Squad news

REVIEW: NUMANCIA 0 – DEPORTIVO 1 (LIGA)

01 Mar 2009
Second victory for Deportivo in the year 2009. An important triumph that's putting back the squad in the race for Europe. Tough game in which Lafita shined once to assist Juan Rodr?­guez and define the game. The negative thing: the injuries of Tom??s and Ze Castro.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina kept the 4-3-2-1 figure for the occasion, Lassad was the only available striker and he started the game in attack. A novelty was that Valer??n was on the bench, while Verd?? took his place as the second playmaker in the squad.  Juan Rodr?­guez entered too and played alongside De Guzm??n and Antonio Tom??s in midfield, while Lafita was the other reference in attack.

At Numancia, as it was expected, coach Pacheta switched the system into a 4-4-2, with Gorka Brit and ex-Albacete Carlos Aranda up front. A novelty was that Dimas Delgado was left on the bench while Carlos Bellvis was covering the left wing. Jos?© Javier Barkero, the current Pichichi at the squad, was at the right side of the attack.

FIRST HALF
As it was written in RCDLC.com preview of the game, anything can happen in Soria when Depor and Numancia are facing each other at Los Pajaritos, and that’s exactly what occurred within the first twelve minutes of the game. Because it was a wild start in which each side enjoyed of two clear chances to take the lead. All started at minute 6 as Lassad hit the post, the play was started by Juan Rodr?­guez who assisted Lafita, the best player of Depor in the game, then the Aragonian sent a drilling cross from the right, Lassad was alone against Juan Pablo, but the French-Tunisian attacker hit the post after he tried to cross the keeper with a gently touch.

Then the opportunity was at the side of Numancia, Aranzubia failed to clear a ball and instead he assisted Barkero, who tried to chip the ball when he was alone against the goal, but he missed the target (9’). And two minutes later, Depor was again close to score, after a series of attempts to cross the ball, Z?© Castro assisted Lafita inside the area, the Aragonian brilliantly eluded keeper Juan Pablo, but his shot on target was saved by defender Boris when he was standing at the goal line.

In the counterattack of that play, a combination between the two strikers at the local team, Brit and Aranda, left the ex-Albacete man alone against Aranzubia, and the Basque keeper made a brilliant save. Turbulent start for two squads that were trying to control midfield with the presence of three men in the sector (De Guzman and Juan Rodr?­guez at Depor, and Nagore at Numancia), but the true is that ball was moved very fast, reason why these three players were not appearing too much.

Then the game reached a pause that lasted until the end of the first half, now the movement of the ball was slower and the defensive players started to prevail. Only a long-range effort of Verd??, after a pass of Filipe, caused some troubles, but the ball was stopped by Juan Pablo (14’). At the 25th minute, the locals were claiming for a penalty after Aranda chipped a ball that hit the elbow of Laure, referee Ram?­rez Dom?­nguez didn’t whistle anything.

At minute 30, Ze Castro suffered a muscular problem and had to be replaced by Diego Colotto. The Portuguese left the pitch on a stretcher and the first scans detected is a problem in the right adductor. The pace of the game saw within the first 12 minutes was now vanished, all the approximations to both areas were made through set-pieces or long balls, and now the battle between De Guzman, Juan Rodr?­guez and Nagore was more stronger than never before.

Five minutes before the pause, Antonio Tom??s picked a muscular injury after he threw a corner-kick, he was replaced by Sergio. In that corner-kick the visitors asked for a penalty over Lassad,  but nothing was whistled. The last approximation in the first part was for Numancia, but the left-foot effort of Barkero missed the target (43’).

The first half was intense, specially during the first twelve minutes, each side had two chances to score the first goal of the game, but the occasions were wasted, the most clear one the deflection of Lassad that hit the post. After that, the game reduced its velocity and Depor suffered two casualties that are just increasing the list of injuries at the squad. No matter the setbacks, the whole Galician squad played a solid first half, always defending well without forgetting about the opposite goal

SECOND HALF
The good Depor of the first part disappeared at the start of the second half, and it’s that Numancia found the spaces and was now having clear chances to break the deadlock, more in concrete, four clear opportunities within the first ten minutes. The first one was started by Gorka Brit and was ended with Del Pino firing on target, but Aranzubia was there to make the save (48’)

In the next play, Nagore found the ball in the area after a corner-kick taken by Barkero, again the ball went to the hands of Aranzubia. At minute 50 it was Boris who had an attempt to score, the defender headed a free-kick of Barkero, but the ball went out. Four minutes later it was Del Pino who was close to score after heading a cross of Felipe, this time the ball went close to the left post.

Those were the toughest moments for Depor in the game. Then coach Pacheta decided to replace Gorka Brit with Guayre, the Canarian played a good game against Osasuna and he was sent to the pitch as a �revulsive’, but the true is that the ex-Celta man didn’t appear in the game. Beyond that, the new change in the system of the local team –from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1- had a negative effect at Numancia as their attacks were more rare within the last half an hour.

But neither Depor was doing too much in the game, the lonely approximation of the Galicians within the first fifteen minutes of the second half was a corner-kick of Verd?? that Juan Rodr?­guez headed out (59’). AT Numancia Moreno was replacing Barkero, new modification that instead of adding more power to the local squad, it was lowering its pace and increasing the lack of ideas in attack.

Between minutes 60 and 75, both sides were involved in a dull game; no clear occasions were created and it seemed a repetition of the last part of the first half.  But then Angel Lafita showed up with a brilliant move that would define the game. The Aragonian got the ball at the left sector of Depor’s midfield territory, then he run with the ball around 40 meters, crossing the field and eluding all the rivals in the way, then when he reached the edge of the area, he released a perfect pass to the right, just to the place where Juan Rodr?­guez was arriving, then the Andalusian ran a couple of meters and crossed Juan Pablo with a low shot to the far post.

With fifteen minutes remaining in the clock, Numancia was desperate to reach the equaliser, but the locals were unable to create any danger against Aranzubia, and it’s that Depor’s defensive sector and the couple Juan Rodriguez-De Guzm??n regained the control after a doubtful start in the second part. Numancia lonely approximations were two wide shots, one of Goiria, striker that replaced Bellvis after Depor’s goal (80’), and the other by Nagore (90+3’), action that was the last play in the game.

One minute before the end, Pablo Amo replaced Verd?? as Lotina was now protecting the narrow win using the system with three central defenders. The Madrilenian was making his debut on this season after been out injured since the end of the past campaign.

AFTER THE GAME
Important victory for a Deportivo that had a decent game, it made a solid first half and was close to strike first as Lassad hit the post just when the game was starting, then the squad lost impulse and two more players were added to the list of casualties–Antonio Tom??s and Z?© Castro- the situation was more complex at the start of the second half, moment in which the Galicians suffered the most. But then Lafita appeared with a brilliant move to assist Juan Rodr?­guez and score the winning goal.

An important thing to emphasise is that Depor just had the ball the 39% of the time, while it only fulfilled 186 passes throughout the game, those are among the lower numbers on the season for Lotina’s squad. However, and no matter the stats, the team was able to recover from the setback in UEFA and now is back on track for the European positions.

The results of the weekend are leaving an interesting situation in the fight for the last Champions League place and the two tickets to the next UEFA Cup. Atletico Madrid made a brilliant game and defeated Barcelona (4-3), while Malaga surprisingly lost at home with Recreativo (0-2). Also, Villarreal could only pick up a point with Betis after having a two-goal advantage (2-2) and Valencia lost again at home against Valladolid (1-2). Depor still eighth in the table, but now tied in points with Atletico, Malaga and Valencia, while fourth place Villarreal is now only three points above Lotina’s side. On the next Sunday, Racing Santander visits the Riazor (17h00 CET)

MATCH STATISTICS
Numancia: Juan Pablo - Felipe, Pav??n, Boris, Ra??l Bravo - Barkero (Moreno 64’), Del Pino, Nagore, Bellvis (Goiria 79’) - Brit (Guayre 55’), Aranda
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Laure, Ze Castro (Coloto 33’), Adri??n L??pez, Filipe - De Guzm??n, Antonio Tom??s (Sergio 45’), Juan Rodr?­guez - Verd?? (Pablo Amo 89’), Lafita - Lassad.
Goals: 0-1: (75’) Juan Rodr?­guez.
Referee: Ram?­rez Dom?­nguez. He showed yellow card to Del Pino (39’), Verd?? (41’), Brit (45+1’) and De Guzm??n (65’).
Venue: Los Pajaritos (8,000).
Other statistics: Ball possession (61% - 39%); Total shots (11 - 13); Shots on target (3 - 5); Saves by the keepers (1 - 2); Corner-kicks  (4 - 5); Offsides (0 – 2); Fouls committed (15 - 11); Accuracy in the passes (81.35% - 80.87%)

ARCHIVE NEWS MARCH/09

ZAPPING

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