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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 0 - VALLADOLID 2 (LIGA)

21 Mar 2010
A disordered Depor played one of the worst games on the season and allowed the reaction of a Valladolid that never did something out of this world in order to add the three points at the Riazor. Depor is now out of the European positions.

BEFORE THE GAME
During the morning it was confirmed that Andrés Guardado had a thigh injury and therefore he was discarded for this match. Coach Lotina decided to play with the same 4-3-2-1 system used against Sevilla FC, but fulfilling three changes due to the suspensions of Antonio Tomás and Laure plus the mentioned injury of Guardado.

Aranzubia was at the goal; Manuel Pablo performed at the right-back position, while Diego Seoane was debuting with the first squad covering the left side at defence. Colotto and Lopo were the central defenders. The trio of pivotes was composed by Juan Rodriguez, Zé Castro and Juan Dominguez. Valerón and Lassad were the two playmakers and Adrian the central attacker.

At Valladolid, coach Onésimo Sánchez was making one modification to the expected 4-2-3-1 formation; it was the presence of ex-Real Madrid Alberto Bueno performing at the playmaking function. Diego Costa was the main reference in attack. It was raining in La Coruńa at the moment of the match.

FIRST HALF
The 4-3-2-1 of Lotina was more a 4-1-2-2-1 figure, with Ze Castro as the link between defence and attack, while there where two lines of midfielders in front of him. The truth is that the scheme never worked out as Deportivo lost its usual order in defence and as the team was inexistent in attack (it only completed one shot on target during the whole game). However, the combinative actions between Juan Dominguez, Adrián and Lassad gave some hope to the local fans, at least in the first part. The main problem was that Zé Castro never felt comfortable in his new role, while the line of four defenders committed five important errors that in the end cost both goals.

The first of those errors came at the beginning as Lopo, who was trying to give back the ball to Aranzubia, assisted Nauzet and then the Canarian passed it to Diego Costa, who drilled a pass to Borja, but the midfielder sent the ball over the crossbar (2’). Despite the initial error, Depor started to dominate the actions and soon the locals started to reach the goal of Justo Villar, though without creating any clear scoring opportunity.

At minute 6, Juan Dominguez made a great play and assisted Lassad, who tried to surprise the referee falling down to the ground. No penalty was called.  Two minutes later a good combination between Adrián and Lassad ended in nothing as the visiting keeper intercepted the attempt. At minute 9, Zé Castro attempted a 30-meters free-kick, but the ball went out.

Then, at the 13th minute, Valerón was searching for Juan Rodriguez, but the ex-Malaga midfielder missed the cross. Depor didn’t have any clear opportunity within the first fifteen minutes, but it was leaving a positive impression since the rotations and the combinations between Juan Domínguez, Valerón, Adrián and Lassad were opening the defensive line of the visitors.

Depor’s first and only scoring opportunity in this half came at minute 18, it was play started by Lassad in which Juan Rodriguez searched for the near post of Justo Villar and the visiting keeper made a great save sending the ball to corner-kick. But Valladolid was also showing some mobility in attack, Nauzet, Bueno and Diego Costa where appearing as the visitors were playing through counterattacks. At minute 20 one of those counterattacks ended with a shot of Marquitos that was saved by Aranzubia.

The second defensive error of Depor came at minute 28, Seoane and Zé Castro lost the ball and allowed a situation in which Diego Castro and Borja were facing three defenders, in the end Borja was close to score as he chipped the ball over the crossbar. The locals responded with a corner-kick in which Colotto headed the ball over the goal (30’).

Four minutes later, Aranzubia stopped a corner-kick and started a fast counterattack in which Adrián assisted Juan Rodriguez, but the Andalusian fell down to the ground when he was going to face Villar one-on-one. The game of Depor was losing consistency and since minute 30 there wasn’t any clear team dominating the actions.

At minute 38, Colotto had a new attempt to score as he headed a new-corner kick, but the ball hit the back of Juan Rodriguez and nobody was there to push the ball in. And then Valladolid seized a third error of Deportivo in order to take the lead; Juan Dominguez tried to clear the ball after a throw-in, but his attempt was intercepted by Bueno, who attempted from mid-distance, Aranzubia made the save and the ball was left in front of the four defenders of Depor, but nobody was faster enough to clear the ball and instead Nauzet Aleman fired from the centre of the area to score the goal. Depor didn’t show any reaction and actually Valladolid was the side closer to score a new goal, but the half ended with the 0-1 in the scoresheet.

SECOND HALF
It was clear that things weren’t working out and Lotina tried to react replacing Lassad with Pablo Alvarez, the change didn’t switch the initial 4-2-3-1 and just moved Valerón to the left side, while Pablo Alvarez was now the right-side playmaker. It didn’t work and actually Depor was now playing worse as the combinative game saw at the start of the first part was now gone.

And as it happened in the first part, a new error at defence occurred at the start of the half, this time Valerón missed a pass and Nauzet was left alone against Aranzubia, but Seoane came from behind to clear the danger. At minute 53’, Ze Castro took a free-kick and Colotto headed the ball at the near post, but he was caught in offside.

The next ten minutes saw a Deportivo that did nothing on the pitch; there was no connection between all the lines and Valladolid was comfortably moving the ball over the grass. Then Lotina ordered a desperate double change as Mista and Bodipo entered for Ze Castro and Valerón, the moves switched the system to a 4-2-3-1. Juan Rodriguez and Juan Dominguez were now the two pivotes, Pablo Alvarez the playmaker, Adrián was at the right wing, Pablo Alvarez on the left and Bodipo was the lonely attacker.

But this wasn’t the day for Deportivo as the only attempt to score came at minute 71 as Pablo Alvarez headed out a cross of Manuel Pablo. Neither Valladolid was doing too much as the only shot on target made by the visitors within the first 40 minutes came through a wide shot of Pelé (51’).

If in the first half Depor’s errors at defence were marking the game, the second part was emphasised by the nullity of Deportivo’s attack, because the locals did nothing to overcome the result, which just made easier the things to a side that hadn’t won a game in almost three months. The second opportunity of Depor in the final part came until the stoppage time as Pablo Alvarez entered the area to drill a pass into the hands of Justo Villar.

Then Valladolid was close to score as Pedro Lopez assisted Diego Costa, but the Brazilian missed the target from the right side of the six-yard box after surpassing Aranzubia. But the visitors wouldn’t leave without a second goal, because just one minute later Hans Medunjanin, who had replaced Borja fifteen minutes before, took advantage of a counterattack and bet Aranzubia after collecting a pass from Alberto Marcos. It was a new error of Depor’s defence as the Bosnian-Dutch player hit the ball at the centre of the area just when  three defenders were standing in front of him.

AFTER THE GAME
If the first round setback at the José Zorrilla will be remembered as the worst match of Depor in the first round of la liga (0-4), then the returning game at the Riazor should be considered as the worst one on the second. And it’s that Depor just completed one shot on target and ended to be a placid rival for a Valladolid that only had three wins on the season and that never did too much to claim the victory. Nothing worked out for Lotina, starting with his initial lineup in which the players never felt comfortable. Later the Basque put three natural strikers on the pitch, but the outcome was the same. In the end a disordered Depor started to lose the train to Europe due to their own mistakes.

The draw of Athletic Bilbao against Getafe (2-2) is enough to put the Basques at the 6th place of the table, and now Depor is 7th, with the same points than Mallorca, but down due to the goal difference. This setback puts an end to a Deportivo’s mark of 21 straight matchdays living in European positions. Now Lotina’s team only has three days for the rest as the Galician will visit Sporting Gijón on Tuesday (20h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Seoane – Juan Rodríguez, Ze Castro (mista 64’), Juan Domínguez – Valerón (Bodipo 64’), Lassad (Pablo Álvarez 46’) – Adrián.
Valladolid: Justo Villar - Pedro López, Sereno, Arzo, Del Horno - Pelé, Borja (Medunjanin 75’) - Nauzet, Bueno (Marcos 75’), Marquitos (Cannobio 66’) - Diego Costa.
Goals: 0-1: (39’) Nauzet, 0-2: (90’) Medunjanin.
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco. No cards were shown.
Venue: Riazor (10,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (48% - 52%); Total shots (4 - 16); Shots on target (1 - 6); Saves by the keepers (4 - 1); Corner-kicks  (5 - 9); Offsides (2 - 3); Fouls committed (11 - 15); Accuracy in the passes (72.18% - 75.69%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS MARCH/09

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