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REVIEW: ATLETICO 3 – DEPORTIVO 0 (LIGA)

05 Apr 2010
Fourth straight defeat for a Deportivo that’s going down in la liga; the performance of the team improved compared to the game with Getafe, but it wasn’t enough to pick some points against a serious Atletico that never was in danger.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina sent the expected lineup; with Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo at the right-back position, Laure at the left side and the duo Colotto-Lopo at the centre of the defence. Antonio Tomas and Sergio were the pivotes, Guardado returned to the starting eleven and covered the left wing, Juan Rodriguez was at the right, Valerón was the playmaker and Adrian the lonely attacker.

At Atletico, coach Quique Flores rested Assuncao and Raúl García, reason why Tiago and Ignacio Camacho were the two pivotes, but Aguero and Forlán didn’t rest and both were the main attackers.

FIRST HALF
Depor showed a more “balanced” image within the first minutes, it was a team with the clear idea of moving the ball over the grass, avoiding the long throws and therefore to give the chance to Atletico to launch quick counterattacks searching for the quality of Forlan and Aguero. But neither Depor was dangerous in attack, Guardado was too delayed on the pitch –mostly at the left sector of midfield or at the centre- and Adrián was alone again the rest of the world up front

However Depor had a good approximation at the 3rd minute as Antonio Tomas assisted Adrian, the striker made a great play at the left wing, but his attempt to chip the ball missed the target. Atletico responded with an effort of Kun Aguero after an error of Depor’s defence, but Lopo cleared the danger (4’)

With the pass of the minutes Atletico started to put more pressure, especially on the left side of  Laure and the locals were now having scoring opportunities, the most clear one was a shot from the edge of the area from Forlan that Aranzubia deflected, the “dead ball” was found by Aguero at the six-yard box and  he tried to elude Aranzubia, but the striker fell down to the ground and no penalty was whistled.

Now Depor was having more problems to reach the opposite area though it was still trying to move the ball over the grass. The only approximation in this stage of the match was a free-kick of Sergio that didn’t found any receiver (22’); and then Atletico scored the first goal of the encounter.

Simao took a free-kick at the left, the ball was cleared by the defence and the play started again as the ball was passed again to Simao at the right wing, then he sent a new cross without any opposition, Juanito headed the ball at the penalty spot and Aranzubia made an incredible save, but the ball was still at the six-yard box and Antonio López, in the attempt to score, ended assisting Juanito, who scored the goal this time firing from close range into the roof of the net.

Things were the same after the goal; Atletico was having the initiative, while Depor was trying to move the ball over the grass though without having enough depth. But little by little Depor started to look more dangerous and had three opportunities within the final fifteen minutes.

The first one was a perfect volley of Valerón that left Adrian alone against local keeper De Gea, the Asturian ran into the area but lasted too much and couldn’t release a shot (32’), one minute later Colotto headed a free-kick of Sergio, but the ball just went close to the right post. Finally, Adrian had a new chance as he headed a cross of Sergio that hit Ujfalusi first, but the ball went wide (41’).

SECOND HALF
The final part was the debacle for Deportivo, side that stayed ordered until the second goal. Things were balanced within the first ten minutes; Atletico was having the initiative, but Depor seemed focused and waiting to have a chance through a counterattack. Then Lotina decided to replace Valerón with Riki.

Now it seemed that Depor was going to have more depth with two strikers on the pitch and with a 4-4-2 system, but Atletico found the second goal just two minutes after the substitution. And the goal was born from an error of Aranzubia

Antonio Tomas passed the ball back to the Basque keeper and then he tried to release a long throw, but instead he left the ball at midfield, right were Simao was, the Portuguese released a long-distance shot and Aranzubia made a first save, then the ball reached Aguero and the Argentine fired on target, again Aranzubia made the save, but the deflection turned into a volley that Diego Forlán just had to head into the net to conquer his 16th goal in the liga season.

Then Deportivo surrendered; midfield disappeared and the Galician team returned to offer that pale impression of a squad without ideas and strength (again the squad committed a small number of fouls, 8), the defenders looked nervous and were releasing long throws that just made easier the attacks from Atletico. At minute 59 Aguero had a one-one play with Aranzubia, but he couldn’t resolve it, then the play turned into a cross of Simao that Colotto sent to corner-kick.

The third goal was a matter of time and it was conquered by Tiago, the play was made by Forlán, who later assisted Ujfalusi at left side of Depor’s defence (the weakest side), then the ex-Fiorentina assisted Simao and the Portuguese made a solo-play inside the area to end drilling the ball into the path of Tiago, who scored the goal without any opposition.

Lotina realised that there was a big hole at the middle and decided to cover it with the entry of Iván Pérez for Adrian, now Depor was playing again with a 4-2-3-1, with Iván Pérez at the left and Guardado at the right, but it didn’t work as the Galician team was a “broken toy” in the hands of Atletico.

But the Madrilenians didn’t push too hard for a fourth goal and coach Quique Flores preferred to rest Forlán and Agüero for the Europa League clash with Valencia. Depor just had two scoring opportunities within the final twenty minutes, the most clear one was a free-kick of Iván Perez that was going into the right-top corner of De Gea, but the young keeper made a great save (74’), in the resulting corner-kick Guardado released the cross that was headed by Colotto, but the local keeper stopped the ball.

For the final ten minutes Lotina gave up and preferred to allow the debut of Raul Garcia at Primera, he replaced Sergio, the youngster performed as a pivote and was helping Laure with the tasks at the left side of the defence. Atletico had the last opportunity of the night, but the header of Antonio López just missed the target (87’).

AFTER THE GAME
Depor offered a positive impression at the start of the game, but little by little it started to fell down as it missed depth and presence in attack. Atletico just capitalised its main opportunities and didn’t have any problem against a Deportivo that completely fell down after the second goal. The team tried to play with the ball over the grass at the beginning, but in the second part it lost the order and paid the price for it.

This is the fourth straight defeat for Deportivo in la liga and now Lotina’s side goes down to the 8th position  surpassed by Villarreal. The 6th place still three points away since Athletic lost at Barcelona (1-4), but the truth is that this Depor doesn’t look like a team capable of bouncing back within the last matchdays of the competition. On the next Sunday the team will host Racing Santander at the Riazor (17h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Atlético Madrid: De Gea - Ujfalusi, Juanito, Domínguez, Antonio López – Simao (Molino 85’), Camacho, Tiago, Jurado – Forlán (Ibrahima 63’), 'Kun' Agüero (Salvio 68’)
Deportivo: Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Laure – Sergio (Raúl Garcia 82’), Antonio Tomás – Juan Rodríguez, Valerón (Riki 55’), Guardado – Adrián (Iván Pérez 66’)
Goals: 1-0: (22’) Juanito, 2-0: (56’) Forlán, 3-0: (60’) Tiago
Referee: Miguel Ángel Pérez Lasa. He showed yellow card to Simao (32’) and Domínguez (73’)
Venue: Vicente Calderón (35,000).
Other statistics: Ball possession (53% - 47%); Total shots (17 - 7); Shots on target (10 - 2); Saves by the keepers (2 - 7); Corner-kicks  (6 - 3); Offsides (2 - 5); Fouls committed (15 - 8); Accuracy in the passes (80.28% - 75.87%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS APR/10

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