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WHAT THE PAPERS WROTE: DEPORTIVO – AALBORG (UEFA)

27 Feb 2009
Sadness and disappointment for the debacle of Deportivo, the papers in Spain were trying to explain the reasons why Depor was eliminated so early in the UEFA Cup. Meanwhile, the Danish papers were euphoric and surprised with the level of AaB.

La Opini??n A Coru?±a: A matter of schemes or players? The diagrams are made by good players, it’s something repeated again and again by coaches and footballers. If this maximum in football was met strictly, then who failed yesterday were the players and also the coach, who ultimately is the one that chooses and distributes them to play on the field. You can not allow three goals in five minutes before a rival such as Aalborg. Yes, the referee had something to do, but there isn’t an excuse neither for the good nor the worse. Yesterday, he directed badly the game. He disallowed a legal goal to Omar Bravo and allowed the one from the opponents when they were offside, and these two actions shaped the game, but not even in this way you can claim it as an excuse to justify a 6-1 against a team of the same level than Depor.

If you skip the work of the referee, Deportivo left half of the ticket in Aalborg, this due the blunders and a controversial penalty, and yesterday it lost the other half in a jiffy, just when the Riazor was already predisposed to watch another epic night with the 1-0 in the scoresheet. But that would greatly simplify things. The analysis must be deeper. Lotina, who appealed to secrecy to try to surprise Aalborg at the Riazor, chose to restore the scheme of five men at the back or three central defenders with two side defenders that began the game as two more midfielders. One may think that the coach won one more man for the attack, sacrificing defense, but is that the player at the right side was De Guzman, a man little used to create, rather born to destroy. I do not think the coach was wrong by choosing the design of his squad taking into account all the injuries, but yes when he picked up all the pieces. Pablo Alvarez, who entered with the tie already sentenced, ended in despair and expelled. Roi Fern??ndez.

La Voz de Galicia The dream turned into nightmare. "We're going to die standing," said Lotina the day before. As if he was in the same harmony than the fans, the Riazor Blues received the team with a giant banner with the emblem of the club and the figure of Che Guevara, who said preferred to die standing up to live kneeling. Well, Depor died standing up, because with 1-3 at half-time, people feared a massacre, but it died.

The first-leg, in which the team looked at the rival over the shoulder, weighed a lot. The blue and white squad came back home with a heavy defeat from its Viking voyage, and to make the things worse, the skipper of the boat could not embark on the epic adventure with several of his best sailors. Hampered by the casualties, Lotina sought the treasure of the comeback with a new map. He discarded the 4-4-1-1 and the 4-3-2-1, the two most widely used schemes during the season, and he came out with a 3-4-2-1. Anchored at the back zone, the three available central defenders. At port and starboard, Filipe and De Guzman, much more worried of the approach to the rival’s area than of defence. Two staggered pivotes (Tomas and Sergio), a pair of playmakers (Lafita and Valer??n) and one striker (Bodipo) completed the outline, which Lotina worked in secret during the morning at Abegondo. In front, the Danes, who started with same ones of the first-leg and that ended in that same way: locked at the back zone (a line of six men and another one of three close to them) and released to the counterattacks taking advantage of the craters formed at Depor’s defensive zone.

The manual of the epic comebacks tell in its first chapter that you must score early in order to make them feel afraid. But the harassment did not produce spoils, which curiously came when Depor had taken a break. Sergio hooked a shot that bounced in a defender, then it went to the post and then to the keeper before crossing the line. "We can!" was heard from the loudspeaker. The dream lasted three minutes. A free-kick, a ball scoured by a rival and a header from Shelton in a more doubtful position than the one of Omar in his disallowed goal: 1-1. Depor accused the goal, and then it came the second, also after a set-piece, but from a corner, then the third after a counterattack. Three goals in four minutes: Good-bye, Europe, good-bye. The second half was a dull round with public, people who had a wonderful response and encouraged as if the miracle wasn’t already an illusion. Rub?©n Ventureira.

Xornal De Galicia Depor couldn’t offer a new magic night. Riazor was screaming and Depor went out to bite, following the spirit of the great European nights to work another miracle. Los Blanquiazules are so well accustomed to the miracles, that at times, and under the scream �yes we can�, which yesterday became the hymn of Deportivo, it seemed logical that Depor would be qualified, to see the squad coming back from the difference of three goals against an Aalborg that was theoretically lower. But no. The book of legends was not expanded in its number of pages. And that taking in mind that Sergio's goal at the 37th minute of the first part fanned the flame of the impossible.

Riazor believed more than ever, Depor pushed to see Aalborg strongly feeling the fear of elimination. However, four minutes after the goal from Sergio, Shelton awoke the Deportivismo with a goal after a set-piece. Aranzubia’s arm stretched to the limit, but failed. It was the advanced final. After the goal, Aalborg took advantage of a collapsed Depor and before the rest, it took care to dispel any doubts. Two more goals before the end of the first act was too much punishment for a Deportivo that in the previous minutes was believing in the comeback

The second part was a mere anecdote. On it, outside the debut in UEFA Cup for youngster Juanan, it served to the fans to evoke better times. Bebeto, Claudio, Djalminha, Arsenio, Donato and even Lasarte and his machete returned to be the protagonists during a night. The final whistle marked the early end of Deportivo’s European run. Omar Bello.

Marca: Irish Kelly was wrong to cancel the goal of Omar Bravo and overlooked the questionable position of the Danes in their first two goals. However, Lotina’s squad again suffered from a weak ending. Only Sergio, and in a rebound, could pierce the goal of Zaza. No matter it was in an illegal position or not, Aalborg killed the tie and any hint of a comeback through set-pieces. Double dismissal for Lotina’s men, who ended paying the price.

AS: Depor goes out of Europe by the door out. Lotina’s men fell 3-0 in Aalborg and yesterday, the rival scored another three in three minutes before the break that thundered hopes turning an epic evening into a genuine tragicomedy. The environment was prepared, but it soon became clear that it wasn’t the night of Deportivo. At the 8th minute, Bodipo had to be replaced by Omar Bravo due an injury. Three later, the Mexican took a precise pass of Valer??n and beat Zaza, but the referee invented an offside. �Kelly? I think it was the Irish cousin of Ivanov.

At minute 37 the hope was opened, the beginning of the dream. Sergio made a good move by the centre and the ball was at his left leg, the bad one. The Catalan hit it badly, but a defender deflected its trajectory. Goal of faith, heart, hope. When the �yes We Can!� was thundering the Riazor, it came the sinking. And it came where Depor could not fail: in the strategic plays. Shelton, in a doubtful position, took advantage of a free-kick to shot ahead of Aranzubia. The dream lasted four minutes and then the debacle began, a concatenation of errors and mental weakness left the score 1-3 at half-time. In four minutes Aalborg had achieved what Depor dreamed all week: three goals. In the second half, it was only a matter of been fighting for the dignity of the result, but not even that. Luis De La Cruz

DR Nordjylland (Aalborg): AaB humiliated Spanish side. The Danish champions from Aalborg still creating surprise in European football. This evening the team passed and joined the last 16 teams in this year's UEFA Cup when it was able to pick a 3-1 victory in the second-leg against Deportivo La Coru?±a. A result that just ratified the 3-0 of last week's victory at home, something that will be observed across Europe.

Just as Deportivo La Coru?±a, with a 1-0-goal at minute 38, threatened to create tension on the battle, AaB showed that the team has built a very high European level. Instead of panic, instead the Danes went into the other side and scored three goals in the last four minutes of the first half.

Luton Shelton and Andreas Johansson in set-pieces, and Thomas Enevoldsen in a counterattack turned the menace of the 1-0 into the amazing digits of the 1-3 in Danish favor. The tie was settled, and over the two games, AaB deserved the outcome, which in itself is remarkable, because it conflicts with a lot of football logic, to see a Danish team not only passing a two leg-series, but humiliating a team from the best half of the Spanish league, Aalborg bread logic. Ritzau

ARCHIVE NEWS FEB/09

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