Squad news

REVIEW: VALENCIA 1 – DEPORTIVO 0 (LIGA)

25 Apr 2010
New disappointing presentation of a Deportivo that has turned into a fragile team, and that now accumulates nine straight games without a win; the performance of the defence was decent, but the team did nothing in attack to search for the equaliser.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina sent the expected eleven men to the pitch; but it was a 4-2-3-1 figure instead of a 4-3-2-1; also the disposition of the men on the pitch was different: Aranzubia was the keeper, Manuel Pablo performed at the left-back position, while Laure was at the right. Zé Castro and Piscu were the central defenders; at midfield Sergio was completing 400 games at Primera joining Antonio Tomás at the pivote functions; Juan Rodriguez was at the right wing, Adrian and Riki were alternating the left wing and the centre of the attack, while Pablo Alvarez was the playmaker.

At Valencia, coach Unai Emery was surprising everybody as wingers Pablo Hernández and Jordi Alba were performing at the sides of the defence. Also, Mata was sited on the bench and Vicente was covering the left wing, David Silva was the playmaker and David Villa was the central attacker.

FIRST HALF
Once again Deportivo was showing the same poor face of past games; there was no connection at midfield and by minute 15 the ball possession was a 70% for Valencia. Only Riki was trying to move in attack, the Madrilenian found some communication with Adrian, but the couple was unable to create any scoring opportunity. Meanwhile, at the local team, David Silva was distributing the ball on both sides, which gave a lot of problems to the visitors, especially to the right side of Laure.

The first clear opportunity was for Valencia, it was during a corner-kick for the locals that Alexis headed inside the area, neither Manuel Pablo nor Ze Castro cleared the danger and then the ball reached Villa at the far post, but the striker missed the chance as his crossed shot went out (4’).

Depor barely appeared in attack, but the biggest problem was that when the Galicians tried to go up front they were easily losing the ball, which allowed the dangerous counterattacks of the locals, like the one in which Silva assisted Villa and that was saved by Piscu (14’). Deportivo’s first approximation to the opposite goal came until minute 20; it was a long-distance shot of Sergio that passed near to the post. Three minutes later Riki attempted the same, and again the effort missed the target.

Then Valencia started to focus its attacks on the left, with Jordi Alba and Vicente, something that increased the pressure over Laure, but the true is that the locals only had one clear opportunity in this half –the one of Villa at minute 3- in the rest of the time the defenders of Depor were anticipating the moves and that’s why Aranzubia wasn’t forced to make any save, at least within the first 30 minutes.

But Depor neither was dangerous in attack, without a reference at midfield the formula used by Lotina’s team was simple: long throws coming from defence and searching for Riki or Adrian, duo that ran a lot, but without finding any clear opportunity to face César one-on-one.

 And Valencia was only able to reach the goal through a penalty; it was after a corner-kick for the locals that ended with a shot of Vicente that Ze Castro hit with the hand. Referee David Borbalan whistled the penalty and David Villa took the chance to score his 21st goal in this liga season and his 7th within his last five meetings against Depor.

The goal didn’t change the scenery as Valencia was still pushing up front, while Depor was still trying to find the opposite goal through long passes to no one. There wasn’t any other clear chance in the half, just the incredible “show” of Fernandez Borbalan, who whistled half-time at minute 44 and when the players were going to the changing room, he rectified and restarted the game with a dead ball. To make things worse Piscu got injured in the stoppage time after jumping for the ball against Villa.

SECOND HALF
At half-time it was know that Piscu had to be rushed to a local hospital as the doctors feared that he suffered a clavicle fracture, therefore David Rochela replaced him for the second part, which means his debut at Primera División. As it happened in the first part the first clear opportunity was for David Villa, it was during a quick play that left him alone against Aranzubia, but the Basque keeper made the save (49’)

One of Depor’s best chances in the game came one minute later, Albelda gave a bad pass assisting Adrian inside the area, but neither him nor Pablo Alvarez were able to shot on target. Later, Silva couldn’t capitalise a good effort of Villa as Rochela cleared the danger first (53’).

Deportivo gave some sense of danger in the first minutes of the half, but the team seemed to be decomposing with the pass of the minutes. Neither Valencia seemed interested in scoring the second goal, though Baraja had a great chance through a short-range effort that was saved by Aranzubia and later cleared by Ze Castro (65’). Two minutes before Lassad was replacing Riki, the Tunisian bring some freshness to the attack of Depor and one minute later the Galician team missed its biggest opportunity in the game.

It was an action of Adrian in which the Asturian drilled a cross between César and Maduro, the ball reached Pablo Álvarez at the six-yard-box, but the Asturian sent the ball over the crossbar (71’). Four minutes later Lassad made a great solo-play, then he assisted Adrian, but the ex-Oviedo could only hit the net by the outside. One minute later Joaquin wasn’t able to end a long run as Aranzubia intercepted the ball first.

For the final ten minutes Mista entered for Pablo Álvarez, The Shark had a terrible match and missed a lot of passes plus the clearest chance for Depor. Mista was facing his former club, but didn’t have time to show up, actually within the last minutes it was Valencia the side that was closer to score the second goal, first with a drilling shot of Mata saved by Aranzubia (90’), and later as Silva hit the post from close range (90+3’). In the final play of the match Baraja was sent off with a direct red card due to a discussion with the referee.

AFTER THE GAME
For the third time in its history, Depor is spending nine straight games without a liga victory, and it’s well deserved. Because, against Valencia, the Galicians showed again its miseries as it never had the will to search for the equaliser after a new error of Ze Castro gave the narrow advantage to the locals. In this occasion neither Valencia did too much and only a big miss of Pablo Alvarez prevented the equaliser. To make things worse the team suffered a new injury as Piscu sustained a clavicle fracture.

Definitely, the season is becoming too long for a Deportivo that lost its European aspirations a long time ago. Now the team can only aspire to avoid to impose a new negative mark of ten straight liga games without a win, for this they will have to defeat Real Zaragoza on next Saturday’s game (Riazor, 18h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Valencia: César - Pablo Hernández, Maduro, Alexis, Jordi Alba – Albelda (Baraja 61’), Banega (Fernández 73’) – Joaquín, Silva, Vicente (Mata 84’) – Villa.
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Zé Castro, Piscu (Rochela 46’), Laure - Juan Rodríguez, Sergio, Antonio Tomás - Pablo Álvarez (Mista 80’), Adrián – Riki (Lassad 67’).
Goals: 1-0: (33’)Villa (penalty)
Referee: David Fernandez Borbalan. He showed yellow card to Ze Castro (32’), Silva (55’), Lassad (71’), Alexis (74’) and Antonio Tomas (89’). Baraja was sent off (90+3’)
Venue: Mestalla (40,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (61% - 39%); Total shots (13 - 8); Shots on target (6 - 1); Saves by the keepers (1 - 5); Corner-kicks  (12 - 2); Offsides (8 - 5); Fouls committed (17 - 10); Accuracy in the passes (82.94% - 72.21%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS APR/10

ZAPPING

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