Squad news

REVIEW: SPORTING 3 – DEPORTIVO 2 (LIGA)

15 Mar 2009
Deportivo lost a liga game for the first time since January, and it also lost a good chance to follow the Champions League road. Lotina’s team didn’t capitalise the errors of Sporting during the first part, and it paid the price in a second part that had three penalties.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina sent the expected 4-2-3-1 formation, the main novelties were to see Diego Colotto and Andr?s Guardado as starters, while Sergio was replacing De Guzm??n in midfield. Colotto was replacing Piscu at the centre of the defence, while Mexican Guardado was retuning after his injury (stress fracture). Lafita was the right winger and Verd?? the playmaker. Lassad was the lonely attacker.

Sporting, meanwhile, sent also the expected 4-2-3-1 squad, with Camara replacing suspended Sastre at the right-back position. In attack, Barral, Diego Castro and Carmelo were the main references.  As it was expected, El Molin??n was sold-out for the third occasion on the season and as 3,000 Depor’s fans traveled to Gij??n to watch the game.

FIRST HALF
It was a grey first half in which both sides were basically stuck in attack, but at the same time, El Molin??n witnessed how Depor was missing four clear opportunities to take the lead, three of them coming in set-pieces, kind of actions that gave big difficulties to the locals throughout the evening. Meanwhile, Sporting had the initiative but it barely reached Aranzubia’s goal.

And Deportivo had three clear opportunities in a matter of just fifteen minutes, the first one occurred at minute 7 as Sergio took a free-kick at the side, Colotto found the cross inside the box, but keeper Lafuente controlled the ball. Six minutes later, the same action was repeated, this time it was Juan Rodr?guez who arrived to head the free-kick of Sergio, the ball went wide.

And at the 15th minute, again Depor was close to score through a stationary play, this time Sergio was taking a corner-kick that Lopo headed inside the area, but the ball went out. In the next play Ra??l C??mara attempted from mid-distance, but Aranzubia controlled the danger.

Then the game reached a pause of ten minutes, until Depor again was again creating danger through set-pieces. At minute 23, Sergio was taking a new corner-kick and Matabuena almost transformed the occasion into an own goal, later Lafita had an attempt to score after a pass from Colotto, but his shot went out. Sporting reacted with a shot of Carmelo that went wide (27’)

In the rest of the first half, both sides were stuck in attack, actually it seemed that Depor was feeling very comfortable waiting at its defensive zone while it was hoping for a chance through a new set-piece, the weakest point of the locals. Meanwhile, Sporting was having big troubles in attack as it barely created troubles to Aranzubia, the Asturians just made two shots on target during the first part, the previously mentioned chance of Camara, plus a header of Iv??n Hern??ndez after a corner-kick of Diego Castro, this last occasion stopped by Aranzubia without problems (39’).

The first part ended with Lassad missing the clearest change of the first part as he received a cross from Lafita, it the end the ball went over the crossbar. In this action Lotina was reclaiming a penalty over the Tunisian. Depor had three chances in the first fifteen minutes through stationary plays, but it forgive as Racing forgive Depor in the first half of the past weekend, something the Galicians would pay later. Meanwhile, Sporting didn’t represent a real danger to Aranzubia, though Luis Mor??n and Diego Castro were looking dangerous at both sides.

SECOND HALF
And as it occurred in the past weekend at the Riazor, the rain of goals came in the second part, and once again the public witnessed five goals in forty five minutes. Three of them from the penalty spot and two of them scored by Sporting in a period of just nine minutes. The second part started with Lafita attempting with a drilling shot that Lafuente sent to corner-kick (47’), and the first goal of the game came in the next play as Aranzubia committed a huger error.

Carmelo received a high cross on the left, then he assisted Barral at the edge of the area, then the striker sent a drilling shot that Aranzubia failed to contain, the rebound was reached by Luis Mor??n who rapidly arrived to the box to chip the ball over the keeper. Just two minutes later Sporting was awarded with an inexistent penalty after a counterattack.

The play started with keeper Lafuente sending a long pass to Jos? ?ngel who ran 30 meters throughout the left side, then he passed the ball to Carmelo, who later assisted Luis Mor??n, then the winger drilled a perfect pass from the edge of the area and into the path of the same Carmelo, the Canarian faced Aranzubia hand-on-hand and he fell down as Lopo was chasing him. Referee Rodr?guez Santiago whistled the penalty, but the true is that both men, Lopo and Carmelo, fell down without the intervention of anybody. Then David Barral came to score the second goal from the penalty spot.

Depor was in deep troubles and no reaction was saw on the pitch, actually Sporting seemed closer to achieve a new 3-0 over the Galicians as a shot of Michel was saved by Aranzubia (60’). Five minutes before, Riki replaced Guardado, and a few moments later, Pablo ?lvarez did the same with Lassad. The changes kept the 4-2-3-1 figure, but this time Lafita was at the left wing, ?lvarez at the right, and Riki alone in attack.

Then, the Galicians had a small reaction and continued enjoying of chances through set-pieces, and again they missed the opportunities. First Riki headed out a new free-kick of Sergio (63’), a few minutes later Lopo did the same with a new free-kick taken by the Catalan midfielder (67’). But Depor’s fans at El Molin??n saw a small light at the end of the tunnel twenty minutes before the end, because a new penalty was called, this time for Depor.

It was a combination between Filipe and Verd?? that ended with as assist to Riki who was inside the area, almost over the line, then Ner?? fouled him. Sergio transformed the penalty using his classic Paradinha. Suddenly, Lotina’s side was dreaming with a new comeback. But that dream only lasted three minutes, the period of time that Sporting needed to score its third goal.

The goal came in a free-kick after a foul of Juan Rodr?guez over David Barral, the same striker started the play as he took the free-kick making a short pass to left-back Jos? ?ngel, the same youngster that has replaced Canella lately, and the boy sent a drilling shot that passed under the barrier, Aranzubia didn’t see the ball coming and it entered near to his left post.

Again Depor was losing by two goals, and it took ten minutes to Lotina’s side to react. And that reaction came with the entry of Valer??n, who replaced Sergio. Depor insisted in the final ten minutes, Juan Rodr?guez (83’) and Filipe Luis (84’) attempted from mid-distance, but the first chance was blocked and the second went wide. And then another penalty occurred, the second in favour of Depor.

The play was started by Valer??n as he sent a cross to the path of Riki, he jumped for the ball and right-back Ra??l C??mara pushed him. Referee Rodr?guez Santiago whistled the penalty, the third one on the evening. With Sergio out of the game, the same Riki took the opportunity, the Madrilenian almost missed the chance as Lafuente was close to stop it.

Two minutes, plus the stoppage time, were remaining in the game, but Depor wasn’t able to do something more, actually Sporting was close to score the fourth. Mate Bilic, who replaced Barral nine minutes before the end, had a one-to-one play against Aranzubia in the last minute, but the Basque keeper made the save.

AFTER THE GAME
All the effectiveness witnessed in the past 5-3 game with Racing Santander was gone against Sporting, vaporized in a matter of seven days, because Depor forgive as it missed four clear chances in the first part to end paying the price in the second. An error of Aranzubia plus an inexistent penalty put things difficult at the start of the second half, later Deportivo was awarded with two penalties, but it wasn’t enough to avoid the first liga defeat since January.

The setback means a wasted opportunity to reach the fourth position, the last ticket to the Champions League, Villarreal lost with Atletico (2-3), while Malaga drew with Sevilla (2-2), precisely the victory of Atletico is leaving Depor out of the UEFA zone. Depor is now 7th, one point under the UEFA zone and three points below the Champions League positions (4th place). On the next Sunday, Depor hosts Real Betis at the Riazor (17h00).

MATCH STATISTICS
Sporting: Lafuente - C??mara, Iv??n Hern??ndez, Neru, Jos? ?ngel - Matabuena, Michel - Luis Mor??n (Diego Camacho 67’), Carmelo, Diego Castro (Kike Mateo 89’) - Barral (Bilic 81’)
Deportivo Aranzubia - Laure, Lopo, Colotto, Filipe - Juan Rodr?guez, Sergio (Valer??n 80’), Lafita, Verd??, Guardado (Riki 57’) - Lassad (Pablo ?lvarez 64’)
Goals: 1-0: (50’) Luis Mor??n, 2-0: (54’) Barral (penalty), 2-1: (69’) Sergio (penalty), 3-1: (72’) Jos? ?ngel, 3-2: (88’) Riki ( penalty).
Referee: Rodr?guez Santiago. He showed yellow card to Filipe (32’), Lopo (53’), Iv??n Hern??ndez (59’), Juan Rodriguez (72’), Jos? ?ngel (75’) and C??mara (87’).
Venue: El Molin??n (25,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (42% - 58%); Total shots (13 - 16); Shots on target (8 - 5); Saves by the keepers (2 - 2); Corner-kicks  (5 - 5); Offsides (2 - 0); Fouls committed (15 - 21); Accuracy in the passes (82.56% - 81.37%)

ARCHIVE NEWS MARCH/09

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