Squad news

REVIEW: MALAGA 0 - DEPORTIVO 0 (LIGA)

08 Feb 2010
Depor clinched a clean sheet for the first time in one month and it did it with ten men on the pitch after Pablo Alvarez was sent at the middle of the first half. The expulsion marked the game as Depor was a different team after the event.

BEFORE THE GAME
As Lotina announced, Laure appeared as the substitute of Filipe at the left-back position, while Pablo Alvarez was the playmaker in the formation. Bodipo was the central attacker and Adrian the left winger, which left Riki sited on the bench. The rest of the team was the normal one, with Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo at the right side of the defense, Colotto and Lopo at the centre; Juan Rodriguez at the right wing and the duo Antonio Tomas-Juca at midfield.

At Malaga, coach Juan Ramón López Muñiz presented the expected 4-4-1-1 formation that included three youngsters in the starting eleven: Daniel Toribio, Iván González and Javi López. In the end the Asturian coach chose Serbian Milan Stepanov as the replacement of Weligton at the centre of the defence, while Mtiliga played at the left wearing a special protection mask.

FIRST HALF
The first part had two different scenarios, and these periods were separated by the expulsion of Pablo Alvarez, because Depor was a more offensive team when it had eleven men on the pitch. After the expulsion, the locals took the initiative and had some attempts to score, mainly through crosses of Mtiliga and Duda that were coming from the left, but in the end Depor’s defensive line, which included the presence of Laure at the left, held the initial 0-0 without hurries.

The most equal part of the match occurred within the first twelve minutes, with three opportunities for Malaga and two for Depor. Fernando had the first after receiving a pass from Caicedo, but Aranzubia was there to stop his shot (2’). It was the first of the eight saves of the Basque keeper, who once again was an important man for Deportivo.

Fernando appeared again one minute later, this time heading a cross from Mtiliga, but he missed the target. Depor responded with a double occasion, first Adrian assisted Pablo Alvarez, but his shot was blocked (5’), and one minute later Bodipo headed a cross coming from Juan Rodriguez and the ball passed near to the right post.

Then the game reached a pause, Depor seemed calmed and was trying to move the ball over the grass, always putting pressure up front, while Malaga was trying to attack by the sides and was releasing countless crosses to the area, attempts that Aranzubia and the defenders were controlling.

Depor’s best chance in the match came at minute 24, Juan Rodriguez attempted from mid-distance and his shot was deflected by Iván González, then the ball was near to enter but central defender  Stepanov cleared the danger from the goal line. The locals responded with Selim Benachour sending a shot to the low-right corner of Aranzubia, but the ex-Athletic reacted and made the save.

Then it came the moment that marked the game, because Pablo Alvarez was sent off after sawing two yellow cards in a matter of five minutes (33’ – 38’), the first was for handling the ball in a direct-free kick, and the other for simulating a penalty after falling inside the area of Malaga when he was in the middle of two defenders; the truth is that it wasn’t penalty, but neither expulsion because the winger wasn’t pretending to cheat the referee, tough the same player could have been sent off one minute before after committing a tough foul over Stepanov.

Lotina also lost the nerves and was sent off before half-time, the Basque protested a lot because referee Mateu Lahoz was allowing the hard game of the locals while one of his players was sent off for two ‘minor’ infractions (Depor only committed nine fouls against seventeen of Malaga). The whole situation distracted Depor as the Galicians weren’t able to create any danger within the final fifteen minutes, but neither Malaga did it, the only approximation of the locals at this moment of the match was a shot of Duda that was controlled by Aranzubia (40’)

SECOND HALF
The team that Lotina sent for the second part was more cautious than the one saw in the first minutes of the first part, without the figure of the playmaker; both Adrian and Juan Rodriguez were multiplying their work as they were supporting the job of Laure and Manuel Pablo when the team was defending, while both joined Bodipo at the centre when the team was attacking, therefore the few offensive moves of the visitors were focused in the middle. In the end this situation affected Depor as Lotina’s team never made a shot on target in the game.

Meanwhile, Muñiz was trying to put more pressure to Depor’s defense and seize the numeric advantage, that’s why the local coach put a second striker after Victor Obinna replaced midfielder Javi López. The half was dominated by Malaga, while Depor’s spent the time locked at the back zone and waiting to resolve the game through a counterattack; Lotina’s team had a couple of chances, mainly after Riki entered.

Malaga had the best opportunities–five shots on target in the half- but the truth is that Depor’s defensive zone never seemed overwhelmed. The best chance for the locals came at minute 52, Fernando assisted Duda and the short-range effort from the Portuguese winger just hit the right post.

The Andalusian team was dominating the actions, but they never found the key to break the deadlock imposed by Depor, actually their next chance came just sixteen minutes later. It was after Toribio assisted Fernando and Aranzubia was there again to make the save. The ex-Betis player was the most active man for the locals.

At minute 60, Lotina ordered the first substitution as Iván Pérez replaced an exhausted Adrian, later Riki entered for Bodipo. This last modification helped to release the pressure of Malaga, because the ex-Getafe striker was forcing the local team to be more cautious in defence, as it happened at minute 84 after the striker penetrated by the left to release a dangerous cross that nobody found inside the area.

AFTER THE GAME
Like it happened at Getafe, Deportivo had to spend almost an hour playing with ten men on the pitch. Like in the case against the Madrilenians the expulsion seemed unfair as the referee punished Pablo Alvarez for two minimal fouls, while he allowed the hard game in other plays. In the end Depor held the 0-0 and clinched a clean sheet for the first time since the 1-0 win over Osasuna (January 10). The whole team made a nice defensive effort, with Aranzubia making new key saves, but once again the Galicians missed the offensive punch needed to clinch the victories, just to mention that Depor never made a shot on target in this game. It is the third goalless liga game for Depor, the three of them within the last month a half.

Despite the draw should be considered as a good result, the truth is that it was a negative matchday for Deportivo, because RCD Mallorca defeated Villarreal (1-0), while Athletic Bilbao achieved a comeback against CD Xérez (3-2). At least Sevilla lost at Real Zaragoza (1-2) and Getafe at Barcelona (1-2). Depor still sixth in la liga, now two points under fourth place Mallorca, one below fifth place Sevilla and two points above seventh spot Athletic Bilbao. On the next Sunday Depor will play for the first time at the Cornellá-El Prat stadium, this in order to face RCD Espanyol (17h00 CET)
 
MATCH STATISTICS
Málaga: Munúa - Manolo, Stepanov, Iván González, Mtiliga - Javi López (Obinna 46’), Toribio (Nacho 81’), Duda (Adriano 71’), Fernando - Benachour (Baha 58’) - Caicedo.
Deportivo: Aranzubía - Manuel Pablo Colotto, Lopo, Laure - Antonio Tomás, Juca  -  Juan Rodríguez, Pablo Álvarez, Adrián (Iván Pérez 60’) - Bodipo (Riki 76’).
Referee: Mateu Lahoz. He showed yellow card to Manuel Pablo (24’), Antonio Tomás (28’), Benachour (39’), Iván González (62’), Toribio (78’) and Caicedo (90’). Pablo Álvarez was sent off with two yellow cards (33’ and 38’); Lotina was also sent off (45’).
Venue: La Rosaleda (25,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (59% - 41%); Total shots (19 - 7); Shots on target (8 - 0); Saves by the keepers (0 - 8); Corner-kicks  (6 - 4); Offsides (3 - 2); Fouls committed (16 - 9); Accuracy in the passes (77.21% - 70.08%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS FEB/09

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