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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 1 – VILLARREAL 0 (LIGA)

14 Feb 2011
Refreshing victory for a Deportivo that showed courage and determination against a disappeared Villarreal that couldn’t do anything at the Riazor. Lopo scored thanks to the favourite recipe of the Galicians: a set-piece.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina presented the expected 4-3-1-2 lineup; with Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo was playing on the right-back position, Morel was on the left, while the central defenders were Lopo and Colotto. The three pivotes were Ruben Pérez, Juan Dominguez and Antonio Tomás. Juan Rodriguez was the playmaker, while the central attackers were Adrian and Riki.

The true is that the draw was more like a 4-1-2-1-2, with a diamond figure at midfield, because Ruben Pérez was acting like a third central defender, while Antonio Tomás was playing towards the left wing and Juan Dominguez was doing the same on the right, finally Juan Rodriguez was playing behind the attacking duo.

But the revolution was at Villarreal, and all caused because Italian Giuseppe Rossi was a last-minute casualty due to illness, for that reason the coach decided to switch the system into a 4-2-3-1. Argentine Mateo Musacchio entered into the formation and played as one of the central defenders, Marchena advanced his position to midfield, which left Bruno Soriano out of the formation, it was a surprise as the midfielder was coming after 38 straight appearances  in la liga. In attack, Nilmar and Cazorla were the main references.

FIRST HALF
Solid first part of a Deportivo that, on this occasion, showed spirit and will, but that lacked more punch in attack. The Galicians dominated the major part of the half thanks to the diamond figure put by Lotina at midfield, but it missed to create more scoring opportunities. Villarreal barely created anything, though the visitors reacted within the final five minutes.

The first minutes were intense. With both teams pushing in attack; Depor was insisting through the mobility of Riki and Adrian, but no clear scoring opportunities were created within the first five minutes. The first shot on target came at minute 6 as Matilla found the ball after a rebound inside the area, but Aranzubia stopped the ball. That was one of the lonely two shots on target completed by the visitors.

Depor’s first big chance came at minute 8, Antonio Tomás took a free-kick, he sent the ball to the area and Juan Rodriguez headed the ball at the box, it turned to be a pass to the far post, but Colotto didn’t arrive on time to score the goal. Then Juan Rodriguez attempted from the edge of the area, but he missed the target.

The key on the match was that Lotina’s side was putting a lot of pressure at midfield, for this reason Villarreal didn’t have the ball possession and Depor was surprising with the attacks of Morel on the left and Juan Dominguez on the right wing.

At minute 23, Juan Dominguez assisted Antonio Tomás at the edge of the area, but his shot went wide, one minute later Manuel Pablo released a cross from the right and Juan Rodriguez headed the ball backwards from the penalty spot, but it went out.

Then, at minute 31, Adrian eluded two rivals at the edge of the area to enter into the area and faced Diego López one-on.one, then the Asturian tried to drill the ball, but the Galician keeper cleared the danger and the rebound was sent out by Riki. That was the most dangerous play in the first part.

By the 35-minute mark it was pretty clear that Deportivo was the owner of the actions; Villarreal never found the connection to the opposite goal and was defending itself with long throws that were easy managed by Depor’s players. Cazorla and Borja Valero were missing in action and their team felt their absence.  But Depor didn’t seize the moment as its only clear opportunity until this point was the wasted chance by Adrian.

The main problem was that, despite the diamond at midfield was giving the control of the game to the locals, it was also meaning to suffer a lack of depth, because there’s was no one with the needed vision to drill the final pass  between the defenders of Villarreal. The Valencians improved a lot within the last five minutes, at minute 41 the visitors released a corner-kick from the left and Gonzalo headed the ball on target, but Aranzubia made the save. This reaction was caused because Depor’s players were now tired after the big sacrifice done before.

SECOND HALF
Depor didn’t keep the pace of the first part, but this time it scored a goal, which was enough to clinch the three points. The players showed its attitude and controlled the actions over a disappeared Villarreal, side that only completed one shot on target throughout the final forty-five minutes.

The start of the half was slower compared to the first part; again Villarreal was cautious while Depor was trying to have the initiative, though without putting the same pressure at midfield. The first approximation in this part was for the locals, it was a combination between Riki and Juan Rodriguez that ended with the Madrilenian shooting from the edge of the area, but he missed the target (51’)

The game didn’t have the same pace than at the beginning, Depor seemed to be tired, but the Galicians scored their goal in the most precise moment. And it came in the usual way: a set-piece. Antonio Tomás was fouled by Marchena at the left side, twenty meters from the area, then the Cantabrian sent the ball into the area, Juan Rodriguez headed the ball at the penalty spot, and it went directly into the far  post, Riki was following the play, but the one that scored the goal was Albert Lopo.

It is the second goal in liga for the Catalan defender; it was also interesting to realize that the three players that participated in the play, Antonio Tomas, Juan Rodriguez and Lopo, are among the players ending contract in June, and recently the public and the media has been appointed to their status as one of the reasons to explain the current situation of the team in la liga.

Villarreal reacted as coach switched the system into a 4-4-2, with the entry of Argentine Marco Ruben for Cani. Now, the script of the game was clear, Villarreal was desperately searching for the equalizer, while Depor was speculating through a counterattack, in one of those opportunities Morelwas close to score, but he lasted too much after Diego Lopez was out of the goal, in the end the attempt of the Paraguayan missed the target (63’).

The polemic came after Marchena fouled Riki at the edge of the area, he should be sent off as it should was his second yellow card, but referee Rafael Rodríguez Dominguez didn’t have the courage to show the red card. Immediately, Garrido replaced him with Marcos Senna, and it turned to be favourable to Villarreal as the Brazilian brought balance to his team. Villarreal was now having the ball possession, but it never found the needed ideas to create a clear scoring opportunity.

In the next counterattack for Depor Juan Dominguez built up a play on the left wing, then he assisted Juan Rodríguez and the final shot of Ruben Perez was stopped by Diego Lopez (67’). Three minutes later Juan Rodriguez was scoring a goal after a cross from Manuel Pablo, but the goal was disallowed due to an offside.

Villarreal was desperate to conquer the draw, but it never created problems to Aranzubia. Lotina just moved the bench for the final thirteen minutes, first with the entry of Xisco for Riki, and later with Juca and Lassad entering for Antonio Tomás and Adrian. The true is that Depor never suffered as the visitors never created anything, actually the Valencians just completed three shots in the whole game.

AFTER THE GAME
Deportivo won its second match in 2011 and it did it thanks to the courage of its players; and it’s that the Galicians never surrendered against a rival that was lost on the grass of the Riazor. It also helped the plan of Lotina, whose diamond at midfield neutralized the intentions of the third force in la liga.

The win is putting Depor back into the 14th spot at the standings, now three points above the relegation and tied in points with Hércules CF and Racing Santander; on next Sunday the team pays a visit to a direct rival: UD Almeria, match that will be played at Estadio Del Juegos Mediterráneos (17h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: (4-3-1-2) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Morel – Juan Domínguez, Rubén Pérez, Antonio Tomás  (Juca 85’) – Juan Rodríguez – Adrián (Lassad 90+1’), Riki (Xisco 76’).
Villarreal: (4-2-3-1) Diego López – Mario, Musacchio, Gonzalo, Capdevila – Marchena (Marcos Senna 67’), Matilla (Bruno 55’) –Cazorla, Borja Valero, Cani (Marco Rubén 61’) – Nilmar.
Goal: 1-0 (59’) Lopo
Referee: Rafael Rodríguez Domínguez. He showed yellow card to Marchena (26’), Nilmar (56’) and Juan Rodriguez (80’)
Venue: Riazor (20,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (52% - 48%); Total shots (12 - 3); Shots on target (4 - 2); Saves by the keepers (2 - 3); Corner-kicks  (2 - 2); Offsides (6 - 5); Fouls committed (16 - 11); Accuracy in the passes (77.11% - 79.87%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS FEB/11

ZAPPING

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