Squad news


12 Apr 2009
New poor presentation of a Deportivo that never seemed to understand this was a key game in the quest for Europe, but the players did nothing in 80 minutes and when they reacted, it was too late. And it’s that Atletico wasn’t the offensive side that everybody expected.

No big surprises in the lineups of both teams. Lotina sent the expected 4-2-3-1 starting formation with Valer??n as the playmaker and with Lassad in attack, while Guardado and Lafita were covering the wings. Pablo Amo also made his second straight appearance at the centre of the defence as Z? Castro was unable to play due to contract reasons.

At Atletico, coach Resinos sent the expected 4-4-2 figure, the novelty was that Mariano Pern?a started the game sited on the bench, while Antonio L??pez was covering the left-back position. All the hopes for the goals were on the combination between Simao, Forl??n, Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez.

No matter knowing the importance of a victory in this game, both teams completed a horrible first half, like been more worried about what the rival can do, or about losing their European chances. That’s how the teams preferred to be cautious in defence rather than to make a solid proposition in attack. At least Atletico was the side that pushed more as Depor did nothing in this half. Because the Madrilenians had two chances and scored a goal at the end, while Lotina’s side did nothing.

Atletico dominated the actions since the beginning, but they were able to create something until minute 9, it was an attempt from ?Kun’ Aguero that was blocked by Filipe. Depor appeared for the first time in the counterattack of that action, Guardado made a long run through the left sector, but the Mexican wasn’t able to send a proper cross and fell down to the ground in a possible foul at the edge of the area, the referee didn’t whistle anything.

The true is that despite all the things talked during the week and the apparent ?motivation’ that Lotina’s squad had, Depor did nothing during the first 45 minutes. Only Guardado and Lafita were trying to create something on both wings, but the Galician squad never had a clear attempt against Leo Franco, actually it never completed a shot on target, not even a wide one.

At minute 13, Atletico was close to score as Simao made a pass to Maxi Rodriguez at the edge of the area, and then the Argentine released a drilling shot that was stopped by Aranzubia. Two minutes later the opportunity was for Diego Forl??n, he received a pass of Ra??l Garc?a inside the area, but the Uruguayan lasted too much in releasing the shot and Lopo cleared the danger.

Depor was only creating danger in counterattacks, and precisely the next approximation for the locals came after the action of Forl??n. Again it was leaded by Guardado, and again after a long run on the left, but his cross searching for Lafita went too long.

Then it was the turn of Simao, the Portuguese tried to score the goal shooting from a difficult position, but his effort just hit the net by the outside (21’). Then the game reached a pause that lasted until the final minute. The game got stuck in midfield and the actions were characterized by the continuous fouls and the yellow cards, three in a period of eleven minutes.

And when it seemed to be a goalless first half, the lethal combination between Forl??n and Aguero appeared to put numbers to the game. It was at the last minute of the first part. Both players made a quick combination that left the Argentine alone against Aranzubia after surpassing Lopo with the move, then Aguero chipped the ball over the local keeper to give the advantage to his team. It is the goal number fourteen for Aguero on the liga season.

No matter the performance of Atletico wasn’t impressive at all, the visitors deserved the lead, because at least the were trying to reach the opposite goal, totally contrary case to the one of Depor. The Galician didn’t have any chance, or shot on target, not even a wide shot in the first half, they just completed five poor crosses to the area of Leo Franco, keeper that was just one more spectator at the Riazor. Without doubt, one of the worst first parts for Deportivo on the season.

The terrible performance of Deportivo continued in the second part, this no matter that Valer??n and Lafita switched their positions; the Canarian was now covering the right wing, while the Aragonian was performing as the playmaker. But it was Atletico who had the first chance to score. At minute 49, Maxi Rodriguez hit the post after a good combination between Forl??n, Aguero and Simao. The action left the Argentine alone against Aranzubia, but his final effort hit the crossbar and then the goal line.

Just seconds later, Aguero was close to score again with a complicated shoot that Aranzubia had to stop in a two-part sequence. Then the game reached a point in which Atletico was feeling comfortable using the counterattacks while the weight of the game was at Depor’s shoulders. At minute 57, Depor was throwing a corner-kick and Lopo fell down to the ground, but the referee didn’t whistle anything and Juan Rodriguez was booked for been protesting.

The first shot of Deportivo in the game came until minute 67, it was a terrible effort of De Guzm??n that went over the crossbar. A good demonstration of the dreadful performance of Deportivo during the night. And two minutes later, Atletico scored the goal that seemed to be killing the game. Again after an error at Depor’s defence, a common thing lately. Ra??l Garc?a drilled a ball to Maxi Rodriguez, who just had to use his velocity to overcome Filipe and bet Aranzubia. The game seemed to be over at this point.

But Lotina tried to react switching the system to a 4-4-2 as Rodolfo Bodipo replaced Lafita, but the figure just lasted a few minutes because then Pablo ?lvarez entered for Lassad, something that returned the things to a 4-2-3-1 system.  With Valer??n performing as playmaker, Guardado on the left, ?lvarez on the right and Bodipo up front.

The changes shacked up the things up front, especially with the presence of  Pablo ?lvarez, and Depor had more chances in the last ten minutes compared to the rest of the game. The first one was for ?The Shark’ through a solo-move that ended with a drilling shot that passed near the post (81’), and then Pablo ?lvarez appeared again to fail no matter been alone against Leo Franco (82’). One minute later it was Juan Rodriguez with a new drilling shot that the visiting keeper saved.

The same Pablo ?lvarez was the one that provoked the play of Depor’s goal as Pern?a, who replaced Antonio Lopez just seconds before, fouled the winger at one side. Then Guardado came to throw a perfect cross that Rodolfo Bodipo headed into the net. It is the fourth goal for the Guinean on the liga season.

It was a radical change for a game that seemed defined, Atletico got very nervous in defence and Depor was more dangerous that never before. The last minutes were spent at Atletico’s area and the drama was present as the Galicians had a couple of corner-kicks in which even Aranzubia was searching the equalizer. The second goal for the locals was close to arrive after another good play of Pablo ?lvarez that Juan Rodriguez sent to the crossbar, but the reaction came too late and Deportivo lost its third game at home on the liga season.

Unfortunate game for Deportivo, the Galicians did nothing against a shy Atletico that deserved the win just because it had the will to fight for the three points. Lotina’s side did nothing in the first 80 minutes and just the entry of Pablo ?lvarez and Bodipo brought the winning mentality that Lotina was reclaiming before the game. But the reaction came too late.

This is a huge step backwards for Deportivo, because also Malaga and Valencia won their matches. Now Lotina’s side sees how its European aspirations are fading away, also to appoint that Depor has just added one of the last twelve points in dispute. The next game for the Galicians is on Saturday (20h00 CET) as the squad will visit San Mam?s in order to face Caparr??s’ Athletic Bilbao.

Deportivo: Aranzubia - Laure, Lopo, Pablo Amo, Filipe - De Guzm??n, Juan Rodr?guez – Lafita (Bodipo 71’), Valer??n, Guardado – Lassad (Pablo ?lvarez 75’).
Atl?tico Madrid: Leo Franco - Heitinga, Pablo, Ujfalusi, Antonio L??pez (Pern?a 84’) – Maxi Rodr?guez, Assuncao, Ra??l Garc?a, Simao – Forl??n (Sinama Pongolle 89’), Ag??ero (Banega 79’).
Goals: 0-1: (44’) Ag??ero, 0-2: (70’) Simao, 1-2: (87’) Bodipo.
Referee: Miguel ?ngel P?rez Lasa. He showed yellow card to Pablo Iba?ez (11’), Pablo Amo (31’), Maxi Rodriguez (34’), Heitinga (42’), Juan Rodriguez (57’), Paulo Assun???o (64’) and Pern?a (87’)
Venue: Riazor (24,000)
 Other statistics: Ball possession (50% - 50%); Total shots (9 - 8); Shots on target (4 - 4); Saves by the keepers (2 - 3); Corner-kicks  (4 - 5); Offsides (6 - 3); Fouls committed (79 - 9); Accuracy in the passes (85.90% - 79.08%)



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