Squad news

REVIEW: ESPANYOL 2 - DEPORTIVO 0 (LIGA)

15 Feb 2010
New disappointment after a new failed experiment of Lotina; once again Depor’s coach was searching for emergency solutions to cover the casualties and once again everything fall apart against one of the worst offensive lines in la liga.

BEFORE THE GAME
As it was expected, coach Lotina –who was at the stands after been sent off against Malaga- presented a new experiment on Depor’s first visit to the Cornellá-El Prat stadium. Left-footed Iván Pérez was performing on the right wing, while striker Adrián did the same on the left. Defensive midfielder Juan Rodriguez was the playmaker and Rodolfo Bodipo -the only attacker in the lineup that was occupying his normal position- was the lonely striker in the 4-2-3-1 formation.

The other part of the lineup, the defensive line, was the usual one; with Dani Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo at the right-back position, Laure improvised as the substitute of Filipe on the left; Colotto and Lopo at the centre of the defense, and with the couple Juca-Antonio Tomás at midfield.

At Espanyol, coach Pochettino surprised with Espanyol B right winger José Raúl Baena performing as a pivote replacing Moisés Hurtado, while the attacking line was for Verdú and Iván Alonso at the centre, while Callejón and Luis Garcia were attacking by the wings.

FIRST HALF
Poor presentation of a Deportivo that never gave a sign of life in Barcelona; Lotina’s team just spent the time trying to hold on and surprise the rival through a counterattack, but in the end the Galicians were the ones surprises with two quick plays on the sides that defined the fate of the match.

The locals started strongly with two shots on target within the first five minutes, first Baena received a pass from Luis García (3’) and later Callejón was assisted by Iván Alonso (5’), but both occasions ended with easy attempts stopped by Aranzubia. More dangerous was the play of Iván Alonso, who forced Aranzubia to clear a pass searching for the striker inside the area (6’).

But little by little, Depor’s midfield started to control the game of the rival, Juca and Antonio Tomás were imposing their game and Espanyol’s attack was unable to reach Aranzubia for the next twenty minutes. But Depor neither was dangerous in attack, the experiment of Lotina of playing with switched men on the wings never worked out and the visitors lacked depth on the sides, reason why Depor focused their little options in attacking through the centre or in set-pieces.

And in that way came the only three attempts of Depor in this half. First with the corner-kick of Juca that Colotto headed into the arms of Kameni (9’) –one of the two shots on target made by Depor in the whole game- Later Juca attempted with a free-kick, but the Brazilian sent the ball over the crossbar (23’), then Iván Pérez attempted a 30-meters shot, but the ball just passed close to the post (32’).

The game was boring at this point, there was no excitement and after the initial push, the only approximation for the locals was a pass of Callejón to Iván Alonso that the striker surprisingly missed, he was alone against Aranzubia, but his final attempt was an easy catch for the Basque keeper (29’).

But then, against the desperation of the locals fans that were starting to whistle, Espanyol began its own experiments, which in the end were the factors that defined the game. Callejón was switching positions with Verdú and Luis Garcia and in one of those plays it came the first goal. Callejón received a pass from Verdú at the edge of the area, then the ex-Real Madrid ran on the left until the line surpassing the mark of Laure to release a drilling cross that Joan Verdú found at the near post, then the ex-Depor beat Aranzubia with a strong  shot from the six-yard box.

It was a hard hit to assimilate by Deportivo; the Galicians were having the control after a doubtful start, but now were paying the price for their lack of ideas in attack. The improvisation of putting Callejón on the right wing of Espanyol was enough to beat the improvisation of putting right-footed Laure on the defensive left sector of Depor.

SECOND HALF
It was expected a reaction by Depor, but instead the Galicians lost the control they previously had at midfield, as a consequence Aranzubia had more work to do compared to the first part. As example the two first attempts of the locals. Luis Garcia headed the ball to Iván Alonso who sent the ball out from close range (50’), three minutes later Aranzubia made a great save against a long-range shot of Javi Márquez.

To make things worse, Antonio Tomás was sent off after fouling Francisco Chica, an action that was protested by the visitors. For the second straight time the Galicians ended with ten men on the pitch, this time with the score against them and with thirty minutes remaining in the clock. Juan Rodriguez delayed his position and was now playing alongside Juca at midfield. Then Lotina tried to revitalize the game on the wings replacing the two players performing there, Riki and Guardado entered for Adrián and Iván Pérez.

But Espanyol scored the second goal just seconds after both substitutions, again after a great play of José Miguel Callejón. This time on the right side; Javi Márquez made the pass from midfield to the edge of the area, then the ex-Real Madrid player easily beat Manuel Pablo to release a strong crossed shot that went into the top-left corner of Aranzubia. It is his second goal in liga and his second against Depor.

Game over, because Depor was unable to do anything in the final half and our, just a great play of Guardado that left Rodolfo Bodipo alone against Kameni, but the Equatoguinean striker was unable to release a proper shot (62’).

And only the lack of accuracy of Espanyol –Los Periquitos are still among the worst scorers in la liga- avoided a bigger disaster than the one saw at Valladolid, because the final thirty minutes of this match should be remembered as one of worst passages for Depor on this season. The Galicians did nothing and Espanyol was close to score in two new opportunities.

First as Baena found a free-kick of Javi Márquez inside the area, but that was saved by Bodipo (74’), and in the next play Argentine Osvaldo -who replaced Iván Alonso ten minutes before- headed on target the resulting corner-kick, but Aranzubia was there to make the save.

A few minutes later the same Osvaldo scored a goal with a new header, but it was disallowed for offside. For the final fifteen minutes Lotina surrendered and preferred to hold on as he replaced Juca with Juan Dominguez, it was an attempt to regain midfield and avoid a bigger defeat.
 
AFTER THE GAME
Shameful match of a Deportivo that gave one of its worst presentations in la liga, against a rival without goal, but that was able to score five times in two games against one of the best defensives lines in la liga. Depor seemed to have some sort of control over the game during the first part, but an improvisation at the local team was enough to unbalance the score, later there was no reaction and actually, the game of Lotina’s team became worse. For the second straight time Deportivo ended with ten men on the pitch as Antonio Tomas was sent off.

The only good news is that the prosecutors of Depor in la liga, Athletic Bilbao and Getafe, failed in their matches, reason why the difference with the seventh place still of two points. On the next Saturday Deportivo will be hosting last-place CD Xérez at the Riazor (17h00 CET).

 MATCH STATISTICS
Espanyol: Kameni - Chica, Víctor Ruiz, Pareja, David García - Baena, Javi Márquez - Luis García (Marqués  90’), Verdú, Callejón (Moisés Hurtado 85’) - Iván Alonso (Osvaldo 65’).
Deportivo: Aranzubía - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Laure - Antonio Tomás, Juca (Juan Domínguez 77’) - Iván Pérez (Riki 57’), Juan Rodríguez, Adrián (Guardado 57’) - Bodipo.
Goals: 1-0: (39’) Verdú, 2-0: (59’) Callejón.
Referee: Velasco Carballo. He showed yellow card to Pareja (22’), David García (22’), Bodipo (55’), Laure (65’), Juan Rodríguez (78’) and Javi Márquez (80’). Antonio Tomás was sent off (55’).
Venue: Cornellá-El Prat (24,210)
Other statistics: Ball possession (56% - 44%); Total shots (20 - 6); Shots on target (9 - 2); Saves by the keepers (2 - 7); Corner-kicks  (5 - 2); Offsides (4 - 5); Fouls committed (15 - 20); Accuracy in the passes (80.29% - 73.26%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS FEB/09

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