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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 2 – VALENCIA 2 (COPA)

14 Jan 2010
Epic battle between two sides that had their momentum, with Valencia scoring twice in the first part, and Depor doing the same in the second; in the end Deportivo clinched the pass to quarterfinals, mainly thanks to the great performance of Filipe.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina surprised with Filipe Luis performing as a left winger, it was the response to the injury of Guardado; for this reason Manuel Pablo played at the left-back position, Laure was at the right, Piscu and Zé Castro were the central defenders and Manu the goalkeeper.

Another novelty was the presence of Antonio Tomás at midfield, the Cantabrian was fit enough after surpassing a muscular problem, he was joined by Juca, who was returning from an ankle sprain. Valerón was the playmaker in the formation and Juan Rodriguez the right winger. Finally, Bodipo was the lonely attacker.

At Valencia, coach Unai Emery was also surprising as David Villa was sited on the bench, therefore Nicola Zigic was the starting striker. Other novelties were the presence of Carlos Marchena at the centre of the defence, David Silva appearing on the playmaking function, Vicente covering the left; and ‘Chori’ Dominguez playing on the right.

FIRST HALF
The game started with both teams searching the opposite goal; firstly Manuel Pablo sent a cross that was intercepted by Moyá (3’), one minute later Zigic headed a ball for Silva, but the Canarian missed the target from close range. At the 6th minute, both attackers combined again, but the referee whistled offside. At minute 8, Juca had an attempt to score through a direct free-kick, but his effort just hit the barrier.

Valencia knew the importance of an early goal, and that goal came in an error of Manu, the play was started by Chori Dominguez, then Miguel sent a cross from the right that Zigic found inside the area, the Serbian headed the ball and Manu wanted to contain it instead of clearing the danger, as result the ball went to the back of the net.

The goal brought uncertainty to an empty Riazor, Depor started the game searching the area of Moyá, but after the goal it became a nervous team, without depth and was easily losing the ball at midfield, while Valencia was trying to have the initiative. At minute 16, Miguel attempted from mid-distance, but the ball just passed near to the crossbar.

However, the pace of the game decreased after the first twenty minutes, and it’s that neither Deportivo nor Valencia were finding a clear opportunity as both offensive lines were ineffective. Valerón was missing too many passes, while Juan Rodriguez was busier in defensive tasks, Filipe didn’t have a partner at the left, and only Antonio Tomas was managing midfield with some criterion.

 And just when it seemed that the locals were starting to dominate the things, Valencia found the second goal, again scored through a header of Nicola Zigic, and again with Miguel sending a cross from the right, this time neither Piscu nor Laure reacted quickly, while Manu couldn’t block the diving header of the ex-Racing Santander attacker. Valencia was now achieving the comeback, in just thirty minutes and without doing too much.

 Depor was in shock, Lotina’s team was now having the initiative as it was forced to search at least one goal, but the true is that the Galician team never represented a real problem to Moyá, keeper that barely was tested by the local players. Actually, Valencia looked more dangerous within the final ten minutes, with Miguel testing from mid-distance, an attempt that was stopped by Manu (39’). The best opportunity for Depor in this half was another direct free-kick of Juca that went close to the crossbar (43’).

SECOND HALF
If Valencia was able to find a quick goal in the first half, now it was Deportivo the side that found a fast reply. The play started with Zé Castro sending a long pass from defence, Bodipo fought for it in the air, then neither Marchena nor Miguel know what to do with it, which was seized by Filipe Luis, who scored the goal beating Moyá with a drilling shot.

Just four minutes later, Filipe had a new attempt to score after a pass with the heel of Juan Rodriguez, this time Moyá was able to clear the ball to corner-kick. These two actions of Filipe were a demonstration of the Brazilian’s new position in attack: he was now performing as second attacker, just behind Bodipo.

Now the aggregate score was tied, therefore both teams were searching for one goal in order to define the things. Both coaches moved the bench and Joaquin entered at Valencia, while Iván Pérez was replacing Valerón, later Adrián entered for Bodipo. Both changes were important as it allowed the counterattacks for the locals.

And Depor found the equaliser in a new great play of Filipe Luis, the action was started by Manuel Pablo, who assisted Adrián at the left, then the Asturian assisted Filipe, who ran on that side of the pitch towards the area,  and when the Brazilian was facing Moyá one-on-one, he sent a strong pass to Juan Rodriguez, who scored from close range.

The rest of the game can only be described as “cardiac”, with Deportivo first, and Valencia later, having enough chances to define the tie, in the middle of this a fight between the players as the temperature was raising on the pitch. At minute 74 Filipe had the best chance of the night, this after Adrian stole the ball and faced Moyá, the striker assisted the Brazilian, but he missed the target when he was alone against the goal.

Then it was Valencia the side that was close to score, and again it was through a header of Zigic after a free-kick, but Manu made a great save (78’). With the situation in favour of Depor, Emery sent David Villa to the pitch, El Guaje replaced Vicente, while Lotina reacted with the entry of Albert Lopo for Antonio Tomás, the Catalan defender was covering his place at midfield as he acted as a defensive pivote.

In the middle of both modifications, Filipe was again close to score after a great counterattack built up by Iván Pérez, again the Brazilian faced Moyá one-on-one, and the action was cleared to corner-kick by the visiting keeper (83’). Just three minutes later, it was Adrián the one that had the third opportunity to define the game, but he lost the ball against Marchena when it seemed he could have faced Moyá.

And Valencia was the side that had the best opportunities within the stoppage time, first Villa made a good play on the right, he assisted Silva, but the Canarian missed the target from close range (90+2’); the final chance for the visitors came two minutes later, again through the aerial game, Zigic found the ball and assisted Mathieu, but the defender missed the goal.

AFTER THE GAME
Deportivo showed two different faces in what should be one of the best ties in this Copa Del Rey edition; the team was nervous at the beginning, just at it happened at Mestalla, and this time the Galicians conceded two goals that were putting Valencia in the next round, but a great reaction in the second half changed the tide and qualified Depor to quarterfinals. Filipe was without doubt the best man on the pitch, especially for his work in the second part as a second striker; he scored the first goal and assisted the second. Also important was the entry of Iván Pérez and Adrián, which helped to prepare dangerous counterattacks. Depor qualifies to the quarterfinals with a 4-3 aggregate score.

Again it will be a hard week for Deportivo, the team travels to the Ono Stadi in order to face RCD Mallorca for la liga (Sunday, 17h00 CET), then it will face Sevilla FC in the quarterfinals of Copa Del Rey. The Andalusians eliminated the current Champion Barcelona FC in another dramatic tie; the first-leg will be played on the next Wednesday.

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: Manu - Laure, Piscu, Zé Castro, Manuel Pablo – Antonio Tomás (Lopo 84’), Juca - Juan Rodríguez, Valerón (Iván Pérez 60’), Filipe – Bodipo (Adrián 68’).
Valencia: Moyá – Miguel, Marchena, Navarro, Mathieu – Fernándes (Banega 75’) , Albelda – Chori Domínguez (Joaquín 57’), Silva, Vicente (Villa 82’) – Zigic.
0-1 (10’) Zigic, 0-2: (29’) Zigic, 1-2: (49’) Filipe, 2-2: (72’) Juan Rodríguez.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo. He showed yellow card to David Navarro (76’), Albelda (79’), Manuel Pablo (80’), Miguel (80’) and Manu (90+2’)
Venue: Riazor (13,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (47% - 53%); Total shots (10 - 12); Shots on target (4 - 7); Saves by the keepers (5 - 2); Corner-kicks  (8 - 4); Offsides (4 - 3); Fouls committed (16 - 19); Accuracy in the passes (78.47% - 78.97%)

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/09

ZAPPING

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