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REVIEW: MALLORCA 0 – DEPORTIVO 0 (LIGA)

15 Nov 2010
New small step forward for Deportivo; it wasn’t a brilliant game by the Galicians, but the defensive job plus some good luck meant to pick a point in an always complicate stadium for Depor.

BEFORE THE GAME
No surprises at the starting lineup of Miguel Ángel Lotina; the Basque man was presenting the same squad that played at the Ciutat de Valencia, with Dani Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo at the right-back position, Diego Seoane on the left, Diego Colotto, Aythami Artiles and Albert Lopo at the centre of the defense, Juan Rodriguez and Ruben Pérez at midfield, Saul and Adrian were the two playmakers in the formation and Riki was the central attacker. To mention that Manuel Pablo was completing 295 appearances in Liga with Depor, which meant to pass Sergio in the all-time list. Now the Canarian is third in the overall list of the club.

In the end all the novelties were at the side of Mallorca, because coach Michael Laudrup chose to play with a 4-2-3-1 system instead of performing with two strikers as it was speculated on the day before. Pierre Achille Webo was the chosen central striker and Argentine Fernando Cavenaghi was on the bench, while Brazilian João Victor de Albuquerque was joining Marti at midfield, to mention that top-scorer Gonzalo ‘Chori’ Castro was on the bench as French Michael Pereira was attacking on the left wing.

FIRST HALF
Two different stories in this half; within the first twenty minutes Depor didn’t have any problem and even had a chance to take the lead, but in the remaining twenty-five minutes the Galicians suffered a lot as they were losing the ball pretty easily, luckily for Lotina the best chances for the locals ended hitting the posts, while Lopo wasted the best chance for Deportivo in this half.

The first shot on goal came at minute 2, it was Jonathan De Guzmán after a counterattack that ended with an attempt that was controlled by Aranzubia. The first approximation of Depor came at the 7th minute after Adrian sent a cross from the left, Riki was waiting for the ball at the penalty spot, but Aouate cleared the danger in the air.

The script of the game was clear since the first minutes: Mallorca was having the initiative as the local team was trying to hurry up the actions, while Depor was the passive side on the pitch, always waiting to surprise through a long throw or a counterattack.

At minute 13, Depor had a double chance, first Adrián attempted from the edge of the area and his shot was deflected by Aouate, the rebound fell into the boots of Saúl and he attempted to score from close range, but the ball went to the body of the Israeli keeper. Two minutes later Manuel Pablo sent a cross from the right, and Riki headed the ball out.

Within the first twenty minutes Depor was feeling comfortable on the pitch; Mallorca was having big problems to pass the defensive wall of Lotina, but that picture changed soon. The second arrival of the locals came at minute 19 as the long-range shot of Pereira was stopped by Aranzubia. And the first big chance for the Majorcans came two minutes later, the defensive line of Depor lost the marks during a cross from the left and Nsue made a crossed header that hit the right post of Aranzubia.

And just two minutes later the ball was again visiting the posts of Deportivo as a mid-distance shot from Pereira was hitting the crossbar. It was the worst moment of Depor in the first half, like it happened against Levante, Lotina’s team was broke in two, the defensive line was delayed and trying to contain the attacks of the Majorcans, but the problem was that at soon as they were regaining the ball they were rushing up the counterattacks, and the key was that Mallorca’s defense was playing in an advance position, with Nunes obstructing all the passes,  and therefore Depor was losing the ball pretty easy as they felt the strong pressure, which made easier the job for Mallorca and at the same time it increased the presence of the locals at Depor’s side of the pitch.

The big chance of Depor in the half came at minute 32, it was a play that occurred after a corner-kick in which Adrian made a solo-play to end releasing a cross from the right, Lopo and Riki were alone at the penalty box waiting for the ball, but the Catalan defender sent it wide as the easiest thing was to score the goal from two yards.

At minute 39, Mallorca had a new opportunity, it was after Manuel Pablo fouled Nsue at the edge of the area, but the attempt of De Guzmán went wide. Los Bermellones still had the initiative within the final five minutes, but Depor’s defensive line was alert and didn’t give more facilities.

SECOND HALF
Depor’s game didn’t improve in this half; the Galicians were still very cautious and barely reached the goal of Aouate, but neither the Majorcans did too much to deserve the three points as they never found the key to unlock the deadlock of Lotina.

Things were the same at the start of the second part; Mallorca was pressing in attack and the ball wasn’t lasting too much in the bots of the visiting players. The first approximation of Depor came at minute 55 with a long-distance shot of Riki that was an easy catch for Aouate. The Galicians were trying to have a better ball possession and at the start of the half were trying to not rush the plays, reason why they had longer possessions compared to the first part.

But the initiative was still for Mallorca, the locals were pushing strongly though they were missing to have more clear opportunities, perhaps for that reason coach Laudrup sent ’Chori’ Castro to replace Nsue, and in the next play Depor had its second opportunity of the half as Seoane found the ball at the edge of the area, but his drilling shot was stopped by Aouate.

Then Lotina ordered his first substitution as Yves Desmarets entered for Saul; The Asturian was disconnected from Riki and Adrian, and the coach was looking for fresh ideas plus someone to help in the mark over ’Chori’ Castro. However Desmarets never appeared and the situation was the same for the Galicians. At minute 67, Castro sent a cross from the left, and Webo headed the ball wide. The Cameroonian was the main threat for Depor on this game, but his lack of aim prevented to see his team picking a better result.

Lotina’s second substitution was the entry of Lassad Nouioui for Riki; the Madrilenian was coming after scoring a goal in each one of the last two official games of Depor, but in this occasion the Madrilenian never had a clear opportunity. Neither the Tunisian had a clear chance, just a drilling shot that went wide (86’).

For the final fifteen minutes Mallorca switched the system as Laudrup sent Cavenaghi for defensive midfielder Marti, it was a desperate maneuver, but the true is that it never influenced in the game, because despite the final harassment from Mallorca the locals never had a clear chance against Aranzubia, just a long throw that Cavenaghi tried to chip over Basque keeper, but the ex-Athletic was wiser and intercepted the play at the edge of the area.

Valerón entered for the final minute replacing Adrian, move that just tried to waste time and perhaps capitalize a late opportunity, and the Canarian appeared in the last counterattack led by Juan Rodriguez, though the action ended in nothing as Depor preferred to secure the result and delayed the ball to its defensive zone.

AFTER THE GAME
Positive point for a thick Deportivo in attack that at the same time was solid in defence and that even had some good luck as the ball hit twice the posts of Aranzubia.But Depor had a big chance to win the game, which would have been an underserved result, but Lopo missed the target from close-range. In the end the point is positive taking in mind the history of Deportivo playing in Majorca, and also because it never had the initiative in the encounter.

The draw means the third straight match in liga without suffering a defeat, Depor still living outside of relegation, but the teams at the bottom are pushing hard and now the distance with the pit is just of two points. On Sunday Depor will host a direct rival, Malaga FC (Riazor, 17h00 CET), team that defeated Levante on the weekend and that is just one point below the Galicians.

MATCH STATISTICS
RCD Mallorca: (4-2-3-1) Aouate – Ratinho, Nunes, Ramis, Ayoze – Marti (Cavenaghi 74’), Joao Victor – Nsue (Castro 61’), De Guzmán, Pereira – Webo
Deportivo: (5-2-2-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Aythami, Lopo, Seoane – Rubén Pérez, Juan Rodríguez – Saúl (Desmarets 63’), Adrián (Valerón 90+1’) – Riki (Lassad 71’).
Referee: José Antonio Teixeira Vitienes. He showed yellow card to Marti (73’), Seoane (75’) and Ayoze (90+3’)
Venue: Iberostar Stadi (12,600)
Other statistics: Ball possession (60% - 40%); Total shots (13 - 8); Shots on target (4 - 4); Saves by the keepers (4 - 4); Corner-kicks  (8 - 1); Offsides (2 -1); Fouls committed (9 - 13); Accuracy in the passes (84.32% - 76.11%)

RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS NOV/10

ZAPPING

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