Squad news


17 Dec 2008
Tough game for Depor as Lotina’s side had to wait until minute 74 in order to score the winning goal that gave the pass to the round of 32. Lotina took the big risk to play with three strikers at the same time and the bet was worthy, because the goal came with a combination between Omar Bravo and Bodipo. Now Depor waits for a 3rd place coming from the Champions League.

In the end Lotina chose Omar Bravo as the lonely striker in the formation, the Mexican was making his fourth appearance in the starting eleven after doing it for the two legs with Brann and the visit to CSKA Moscow. A novelty was that Lotina preferred to play with Angel Lafita on the right wing, while Juan Carlos Valer??n and Diego Colotto were returning to the squad after resting in liga.

At Nancy, coach Correa was making some modifications, starting with the appearance of Frederic Biancalini at the left-back position, while Youssouf Hadji was also an starter in the attacking zone, finally Benjamin Gavanon was appearing in midfield as the alternative to Alfred N'Diaye.

Things started slowly, with Nancy holding at the back and with Deportivo trying to carry out with the weight of the game. But the visitors were the first side to enjoy of a clear opportunity to score, it was a shot of Berenguer after a free-kick of Hadji, Dani Aranzubia got surprised by the attempt, but the Basque keeper managed to clear the ball to corner-kick (5’).

Depor responded with a good play of Valer??n in which Lafita was left alone against Bracigliano, but the captain of Nancy made the save after he deflected the shot from the Aragonian (7’). Since the first minutes it was clear that Deportivo’s main problem was that Sergio and Antonio Tom??s were feeling uncomfortable in midfield, both were having the pressure of Gavanon and Berenguer, and that’s why the attacks of the Galicians were very slow. Lotina’s side also missed depth because the visitors were blocking the game of Guardado and Lafita on both wings, at the same time Nancy was looking very dangerous with its deadly and fast counterattacks.

At minute 16, the home team had a good chance to score the first goal, it was a free-kick of Sergio that Lafita couldn’t resolve inside the box and later Colotto smashed the ball into the body of Lopo. In the end Nancy’s defenders cleared the danger. One minute later Omar Bravo had an attempt to score after a corner of Sergio, this time Bracigliano made the save.

Nancy responded with a quick counterattack of Dia, the Senegalese sent a cross to the box, but Zerka missed the ball (19’). The game became very entertaining, with Depor trying to attack and with Nancy that despite been focused in defence, was not forgetting the goal of Aranzubia. Depor knew the best thing to guarantee the pass to the next round was a victory, while the visitors were gaining confidence with the pass of the minutes, the quick moves of Hadji and Dia were putting Filipe into troubles.

At minute 23, Omar Bravo missed the target after receiving a pass from Valer??n, it was a difficult maneuver in which the Mexican connected the ball with the heel. Then the game reached a pause of eight minutes in which no clear opportunities were created. At the 31st minute, Sergio attempted from mid-distance and his final shot was deflected into corner.  Depor enjoyed of five corners within the first 32 minutes, but the home team never capitalised the chances as the ball was always sent to the boots of the rival.

Deportivo tighten the things for the final five minutes. At minute 41, Lafita was close to score after he headed a free-kick of Guardado, the ball went near to the right post. Two minutes later Valer??n sent a cross to Guardado that the Mexican headed out. This combination was repeated during the stoppage time as the Canarian  started a great play and assisted Guardado on the left, but the drilling cross of the ex-Atlas wasn’t reached by Omar Bravo.

The true is that Lotina’s squad never felt comfortable over the grass, the visitors were playing their favourite strategy: closing all the spaces, waiting in defence and speculating with the velocity of Dia and Hadji. Lafita and Guardado were not finding too many spaces on the wings and the game by the centre was blocked. Half-time arrived and Depor’s players were aware that Lech Poznan was defeating Feyenoord in the other game of group H, just another fact that was pressuring the Galicians.

The final 45 minutes started in the same way than the major part of the first part: Depor was not finding the spaces in attack and Nancy was looking very calmed and comfortable over the grass at the Riazor. The home team was only able to create some danger in some isolated plays, mainly with shots from long-distance or set-pieces. Actually the best chance for Depor within the first ten minutes was a long-distance shot of Sergio that went wide.

These were the most complicate minutes for Deportivo, especially after the visitors failed the clearest change in the game as Hadji missed the target after a pass of Zerca that was leaving him alone against Aranzubia (52’). The response of Depor came with a combination of Guardado and Lafita, the Mexican passed the ball to the ex-Zaragoza man and he sent a short cross to Omar Bravo who was inside the box, but the ex-Chivas missed the target from close range.

The counterattacks of Nancy were looking pretty dangerous and Dia continued  giving a lot of troubles to Filipe, at minute 54 the Senegalese made a new approximation by the left side at Depor’s defense and he sent a drilling cross to Hadji, but once again the striker missed the target. 

Then Deportivo started to react, first through Lafita, he found the ball at the edge of the area and after several attempts, he sent a shot that Bracigliano sent to corner-kick (64’). In the next play Sergio took the corner and Valer??n’s attempt was blocked by a rival and then neither Lopo nor Omar Bravo found the ball when both were inside the box.

Lotina saw that his team was missing depth on the wings and that's why he sacrificed Guardado, the Mexican was replaced by Rodolfo Bodipo and now the game of the Galicians was focalized by the centre. The Guinean attacker had his first attempt to score just seconds after his entry, but his shot from mid-distance went too high (66’). Then Lotina moved the bench again and Riki entered for Antonio Tom??s.

This last modification was leaving Deportivo with three strikers over the pitch, a very risky move of Lotina that was putting Riki at the right wing, Lafita on the left spot and Valer??n performing behind the couple Omar Bravo-Bodipo. Riki had his first chance to score at minute 73 as he headed a cross from Lafita, but the ball went wide.

Finally, Deportivo arrived to the goal at minute 74, and it was during a sequence between its two main references in attack, Omar Bravo reached the ball at the right wing and sent a cross that Rodolfo Bodipo met in the near post, the ex-Alav?s sent a strong shot to the top-right corner, the ball hit the post first and went to the back of the net.

Then the game suffered a drastic change, because now Nancy was the side forced to score, that’s why coach Correa sent  Marc-Antoine Fortun? to the pitch in order to replace Gavanon, one if his two defensive cards in midfield. Lotina quickly responded replacing Omar Bravo with Juan Rodr?guez, change that was trying to compensate the offensive risks took by Lotina in midfield.

Curiously Juan Rodr?guez was the player that was close to reply for Deportivo, it was a lost ball that the Andalusian found near the box to sent a volley that Bracigliano miraculously saved.  Nancy had fifteen minutes to react, but their players were looking exhausted after the effort done throughout 75 minutes. Actually Depor was more close to score the second goal within the final five minutes, the main chance was for Lafita during the stoppage time, the Aragonian received a pass from Sergio, but instead of passing the ball to Bodipo, he tried to score the goal by himself. In the end Bracigliano contained the danger.

Very difficult game for Deportivo, Nancy was a tough rival that defended the goalless draw very cleverly, the visitors also gave a lot of troubles to Depor with their fast counterattacks, but they missed their two biggest occasions during the second half, just when the Galicians seemed confused. The key in the game was marked by the decision of coach Miguel Angel Lotina who put three attackers at the same time, solution that broke the deadlock as the goal came during a sequence between Omar Bravo and Bodipo.

Now Deportivo advances to the round of 32 as the second place in group H. CSKA Moscow was the winner of the group while Lech Poznan advanced in third place thanks to its away win over Feyenoord Rotterdam. Now Deportivo will meet one of the eight third places in the Champions League group stage. The possible rivals are: Bordeaux, Werder Bremen, Shakhtar, Marseille, AaB, Fiorentina, Dynamo Kyiv and the current champion Zenit. The draw for the UEFA Cup Round of 32 (when teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other) and Round of 16 will be held at UEFA Headquarters in Nyon on Friday 19 December at 13.00 (CET).

Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Colotto, Filipe - Sergio, Antonio Tom??s (Riki 73’) - Lafita, Valer??n, Guardado (Bodipo 65’) – Omar Bravo (Juan Rodr?guez 78’).
Nancy: Bracigliano - Chretien, Andr? Luiz, Macaluso, Biancalani (Brison 86’) - Hadji, Gavanon (Fortune 76’), Berenguer, Dia – Feret, Berka  
Goal: 1-0: (74’) Bodipo
Referee: Michael Weiner (GER). He showed yellow card to Bracigliano (53’), Berenguer (61’), Feret (67’), Zerka (72’), Macaluso (81’) and Bodipo (90+4’).
Venue: Riazor (15,000) 
Other statistics: Ball possession (52% - 48%); Total shots (12 - 10); Shots on target (5 - 1); Saves by the keepers (2 - 5); Corner-kicks  (8 - 3); Offsides (2 - 5); Fouls committed (6 - 15)



























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