Guardado. And the Mexican winger was the next one to enjoy of a good opportunity, it was during a free-kick at the edge of the area that he sent wide (24’). 

At Depor, Sergio and Valer??n were making a good job organizing the game of the visitors, while De Guzm??n was very active stealing the ball and obstructing the game of the rivals. But the most important player at Lotina’s squad was Andr?©s Guardado, always dangerous with his moves and passes. The problem was that all the weight of Depor’s attacks was resting at his side, this because Cristian wasn’t appearing at the right. At minute 30, Guardado appeared again to send a long pass to Mista, but the ex-Valencia couldn’t capitalise the occasion as he didn’t reach the ball.

One of the best opportunities for Lech came at minute 33, Peruvian Rengifo assisted Stilic and the midfielder from Bosnia and Herzegovina fired from close-range, however his shot went over the crossbar (33’). Two minutes later Aranzubia had to come out in order to catch a ball after a play in which Wilk surpassed Filipe and Colotto.

And the sector defended by Filipe and Colotto was the side that cost the equaliser to Depor, Arboleda made the play as he entered to the area from the left to drill a pass to the path of Hern??n Rengifo, then the Peruvian just had to push the ball in. The goal just increased the pressure of Lech and they were even close to score more goals before half-time.

Lech had two clear chances within the final minutes of the first part: First with an attempt from Stilic, but Aranzubia made the save (44’). In the next play Rengifo was near to score again, but his crossed shot just passed near the far post. Depor reached the pause with a sensation of relief. It had the game on its hands after scoring an early goal, but the attacks of Lech were a headache to Depor’s defence, because the back zone was constantly surpassed by the velocity of the home attacks.

SECOND HALF
The actions didn’t change too much for the second part as Depor started holding at the back zone, Lech Poznan continued creating troubles to Deportivo’s defence though the Poles didn’t create any clear chance within the first twenty minutes. Instead the first approximation was for the Galicians as Cristian had an attempt to score from the left, in the end Turina made the save (52’). The Catalan never appeared in the first part, but in the second he had a couple of good interventions. 

Depor’s midfield was losing the battle and Lech continued dominating the game, but without creating any chance against Aranzubia, just a wide shot of Stilic at minute 58. Then Lotina decided to replace Mista with Riki. The ex-Valencia made a new dreadful presentation as he never seemed dangerous at Depor’s attacking zone.

After a period of calmness within the first twenty minutes, the opportunities started to arrive, mainly for the local team. The first clear opportunity was for Lech, it was a close-range shot sent by Wilk and that Aranzubia saved after an error of Sergio (65’). Two minutes before Wilk had an attempt to score in an action that was cleared by Filipe.

In the next play, Sergio had a good chance to score the second goal for Depor after receiving a pass from Valer??n, but instead of firing on target when he was alone against Turina, the Catalan preferred to make a pass to Riki who wasn’t able to connect the ball (66’). One minute later Aranzubia appeared again to save Depor as the Basque keeper deflected to corner a free-kick of Stilic.

The second modification ordered by Lotina was the entry of Angel Lafita for Guardado, a move made in order to rest the Mexican for the upcoming liga clash with Malaga. Neither Lafita nor Riki changed the things for Depor and Lech continued having the initiative. A new clear opportunity for the home team came at minute 72 as Arboleda found a dead ball inside the area, but his final shot went near the post. Ten minutes before the end, Joan Verd?? replaced Valer??n. El Flaco made a nice presentation as he was constantly illuminating the attacks of the visitors.

 Curiously, home coach Franciszek Smuda just used one substitution as he sent Robert Lewandowski to the pitch. He replaced Peszko in the formation. With just ten minutes over the grass, Lewandowski never had a chance to score though Lech continued pushing strongly. However it was Deportivo who had the last big opportunity of the game, it was a play started with Cristian in which Sergio had a blocked shot and later the header of Lafita hit a rival, in the end Cristian sent the ball out (85’). The match ended with Stilic heading the ball wide (90+2’). 

AFTER THE GAME
Poor game of Deportivo. The Galicians had everything in favour as they took an early lead that was certifying the pass to the next round, but later Lech started to push strongly leaded by the attempts from Semir Stilic. Depor’s defense looked insecure as Colotto, Piscu and Filipe were surpassed in several occasions, and only the lack of aim of the home team plus the saves of Aranzubia avoided the defeat. In attack Valer??n and Guardado were the best men for Deportivo.

In the other game of group H, CSKA Moscow defeated Nancy in France with a hat-trick of Vagner Love (4-3). Now the Russians have secured the first place in the group, while the other two places will be decided in the final matchday. Depor is tied with Nancy in the second place (two points above Lech). The French side has a better goal average (+2 against 0 for Depor). Therefore a draw will automatically qualify Nancy, while Depor will only pass in this scenario if Lotina’s squad is able to score two goals and Lech only wins by a 1-0 score. Anyhow the best thing for Depor is to defeat Nancy in the last matchday and clinch the second spot in the group (December 17). For the moment the squad is returning to La Coru?±a in order to host Malaga CF on Sunday (17h00 CET)

MATCH STATISTICS
Lech Poznan: Turina - Wojtkowiak, Tanevski, Arboleda, Djurdjevic – Peszko (Lewandowski 80’), Semir Stilic, Bandorwski, Wilk - Murawski, Rengifo.
Deportivo: Aranzub?­a - Adri??n L??pez â€?Piscu’, Colotto, Lopo, Filipe - Sergio, De Guzm??n - Cristian, Valer??n (Verd?? 78’), Guardado (Lafita 71’) – Mista (Riki 59’)
Goals: 0-1: (2’) Colotto, 1-1: (41’) Rengifo
Referee: Craig Thomson (SCO). He showed yellow card to Stilic (60’)
Venue: Miejski Stadium (20,000) 
Other statistics: Ball possession (50% - 50%); Total shots (14 - 7); Shots on target (6 - 3); Saves by the keepers (2 - 4); Corner-kicks  (9 - 3); Offsides (3 - 1); Fouls committed (7 - 12).

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/08

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