Squad news

REVIEW: ALMERIA 1 - DEPORTIVO 1 (LIGA)

21 Feb 2011
A last-minute header of Aranzubia is allowing Depor to rescue a point against a direct rival; again the team showed a pale image playing away from home as Almeria dominated the actions, but at least Lotina’s side has saved a draw.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina sent the expected lineup; which was the same 4-1-2-1-2 figure used against Villarreal; Aranzubia was the starting goalie; Manuel Pablo covered the right-back position; Morel performed on the left, while the central defenders were Lopo and Colotto. The quartet at midfield was composed by Ruben Pérez, Juan Dominguez, Antonio Tomás and Juan Dominguez, while the attackers at the starting formation were Adrian and Riki.

The surprises were at Almeria, because coach Oltra opted to play with Peruvian Acasiete at the right-back position, then Argentine Hernan Pellerano entered to cover one of the spots at the centre and Canarian Antonio Manuel Luna was covering the left sector. Another novelty was to see French Sofiane Feghouli on the left wing, while the references in attack were Piatti, Kalu Uche and Ulloa.

FIRST HALF
New gray presentation of Depor playing away from home; the diamond at midfield never appeared and the two attackers were too alone up front; in the end the game was dominated by Almeria, just as it happened in the previous three meetings of Depor against Los Rojiblancos. At least the team was able to keep the clean sheet until the half-time mark.

Both teams started trying to reach the opposite area through the aerial game, first Depor had a free-kick in favour, but the cross of Antonio Tomás was horrible, in the next play a cross from the right was headed by Ulloa at the area, but he missed the target. In the next five minutes the game was slow as both teams were studying each other and as they were just exchanging the ball possession.

At minute 7, Juan Rodriguez collected a long throw from the defense and released a drilling cross from the right wing, it went into the path of Riki, who was inside the box, but the Madrilenian missed the target. The first big chance for Almeria came at minute 11, Feghouli released a cross from the right and the ball went directly into the path of Ulloa, the Argentine controlled the ball with the chest, entered into the area and then he released a strong shot that Aranzubia sent to corner-kick.

Since that moment the locals started to dominate the actions and the game turned to be faster, with an Almeria that was passing midfielder sector at ease; Depor had big problems to contain the moves from the rival and the diamond figure of Lotina was busier trying to not miss their continues short passes than thinking of how to penetrate one of the weakest defensive lines in la liga. The main headache for the Galicians was Piatti, a short but skillful player that was a constant threat for the visitors.

Depor’s squad was rotating the mark over the Argentine player, sometimes he was taken by Morel and in others by Colotto, but still he was creating a lot of damage. At minute 16, Piatti attempted from mid-distance, and Aranzubia stopped the drilling shot, later a defender had to clear the danger though. Three minutes after that play, Antonio Tomás lost the ball at midfield, and the attack of Almeria ended with Piatti close to face Aranzubia one-on-one, but before he was fouled by Lopo at the edge of the area, the public was asking for the penalty, but referee González González just gave the free-kick and booked the Catalan central defender.

The game started to be more balanced since minute 27; Depor had longer ball possessions, though without having the chance to complete a shot on target. At minute 31, Adrian released a dangerous cross from the left with Riki waiting inside the box, but Diego Alves arrived first and intercepted  the ball, the locals reacted and in the counterattack Uche attempted from the edge of the area with a volley that was cleared by Aranzubia.

Once again Depor was missing depth playing away from home, there was no connection between Riki and Adrian, therefore all the offensive moves were pending in an individual move or in a long throw searching for the head of Juan Rodriguez. A clear picture of Depor’s impotence in attack was the attempt of Adrian from the edge of the area; he was alone and could have tried to start a collective play, but he chose otherwise and his final shot went over the crossbar (45’). For these reasons Depor ended the half without completing a shot on target.

SECOND HALF
The final forty-five minutes were tense and saw two incredible actions, one at each area; first a great goal of Almeria was close to leave the three points in Andalusia, but miraculously Depor’s keeper scored the equalizing goal at the last minute through a header after a corner-kick. Underserved result, but very useful for Depor’s interests.

Things started twisted for Depor in the second half; because just two minutes after the pause the locals found the goal that they deserved throughout the first part. M’bami made a long run at midfield and assisted Pablo Piatti at the edge of the area, then the Argentine released a beautiful volley that went into the right-top corner of Aranzubia.

There was no reaction from Deportivo within the next ten minutes, and actually Almeria seemed more close to score the second goal than the Galicians of reaching the equalizer; but with the pass of the minutes the locals started to be nervous and decided to wait at its own  area and begun to rely on the counterattacks. It was a mistake that they were going to pay at the end of the encounter.

Deportivo started to have the ball possession, but it showed the same apathy and lack of ideas that was hardly criticized in the last away games at Zaragoza and Getafe, therefore Lotina’s side was unable to create any attempt to score until minute 60. At that point of the match Lotina decided to replaced Juan Dominguez with Lassad.  With the move Depor kept the 4-1-2-1-2 scheme, the only modification was that Juan Rodriguez delayed his position on the pitch and now Lassad was playing behind the attacking duo.

Then, Pepe Sand made his debut in liga replacing Riki, and at the 65th minute Depor had one of its few clear opportunities in the game. It was a rebound after a corner-kick that Manuel Pablo found at the edge of the area, and his drilling shot was close to enter into the net after the clearance of Diego Alves.

Later Pablo Álvarez replaced Ruben Pérez in an attempt from Lotina in order to have depth on the wings, the true is that the winger brought fresh ideas to his team as the Galicians started to exploit the deficiencies of Almeria covering the sides. At minute 78, Depor completed his second shot on goal in the game, it was a repetition of the first as a clearance after a corner-kick was found by Juan Rodriguez, and his drilling shot was stopped by Diego Alvez.

The big mistake of Almeria was to think that everything was solved as the locals started to replace its offensive players with defensive midfielders and even defenders; in the end Depor locked the rival at its own area and Almeria suffered  a lot within the final ten minutes. But Deportivo was still having big problems to pass the thick deadlock of the Andalusians. At minute 82’ Pablo Alvarez was close to score through a direct free-kick that was cleared by Diego Alvez.

Depor was so desperate in reaching an equalizer that during the stoppage time Daniel Aranzubia spent more time at the area of Almeria that in his own box, all in the quest of finding the ball in the countless set-pieces in favour of Deportivo. It almost cost a goal in a counterattack of Almeria, and in the end it was the Basque keeper who dramatically scored the equalizer at the last minute of the stoppage time.

It was a corner-kick of Pablo Álvarez coming from the left, the true is that it was a big error of Almeria as all its players were inside the area, and nobody marked Aranzubia, who took advantage of the slow reaction of Diego Alvarez to head the ball into the net from the penalty spot. The game ended with all the players embracing the ex-Athletic goalie, who enters into the history of the club as the first goalkeeper that scores a goal in liga for Deportivo. Actually, he is just the seventh keeper in the history of la liga that scores a goal. The last one was Las Palmas' goalie Nacho Gónzalez in 2002. 

AFTER THE GAME
The major part of the match was a déjŕ vu as Almeria dominated the actions through his fast attacks and the illuminated guidance of Piatti, just like it happened in the previous three games played between these two teams. The locals scored a wonderful goal, but later failed as they spent the last fifteen minutes locked at their own area and wasting time, but they paid a high price for it as Aranzubia scored the equalizer through a last-minute header after a corner.

Maybe the point added isn’t as important as the two points that Almeria lost after having the victory inside the pocket, because Depor has left the Andalusian club inside the pit, though the win of Osasuna over RCD Espanyol (4-0) is leaving the relegation zone only three points below the Galicians, and on next Saturday the team hosts the all mighty Real Madrid FC at the Riazor (22h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Almeria: (4-4-2) Diego Alves - Acasiete, Pellerano, Marcelo Silva, Luna – Feghouli (Juanito 59’), Benardello, M´bami, Piatti (Jakobsen 76’) – Uche (Vargas 84’), Ulloa.
Deportivo: (4-1-2-1-2) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Morel – Rubén Pérez (Pablo Álvarez 76’) – Juan Domínguez (Lassad 58’), Antonio Tomás – Juan Rodríguez – Riki (Sand 63’), Adrián.
Goals: 1-0: (47’) Piatti, 1-1: (90+4’) Aranzubia
Referee: José Luis González González. He showed yellow card to Lopo (18’), Ruben Perez (72’), Sand (83’), Adrian (87’) and Acasiete (90+3’)
Venue: Estadio de Los Juegos Mediterráneos (9,860)
Other statistics: Ball possession (53% - 47%); Total shots (12 - 7); Shots on target (4 - 4); Saves by the keepers (3 - 3); Corner-kicks  (3 - 6); Offsides (4 - 0); Fouls committed (15 - 17); Accuracy in the passes (74.37% - 74.88%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS 

ARCHIVE NEWS FEB/11

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