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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 5 – RACING 3 (LIGA)

08 Mar 2009
First back-to-back win for Depor on the season and it was a classy one. A game for the records book as Deportivo scored four times within 24 minutes in the second half. Riki was the revulsive that Lotina needed to overcome a 1-2 score at half-time.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina sent the expected squad, a 4-2-3-1 figure with Juan Rodriguez as right winger and with Lassad up front. The Tunisian striker was not at a 100% level, but he was chosen to start the game. Laure wasn’t totally fit too, but he took the right-back position. Lafita was performing at the left wing, while Verd?? was chosen to be the playmaker in the formation. Guardado, who was retuning from his injury, was left out of the game at the last minute since Lotina preferred to have youngster Diego Seoane sited on the bench. But Riki was there prepared to enter during the second half.

At Racing, coach Mu?iz decided to stay with a 4-4-2 figure instead of the 4-1-4-1 system practiced during the week. Surprisingly, Gonzalo Colsa was left out of the starting formation and the duet in midfield was composed by French Madhi Lacen and ex-Celta Peter Luccin. In attack, Ex-Espanyol Oscar Serrano was at the left wing, ex-Alav?s Antonio Del Moral at the right and the duo up front was Nikola Zigic-Jonathan Pereira.

FIRST HALF
Everything was pointing out to a close and tie game between two teams that know how to defend, especially taking in mind that both sides were presenting very ?defensive’ men in midfield like Lacen, Luccin, De Guzm??n and Juan Rodriguez, but things turned upside down and the match ended to be one for the records book due the number of goals that were scored.

The true is that both teams dominated one half in the game, the first one was for Racing, team that was more quiet, calmed and that just spent the initial 45 minutes taking advantage of the holes and errors committed by the local team. And it’s that the Cantabrians started the actions like a little hurricane and it just 25 seconds, they were already leading in the scoresheet.

Depor lost the ball in attack after the kick-off, then the ball was passed to Jonathan Pereira who ran with it from midfield and until the edge of the area, the mark of Depor’s defenders was so poor that the Galician striker was able to pass the ball no matter been followed by three men, Zigic was there to receive the pass and make a nice an perfect assist retuning the ball to Pereira who easily bet Laure and to cross Aranzubia with a drilling shot. It is the fourth goal in liga for him.

Lotina’s team was asleep and Racing had the chance to define the game in the next five minutes, but the visitors forgave Depor as they missed two clear chances, something they would pay later. At minute 2, Zigic headed out a cross of Toni Del Moral during a free-kick. The Serbian was alone inside the box. The ex-Valencia had a new chance one minute later, this time after a cross of Valera. But once again Zigic headed the ball wide.

Racing was known as a side that usually gives the initiative to the rival, but this time it was surprising since they were now the side pushing for the goals. Verd?? wasn’t appearing and all the attacks were focused by the centre, something that just made easier the job for the visitors. But in the first approximation of Depor to the rival’s area, referee Mateu Lahoz committed an error, Lassad was fouled near the area by Oriol, the official whistled the foul but he should let the play continue, because Juan Rodr?guez scored the goal. In the end he just gave a free-kick that Sergio sent over the crossbar.

That action didn’t scare Racing, and the Cantabrians continued attacking, at the 21st minute, Garay shot on target after a corner-kick of Toni Del Moral, the ball hit Marcano on the way but Aranzubia reacted well and he made the save. Three minutes later, Jonathan Pereira had a new attempt to score after a pass from Valera, but his right-foot effort was again saved by Aranzubia.

And in the counterattack of that play, Depor scored the equalised in a brilliant move leaded by Lassad. But the action was started by Laure who sent a long ball to path of the Tunisian at the right side, Lassad was trying to sent a cross, but instead he made a pass with the heal to Laure, who joined the play from midfield, then the Madrilenian defender drilled a pass to the penalty spot, and Juan Rodr?guez was there to sent the ball into the left top-corner of To?o. It was the first shot on target in the game for Depor, but also a beautiful goal. It’s also the second goal in liga for the Andalusian man.

Then the game reached a point in which both sides were exchanging blows, at minute 28 Jonathan Pereira appeared again after a pass to the area coming from Marcano, but the left-foot effort of the Galician was saved by Aranzubia. At the other side, Depor was not shooting on target, but the moves of Lassad, with his passes between the lines, were giving a sense of danger.

But it was Racing who scored the second goal, again after a counterattack for the visitors. The play was started by Toni Del Moral at the edge of the area, he sent a high ball to the right wing, Jonathan Pereira was there to control it before it left the pitch, and he sent a precise cross exactly to the penalty spot, Lopo followed the play, but the Catalan was too slow and he couldn’t stop the cross, then Nicola Zigic appeared to fire from close range against the opposition of Laure, the ball hit the ground first and then it went to the right side of Aranzubia.

Again Depor was against the ropes, forced to comeback in the score, something the Galicians never did in the previous games on the season. Racing felt more relaxed and spent the final minutes of the first part protecting the advantage, meanwhile Deportivo was jammed and always attacking by the centre, but Lotina’s side had two chances before half-time, the first one was for Verd?? after a pass from Filipe, but the Catalan missed the target from close range (42’). Then Lopo suffered a new lumbalgia problem after been fighting for the ball with Zigic, he had to be replaced by Diego Colotto. Precisely the Argentine had the last chance of the first part as he headed a free-kick of Sergio, but To?o stopped the ball (45+2’).

The first half was characterized by the freshness of a Racing that left its shy costume at home, the Cantabrians were fairly winning the game and the duo Jonathan Pereira-Zigic was a real nightmare for the locals. At Depor, the strategy of been attacking by the centre obstructed all the game of the Galicians, actually their only goal came in the only play in which the home team crated some danger by one of the sides.

SECOND HALF
If Racing was a little hurricane in the first half, Depor was the perfect storm in the second, and it’s that now the Galicians focused their efforts in attacking by the sides instead of the centre, something that blocked the game of the locals during the first part. In order to fulfill that, Lotina made a crucial modification, he sent Riki since the start to replace De Guzm??n. The scheme was the same 4-2-3-1, but now Riki was attacking from the right, Lafita from the left, while Juan Rodriguez and Sergio were the two pivotes.

And the move was worthy as Deportivo would have a sensational second half scoring four times in 24 minutes. All started very quickly, Lassad (48’) and Lafita (49’) had the first approximations for the locals, but the first player missed the target while the second saw how his shot was blocked by a defender. Then it came the equaliser for Depor, Lafita headed the ball at the edge of the area and assisted Lassad, then the Tunisian made a small deviation that left Riki alone against To?o, the Madrilenian attacker sent a drilling shot to the near post that fooled the keeper.

This new equaliser opened the game again as both sides started to search for the victory, Lassad, who was not at a 100% level, was ten replaced by Valer??n. The Tunisian remains scoreless, but he still showing to be a attacker with big participation in the offensive plays of his team, actually he was involved in the action of both goals. At minute 56 the visitors were close to score again, this time after Zigic headed the ball assisting Oscar Serrano, who fired a rocket that went close to the crossbar. Depor responded two minutes later scoring the third goal in its account.

It was during a corner-kick of Sergio on the left, the ball was cleared by a defender in the far post, then Colotto found it almost in the line and sent a new cross that hit Angel Lafita in the head, the ball was going in but it was saved by To?o at the goal line, however it went back to Lafita who just had to fire the ball to the back of the net. It is the eighth goal in liga for the Aragonian.

Depor was coming back for the first time on the season, but there was no time to think about it as the Galicians found a new goal just one minute later. And this time it was Juan Carlos Valer??n who started the play, El Flaco sent a precise pass between the lines that left Riki alone against To?o, then the Madrilenian just drilled the ball to the right side of the visiting keeper. With these two goals, Riki is now taking his tally to four on the liga campaign.

L??pez Mu?iz reacted late as he sent Berrocal and Colsa to replace Oscar Serrano and Luccin. But the true is that Racing continued creating chances at the opposite goal, it’s just that its attackers weren’t able to materialise those opportunities. And it’s that Oriol with a header (63’), Toni Del Moral from close range (65’) and Colsa from mid-distance (67’) missed the target after enjoying of a clear attempt to score.

Meanwhile, each approximation of Depor was ending in goal, and it’s that Lotina’s side scored its fifth goal in the game during its fifth approximation in the second half, the play was started by Lafita sending a high cross from the right and into the penalty spot, Riki couldn’t connect the ball, but Joan Verd?? came from behind to head it, the ball hit Valera first and went to the back of the net.

Depor was now surprisingly leading in the scoresheet after just 24 minutes in the second half; Lotina’s squad would spend the rest of the match protecting the result. The last change in the game was the entry of Sergio Canales for Lacen. He is a youngster that’s growing fast and for whom Depor has the 50% of the rights in a future sell operation.

A thing to emphasise is that Racing never surrenders, because the visitors continued attacking and having chances. At minute 72, Marcano hit the post after he headed a corner of Toni Del Moral. Then it came the third goal for Racing, again through a counterattack for the visitors, Sergio and Filipe lost the ball in midfield and the play was started by the same Marcano, who drilled a pass from the left wing to the box, Racing B youngster Berrocal was there to score the goal with a low shot. Within the final ten minutes, both sides were already exhausted and there were no more clear chances to score, just a shot of Colsa during the stoppage time that Aranzubia controlled

AFTER THE GAME
Impressive back-to-back win for Deportivo, the first one during the season. Racing was a tough rival that instead of searching the draw, it gave a lot of troubles with the combination Zigic-Jonathan Pereira. The Cantabrians were leading, fairly, 2-1 at half-time. But then a perfect storm called Depor appeared in the second half to score four times within twenty four minutes. The secret was the change of strategy as the Galicians switched the jammed attacks by the centre during the first half for the unstoppable plays on both wins during the second part. Also important was the entry of Riki, player that scored two goals in his comeback.  Other important men were Lafita, Valer??n or the same Lassad

Bu the game will be remembered for the number of goals; actually it’s already entering into the records book. This is the first time that Depor scores five goals in a single encounter since the 5-1 over Atletico Madrid back on the season 2003/2004 (October 4th 2003). It’s also the first time in which the Riazor witnesses eight goals in a single match since the 2-6 loss with Compostela back on the season 1997/1998 (May 10th 1998). The only bad news of the game is the new injury case at Depor: Lopo. The Catalan suffered a Lumbalgia case before half-time and further scans will determinate the seriousness of the problem.

The good news is that Depor is now sixth in the table, Malaga won at Getafe, but Valencia lost at Numancia, while Atletico drew at Real Madrid. The Champions League positions still three points over Depor as Villarreal defeated RCD Espanyol. Besides, Lotina’s side already achieved the mathematical permanence as it already added the magic number of 42 points. On the next Sunday, Deportivo visits El Molin??n in order to face Sporting Gij??n (17h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Laure, Lopo (Colotto 45’), Piscu, Filipe - De Guzm??n (Riki 46’), Sergio - Juan Rodr?guez, Verd??, Lafita - Lassad (Valer??n 58’).
Racing: To?o - Valera, Garay, Oriol, Marcano - Toni Moral, Lacen (Canales 70’), Luccin (Colsa 62’), Serrano (Berrocal 62’) - Pereira, Zigic.
Goals: 0-1: (1’) Pereira, 1-1: (25’) Juan Rodr?guez, 1-2: (33’), Zigic, 2-2: (52’), Riki: 3-2: (59’) Lafita, 4-2: (61’) Riki, 5-2: (69’) Verd??, 5-3: (80’) Berrocal.
Referee: Mateu Lahoz, He showed yellow card to Oriol (16’), Luccin (19’) and Sergio (66’).
Venue: Riazor (16,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (55% - 45%); Total shots (12 - 18); Shots on target (6 - 8); Saves by the keepers (4 - 1); Corner-kicks  (5 - 7); Offsides (6 - 1); Fouls committed (21 - 12); Accuracy in the passes (80.95% - 77.82%)

ARCHIVE NEWS MARCH/09

ZAPPING

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