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REVIEW: VALENCIA 1 – DEPORTIVO 2 (COPA)

07 Jan 2010
First win for Depor in 2010 and it was a great triumph, because it was achieved visiting one of the stronger sides in Spain. Guardado and Pablo Alvarez opened the doors, and later Silva put the excitement. Now Depor has a good advantage to pass the series.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina was presenting the expected starting eleven; with six changes compared to the lineup that played at La Romareda: Manu was at the goal, Laure played at the right-back position, Filipe was at the left, Piscu and Zé Castro were the central defenders; Sergio and Antonio Tomás were at midfield, Pablo Alvarez was at the right wing, Guardado was at the left, Juan Rodriguez was the playmaker and Riki the lonely attacker.

At Valencia, coach Unai Emery was presenting three surprises: Hedwiges Maduro was taking the place of David Navarro at the centre of the defence, while Juan Manuel Mata was claiming the place at the left wing, which left Jordi Alba on the bench. Also, Marchena played at midfield no matter that Albelda is suspended in liga. In attack, Villa and Zigic represented the main hopes in the quest for the goals.

FIRST HALF
Depor’s defensive zone was nervous at the start of the match, especially Zé Castro, the Portuguese committed two mistakes within the first two minutes and Valencia was close to score, but the same Zé Castro cleared the danger in the first opportunity and before Villa was able to shot on target. The second error of the ex-Atletico central defender turned into a corner-kick, Maduro found the ball in the resulting play and Marchena scored, but it was disallowed due to an offside.

The initial harassment of the locals continued with a crossed shot of Marchena that passed near to the post (3’). Depor’s first approximation came at minute 5, it was during a corner-kick in which Piscu missed the target. And two minutes later Pablo Alvarez, who was the most dangerous player for the visitors in the game, had the first clear occasion for Deportivo, it was after a cross from Laure, but the header of ‘The Shark’ missed the target.

Valencia responded with a fast counterattack that was born of a combination between Mata and Villa, the play ended with a shot of Zigic from close range and Manu appeared to make a great save (10’). It was a very different game to the one saw at the Riazor some weeks ago, now both teams were having multiple scoring opportunities and Valencia was controlling the ball possession.

The excitement continued as Deportivo had a new attempt to score, Pablo Alvarez made a pass with the heel, then Guardado sent a dangerous cross from the left that Riki almost capitalise, but Moya made the save (13’).  One minute later Guardado sent a new cross from the left, but Juan Rodriguez didn’t find the ball and it was cleared by a defender.

Then there was little pause after the high pace imposed by both teams within the first fifteen minutes, at minute 20 Sergio wasted a good chance to take the lead as he missed the target in a direct free-kick taken from the edge of the area, and then Riki fell down injured, doctors said later it was a adductor problem on the left knee, he was replaced by Adrián.

Joaquin wasted the best chance for Valencia after a pass from Villa, the ex-Betis winger was alone inside the area, but he sent the ball over the crossbar (24’), one minute later Mata made a solo-play and was close to score, but Antonio Tomás cleared the danger. Despite this new harassment, Depor started to grow in the game and Lotina’s team was now having a better ball possession. 

The key was that Depor was pushing Valencia’s midfielders during the transition defense-attack, reason why the locals were having big problems with the output of the ball, particularly solid was the job done by Pablo Alvarez, player very active in the mark and also with a big participation in all the offensive moves of his team. At the 33rd minute, Antonio Tomás had an attempt to score after pass of Piscu during a corner-kick, but he sent the ball out. Nothing more occurred within the final ten minutes, though Valencia spent that period of time surrounding Depor’s area.

SECOND HALF
And Depor found the always wished visiting goal just two minutes after the kick-off; a cross of Pablo Alvarez ended in a thrown in at the right side, Laure took the ball and then Juan Rodriguez sent a cross to the near post, Andrés Guardado was there to beat Maduro and Moyá with a crossed shot that went to the back of the net. It is the second goal on the season for the Mexican winger.

The goal brought confidence to Deportivo and anxiety to Valencia; the visitors were now feeling much comfortable speculating with fast counterattacks, while the locals were hurrying up the things and especially committing mistakes that were leaving an open way to Deportivo, and that’s how the second goal came. Piscu got the ball at the edge of Depor’s area, then Laure had it on the right side and assisted Antonio Tomás at midfield, the Cantabrian made a short pass that ended on the boots of Zé Castro, who turned off to send a long and perfect pass that was searching for Pablo Alvarez, the winger was chased by Dealbert, but "The Shark" made a brilliant move to elude the defender and firing a drilling shot that meant the 0-2 in the scoresheet.

Emery reacted quickly and allowed the entry of Fernandes and Silva for Zigic and Marchena, but Depor was still dangerous in attack, as example the new attempt from Pablo Alvarez at minute 57, which this time was stopped by Moyá. Despite the desperation of the locals, their first clear occasion in the second half came until minute 66, it was after a cross from Silva that Villa headed inside the area, but Manu was there to make the save.

The scenery continued the same; Depor was feeling pretty comfortable with the advantage and was waiting for a new opportunity through a counterattack, while Valencia was pushing stronger though without creating too much danger. But the locals scored an important goal after a rebound inside of the area. Miguel sent a cross from the right, Juan Rodriguez cleared the danger after a header of Bruno, but Banega found the ball at the edge of the area, then the Argentine sent a shot that David Silva deflected with the heel when he was inside the area to score the goal, he wasn’t offside because Piscu was there too.

Then Lotina decided to rest Filipe Luis and Manuel Pablo entered to the pitch, the Canarian was now playing at the left-back position. Valencia was still surrounding Depor’s area, and the defensive zone of Lotina was holding the advantage. Later Iván Pérez replaced Antonio Tomás, which brought fresh legs to Depor’s midfield. With the move Juan Rodriguez moved to the centre while Iván was now on the right wing.

In his first appearance, ’El Ratoncito’ attempted from the edge of the area, but he missed the target (83’). In the next play Pablo Alvarez and Adrian combined, but the ball ended in the arms of Moyá. The final opportunity for Valencia came at minute 89, Miguel sent a cross from the right and Manu wasn’t able to clear the danger, Bruno headed the ball, but it just passed near to the post.

AFTER THE GAME
Very entertaining game between two sides that forgot the speculative match played at the Riazor at the end of 2009; Valencia pushed strongly at the beginning and was close to capitalise the nervousness of Depor’s defensive zone, but the visitors quickly entered into the game and both sides had plenty opportunities during the first part, though the goals came until the second. Guardado and Pablo Alvarez fulfilled good moves for Deportivo and later Silva put the excitement that the game deserved. Valencia pushed strongly in the quest for the equaliser, but Lotina’s defensive zone hold on the result. To mention that this is just the third defeat of Valencia in all the official competitions of this season.

The result gives a good advantage to Depor; now the second-leg will be played at the Riazor in one week, and Lotina’s team only needs a draw or to lose the game by a 0-1 score. Valencia needs a 2-0 victory or to win the match scoring three times, while a 1-2 will only take the game to extra-time. Before that encounter, Depor hosts Osasuna playing for la liga (Sunday, 17h00 CET)  

MATCH STATISTICS
Valencia: Moyŕ - Miguel, Maduro, Navarro, Bruno - Joaquín, Marchena (Silva 61’), Banega, Mata (Vicente 71’) – Villa, Zigic (Fernandes 61’).
Deportivo: Manu – Laure, Piscu, Ze Castro, Filipe (Manuel Pablo 72’) – Sergio, Antonio Tomás (Iván Pérez 81’) – Pablo Álvarez, Juan Rodríguez, Guardado – Riki (Adrián 23’).
Goals: 0-1: (47’) Guardado, 0-2: (55’) Pablo Álvarez, 1-2: (73’) Silva
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo. He showed yellow card to Marchena (32’), Filipe (43’), Dealbert (62’) and Sergio (71’)
Venue: Mestalla (25,000).
Other statistics: Ball possession (55% - 45%); Total shots (17 - 10); Shots on target (5 - 5); Saves by the keepers (3 - 4); Corner-kicks  (7 - 7); Offsides (2 - 2); Fouls committed (21 - 11); Accuracy in the passes (78.29% - 72.63%)

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/09

ZAPPING

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