Squad news


29 Oct 2010
A step forward for Deportivo as Lotina’s team left a positive impression in Pamplona; the Galicians still lacking punch in attack, but at least scored a goal in a normal play. The important thing is that there was an improvement in defense.

As it was expected coach Miguel Angel Lotina was returning to the system with three central defenders and two side defenders with the freedom to join the attacks. Manu was at the goal; the three central defenders were Lopo, Aythami and Colotto; the right-back defender was Manuel Pablo and Rindarøy covered the left spot.

At midfield, Juan Rodriguez and Ruben Pérez were the two pivotes in the formation, while the two wingers performing toward the centre were Saúl Fernandez and Pablo Álvarez, finally Riki was the central attacker.

Osasuna was presenting the expected 4-2-3-1 formation, coach b>José Antonio Camacho was making several changes compared to the squad that achieved their biggest win on the season during the past weekend, the references in attack were Juanfran, Vadocz, Calleja and Serbian attacker Dejan Lekic

The defensive line composed by five men brought the confidence that Depor was needing, because the Galicians were mentally focused and never allowed anything to Osasuna, just a couple of opportunities during the first part, one of them saved by Manu and the other one was missing the target. At the same time, the team still stuck in attack, though it had a couple of chances at the start through set-pieces.

The first chance for Depor came at the 2nd minute, Saul took a free-kick on the right, he sent the ball to the box and Ruben Perez headed it at the penalty spot, it went to the far post and there Pablo Álvarez sent it back to the box, it went into the path of Lopo, but the right-foot attempt of the Catalan was blocked by a defender, then Juan Rodriguez attempted from the edge of the area, but the Andalusian midfielder missed the target.

The second arrival of the Galicians came also after a set-piece, Saul took a lateral free-kick and the ball was cleared by Osasuna’s defensive line before Ruben Pérez had the chance to head it, then the locals tried to release a counterattack, but Depor responded with Juan Rodriguez attempting with a shot from midfield, local keeper Asier Riesgo had to ran back a couple of meters in order to stop the ball.

At minute 11, the locals had their first big attempt to score; it also occurred after a free-kick, the ball was sent to the box and   Josetxo attempted from the close-range,  but Manu was there to make the save. The Galicians responded with a shot of Pablo Alvarez that was blocked by a defender.

Depor seemed pretty comfortable on the pitch, which was surprising taking in mind the situation of the team in la liga and also for the fact that Lotina was playing for the first time with the system of five defenders. The key was that each player of Osasuna, every time they had the ball, was followed by two Depor’s players, which gave them big problems to reach the goal of Manu.

Osasuna had another opportunity at minute 23; it was for Lekic as the Serbian entered into the area with the ball, but his shot went wide. At minute 28, Ruben Pérez lost the ball after Deportivo took a corner-kick, the locals released a quick counterattack, but in the end Lekic sent the ball out, it was the only opportunity in which Osasuna had a numeric advantage during an attacking play (three men of Osasuna against two of Depor.)

Then Juan Rodriguez attempted a 60-meters shot, but the ball missed the target (32’). The Galicians were trying to seize every set-piece, but also were focusing in long-range efforts, as this was the second time in which the Andalusian midfielder was trying to surprise Riesgo. The problem in attack was that there was no depth on the wings, because neither Rindarøy nor Manuel Pablo were joining the attacks, which should be a basic characteristic in this system, therefore Riki had to retreat to midfield in order to touch the ball; that’s another explanation to the continuous long-range attempts from the visitors as it was the only way to search for the goals.

The locals started to press within the final ten minutes, first Lekic wasn’t able to shot on target after collecting a cross of Calleja (34’), two minutes later Rúper attempted from the edge of the area, but his shot just went close to the far post of Manu.  This was the second most dangerous opportunity for Osasuna in this half.

Depor improved in the second part, especially after the entry of Adrian, but as it was common in recent matches the Galicians allowed a goal when everything seemed under control, though the difference this time was that Lotina’s side scored a quick equalizer, a golden goal that could be the key for the second leg.

The start of the half was more calmed compared to the beginning of the first part, with Depor not taking risks in attack, while Osasuna was still trying to find the key to break the deadlock of the Lotina.  Nothing happened within the first ten minutes as the game was stuck in midfield. Then Lotina decided to replace Riki with Adrian.

And immediately the Asturian had his first scoring opportunity in the game, it was after Rindarøy released a cross from the left, but the striker couldn’t score from close-range as his shot went wide (55’). Three minutes later the same Adrian repeated the action, this time after a cross of Saul coming from the right, but the ex-Oviedo striker sent the ball over the crossbar.

It seemed that Depor was growing in the game as Adrian made a great play to end releasing a cross that was stopped by Riesgo before reaching the head of Pablo Álvarez. The entry of Adrian revitalized the game of the Galicians as he was highly involved in the actions and meaning a real threat for the locals.

And just when Depor was playing better, Osasuna scored its  goal, it was a play of Quique Sola, who replaced Rúper at the start of the half; the striker eluded Manuel Pablo and in the end Juanfran appeared to release a perfect shot that went to the top-corner of Manu. A great goal that was the only way to break the solid job of Depor’s defense. The score at the time seemed unfair, but Depor didn’t last too much to equalize the match s the goal of the visitors came in the next play.

It was a perfect counterattack for the visitors in which Ruben Pérez assisted Saul Fernandez, and then the winger faced Riesgo one-on-one to score the goal through a drilling shot that went under the body of the keeper. It is the first official goal for Saúl wearing the shirt of Deportivo.

Then Valerón replaced Saul and Lopo had a new opportunity after the Catalan headed out a free-kick taken by Pablo Alvarez (78’). The final substitution for Depor was the entry of Diego Seoane for Rindarøy

Osasuna seemed exhausted and Deportivo was closer to achieve the victory within the final minutes; Adrian disappeared for the final minutes  and then the defenders were the ones creating the scoring opportunities. And it’s that Lotina’s team had two good opportunities to score the second goal, starting with a header of Lopo after a corner-kick that missed the target (86’), and two minutes later Aythami headed the ball into the path of Pablo Alvarez, but the winger sent the ball out.

Definitely Deportivo improved compared to previous meetings, the difference wasn’t so big, but at least the Galicians presented a more solid block at the back, only broken through a sensational goal of Juanfran and that was quickly opposed by a counterattack capitalized by Saul. In the end Depor returns to the Riazor with the advantage of the away goal, which could be the difference for the second-leg (November 8 or 9). However, Depor is now only thinking of the crucial liga match with RCD Espanyol (Riazor, Sunday, 17h00 CET). Match that could mark the future of Lotina.

Osasuna: (4-2-3-1) Asier Riesgo - Damiá, Lolo, Josetxo, Nelson – Rúper (Quique Sola 57’), Nekounam  - Juanfran, Vadocz, Calleja (Annunziata 57’) – Lekic (Masoud 83’)
Deportivo: (5-2-2-1) Manu - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Aythami, Lopo, Rindarøy (Seoane 82’) – Juan Rodríguez, Rubén Pérez –Pablo Álvarez, Saúl (Valerón 70’) – Riki (Adrian 65’).
Referee: Carlos Clos Gómez. He showed yellow card to Colotto (11’) and Lopo (37’)
Goals: 1-0 (67’) Juanfran, 1-1: (70’) Saúl
Venue: Reyno de Navarra (11,286)



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