Squad news


20 Sep 2009
First defeat at home of the season, setback caused due to the errors of Deportivo defending the aerial plays. The score could have been worst, but an own error of Espanyol allowed Lotina’s side to search for the equaliser until the end.

Lotina gave the impression of been hiding something during Friday’s press conference, and that something was Adrián, because the striker was a starter in the game taking the place of Pablo Alvarez. The Asturian was the lonely attacker in the formation, while Riki was covering the right wing, therefore Lotina kept the 4-2-3-1 system of the first two matchdays. 

The rest of the team was the expected one: Dani Aranzubia at the goal, Laure at the right-back position, Albert Lopo and Zé Castro at the centre of the defence, and Filipe Luis on the left sector. Juca and Juan Rodriguez in midfield, Guardado on the left wing, Valerón was the leader of the offensive moves an Riki the partner of Adrian in attack. At Espanyol the novelty was that Iván Alonso was on the bench, while ex-Chelsea Ben Sahar took his spot in attack.

The pace was high during the first forty-five minutes as both teams were trying to take the ball possession and display their football; Espanyol was the first one that reached the opposite goal with Ben Sahar (3’), but the first attempt to score was for Filipe Luis with a direct free-kick that the Brazilian smashed into the face of right-back Chica (6’). The first shot on target on the game was a header of Ben Sahar after a cross of David Garcia that was stopped by Aranzubia (11’).

Five minutes later Depor had a new chance through a free-kick, this time after Adrian was fouled at the edge of the area by Móises Hurtado. Riki took the ball and his shot almost ended at the back of the net, but Kameni saved his team clearing the ball to a corner-kick. The Catalan side responded with a long ball to Corominas that was firstly saved by Aranzubia, then Luis García found the rebound and his shot from close-range was saved by Laure over the goal line.

It seemed Depor was miraculously saved, but in the resulting corner-kick the visitors took the lead for the first time. Dani Pareja hit the crossbar with a header after the cross of Luis Garcia, then the ball was found by Jose Callejón, who just had to push the ball in. It was the first goal of Espanyol on the liga season.

The goal just raised the anxiety of Depor, while Espanyol seemed now more comfortable speculating through counterattack actions, actually the visitors had two occasions to increase the lead as the free-kick of Pareja was stopped by Aranzubia (22’), and later as Sahar sent the ball out after a good pass of Forlin (24’).

But luckily, soon Depor found the equaliser after a great play of Valerón. El Flaco drilled one of his famous passes and left Adrián alone against Kameni, then the Asturian eluded the African keeper to score the goal from close-range. It is the second goal in liga for Adrian wearing Depor’s shirt, his first one was scored at the Camp Nou against Barcelona (season 2006/2007).

With the game tied, Depor and Espanyol kept the fight for the control of the actions, at the 36th minute Guardado had an attempt to score after a pass of Adrian, but the Mexican sent the ball out when he was at the edge of the area, but Espanyol never surrender and was able to score a second goal before half-time.

Again the goal came in an aerial play: a cross from the right side coming from Callejón was headed by Argentine Juan Forlin, who crossed Aranzubia with a perfect execution. It was an equal first half, with two sides openly searching for the three points, the difference was that Espanyol capitalised the errors of Deportivo defending the aerial game.

The Galician side was trying to have the ball possession, but within the first ten minutes Lotina’s team didn’t have any attempt to tie the game. As it happened when Espanyol had the lead during a few minutes on the first half, the visitors were feeling very comfortable playing through the counterattacks. In one of those actions Luis García had a clear opportunity, but he missed the target after a pass of Callejón (53’). This last player was the most active men at Pochettino’s squad; actually he was a main actor in the first two goals.

And this time Espanyol capitalised that confidence as it scored a third goal, this time conquered by a familiar face for the fans: Joan Verdú. Again the action came by the air: long ball of Davíd García that the playmaker controlled in front of Aranzubia to bet him with a drilling shot. Until this point of the match Verdú was disappeared. The Catalan celebrated the goal against the insults coming from the public.

Lotina reacted with a triple change in attack: Mista, Pablo Alvarez and Lassad entered for Riki, Valerón and Adrián. Now Depor was playing with a 4-4-2 system after a total ‘facelift’ in attack, only Guardado kept his place on the left. Alvarez was attacking by the right flank, while Mista and Lassad were at the centre. Pochettino responded taking off one of his attackers: Ben Sahar, who was replaced by midfielder Javi Márquez.

The first shot on target of Depor during the second part came until minute 65, it was a cross from Guardado that Mista headed into the hands of Kameni. However, the changes never worked out and it was Espanyol the side closer to increase the lead. At the 70th minute, Corominas was near to score, but his crossed shot just went close to the post. Four minutes later Luis Garcia fired on target, but his effort was stopped by Aranzubia.  A couple of minutes later Guardado attempted from mid-distance, but the ball went out.

Depor was knocked down, it was trying to have the ball possession, but it barely reached the opposite area due the disconnection between its offensive players. A proof of this is that Depor only had two attempts to score within the first twenty-five minutes of the second half. But a light at the end of the tunnel appeared after Espanyol committed its first and only big mistake in defence. It was after a combination between Juca and Guardado, the visitors couldn’t clear the ball at their own area, and after the attempts from Mista and Pablo Alvarez, it was Lassad who scored the goal from close-range.
Then Depor woke up and in the next play Lassad was close the tie the game as he headed a corner-kick of Juca, but the ball just went close to the post. Before this, the home side seemed defeated and even at the border of bigger setback, but the error at the visiting team turned the final ten minutes into an exciting game in which Deportivo was having the ball against a rival locked at its own area.

Depor sought the equaliser with more will than clear ideas; in the final minutes the Galician side released countless long passes, something caused by the desperation at the local team. Even so, Deportivo time was close to score in the final play, but Pablo Alvarez couldn’t connect the ball , and the final corner-kick of Guardado couldn’t be connected by anybody even though Aranzubia was at Espanyol’s area.

First defeat at home for a Deportivo that paid the price for the errors committed defending the aerial game of the rival. The initial formula of Lotina never worked out, and it was necessary to make a triple offensive change at the middle of the second half, just when the ship was already going down. The first part was more equal, but in the second Depor presented the same lack of ideas than in the past season. Depor overplayed Espanyol within the final ten minutes, but it was a mirage created by the second goal of the home team, which was a product of the lonely error committed by the visitors.

Depor was trying to climb positions taking in mind this was the second straight game played at home, but Lotina’s side is now founding itself in mid-table after the unexpected defeat. Now Lotina must try to find quick solutions to the distractions in defence before Wednesday, day in which Depor visits CD Xérez at the Chapín stadium (20h00 CET).

Deportivo: Aranzubía - Laure, Lopo, Zé Castro, Filipe –Juca, Juan Rodríguez, Riki (Pablo Álvarez 62’), Valerón (Mista 61’), Guardado – Adrián (Lassad 61’).
Espanyol: Kameni - Chica, Forlín, Pareja, Davíd García - Corominas, Moisés Hurtado, Verdú (Roncaglia 85’), Callejón (Fernando Marqués 88’)- Luis García, Ben Sahar (Javi Márquez  65’).
Goals: 0-1: (20’) Callejón, 1-1: (28’) Adrian, 1-2: (43’) Forlín, 1-3: (55’) Verdú, 2-3: (77’) Lassad.
Referee: Fernando Teixera Vitienes. He showed yellow card to Callejón (18’), David Garcia (75’), Mista (90’) and Pareja (90+2’)
Venue: Riazor
Other statistics: Ball possession (54% - 46%); Total shots (9 - 9); Shots on target (4 – 7); Saves by the keepers (3- 9); Corner-kicks  (4 - 5); Offsides (4 - 4); Fouls committed (13 -16); Accuracy in the passes (80.67% - 78.23%)



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