Squad news


07 Dec 2010
Important victory for a Deportivo that still climbing positions on the standings; the victory was just possible thanks to a new set-piece, this time seized by a striker: Lassad. The rest of the match was simply boring.

Lotina was having the last-minute casualty of Juan Rodriguez; the Andalusian midfielder was discarded on Monday’s morning due to gastroenteritis and therefore Antonio Tomás claimed his place at the starting eleven. It was the first appearance of the Cantabrian as starter after suffering his last thigh injury (October 17 against Osasuna) Also, the Basque coach decided to use Saul instead of Lassad, with the difference that the Asturian winger was performing towards the right wing, while Urreta was playing towards the left.

The scheme was a 5-2-2-1 draw; with Aranzubia at the goal; Manuel Pablo was performing on the right-back position, Diego Seoane was playing on the left; while the three central defenders were Aythami, Lopo and Colotto. Ruben Pérez was joining Antonio Tomás at midfield, Saul Fernandez and Urreta were the two playmakers and Adrian was the central attacker.

At Hercules, Esteban Vigo was just presenting one modification compared to the expected lineup, it was the presence of Argentine midfielder Matías Lionel Fritzler taking the spot of Tiago Gomes. As it was expected, the main references in attack were Paraguayan Nelson Haedo Valdez and French David Trezeguet. The temperature wasn’t too cold (around 11 degrees Celsius), but the rain made sometimes difficult to play as the ball was wet, and therefore it was possible to witness several inaccuracies at both sides.

Deportivo was again a solid team in defense, but it was also too shy in attack; that was the conclusion of a first part in which the few fans at the Riazor witnessed a poor spectacle. And it’s that the Galicians are still missing a connection in midfield and bet again in long throws that made easier the life for Hercules’ defenders. Neither the visitors did something special, because the duo Trezeguet-Valdes barely disturbed the trio of central defenders at Depor.

It was an equal start as both teams were trying to have the ball possession, but Deportivo seemed more close to open the scoresheet. The first attempt to score was for Deportivo, it was a free-kick after Pamarot fouled Adrian at the edge of the area; Ruben Pérez tried to score with a crossed shot, but the Andalusian missed the target (6’). 

At minute 15, the locals reclaimed penalty after Lopo fell down in the area during a corner-kick action and after a challenge of Abel Aguilar, but the referee didn’t whistle anything   It was a similar action to the penalty whistled against Malaga a fortnight ago.

Urreta was pretty active in the first part; at minute 20 the Uruguayan made a great play eluding three rivals, but his final cross didn’t reach the path of Saul. The left wing seemed to be a strong point for Depor, mainly because Tote wasn’t supporting David Cortes, and the ex-Getafe was having big problems trying to contain the moves of Urreta. At minute 23 the Uruguayan appeared again with a drilling shot that was stopped by visiting keeper Calatayud.

At times it gave the impression that Depor was growing in the game, but the true is that the Galicians were relying too much in the long throws, which rested effectiveness to their offensive game. And it’s that Hercules was very delayed on the pitch and obstructing the game of Depor, but at the same time the Valencian team was inexistent up front. Only Valdez appeared from time to time and the only three opportunities in which Trezeguet was in the spotlight it was because the French man was in offside position.

One of the biggest problems at Depor was the duplicity of the couple Ruben Perez-Antonio Tomas, because despite the duo was constantly involved in the actions, they weren’t directing the offensive tasks of Depor, actually they were doing the same things as often preferred to pass the ball to the central defenders, which delayed the offensive moves and actually pushed to rely on the long throws.

At minute 33, Saul attempted with a new drilling shot from the edge of the area, but it was too easy for Calatayud. Depor had the initiative within the last ten minutes on the half, but it never had the needed ideas to unlock the defensive line of Los Herculanos, as example the corner-kick at minute 42 in which three Depor’s players never found the ball inside the box.

The scenery didn’t change too much in the final part, although Depor looked dangerous within the first minutes, but in the end it was necessary to wait for a strategy action in order to break the deadlock. Hercules reacted until the last fifteen minutes, but it was too late and Deportivo picked up three important points.

Deportivo started strongly on the half. At minute 49, the locals had an attempt to score after a new corner-kick, Colotto headed the ball at the far post and then Lopo attempted a sort of bicycle-kick, but the ball just hit Fritzler. In the next play Antonio Tomas and Ruben Perez combined to leave Adrian alone against Calatayud, but the final attempt from the striker searching for the far post was saved by the visiting keeper. It was the biggest save of the night and the first time in which both Depor’s midfielders decided to participate in the attacks of the team.

These were the best moments of Depor in the game, but later Hercules grew up as the pouring rain was falling down; but Depor’s defensive line was holding on, though the harassment didn’t last too much. The Galicians appeared in attack until minute 64 as Urreta attempted from mid-distance, but the Uruguayan missed the target. Then Lotina decided to refresh the attacking line allowing the entry of Lassad for Adrian. The ex-Fabril was going to be important in the game.

Both teams were pressing up front, but at the same time were missing ideas to unlock the defensive line of the rival; Urreta lost the brilliance of the first part and Saul was missing in action. It was evident that the only way in which Depor could score a goal was a set-piece, and it was like that as Depor scored the winning goal through a free-kick.

Saul took the free-kick sending the ball to the far post, again Lopo fell down against the challenge of a rival, but this time Colotto was there to head the ball into the penalty spot, just into the path of Lassad Nouioui, and the Tunisian scored the goal through a downward header that went to the far post of Calatayud. It is the second goal on the season for him.

Then Antonio Tomás had to be replaced by Juan Dominguez as he was having a new thigh problem, which delayed the entry of Pablo Alvarez for Urreta. The modifications gave more mobility to Deportivo, but the true is that Hercules also reacted and within the final fifteen minutes it looked more dangerous than in the rest of the game.

The biggest chance for the visitors came at minute 80, it was a cross from the left that ended with Portillo shooting on target, but the ball hit the body of Aranzubia. The ex-Real Madrid replaced Nelson Valdez some minutes before; to emphasize that the duo composed by the Paraguayan and Trezeguet never threatened the defensive line of Depor. And Hercules had the last opportunity on the game as David Cortes found the ball inside the box after an error of Lassad, but the ball went wide.

Another flat presentation for Deportivo, similar to the previous game against Racing Santander; but this time the result was different as the Galicians seized one of the few set-pieces that they had in favour. Neither Hercules deserved a better faith, because they barely reached the goal of Aranzubia, while the duo Nelson Valdes-Trezeguet never represented a threat for Lotina’s men.

This new victory at home is pushing Deportivo to the 12th spot at the standings, exactly in nowhere’s land as the relegation zone is seven points under the Galicians, while Europe is five points above them. On Saturday Depor will be facing its most complicate match on the month as they will visit the Vicente Calderón in order to face Atletico Madrid CF (22h00 CET).

Deportivo: (5-2-2-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Aythami, Lopo, Seoane – Antonio Tomás (Juan Domínguez 76’), Rubén Pérez – Saúl, Urreta (Pablo Álvarez 80’) – Adrian (Lassad 66’).
Hércules CF: (4-2-3-1) Calatayud - Cortés, Abraham Paz, Pamarot, Peña - Abel Aguilar, Fritzler (Tiago Gomez 53’) – Tote, Valdez (Portillo 79’), Drenthe (Kiko Femenía 61’) - Trezeguet.
Goal:  1-0 (72’) Lassad
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán. He showed yellow card to Peña (10’), Lopo (25’), Fritzler (39’), Drenthe (60’), Abraham Paz (85’) and Manuel Pablo (90+1’)
Venue: Riazor (14,000) 
Other statistics: Ball possession (43% - 57%); Total shots (12 - 6); Shots on target (4 - 1); Saves by the keepers (1 - 3); Corner-kicks  (3 - 3); Offsides (2 - 3); Fouls committed (14 - 12); Accuracy in the passes (80.19% - 81.93%)




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