Competition news


11 Jan 2010
Deportivo returned to the path of the victory and it did through its favourite score: 1-0. A goal of Juan Rodríguez was enough to defeat an Osasuna that was a tough rival only in the first half. Depor now reaches the Champions League zone.

Lotina chose to play with Pablo Alvarez in the playmaking function, reason why Valerón started sited on the bench. The rest was the expected squad; with Dani Aranzubia at the goal; Manuel Pablo at the right-back position, Filipe Luis on the left side, Albert Lopo and Diego Colotto at the centre of the defence; Sergio and Antonio Tomás at midfield; Juan Rodriguez on the right wing, Andrés Guardado on the left and Adrián lonely in attack. David Añon and Piscu were discarded before the game, therefore Fabril’s midfielder missed the chance to debut at Primera.

At Osasuna, coach Camacho presented the expected squad; the doubt at the centre of the defence was resolved as Josetxo joined Miguel Flaño for the job, leaving Portuguese Roversio sited on the bench. In attack, Aranda and ex-Depor Pandiani were the hopes to score the goals. To mention that the temperature was really low at the moment of the match (zero degrees centigrade) while it was snowing at halftime. Before the game, a tribute was paid in memory of Enrique Ponte, a central defender that played at Depor during the 1950’s and that died on Saturday.

Despite the final result, it was a new grey presentation of Deportivo; with a solid work at defence, but without punch in attack, actually the locals didn’t complete any shot on target within the first forty-fine minutes, which demonstrates the lack of ideas up front. Meanwhile, Osasuna showed a football as elemental as more effective, based in the aerial game and in long throws searching for its two strikers, which gave a sense of danger at Depor’s area, though the visitors neither completed a shot on target in this first half. A demonstration of the problems at both teams is the low percentage in the accuracy of the passes (77.59% for Depor and  67.66% for Osasuna), which are among the lowest saw at the Riazor in recent times.

The first opportunity for Deportivo came thanks to a error from the visitors, keeper Ricardo lost the ball inside the area and instead of clearing the danger he picked the ball with his arms (12’), then the referee whistled an indirect free-kick from inside the area, but Filipe couldn’t capitalise the chance as he hit the barrier (15’).

Little by little, Depor started to take control of the actions, something that was noticed after Josetxo headed out a free-kick of Puñal (19’). And it was possible as Adrián started to play towards the left, which allowed the Asturian attacker to find a connection with Guardado and Filipe, a duo that continues to be the more ‘vertical’ players at the squad. At the 25th minute, the ex-Oviedo striker found a pass from Filipe, but his final attempt was blocked by a rival.

Two minutes later Adrián had a new opportunity from short-range, but again his shot was blocked. The best chance for the locals in this first part came at minute 34, again during a sequence at the left side of the pitch, this time between Adrián and Guardado, the striker drilled the ball into the path of the Mexican, but he sent the ball out from inside the area.

The lonely response from the visitors came until minute 42, it was the only combination between Pandiani and Aranda during the match that ended with this last one sending the ball out from close range.  It was an equal, but at the same time boring first half, the only clear opportunity was for Guardado and both teams missed to release a shot on target.

Osasuna started with two good chances to open the scoresheet, but the header of Pandiani was stopped by Aranzubia (49’), while in the next play Aranda was left alone against Depor’s keeper, but he slipped and missed the chance to score or even to assist Pandiani. And Depor didn’t forgive in the next opportunity.

Because just two minutes later, Juan Rodriguez appeared to score the decisive goal in the game; and as it could be expected, the action started with a combination between Filipe and Guardado on the left wing, the Brazilian made a short pass to the Mexican, and then he released a low cross to the penalty spot, Juan Rodriguez was there and controlled the ball just when he had his back against the goal, then he turned back a released a drilling shot that entered by the right-bottom corner of Ricardo. It is the second goal in liga for the Andalusian.

The goal brought confidence to Deportivo as the visitors felt pressured to attack, though they never found the way to Aranzubia’s goal, instead the locals found an open road to attack and were close to reply, but referee Rubinos Pérez didn’t saw a clear penalty over Juan Rodriguez at minute 53 (he was even booked for simulation), then Lotina tried to refresh the squad with the entry of Valerón for Pablo Alvarez, while Camacho replaced Arana and Pandiani with Galán and Masoud. The true is that these three modifications didn’t change the scenery.

But what changed the game was the expulsion of Javad Nekounam during a counterattack of Deportivo, it was a long throw from Lopo that Valerón headed at midfield and that turned into a pass that left Guardado and Adrián alone against Ricardo, both were running towards the goal, but the Iranian fouled the Mexican at the edge of the area, which cost a red card and also a knee injury to Guardado, who was later replaced by Juan Dominguez.

Before this action Sergio had to be replaced by Iván Pérez, also due to a knee problem. Osasuna surrendered after ending with ten men, and only created problems through a mid-distance shot of Puñal that missed the target (80’), while Depor had one more chance to score, again it was for Juan Rodriguez as the ex-Malaga midfielder headed a corner-kick of Iván Pérez that hit the crossbar (85’).

First liga victory for Deportivo in 2010, but the true is that it was a grey game; Lotina’s team never felt comfortable on the pitch until it scored the goal, after it the Galicians found the spaces and had a few opportunities to increase the lead. It is the sixth 1-0 win for Depor after 17 matchdays in liga. The negative issue is that Sergio and Guardado sustained a knee injury, while the doctors informed after the game that Antonio Tomás and Pablo Alvarez were also having physical problems, the Cantabrian with a knee injury and ‘The Shark’ exhausted after the effort done in Copa.

But the matchday should be considered as really positive for Deportivo, because Sevilla surprisingly lost at home against Racing (1-2), while Mallorca lost in its visit to Real Madrid (0-2), which means that Depor is now fourth in the table and occupying the last Champions League spot. Even the teams chasing Depor failed to add the three points as Getafe lost at Sporting (0-1), while Athletic Bilbao could only draw with Malaga (1-1), which means that the distance with the seventh spot is now of four points. It is the third time in which Depor reaches the Champions League zone on the current liga tournament.

Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Filipe Luis - Antonio Tomás, Sergio (Iván Pérez 54’) - Juan Rodríguez, Pablo Álvarez (Valerón 59’), Guardado (Juan Domínguez 73’) - Adrián.
Osasuna: Ricardo - Azpilicueta, Miguel Flaño, Josetxo, Monreal - Juanfran (Rúper 69’), Nekounam, Puñal, Camuñas - Aranda (Galán 62’), Pandiani (Masoud 62’).
Goal: 1-0: (50’) Juan Rodríguez.
Referee: Rubinos Pérez (Colegio Madrileño). He showed yellow card to Juan Rodríguez (54’), Lopo (78’) and Colotto (90+4’). Nekounam was sent off (66’)
Venue: Riazor (12,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (52% - 48%); Total shots (10 - 11); Shots on target (2 - 1); Saves by the keepers (1 - 1); Corner-kicks  (2 - 3); Offsides (4 - 4); Fouls committed (19 - 15); Accuracy in the passes (77.59% - 67.66%)




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