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REVIEW: ZARAGOZA 0 – DEPORTIVO 0 (LIGA)

04 Jan 2010
Second straight 0-0 for Deportivo in la liga; it was a grey first half in which the only opportunity was for the visitors. Things improved in the second half, but not enough to see some goals; Depor still sixth in the table.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina surprised as he allowed the appearance of Juan Dominguez as starter, it was the second appearance in the starting eleven for the Fabril’s midfielder during this season. The rest was the expected team, with Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo at the right-back position, Filipe on the left, while Colotto and Lopo were at the centre of the defence. Antonio Tomas played alongside Juan Dominguez at midfield, Juan Rodriguez was performing at the right wing, Guardado on the left, Valerón acted as playmaker and Adrian was the lonely attacker.

At the local team, coach José Aurelio Gay also surprised with a modification, it was said that Ander Herrera and ex-Liverpool Jermaine Pennant were fighting for the left spot in attack, but in the end both players appeared in the starting eleven, while ex-Depor duo Javier Arizmendi and Angel Lafita were leading the attack.

FIRST HALF
It was a grey start of year for both teams; Deportivo and Zaragoza focused their game in midfield and both keepers barely appeared during the first part. Both sides were having big problems trying to move the ball to the opposite goal, and to make things worse the continuous fouls were just slowing a game that was already boring. To demonstrate the little things that happened in this half a simple stat: there were no shots on target.

It seemed that Zaragoza was having a stronger start as Lafita, the most dangerous man for the locals in the game, attempted from close range after a pass of Abel Aguilar, but he missed the goal (5’). Colombian Abel Aguilar had other two opportunities within those minutes, but the ball also went out. But in the rest of the first part, Zaragoza did nothing as they didn’t find the ball, therefore Arizmendi was passing unnoticed.

So it was Adrián at Deportivo; because the Galicians were too much delayed on the pitch and seemed more worried about defending than about taking the lead. The ball never reached Depor’s lonely attacker and the only clear opportunity for the visitors was for a central defender: Albert Lopo.

It was during a free-kick taken by Guardado, he sent the cross to the area and it hit a local defender, then Adrian made a small pass to Lopo, who fired from the penalty spot, but the ball went over the crossbar (26’). That was the first and only clear attempt to score for both teams during this part. An ugly first half, neither Depor nor Zaragoza deserved the lead and that’s why the scoresheet indicated the 0-0 at halftime.

SECOND HALF
At least things improved for the final forty-five minutes, Depor advanced its positions and seemed to be a more daring team, which also awoke a Zaragoza that had its own opportunities. At minute 49, Ander Herrera missed the target after a new pass of Abel Aguilar; the response of Depor represented the first shot on target of the whole game.

And again Lopo was involved in the attacking play, it was cross of Juan Rodriguez that Colotto found at the near post, it turned into a pass that Lopo found at the centre, but the Catalan defender couldn’t connect the ball properly and it was stopped by local keeper Carrizo (51’).

That action brought the enthusiasm into the game as there were six attempts to score within the next six minutes. First Lafita found a high pass of Abel Aguilar, but his final effort was stopped by Aranzubia (53’), then Ponzio (55’) and again Lafita (56’) missed the target. This entertaining moment of the game ended with a shot of Filipe stopped by Carrizo (58’), action that was followed by a solo-effort of Pennant that missed the target and an attempt of Guardado that also went wide (59’).

Then the first modifications were made and the game lived a pause, Riki entered for Valerón and Deportivo had more mobility over the pitch, but it was Zaragoza the side that had the next three opportunities. First Lafita missed again the target from close range (69’), then Brazilian Diogo fired on target from inside the area, but Aranzubia made the save (73’), and finally Pulido headed a corner that was stopped by the visiting keeper. (75’)

Before this last action, Pablo Alvarez replaced Adrián, modification that pulled Juan Rodriguez to the playmaking position, while Riki was now the lonely attacker and ‘The Shark’ acted as the right winger. It seemed to be a good move as Juan Rodriguez appeared twice, first with a shot that was deflected by a rival (77’), and later with an assist to Riki that the Madrilenian sent out (82’). In the middle of both actions Sergio replaced Juan Dominguez, who made a decent game at midfield.

The last opportunity for Deportivo came at minute 86, again Juan Rodriguez appeared to assist Guardado, but the effort of the Mexican was stopped by Carrizo. In the next play Lafita appeared again after a pass of Jorge Lopez, but Aranzubia was there to make the save.

AFTER THE GAME
Two different halves that had the same end: a 0-0. The only opportunity on the first part came with a high shot of Lopo, while in the second there were countless approximations to both areas. However, there was no aim. The return of Riki in the second part revitalized the game for Depor, but it wasn’t enough to break the deadlock. Not the best presentation for the Galicians as there were no fresh ideas at midfield, especially within the first forty-five minutes.

It is the second straight goalless match for Depor in la liga and the fourth consecutive game without achieving the victory, but the Galicians still living at the Europa League zone, the victory of Mallorca is leaving that team at the fourth spot tied in points with Sevilla FC, and just two points above Depor, but Getafe is pushing from behind as now the Madrilenians are seventh with just one point less. On the next Sunday Depor hosts Osasuna at the Riazor (17h00 CET), but first it must paid a visit on Wednesday to Valencia FC playing for the last-16 round in Copa Del Rey (first-leg, 20h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Zaragoza: Carrizo - Diogo, Goni, Pulido, Paredes (Babic 88’) - Abel Aguilar (Jorge López 58’), Ponzio, Herrera - Pennant, Arizmendi (Braulio 74’), Lafita.
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Colotto, Filipe - Juan Domínguez (Sergio 78’), Antonio Tomás - Juan Rodríguez, Valerón (Riki 66’), Guardado - Adrián (Pablo Álvarez 73’).
Referee: Eduardo Jesús Iturralde González. He showed yellow card to Abel Aguilar (37’), Juan Rodríguez (37’), Lafita (73’), Juan Domínguez (74’), Pulido (78’) and Jorge López (79’).
Venue: La Romareda (22,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (51% - 49%); Total shots (12 - 7); Shots on target (4 - 3); Saves by the keepers (3 - 4); Corner-kicks  (3 - 4); Offsides (2 - 2); Fouls committed (21 - 20); Accuracy in the passes (83.89% - 81.50%)

* RESULTS AND STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/09

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