Competition news

REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 1 – VILLARREAL 0 (LIGA)

28 Sep 2009
Another free-kick goal of Juca is giving Depor the three points after a suffered game against Villarreal. The visitors didn’t represent a problem in the first half, but things were more complicated in the second part. In the end Depor reaches the European zone.

BEFORE THE GAME
Brazilian Juca was fit enough to play the game, while Lotina surprised putting the same starting eleven that faced Xérez CD in midweek. Aranzubia was the keeper, Manuel Pablo was staying at the right-back position, Lopo and Colotto were the central defenders, while Filipe covered the left side. Juca joined Sergio in midfield, Pablo Alvarez covered the right wing and Andrés Guardado attacked by the left flank, finally the duo in attack was composed by Adrian and Lassad.

Another novelty was that Zé Castro was left out of the list at the last minute; his place on the bench was taken by Piscu. According to the club, the Portuguese had a back problem. At Villarreal, coach Ernesto Valverde left Brazilian Nilmar sited on the bench, meaning that Giussepe Rossi and Joseba Llorente were the starting strikers. Another novelty was to see Javi Venta playing at the right-back position, leaving ex-Celta Ángel sited on the bench.

FIRST HALF
It was an intensive first part, at least within the first fifteen minutes. Deportivo was trying to move the ball with short and fast combinations, while Villarreal was waiting at its own area and trying to surprise through a counterattack. Despite the effort of both teams, the true is that, combined, both teams were only able to release four shots on target during this part of the match.

Deportivo started in the better way, moving quickly the ball and trying to find the holes at Villarreal’s defense, and the Galician side capitalised its first chance in the game. It was after Eguren fouled Filipe at the edge of the area, Brazilian Juca came to release another perfect free-kick that meant the lonely goal of the night. The midfielder released a perfect parabolic shot that went to the right post, Diego López flied through the air at the Riazor, but he never reached the ball and it went to the back of the net after hitting the wood.

What followed was an intensive game, with Villarreal trying to react as soon as possible and with Deportivo always trying to continue with its fast combinations, Lassad and Adrián were switching their positions, while the main danger came by the left sector with the duo Filipe-Guardado. Meanwhile the yellow submarine bet on long passes, the best occasions for the visitors were a drilling cross of Cazorla that Rossi couldn’t find inside the area  (11’), and attempt of Javi Venta from close range after a side free-kick, the drilling shot was stopped by Aranzubia (16’).

Then Juca had to leave the game, the Brazilian was in doubt due to a knee problem and he couldn’t resist the intensity of the game, he was replaced by Antonio Tomás. Meanwhile Villarreal was also having problems, because Diego Godín was feeling pain on both ankles and also had to leave the game early, he was replaced by Bruno, who is a midfielder, but that had to work in defence due to the casualties for the game (Gonzalo was suspended).

The true is that the exit of Juca coincided with the loss of pace in the game. Now Deportivo was having troubles when it tried to make its short combinations, the couple Adrián-Lassad wasn’t working at all for the second straight time, and the team missed a leader at midfield, someone with the guidance to put the pause to the ball and search for the best alternative, therefore the game of the locals was ending in long throws that were easily controlled by the rivals. Again, only the combination between Filipe and Guardado was bringing some danger to Villarreal.

Actually, that was the way for Depor's second best opportunity in the first half. A sequence between Filipe and Guardado on the left side ended with a precise pass to Lassad, who was alone against Diego López inside the box, but the Tunisian attacker was in a hurry and could only release a drilling shot that was easily stopped by the Galician keeper.

Worse was the situation at Villarreal, Rossi and Cazorla were the best players at Valverde’s team, but they were isolated and only appearing from time to time, therefore Aranzubia never had a real problem, at least in the first part.

SECOND HALF
The second part was a real suffering for Deportivo, because Villarreal did everything to reach the draw and the local team was now feeling the pressure from the rival. Just two minutes after the kick-off, Cazorla sent a cross to the area that was headed by Llorente, the downwards header of the striker was going in, but Aranzubia cleared the danger with one hand. The visitors protested that the ball passed the goal line, but referee Rodríguez Domínguez continued with the game.

Four minutes later Cazorla attempted from mid-distance and the shot was stopped by Aranzubia. Those were the worst moments for a doubtful Depor, the disconnection in attack continued, but now Villarreal was plugged into the game and the yellow submarine seemed close to reach the equaliser.

That’s why Lotina ordered a change, he replaced a disappeared Lassad with Valerón, a modification that was searching for the needed pause in midfield. At the same time Nilmar was entering for Llorente, another forward missed in action during the night. The entry of El Flaco gave more ideas to Depor, but not the needed depth, mainly because Sergio and Antonio Tomas were having troubles behind Valerón’s back.

Rossi missed another great chance at the 61st minute, he was able to release a dangerous shot inside the area after a solo-play, but he missed the target. The first occasion for Depor in the second half came at minute 66, Guardado released a cross from the left, but Pablo Alvarez missed the ball after been battling with Capdevila. Then Riki replaced Adrián, the Asturian fought hard throughout the match, but again he missed more company.

Another good chance for the locals came at minute 74, Sergio found the ball and send a shot from the edge of the area, and Diego Lopez cleared the danger. It seemed the worst already passed for Depor, Villarreal was tired and only the lack of ideas in its strikers was preventing the draw. For the final ten minutes, the fans at the Riazor were really nervous, but the sensations on the pitch were different, because Villarreal didn’t create a clear chance as it only reached Aranzubia through long passes and crosses that never represented a problem.

Depor even had the chance to double the advantage, because four minutes before the end Guardado drilled a perfect pass that left Riki alone against Diego Lopez, but the Madrilenian striker didn’t know what to do with the ball, and the visiting keeper cleared the ball with his foot. The final minutes were dramatic, but more for the minimal difference in the scoresheet than for the approximations of Villarreal.
 
AFTER THE GAME
Suffered victory for a Deportivo that, once again, capitalised a set-piece in order to pick up the victory. Lotina’s side had troubles in attack and the combination Lassad-Adrian didn’t work at all, but at the same time the Galician squad recovered the solvency at the back zone as it achieved its third clean sheet of the liga season. Villarreal gave hard battle in the second half, moments were Depor were at the mercy of the visitors, but the lack of ideas at Valverde’s team were evident and the three points stayed in La Coruńa.
 
The win leaves Depor in a satisfying fifth place (9 points in 5 games), while Villarreal is penultimate and still without adding a victory in this start of season (2points in 5 games). On Next Saturday, Deportivo flies to the
Canary Islands in order to face Tenerife FC (18h00 CET),

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Filipe Luis - Pablo Álvarez, Juca (Antonio Tomás 17’), Sergio, Guardado - Lassad (Valerón 55’), Adrián (Riki .65’).
Villarreal: Diego López - Javi Venta, Marcano, Godín (Bruno 33’), Capdevila - Cani (Pires 72’), Senna, Eguren, Cazorla – Rossi, Llorente (Nilmar 55’).
Goal: 1-0: (7’) Juca.
Referee: Rafael Rodríguez Domínguez. He showed yellow card to Marcano (19’), Cani (41’), Lopo (60’) and Pires (.76’)
 Venue: Riazor (14,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (41% - 59%); Total shots (10 - 12); Shots on target (7 - 7); Saves by the keepers (4 - 3); Corner-kicks  (3- 9); Offsides (4 - 2); Fouls committed (15 - 14); Accuracy in the passes (84.45% - 82.23%)

ARCHIVE NEWS SEPT/09

ZAPPING

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