Squad news


18 Jan 2010
A grey Deportivo lost the Champions League spot as it played one of its worst games in the first round; the Galicians did nothing in attack and only the saves of Dani Aranzubia avoided a bigger lose, but Lotina’s team remains in the European zone.

Lotina sent the expected eleven men to the pitch, but the surprising thing was their distribution over the grass; it was expected to see Filipe as a left winger and Manuel Pablo as a left-back defender, but instead both men were exchanging their positions at both sides of the defense, while Laure, who was supposed to be the right-back defender, was actually a right winger.

Meanwhile, Juan Rodriguez, who lately has been performing as right winger, was now adding a new role to his repertory: left winger. The rest of players were at their "normal" positions: Aranzubia was the keeper, Lopo and Colotto the central defenders, Antonio Tomás and Juca the two pivotes, Pablo Alvarez the playmaker and Adrián the lonely attacker.

At Mallorca, Gregorio Manzano sent the expected 4-4-1-1 formation, with Borja Valero acting as second striker/playmaker and Aritz Aduriz as the main reference for the goals. Julio Álvarez and ‘Chori’ Castro were at the wings and both were important factors in the match. The only novelty was that Brazilian Felipe Mattioni was covering the right-back position.

The multiple experiments of Lotina never worked out as Deportivo barely created opportunities to score, this despite it had the ball possession during the game (53% in the first part, 56% in the whole game). At least the defensive sector was able to hold on the 0-0 until half-time, though it was more for the saves of Aranzubia, the Basque keeper was very active in the game and made four important saves (three of them in the first part). In general, Depor seemed to be an apathetic team that never showed intensity and that respected too much the rival and its impressive record at home.

The first warning of Mallorca came at minute 8, Julio Alvarez took a free-kick and central defender Ramis was inside the area to head the ball on target, but Aranzubia was there to make his first save of the evening, just two minutes later the locals had their best chance in the first part; Ayoze sent a cross from the left that Aranzubia couldn’t control, then the ball was left to Galician Julio Alvarez, who could only hit the post with his crossed shot from mid-distance.

Depor was having big problems to create something in attack, Pablo Alvarez was not appearing and side defenders Manuel Pablo and Filipe were more active up front than Laure and Juan Rodriguez, precisely the two men that should be releasing the crosses from both sides. The only shot on target of Depor in the game came at the 13th minute, Filipe sent a cross from the left and Adrian headed the ball inside the area, but Aouate made the save. 

Mallorca’s next opportunity came at minute 18, again Julio Alvarez was involved in the play as he assisted Borja Valero, who missed the target from close range. In the next play Deportivo responded with a great move of Pablo Alvarez, who assisted Adrián, but the Asturian attacker missed the target as his drilling and crossed attempt just passed near to the far post of Aoaute.

Depor’s worst moment came between minutes 25 and 28, Ayoze Díaz and Gonzalo Castro had attempts to score that were deflected, in the resulting corner-kick Mario Suarez headed a new corner kick of Julio Alvarez, and Aranzubia made the save, it was the second corner in which Deportivo’s defender allowed the rival to head the ball on target. This harassament ended with a new combination between Mario Suarez and Julio Alvarez, this time in a free-kick, the Uruguayan sent the ball into the box, but the ex-Las Palmas midfielder missed the cross despite he was alone against Aranzubia.

Mallorca was having the best chances, but the true is that Aduriz only appeared once in the game, it was at minute 38 as he found the ball inside the area, but his attempt was blocked by Antonio Tomás. The half ended with a new clear opportunity for the locals, again after a great play of Julio Alvarez, who assisted Borja Valero, but Aranzubia made the save with his leg. Depor thanked the final whistle as it reached the pause holding the 0-0 that was keeping the Champions League place.

And everything collapsed in just forty-one seconds, time that Mallorca needed to break the deadlock, the goal came after a new corner-kick of Julio Alvarez, this time Antonio Tomas cleared the danger at the near post and the ball went to the edge of the area, place were ex-Sevilla Marti tried to shot on target, but instead it turned into a volley that passed over Depor’ wall of defenders, Lopo jumped but couldn’t head the ball, while Juan Rodriguez reacted late and couldn’t clear the danger, then the ball was left to Mario Suarez, who beat Aranzubia with a low shot from close range that went to the left-bottom corner.

The goal broke a Depor’s mark of 347 minutes without allowing a goal in liga, the previous goal leaked by Aranzubia was at minute 58 of the game against Almeria (1-1), and since then the Basque keeper achieved three straight clean sheets in the competition, in this way Aranzubia was close to break his previous mark imposed earlier on the season as he was only needing 69 more minutes to reach the previous record of 416 minutes without leaking a goal.

Depor tried to react but instead it received the second goal from the locals; seven minutes after the first goal, Juca was taking a corner-kick, Aouate controlled the danger and the Israeli keeper started a fast counterattack as he sent a long throw into the path of Gonzalo ‘Chori’ Castro, who was standing at the left wing, Manuel Pablo was there too and it seemed the Canarian had the situation under control, but somehow the Uruguayan was able to lift the ball and later ran into the left corner of the box, place where he crossed Aranzubia with a drilling shot to score the goal.

The visitors knew the defeat was almost a sure thing, as Mallorca had only allowed three goals in all the matches played at home so far, Lotina was thinking the same and tried to shift the scheme; in this way Bodipo replaced Laure, while Iván Pérez entered for Juca; the moves allowed Pablo Alvarez to play at the right wing, Iván Pérez occupied the left and Juan Rodriguez returned to play as a defensive pivote. Depor was also attacking with two strikers: Bodipo and Adrián.

But the true is that it was too late, Depor never seemed dangerous in attack, and actually Mallorca even had the chance to score a third goal. Again, Julio Alvarez was the source of the danger as he assisted Gonzalo Castro, but Aranzubia avoided a bigger catastrophe as he stopped the effort of the Uruguayan (61’).

Later Juan Dominguez replaced Antonio Tomás, who was not totally recovered from his muscular problems. Depor only had three attempts to score in the second half, and all of team were shots that missed the target, the first, and most dangerous, came at minute 70; Filipe sent a cross from the left, the ball was cleared by a defender and Iván Pérez found it at the edge of the area, but his final effort went over the crossbar. The other two attempts that missed the target were a header of Bodipo after a cross of Pablo Alvarez (88’), and a right-foot shot of Adrián after a pass from Iván Pérez.

Poor presentation of Deportivo during a game that was important in order to keep the Champions League spot, actually it could be named among the five worst games of the season. The true is that the experiments of Lotina, with Laure at the right wing and Juan Rodriguez on the left, never worked out and Depor was a shadow of the team of recent matches. Only the saves of Aranzubia saved the team from the same big score suffered at Valladolid.

The defeat is pulling down Depor to the fifth spot, while Mallorca in now fourth. The first round ends the next weekend as Depor hosts Athletic Bilbao at the Riazor (Saturday, 22h00 CET), it’s a new European final as the Basques defeated Real Madrid (1-0) and are now one point behind Depor. In order to end the first round in a European place, Lotina’s team needs a draw, but a victory combined with a defeat of Mallorca at RCD Espanyol will put the Galicians back on the fourth place. But before that, Deportivo hosts Sevilla FC as part of the first-leg of the quarterfinals in Copa Del Rey (Riazor, Wednesday, 22h00 CET).

Mallorca: Aouate - Mattioni, Ramis, Nunes, Ayoze - Julio Álvarez, Martí (Pezzolano 78’), Mario Suárez, Castro - Borja Valero (Bruno China 84’) - Aduriz (Keita 81’).
Deportivo; Aranzubía - Manuel Pablo, Diego Colotto, Lopo, Filipe Luis - Antonio Tomás (Juan Domínguez 69’), Juca (Iván Pérez 59’) - Laure (Bodipo 59’), Pablo Álvarez, Juan Rodríguez - Adrián López.
Goals: 1-0: (46’) Mario Suárez, 2-0: (53’) ‘Chori’ Castro.
Referee: Rafael Rodríguez Domínguez. He showed yellow card to Mattioni (4’), Aduriz (23’), Colotto (35’), Juca (37’), Antonio Tomás (49’) and Juan Rodriguez (83’).
Venue: Ono Stadi (13,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (44% - 56%); Total shots (20 - 9); Shots on target (8 - 1); Saves by the keepers (1 - 4); Corner-kicks  (7 - 4); Offsides (4 - 3); Fouls committed (14 - 16); Accuracy in the passes (72.47% - 77.45%)




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