Competition news

REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 0 - ESPANYOL 0 (COPA)

15 Mar 2006
Once again Deportivo missed out on a chance to progress in the Copa, thanks to a loss at the Riazor. They dominated possession of the ball, but without that extra touch, they weren't able to meet the standard set by Lotina’s team. Because of this, the Galicians will celebrate the centenario without a trophy in their hands.

BEFORE THE GAME
The so-called 'revolution' ended before it started.  Caparr??s said before the match that he would make a small change to improve the performance of the squad, but in the end he decided to use a similar lineup to the one used against Real Sociedad on Saturday. The difference was the return of Coloccini to defense and the presence of Duscher in midfield, while Romero started as a right winger and Munitis as the second striker.

The big surprise for Deportivo was H?©ctor replacing Manuel Pablo on the right side. For Espanyol, Lotina started with the expected lineup, including the combination of De la Pe?±a, Tamudo and Luis Garc?­a in the strike zone. Pandiani was left on the bench.

FIRST HALF
Both teams started the game as everyone was expecting – Deportivo took the initiative and Espanyol tried to hold on to the first leg result. The Galicians had the first chance when Romero crossed the ball, but Arizmendi failed to finish it off. The Catalans responded immediately with a corner kick that Tamudo didn’t head properly.

The next few minutes saw the same story, with Deportivo dominating the ball against the defensive wall constructed by Lotina. Their next chance was a free kick taken by Munitis, which Juanma headed inches away from the post. Later, Arizmendi headed a Munitis cross over the crossbar.

Deportivo continued to apply pressure upfront and as was the case against Real Sociedad, the Galicians had trouble finding the finishing touch in the opposition area. The first half ended better for the home side. Munitis' shot inside the area was miraculously saved by Kameni, but Arizmendi found the rebound, which was once again cleared by the African keeper. Deportivo searched for a win throughout first half, but the visitors’ defensive strategy was too much for them.

SECOND HALF
The last 45 minutes saw the same script, with Deportivo surrounding Espanyol's area, and the Catalans planting a wall in front of them.  The Galicians were obligated to play with crosses courtesy of V?­ctor, Romero and Munitis. With no clear ideas upfront, Caparr??s sent Trist??n on to replace Romero, and Arizmendi moved to the left wing.

Deportivo started to panic and began to leave gaps in midfield, a situation Tamudo couldn't take advantage of after his dangerous shot was stopped by Molina. After that, Lotina sent Pandiani to replace the Espanyol captain and try to refresh the strike zone.

With time running out, Caparr??s sent Xisco on for Arizmendi, a desperate measure in order to find the necessary goal. The Fabril youngster almost had the winning goal at his feet. Trist??n passed him the ball inside the area but his shot passed inches away from the post. It was the shot of the night...and also the end of Depor’s dream.

The dream goal never came, since the visitors effectively shut down any danger created by Deportivo, and the home side never found the net.  They lacked efficiency in managing their possession of the ball, a problem that has been affecting the squad all season long.

AFTER THE MATCH
The dream of celebrating the centenario with the Copa del Rey in one hand ended with the 0-0 at the Riazor. Deportivo controlled the ball, but once again they never seemed to know what to do with it. Espanyol advanced to the final thanks to the 2-1 win in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago. They will meet Zaragoza in the final and now Deportivo will have to search for another window into Europe next season.

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: Molina - H?©ctor, Coloccini, Juanma (De Guzm??n 89'), Capdevila - V?­ctor, Sergio, Duscher, Romero (Trist??n 59')- Munitis , Arizmendi (Xisco 78').
Espanyol: Kameni - Zabaleta, Lopo, Pochettino, Jarque - Domi, Costa, Fredson - De la Pe?±a (Juanfran 89') - Luis Garc?­a (Ito 79'), Tamudo (Pandiani 65').
Referee: Undiano Mallenco. He showed yellow card to V?­ctor (28'), Costa (31'), Duscher (32'), Sergio (59'), Zabaleta (86')
Venue: Riazor (28,000).


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