Squad news

REVIEW: SEVILLA 2 – DEPORTIVO 1 (COPA)

07 Jan 2009
Depor’s substitutes weren’t able to match Sevilla’s starters, but the Galician squad managed to obtain a result that keeps intact the aspirations in Copa. The Andalusian side could have even conquered a bigger win, but they missed their occasions, while Depor capitalised one of its few opportunities.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina sent the expected starting eleven, with just two players repeating their participation compared to the visit game against Getafe: Lopo and Manuel Pablo, the rest of positions were covered using the rotations, including the presence of keeper Fabricio and youngster Laure performing as a left-back defender.

At Sevilla, coach Jim?nez made some modifications to the expected squad, French Romaric didn’t appear in midfield and his spot was taken by Italian Enzo Maresca. Adriano was also left sited on the bench and his place on the left wing was taken by young star Diego Capel. Meanwhile the deadly duo Kanoute-Luis Fabiano started up front.

FIRST HALF
The game begun at a high pace, Depor seemed to have the ball and searched the goal of Palop, but the first chance was for Sevilla. At minute 2, Luis Fabiano sent a strong shot from the edge of the area, the ball went close to Fabricio’s goal. Depor reacted with a quick play started by Riki that ended with Pablo ?lvarez sending a dangerous cross that was intercepted by Palop (3’).

Then Depor’s intentions became very clear: to defend at the back zone and wait for a fast counterattack. Meanwhile Sevilla was having troubles trying to find the spaces in attack, reason why the game quickly lost the pace of the first three minutes. That’s why no clear opportunities were created in the following ten minutes. During this short period, Depor seemed to have the actions under control.

The next approximation for Sevilla occurred at the 13th minute, Capel assisted Maresca and then the ball reached Luis Fabiano, but his shot was blocked by Colotto. Two minutes later Capel, who was starting to give a lot of troubles to Manuel Pablo, sent a cross from the left, Kanoute headed the ball and searched for Luis Fabiano, but Antonio Tom??s cleared the danger.

With the pass of time, Depor started to lose the control in midfield, while Sevilla begun to feel more comfortable with the ball. For this reason the game turned in favour of the locals with countless occasions against a defensive zone that was committing several errors. Besides there wasn’t any connection between Depor’s defense and Valer??n as the Galician squad was quickly losing the ball in the transition defense-attack.

But Depor was able to create some danger. And the big opportunity came at minute 16, it was free-kick at one side that Cristian sent to the near post, Colotto was there and sent a shot that was searching the top-corner, but Palop made a great save. In the next play Riki stole the ball and assisted Antonio Tom??s, in the end the Cantabrian sent the ball out.

These warnings didn’t scare Sevilla and the locals continued insisting, at minute 20 Capel had a great opportunity after a play in which Jes??s Navas surpassed Laure, but in the end the ball went out. Two minutes later Maresca took a direct free-kick after a foul of De Guzm??n over Kanoute, the ball ended in the arms of Fabricio. Then Fabricio appeared again to stop a close-range effort of Luis Fabiano after collecting a pass from Squillaci.

Sevilla was deserving the lead and it found the reward during a free-kick that was capitalised by Luis Fabiano. It was after a foul of Lopo over Capel at the edge of the area, the Brazilian took the ball and sent it through the barrier and into the open space left by De Guzm??n after the Canadian decided to leave the position, the ball entered near the post covered by Fabricio who was fooled due the proximity of the ball.

The goal didn’t change the screenplay and Sevilla continued having the weight of the game at its shoulders, while Depor remained waiting for a counterattack. That opportunity was near to occur at minute 34, Fabricio searched for Riki, but the Madrilenian preferred to sent a wide shot than to make a pass to Valer??n or Cristian. Two minutes later Riki appeared again as he was trying to collect a long pass of Manuel Pablo, but Palop arrived first.

Depor’s main problem was that neither Manuel Pablo nor Laure were able to control the moves of Capel and Navas, the main danger was coming from the wings and soon Lotina’s side would pay the price for it. At minute 38 neither Fabiano nor Kanoute found a cross from the right side made by Crespo, but they wouldn’t fail two minutes later. It was during a high  cross made by Jes??s Navas that Capel met in the far post heading it to the path of Frederic Kanoute who just had to fire it into the net, it was the responsibility of Colotto to mark the man from Mali, but the Argentine arrived too late. The Galicians had a last chance to reduce the distance at minute 45, it was a free kick of Cristian that Lopo found inside the area and that ended with Pablo Alvarez sending a shot over the crossbar.

Sevilla reached half-time with a deserved 2-0 advantage, the Andalusian squad started in slow motion, but after 20 minutes they took fully control over the game and could have even scored more goals. Despite the differences on the pitch, Depor had a couple of good opportunities, the main one saved by Palop just when the game was still goalless.

SECOND HALF
The final 45 minutes started without changes, but with one modification in the position of Depor’s defenders. Laure was now covering Capel and the right sector of Depor’s defence, while Manuel Pablo was trying to deal with Navas. The match didn’t change and Sevilla continued having the initiative. The true is that the switch between the side defenders didn’t work at the beginning as Navas and Capel continued to be a real headache for Deportivo.

At minute 51, the locals were close to score a third goal, this after Crespo eluded everybody at Depor’s defense to face Fabricio one-on-one, but the Canarian made a great save and the rebound was found later by Maresca who ended sending the ball out. The disconnection between Depor’s back zone and midfield continued to exist and it seemed that Lotina’s side was more content avoiding a new goal than searching the first.

Coach Manolo Jimenez knew this was a key moment to sentence the series, that’s why he replaced Maresca with Renato, a move thought in order to put more pressure over Depor’s back zone, especially the side defenders. Just seconds after the modification, both sides had a clear chance to score, first Valer??n found Pablo Alvarez alone, but the drilling shot of the winger was not a problem for Palop (62’). In the counterattack Luis Fabiano missed a great chance as he doubted in a one-to-one action against Fabricio.

Then Sevilla had a double opportunity, first Navas was near to score in a counterattack after a corner-kick of Antonio Tom??s, but the ball went out (64’). One minute later Renato was close to score after eluding Cristian, but once again the ball went out. Lotina decided to move his bench twenty minutes before the end, he replaced Pablo Alvarez and Cristian with Juan Rodriguez and Omar Bravo.

The modifications meant that Depor renounced to the wings as now all the efforts were focused on the centre, that’s why Lotina put on the pitch an additional midfielder and a central attacker. In his first play, Omar Bravo was searching for a cross coming from Riki, but Palop arrived first (72’). In the next play Capel sent a shot from the border of the area, the ball went to the hands of Fabricio.

As it could be expected, Sevilla reduced the speed during the final part of the match, moment that Deportivo was waiting in order to try to reduce the distance in the scoresheet. At minute 75, Palop cleared with difficulties a cross from Antonio Tom??s, then Valer??n showed up to light the way of Depor. The Canarian, who didn’t appear too much in the previous 75 minutes, assisted Juan Rodr?guez who sent a pass to Omar Bravo, but the Mexican sent the ball out.

Two minutes later he passed the ball to Riki who preferred to face a defender than to pass the ball to Bravo, the combination was repeated one minute later and this time the pass from El Flaco left Riki along against Palop, but the referee whistled offside. And then Depor’s goal arrived. Valer??n passed the ball to Riki and then he assisted De Guzm??n on the left after been marked by two rivals by the centre, the Canadian sent a precise drilling cross to the penalty spot and Omar Bravo was there, then the ex-Chivas man finished the play crossing Palop.

Sevilla saw how they were missing a nice advantage and they pressed the accelerator searching for a third goal, but the attempts from Adriano (85’) and Kanoute (87’) missed the target. Then Valer??n left the pitch replaced by Lafita. The last big opportunity for the locals was for Adriano, the Brazilian surpassed Laure again, entered to the area and released a strong shot that hit the crossbar (88’). The Andalusians insisted at the end but Depor was able to hold on the result.

AFTER THE GAME
Sevilla was very superior against the substitutes of Depor, it deserved the victory thanks to its countless occasions, but the 2-1 should be a tasteless score for them, because Deportivo only needs now a 1-0 victory at the Riazor in order to pass the round in Copa. Lotina’s side faced big troubles throughout the game trying to control the moves of Navas and Capel, but the Andalusians lost the pace in the end and Deportivo took advantage of it as Omar Bravo scored a goal that could decide the series.

Now Deportivo and Sevilla will meet again on Saturday (20h00 CET), this time for la liga. Lotina will probably use his normal starters in this encounter. The second-leg in Copa will take place in one week (Wednesday 14 at the Riazor, 20h00 CET). Duscher is suspended for the liga match since he picked a fifth yellow card on the last weekend.

MATCH STATISTICS
Sevilla: Palop - Fernando Navarro, Escud?, Squillaci, Crespo - Jes??s Navas, Duscher, Maresca (Renato 62’), Diego Capel (Adriano 73) - Luis Fabiano, Kanout?
Deportivo: Fabricio - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Colotto, Laure - De Guzm??n, Antonio Tom??s - Pablo ?lvarez (Juan Rodr?guez 70’), Valer??n (Lafita 87’), Cristian (Omar Bravo 71’) - Riki.
Goals: 1-0: (30’) Luis Fabiano, 2-0: (40’) Kanoute, 2-1: (80’) Omar Bravo.
Referee: Mateu Lahoz. He showed yellow card to Laure (27’), Lopo (29’), De Guzm??n (37’), Kanoute (40’) and Crespo (41’)
Venue: S??nchez Pizju??n
(15,000)

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/09

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