Squad news


14 Dec 2009
An unlucky Deportivo could only rescue a point from Almeria; the Galicians had clear chances in the first half, but had to come back from behind to add their second draw of the liga season. Juan Dominguez debuted with the 1st team.

Coach Miguel Angel Lotina presented the expected lineup for the game; Daniel Aranzubia was at the goal, Manuel Pablo played at the right-back position, Filipe Luis the left side, Albert Lopo and Diego Colotto at the centre of the defense; meanwhile Juan Dominguez was debuting at the first team and joined Antonio Tomás and Sergio in the pivote functions, while Juan Rodriguez and Mista acted as playmakers, finally Adrian was alone in attack.

At Almeria, Hernán Bernardillo was discarded for the game due to gastroenteritis and his place was taken by Fernando Soriano, who delayed his position to play alongside Modeste M'Bami at the centre of the pitch, Corona took the playmaking role and Kalu Uche was the main reference in attack.

With the casualties of Lassad, Riki and Guardado, Lotina opted for a scheme that was focusing on the ball possession, with four men at the centre of the pitch and almost without any attacking effort coming from the wings, though from time to time side defenders Manuel Pablo and Filipe were trying to surprise from both flanks. Almeria dominated the first minutes; the main opportunity at this stage of the game came at the 16th minute, Juanma Ortiz sent a dangerous cross that was searching for Uche, but Aranzubia intercepted the ball first.

Then Depor started to grow in the match and five minutes later, Juan Rodriguez hit the crossbar in the first clear attempt for the Galicians; the play was a great move of Filipe in which the Brazilian sent a cross into the path of Mista, then the Murcian assisted the Andalusian, who fired a rocket that hit the crossbar and then the goal line without trespassing it.

One minute later the same Juan Rodriguez attempted the same play, but this time local keeper Diego Alves sent the ball to corner-kick. At minute 26 Almeria tried to react, but the header of Piatti was saved by Aranzubia, who sent the ball out.

The midfielders of Deportivo were controlling the actions, while the defenders were not giving any space to the rivals, that’s why the major part of the first half was really comfortable for Aranzubia, but this time the Galicians were not having the same luck of past occasions against the opposite goal; at minute 38 Depor hit the post for the second time in the match, again Juan Rodriguez was involved as he assisted Antonio Tomás, who fired on target, but his shot was deflected by Diego Alves and then it hit the post.

It was an unlucky first half for Deportivo; Lotina’s team controlled the actions and had two clear opportunities to break the deadlock, but in both actions the ball hit the post. It was a nice effort of the whole group, with Juan Dominguez having a solid performance in which was his debuting game at Primera División.

The start of the second part was difficult for Deportivo, because the locals tightened the things, they knew that only a victory was worthy for them and went out searching the opposite goal since the beginning. The first warning came at minute 51, but Juanma Ortiz never fired from close range, and Juan Dominguez had the time to clear the danger, after this play the youngster was replaced by Juan Carlos Valerón, move made by Lotina in order to clear out the picture in midfield.

But who found the goal was Almeria, two minutes after the entry of El Flaco, Brazilian Michel sent a high cross from the right that nobody was expecting, Colotto only saw how the ball passed over his head and it turned into a perfect pass that Kalu Uche found at the penalty spot, then he released a powerful header that defeated Aranzubia. It is the fifth goal in liga for the Nigerian.

The goal affected Deportivo as Lotina’s side was now having huge problems to reach the opposite goal, but neither Almeria was doing anything to increase its lead, reason why the next ten minutes were boring and without excitement at both goals, just a shot of Manuel Pablo that was cleared by Alvés (70’). Then Lotina ordered a double substitution as Iván Pérez and Pablo Álvarez replaced Sergio and Mista.

These modifications meant a radical change in the formation, because now Lotina was putting two wingers on the pitch and taking off two men that were performing at the centre, now the Basque manager was emphasising the attacks from both wings, curiously left-footed Iván Pérez was attacking from the right, while right-footed Pablo Alvarez did it from the left, but in the end it turned to be a success. 

Because the three players that entered in the second half were involved in the play of the goal, Iván Pérez started the action at the centre assisting Manuel Pablo, then the Canarian sent a long cross from the right, Valerón was at the far post and headed the ball sending a perfect pass to the centre of the six-yard-box, place where Pablo Alvarez appeared alone to head the ball and score the goal from close-range, it is the first goal in liga for ‘The Shark’.

The equaliser just raised the will of both teams as Deportivo and Almeria had clear chances to define the things within the final fifteen minutes, that’s why this part of the match turned to be the most exciting one. The first opportunities were for the locals as Uche had two clear chances within minutes 76 and 80, first as his effort from close range just passed near to the right post, then after the Nigerian found a drilling cross that he tried to connect with the heel, but again the ball went out.

Depor responded with a new combination on the right side between Valerón and Manuel Pablo, again Pablo Alvarez appeared to head the ball inside the box, but this time the winger missed the target (87’). It was the last attempt to score in the game.

Deportivo added a point away from home and having important casualties at its squad, but the taste in the mouth should be bittersweet after having two clear attempts in the first part that hit the posts. Uche surprised with his header, and Lotina reacted in the right way as he switched from the game focused on the centre to the attacks from the wings, which in the end worth a point. Juan Dominguez had a nice debut with the first team, while the entries of Valerón, Iván Pérez and Pablo Alvarez were key to achieve the draw.

With this new point added Depor is now just two points behind fourth place Valencia FC, team that will visit the Riazor on the next Sunday (21h00 CET), however Lotina’s team lost the fifth spot in the table after the victory of Mallorca at Osasuna (1-0). Besides, Athletic Bilbao is now three points behind the Galicians after its victory at Zaragoza (2-1).

Almeria: Diego Alves - Michel, Chico, Acasiete, Domingo Cisma - M'Bami, Soriano - Juanma Ortiz, Corona, Piatti (Nieto 72’) - Kalu Uche.
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Filipe Luis - Sergio (Iván Pérez 67’), Antonio Tomás, Juan Domínguez (Valerón 56') - Juan Rodríguez, Mista (Pablo Álvarez 67’) - Adrián.
Goals: 1-0: (58’) Kalu Uche,1-1: (74’) Pablo Álvarez.
Referee: César Muńiz Fernández. He showed yellow card to Soriano (19’).
Venue: Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos (9,360)
Other statistics: Ball possession (45% - 55%); Total shots (17 - 19); Shots on target (5 - 6); Saves by the keepers (3 - 3); Corner-kicks  (8 - 6); Offsides (3 - 1); Fouls committed (18 - 12); Accuracy in the passes (80.00% - 83.69%)




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