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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 1 – SEVILLA 0 (LIGA)

18 Oct 2009
The defence of Deportivo was able to overcome the powerful attack of Sevilla as Lotina’s tactic, putting three pivotes on the pitch, prevailed. The great goal of Juan Rodriguez is keeping Depor in the Champions League zone.

BEFORE THE GAME
Iván Pérez Maceiras was the big surprise in the lineup of Lotina, the ex-Fabril was promoted for the present season and this was his first official game at the Riazor, also his first appearance as starter. But that wasn’t the only novelty, because Lotina was switching the system into a 4-3-3 figure. ‘Chico’ Angulo and Lassad, who was even appointed as a starter, were left out of the game since the list of 20 men had to be reduced to 18.

The only sector that didn’t change was the defence, Aranzubia was the starting keeper, Manuel Pablo was performing at the right-back position, Filipe on the left side and the central positions were for Colotto and Lopo. In midfield Lotina was presenting a ‘triple-pivote’ figure, with Antonio Tomás joining Juan Rodríguez and Sergio. In attack, Riki was the central striker, while Iván Pérez was playing towards the right and Guardado towards the left side.

At Sevilla the big novelty was that Abdoulay Konko was having fever, reason why he was left out of the match. For that reason Brazilian Adriano took his place at the right-back position. The other modification was that Serbian international Ivica Dragutinović was sited on the bench, while French Julien Escudé was joining Sergio Sánchez at the centre of the defence.

FIRST HALF
These two teams arrived to the game as the ‘alternatives’ in la liga, this after Deportivo and Sevilla were occupying the third and the fourth place on the standings. But the true is that the first half was disappointing, because the attack of the visitors was predictable and Depor’s defenders controlled everything, while the offense of the locals was practically inexistent, mainly because Lotina’s men were more worried about destroying the game of the Andalusians.

As proof of this the fact that only two shots on target were made during the first part, and both were for Depor –actually the only two for the Galicians in the whole game- However, Sevilla started dominating the actions, while Deportivo, despite that Lotina said it wouldn’t happen, was speculating and trying to surprise through the counterattacks. The best action for the Andalusians came at minute 24, a combination between Navas and Kanoute allowed the attempt of Adriano, but his shot missed the goal.

At that point of the game Sevilla reduced its pace, which allowed Deportivo, team that never created a clear chance in the first half an hour, to start looking for the goal of Javi Varas. At the 34th minute Depor had its first attempt to score, but it was a wide shot of Guardado. And then it came the big play of the game, it occurred during a counterattack and after Fernando Navarro couldn’t clear a cross, then Juan Rodríguez found the ball sending a long distance rocket that entered at the top corner of Javi Varas

The goal gave courage to Deportivo and the locals were close to reply in two opportunities. First during a cross of Filipe and after a counterattack for Depor, but the ball didn’t find Juan Rodriguez inside the area, the play continued and the Andalusian midfielder sent a drilling cross to the path of Guardado, but the Mexican missed the target from close range (42’).

The other chance came at the last minute of the first part, it was during a free-kick at one side of Sevilla’s area, Iván Pérez sent the cross and Riki headed the ball at the near post, the ball was going into the goal, but visiting keeper Javi Varas made the save.

Lotina’s tactic was working out, Lopo annulled Kanoute and Sevilla lost its reference for the aerial game, while the triple-pivote figure was obstructing the fluidity in midfield, and the goal of Juan Rodriguez just reinforced the local ideas as Sevilla was pushing for the equaliser while Depor was expecting to find the second goal through a counterattack. Also to emphasise the great job of Colotto, Manuel Pablo and Filipe, impassable throughout the game.

SECOND HALF
The match followed the same script of the first part: Deportivo was locked up at its own territory, while Sevilla was pushing forward and leaving the spaces that Lotina was wishing for in order to surprise with a new counterattack. The lonely shot on target on this half –and the only one of Sevilla in the game- was made by Negredo after a pass of Zokora, the ball was stopped by Aranzubia (50’). The save helped the Basque keeper to break his all-time mark of 357 minutes without leaking a goal.

Also to notice that the play started after Iván Pérez lost the ball, the youngster looked nervous throughout the encounter and maybe that was the reason why Lotina decided to replace him with Juan Carlos Valerón. Other possibility was that Depor’s coach was thinking of El Flaco as the perfect protagonist for the counterattack efforts. 

Sevilla also made a modification as Diego Capel entered for Argentine Perotti. Depor’s defenders were covering really well the attackers of Sevilla, but it’s also true that the game on the wings was inexistent; something that just made easier the job for Depor’s defenders and that explains the motive for the change. Later Jimenez sent Kone to replace Negredo, who arrived to the Riazor wishing to repeat his performance with Spain’s national team, but that left the pitch with empty hands.

With the pass of the minutes Sevilla was pushing harder, but Deportivo was holding on at the back zone and the efforts of the visitors were ending smashed against the Galician wall. Fifteen minutes before the final whistle, Sevilla was close to tie the actions after Jesús Navas took a corner-kick that Escude headed out, that was one of the few opportunities in which the local defenders lost a ball against the Andalusians.

It seemed that Lotina was trying to secure the win with a new goal, that’s why the coach put Pablo Alvarez and Adrián for Antonio Tomás and Riki, two changes that were searching to add more velocity to the counterattack of Deportivo. Between both modifications, Lopo headed wide a corner of Guardado (79’).

The final five minutes were tense as the Galicians were tasting their fourth straight win in la liga, but the true was that Sevilla only had one chance in its quest for the equaliser. Their best chance was a cross of Capel to the far post and into the path of Adriano, but instead of shooting on target the Brazilian tried to assist Kanoute, who missed his pass inside the area. Despite the pressure, Depor was still searching for the second goal, but neither Guardado nor Valerón were able to capitalise their chances.

AFTER THE GAME
A marvelous goal of Juan Rodríguez allowed Deportivo to clinch its fourth straight win in the competition, but the big hero was solid defensive work made by the whole team. And it’s that Kanoute, Koné and Negredo did nothing in the game; just a simple shot on target that was controlled by Aranzubia. The tactic of Lotina about putting three pivotes in midfield was perfect and the Andalusian team had big difficulties trying to create their pretty-style game.

The result also meant the fourth straight clean sheet for Depor, something that was made for the first time with Lotina. Aranzubia also broke his personal record without leaking a goal, while Depor continues living in the Champions League zone.  Now the Galicians visit Real Valladolid on the next weekend (Sunday, 17h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Filipe - Juan Rodríguez, Antonio Tomás (Pablo Álvarez 74’), Sergio - Iván Pérez (Valerón 57’), Riki (Adrián 80’), Guardado.
Sevilla FC: Varas - Adriano, Sergio Sánchez, Escudé, Navarro – Jesús Navas, Zokora (Lolo 86’), Renato, Perotti (Capel 58’) – Negredo (Koné 64’), Kanouté. Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz  He showed yellow card to Sergio Sánchez (78’)
Goal: 1-0: (37’) Juan Rodriguez.
Venue: Riazor (25,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (42% - 58%); Total shots (8 - 9); Shots on target (2 - 1); Saves by the keepers (1 - 1); Corner-kicks  (3 - 4); Offsides (4 - 2); Fouls committed (11 - 18); Accuracy in the passes (80.15% - 78.16%)

ARCHIVE NEWS OCT/09

ZAPPING

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