Competition news


21 Feb 2010
Depor returned to the path of the victory against a warrior Xérez that never gave up despite been losing since minute 2. The Galicians had good moments in the match though its game wasn’t convincing. The bad news came with a new injury for Riki.

Both Aranzubia and Riki were fit to play after been doubtful on Friday, and both were included in the starting eleven which was a surprising 4-4-2 figure. Aranzubia was at the goal, Manuel Pablo was the right-back defender, Laure was at the left side, Colotto and Lopo were the central defenders; Juca and Juan Rodriguez the duo at the centre of the pitch; Pablo Alvarez was a the right wing, Guardado on the left and the duo in attack was Riki-Bodipo.

At Xérez, coach Néstor Gorosito presented the expected 4-2-3-1 formation, with ex-Depor Momo attacking by the left and with Barcelona’s Victor Sánchez as the reference at the centre. Mario Bermejo was the main hope to score the goals.

Things couldn’t start better for Depor, in the first play Xérez lost the ball and, after a series of passes at Deportivo’s defence, Francis committed a foul over Guardado at midfield, then the same Mexican took the free-kick and sent a cross to the area, Colotto was there to head the ball and was hold by midfielder Vicente Moreno, then referee Pérez Lasa whistled the penalty, and Guardado came to score the goal from the penalty spot. As consequence of the protests, visiting coach Gorosito was sent off.

And if that wasn’t enough, Riki replied just four minutes later, again Guardado was involved in the play as he stole the ball at the left side of defence to end drilling a long pass to Riki, the Madrilenian attacker was lucky enough because Francis’ diving attempt didn’t clear the danger and the striker entered into the area without any opposition, with Bodipo at the far post the ex-Getafe fired a rocket that went to the top-right corner of Renan.

The visitors were asleep, Depor was constantly surpassing Xérez’ defence and the match seemed to be destined for a big score, the duo Riki and Guardado was very active and now the locals seemed comfortable enough to be playing through fast counterattacks, at the 8th minute one of those plays almost end in a new penalty, but this time Pérez Lasa booked Riki for diving.

Since minute 10, the Andalusians had the ball possession, but they seemed overwhelmed by the surprising score, and never represented a danger to Aranzubia, at least within the first half an hour. Meanwhile Depor was pretty content with the situation and spent the time waiting for a chance to increase the lead. At minute 27, Guardado attempted from long-distance, but Renan stopped the ball; one minute later Pablo Álvarez was drilling a cross to Riki from the right, but a defender cleared the danger.

Xérez’s first approximation came until minute 28, it was through a free-kick of Momo that Guardado blocked and the final cross to the area was stopped by Aranzubia. Ex-Depor winger Momo was switching his position between the right and the left, but nobody was in attack and the plays of the visitors were ending in fruitless longs throws.

The truth is that the early advantage just erased the excitement of the game, because the pace was lost with the pass of the minutes. Xérez was very nervous, while Depor was saving energies and tried to administrate the ball with criterion. The locals seemed dangerous each time that Riki had the ball. And just when it seemed that the half was going to end with the two-goal lead for Depor, the visitors scored the goal in its first shot on target.   

It was after Víctor Sánchez released a cross from the left that Mario Bermejo headed inside the area, his perfect header went to the back of the net entering by the right-top corner of Aranzubia. It is his fifth goal in liga. Then the game abruptly changed as Xérez was now having the initiative and was attacking with more men up front. Depor tried to react with a wide shot of Riki (40’), but the truth is that the Galicians have gone from to the top to the bottom in this game.

The half ended with a chance for both sides, both in free-kicks actions. First Momo, the best man in the visiting team, sent a volley that Aranzubia stopped (43’), then Guardado and Pablo Alvarez had their chance with shots from the edge of the area (45+2’).

Xérez tried to keep the momentum of the end of the first half and the visitors tried to push since the kick-off, bue the truth is that despite they had the ball possession, they were just able to complete one shot on target in this half. The bad news came as Riki fell down injured in the first play in what seemed to be a thigh problem, he was replaced by Iván Pérez, the move meant to switch into a 4-2-3-1 figure, with the Galician performing as playmaker and with Bodipo now acting as the solo-striker. Riki was the best man in the first part, and his replacement was going to be the best in the second.

The first approximation of Deportivo came at minute 50, it was after Pablo Alvarez attempted a drilling shot that was deflected by Renan, then the ball went to the path of Iván Pérez, but the ex-Fabril wasn’t expecting for the ball and couldn’t score the goal from close-range. Two minutes later Manuel Pablo was sending a cross from the right, again Iván Pérez was involved in the action and this time he headed the ball, but his attempt just went close to the post. El Ratoncito was very active in the game and brought freshness to Deportivo.

Then, the other lung of Depor in the first part, Andrés Guardado, was replaced with Adrián, Lotina didn’t want to take risks with the Mexican (he was coming out from an injury) and preferred to put the Asturian on the left wing. Despite been playing without its best two men in attack, Depor seemed to be growing in the game. A proof of this was the best occasion of Depor in the half: a shot of Juan Rodriguez from the edge of the area that hit the post (65’).

Depor was facing a comfortable situation since the start of the game, but the narrow advantage was just giving hope to the visitors and the public at the Riazor was nervous since the Galicians never defined the game. The scariest moment came at minute 77 as Mario Bermejo attempted from mid-distance, but his shot just went close to the crossbar.

Perhaps that’s the main reason why Lotina ordered the entry of Valerón, the locals needed a guide and the cracks at Xérez’s defence were perfect for his drilling passes. Bodipo left the pitch and the modification moved Iván Pérez to the left wing and Adrián to the striker’s role. The change brought new fresh air to Depor, because El Flaco had enough space to create a couple of scoring opportunities, though both invalidated for the offsides of Adrián, one of them ended in a disallowed goal.

 Xérez continued having the ball possession in the final minutes, but without creating any danger to Aranzubia, actually Depor was the side more close to score in the stoppage time, it was a confusing action built up by Valerón, but neither Juan Rodriguez nor Adrián knew how to define the play, and in the end Juca missed the target.

Promising start that left a bittersweet taste in the mouth, Depor was winning at the 6th minute with a 2-0 score and seemed that the Galicians might end achieving a bigger score, but in the end the goal of Xérez complicated the things as the Andalusians never gave up though they never created too many scoring opportunities. Riki and Guardado scored the goals and were the best men for Depor in the first part, in the second Iván Pérez and Valerón took command of a team that combined good moments with other that were darker.

With the win Depor will stay living in the European zone for at least one more week, but the negative issue were the injury of Riki, who will be pass new scans in the week, and the fifth yellow card saw by Lopo for protesting. The Catalan will miss the visit to Villarreal FC on next Sunday (17h00 CET).

Deportivo: Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Laure – Pablo Álvarez, Juca, Juan Rodríguez, Guardado (Adrián 59’) – Riki (Iván Pérez 49’), Bodipo (Valerón 74’)
Xérez: Renan - Francis, Leandro Gioda, Prieto, Casado – Moreno (Alustiza 62’), Keita - Carlos Calvo (Antońito 78’), Victor Sánchez, Momo (Viqueira 71’) - Bermejo.
Referee: Miguel Angel Pérez Lasa  He showed yellow card to Moreno (1’), Riki (8’), Francis (41’), Keita (54’), Laure (56’), Chema (72’), Lopo (83’) and Bermejo (85’)
Goals: 1-0: (2’) Guardado (penalty), 2-0: (6’) Riki, 2-1: (38’) Bermejo
Venue: Riazor (12,000) 
Other statistics: Ball possession (45% - 55%); Total shots (13 - 11); Shots on target (6 - 2); Saves by the keepers (1 - 4); Corner-kicks  (6 - 5); Offsides (2 - 2); Fouls committed (24 - 19); Accuracy in the passes (82.03% - 85.04%)




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