Squad news


03 May 2009
Important victory that keeps Depor inside the fight for Europe. Lotina’s side showed again the face of a team without goal, but a combination between Bodipo and Lassad at the beginning of the game was enough to secure the three points.

As it was expected, Lotina sent to the pitch a 4-4-2 squad  with Lassad and Bodipo up front, though the Tunisian attacker was performing more as a playmaker. The rest was the same starting eleven that drew with Malaga CF on the past weekend, including the duo Ze Castro-Colotto at the centre of defence and Pablo Alvarez constantly switching his position with Guardado on both wings.

At Valladolid, coach Mendilibar surprised with the presence of Nigerian attacker Bartholomew Ogbeche, while Bosnian/Dutch Haris Medunjanin was replacing Oscar S??nchez on the left wing. Before the kick-off, a minute of silence was held in the memory of Jos? Luis Vara, the ex-captain of Depor that died on the past week.

No matter been playing with two strikers in the starting formation for the second straight time, the true is that Deportivo missed the needed punch to sentence a game that was winning since the first minutes. That lack of aim kept the fans sited and hoping to not miss any point before the final whistle, especially after Valladolid had clear opportunities to tie the game at the end of both halves. No matter this, the combination Lassad-Bodipo demonstrated once again to be very promising ahead of next season.

But it was Valladolid who started pushing up front, with three consecutive shots of Haris Medunjanin, two went wide and the most dangerous one was contained by Aranzubia with some difficulties (5’). But when it seemed the visitors were having more hunger for victory, Depor found the goal that would define the game during its first approximation to the opposite area.

The play was started by Filipe Luis, the Brazilian was running over the left side and decided to shot on target, but his effort turned into a drilling shot that Rodolfo Bodipo, almost accidentally, found inside the area, then Guinean brilliantly assisted Lassad Nouioui with a pass with the heel that left the Tunisian in advantage against I?aki Bea and Luis Prieto, then the ex-Fabril fired a rocket from the penalty spot that went to the top-right corner of Asenjo (6’). It is the third goal of Lassad with Depor’s first team.

Just three minutes after the goal, the locals were close to increase the difference, this time through a free-kick sent by Sergio that Asenjo barely deflected, then the dead ball was going into the path of Juan Rodriguez, but I?aki Bea cleared the danger first. The goal affected Valladolid as Mendilibar’s men were unable to react until the final minutes of the first part, and their only approximation before that period was during a secondary play in a free-kick in which Canobbio sent the ball into the arms of Aranzubia (18’).

Shortly before, Pablo Alvarez wasted another good pass of Bodipo with the heel, this time the ball went wide. The next fifteen minutes were really calmed, with Deportivo winning the game without facing too many troubles against a Valladolid that seemed asleep.

 But everybody at the Riazor woke up in a matter of a minute, because a distraction at defence left Ogbeche alone against Aranzubia after an assist of Cannobio, the Basque keeper confirmed his great moment stopping the striker in a one-to-one move, in the counterattack of the play, the local team claimed penalty after Filipe Luis fell down in the area challenged by Pedro Le??n (35’)

One minute later, Cannobio responded with a shot that went close to the post. At the end of the first part, both sides were close to score. First it was Bodipoas he headed a cross of Lassad that Asenjo miraculously saved (43’). Two minutes later Canobbio found the space at the edge of the area to release a shot that went close to the crossbar.

The first half was entertaining at the beginning and at the end, but boring in the middle. The connection Lassad-Bodipo left some sparks that helped to score a goal and that gave a positive impression, but in the rest of the time, Depor seemed to be a team without clear ideas to create something. Valladolid was a dead squad at the beginning; one that demonstrated why was coming to the meeting after spending five games scoreless, though they had  a couple of clear chances at the end.

The second part was a continuation of the things saw after Depor’s goal, because both sides combined moments of boredom with clear occasions that almost were transformed into goals. Depor seemed to have the initiative at the start, but it was Valladolid who had the first big opportunity. It occurred at minute 50 as a cross of Baraja was headed into the goal by Nigerian Ogbeche, but Aranzubia made the save through a brilliant and quick move.

One minute later, Pablo ?lvarez found himself alone at the opposite area after a distraction of the visitors, but his final shot just went over the crossbar. Then Lotina made the first substitution replacing Bodipo with Joan Verd??. The Basque thought that Depor needed more pause and a ?brain’ capable of taking advantage of the width on the pitch. The Catalan was very active during the minutes he spent over the pitch, but Depor continued missed some sparkle and freshness in attack.

At the 60th minute, Guardado was assisted by Lassad inside the area, but the Mexican sent the ball out, his effort went just close to the left post. In the counterattack of that play, Pedro Le??n made a long run on the right sector that ended with him firing from the edge of the area, but his effort went out. After this couple of occasions and as it happened in the first part, the match reached a pause at the middle of the half in which nothing interesting occurred.

During this ?break’, Lotina decided to replace Pablo ?lvarez with Riki, the Madrilenian has been a revulsive in past occasions and this time he was covering the right wing, but the true is that the ex-Getafe man passed unnoticed over the grass.

Ten minutes before the end, the excitement returned to the Riazor. Lassad, in a solo-play, was close to score from close-range but his effort went out just when Verd?? was standing in a better position and waiting for an assist. Then Lotina made the final substitution allowing the entry of Cristian for Guardado.

And Valladolid searched the equaliser in the final minutes, forcing the fans at the Riazor to suffer until the final whistle. The main opportunity for the visitors occurred during the stoppage time, ?scar S??nchez sent a cross to the path of Oldoni, the Brazilian replaced Borja some minutes before, and he missed the target from close range after his header when out and no matter that Aranzubia was already defeated (90+2).

That action added drama to a match that had its ups and downs throughout the ninety minutes, the local fans were hoping for the final whistle and enjoyed of some seconds of relax after central defender Luis Prieto was sent off as he fouled Lassad when he was about to face Asenjo in a one-to-one action.

Not the best game of Deportivo, but one combination between Lassad and Bodipo was enough to secure three important points for Lotina’s team. The true is that the Galician squad experienced again a lack of aim that didn’t allow a bigger score, while it suffered against a rival that had its chances no matter showing a poor game.

It was a very good weekend for Depor, because Malaga, Valencia and Villarreal lost their games, the only direct rival that achieved a win was Atletico Madrid (0-2 at Betis). Now the Galicians are seventh in the table, just two points under the UEFA zone, even the Champions League is at reach as fourth place Valencia is three points away. On the next Sunday, Depor pays a visit to the Nuevo Colombino in order to face Recreativo de Huelva (17h00 CET), club that’s inside the drop zone, but alive and kicking after defeating Osasuna in Pamplona (2-1)

Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Z? Castro, Filipe Luis - Pablo ?lvarez (Riki 64’), Sergio, Juan Rodr?guez, Guardado (Cristian 82’) - Lassad, Bodipo (Verd?? 50’).
Valladolid: Asenjo - Baraja, I?aki Bea, Luis Prieto, Marcos (Oscar S??nchez 81’) - Borja (Pedro Oldoni .84’), Alvaro Rubio - Pedro Le??n, Canobbio, Haris Medunjanin (V?ctor 75’) - Ogbeche.
Goals: 1-0 (8’) Lassad.
Referee: Delgado Ferreiro. He showed yellow card to Pedro Le??n (23’) Ogbeche (32’), Z? Castro (42’) and Sergio (52’). Luis Prieto (90+4’) was sent off.
Venue: Riazor (16,000).
Other statistics: Ball possession (40% - 60%); Total shots (15 - 19); Shots on target (5 - 5); Saves by the keepers (3 - 3); Corner-kicks  (3 - 3); Offsides (5 - 6); Fouls committed (16 - 5); Accuracy in the passes (79.65% - 84.80%)



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