Competition news


27 Feb 2011
A solid Depor in defense was able to clinch a point against the all mighty Real Madrid; the Galicians made great game at defense, but were also helped by the lack of aim of the Madrilenians, mainly in the second half.

Lotina decided to play with Pepe Sand in attack, which meant the debut as starter for the Argentine attacker after joining the club during the winter window. Another interesting move was to put Juan Rodriguez on the playmaking function and the switch the positions of Guardado and Adrian on both wings.

In the end the Basque manager was sending a 4-2-3-1 scheme; Aranzubia was at the goal, Laure performed at the right-back position, Claudio Morel was at the left, while the central defenders were Lopo and Colotto. Ruben Perez and Antonio Tomas were the two pivotes, Adrian was playing at the left wing, Guardado reappeared though he did it on the right and Sand was the central attacker.

At Real Madrid, coach Mourinho was presenting some novelties, Di Maria left his place at the starting eleven and Kaka had the chance to join Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema and Ozil in attack, while ex-Depor Arbeloa was benched allowing the appearance of Sergio Ramos at the right-back position.

Entangled first part in which Deportivo was more worried in obstructing the paths to Real Madrid than of searching the opposite goal, actually the Galicians never made a shot no target; the Madrilenians had the ball possession, but it barely gave problems to Aranzubia, while Lotina’s team tried to surprise through the counterattacks, although they never had a clear opportunity to break the deadlock.

The first five minutes were intense; with both teams trying to earn the control at midfield territory. The first attempt to score came at minute 5 and it was for Real Madrid; it was after a free-kick of Cristiano Ronaldo in which Sergio Ramos found the ball at the far post, but his final attempt went over the crossbar.

Depor’s first approximation came at minute 8, it was after a corner-kick for the Galicians that ended with Morel releasing a cross from the right that was close to be found by Lopo, but Pepe cleared the danger first. At minute 13, Kaka combined with Benzema and the final attempt of the Brazilian from the edge of the area went wide.

With the pass of the minutes Real Madrid claimed the ball possession, but it was missing depth up front as Depor was locked at its side of the pitch; the novelty at the Galician team was to see Guardado and Adrian switching their positions; the Mexican was attacking from the right wing and the Asturian was doing the same on the left.

Meanwhile,  Juan Rodriguez was more worried in marking Xabi Alonso, reason why Sand, who fought hard throughout the match, was alone in attack. The first attempt on goal of Cristiano Ronaldo came at minute 19; it was a shot from the edge of the area that was stopped by Aranzubia. An action that was repeated one minute later, though this time the one that released the shot was Ozil.

At minute 24, Benzema headed a corner coming from the right, but Aranzubia didn’t have any problem to catch the ball. Five minutes later Ronaldo was scoring a goal after a cross of Ozil, but he was in offside position. Real Madrid became to look desperate as Marcelo was wasting too many times the ball at the left wing, then the visitors started to test through long-distance shots, like the one of Ozil that passed close to the near post of Aranzubia (37’), which turned to be the most dangerous play of Madrid on this half.

The key at Depor were the constant aids on the pitch, which explains why every man in attack of Real Madrid almost always was marked by two men. Ruben Pérez and Juan Rodriguez were important on this defensive moves, while Morel and Laure were impassable at the sides, and the duo Lopo-Colotto was clearing everything.

Also, since Real was constantly losing the ball in attack, Depor was able to release some counterattacks, but the local defenders missed more connection with the attackers, reason why they never gave any trouble to Casillas. But within the final minutes the Galicians had a couple of interesting opportunities.

At minute 40, a long cross of Morel coming from the left side at midfield was close to be found by Sand, but the Argentine couldn’t strike the ball. Three minutes later Adrian found the ball inside the area, he was backwards the goal and gave a great pass with the heel that was close to be seized by Sand, but Lass Diarra was also there and the midfielder cleared the danger.

Suffered second part for a Deportivo that gave its soul defending the goal of Aranzubia, but that was also lucky as Real Madrid lived a night to forget as they wasted its countless opportunities, mainly within the final fifteen minutes. In attack the team of Lotina was simply non-existing, just to mention the fact that Depor didn’t complete any shot on target throughout the game.

And it’s that things started hot in the second part as just twenty seconds after the kick-off Cristiano Ronaldo released a shot from the edge of the area, and the drilling attempt was cleared by Aranzubia to corner-kick, and in the resulting play the visitors were close to score in an action that should was invalidated for an offside, but in the end the defenders cleared the danger.

At minute 50, Kaka was close to seize a loss of Depor at midfield, but the shot of the Brazilian was stopped by Aranzubia.Two minutes later Guardado was drilling a good pass into the path of Sand, but again the Argentine attacker arrived late. The Argentine arrived two months ago and was playing his first match as starter, he never had a clear chance and looked tired.

The first substitution on the game was the entrance of Pablo Álvarez for Guardado, as Lotina promised the Mexican wasn’t going to play for the full ninety minutes. He was fine, but wasn’t the dagger of previous meetings. Mourinho also shacked the bench and Adebayor and Di Maria entered into the pitch, but the Portuguese coach left Benzema over the grass, reason why the Madrilenians were now playing with an offensive 4-4-2.

The entrance of Di Maria was a key as the Argentine was a dagger that threatened Depor with his long runs on the side of Morel, while Adebayor was too slow, but his height gave a lot of problems to Laure, who by the way was among the best player in the game due to his accuracy and commitment at defense.

At minute 63, Pablo Álvarez was drilling a pass from the right wing, it went into the path of Adrian, who was standing at the box, but the Asturian fell down into the ground after controlling the ball backwards the goal. At minute 67, Depor had a good chance after Adrian threw a corner from the left, Colotto fond the ball at the far post, but he missed the target.

Then, for the final twenty minutes Lassad entered for Adrian; the Asturian was lively moving on the sides and was the most dangerous man for the Galicians, but Lotina chose to refresh the attacking line. And since that point the real suffering started for Deportivo.

Because the Galicians spent the last fifteen minutes locked at its side of the pitch and the harassment of Real Madrid was fruitless just for the lack of aim from Mourinho’s team. All started at minute 78 as Cristiano Ronaldo threw a direct free-kick that Aranzubia cleared to corner. One minute later Ozil sent a high cross from the right, Abebayor found the ball at the far post and his drilling attempt was cleared by Aranzubia, the keeper was lucky enough, because after his clearance the ball hit the post, then it hit his back and went out.

At minute 81, Cristiano Ronaldo made a long run on the right wing, and his drilling shot hit the far post of Aranzubia, Di Maria found the rebound and then the Argentine released a shot that went into the far ´post, and this time Aranzubia made a great save. Three minutes later the Madrilenians wasted an incredible opportunity, Cristiano Ronaldo again made a great play on the right, he made a great pass to Benzema, but inexplicably the French didn’t find the ball when he was alone against the goal and with Aranzubia already lying on the ground.

The harassment continued for the final five minutes plus the stoppage time, in this part of the game Riki entered for Sand, but he never had a clear chance as he was completely alone in attack. But neither Real Madrid enjoyed of new opportunities, they just spent the final moment throwing countless crosses that were easily cleared by Depor’s defense, in one of these actions they asked for a penalty after the ball hit the body of Morel (90+2’).

Solid game of Depor’s defense as the Galicians clinched a clean sheet against the second best offensive line in la liga; the continuous aids at the back zone were the key, but also the lack of aim from a Real Madrid that strangely wasted its best opportunities. The whole defensive line completed a great match, also Aranzubia with his eight saves, while Ruben Pérez and Juan Rodriguez were also important. The attackers also made a big sacrifice, mainly Adrian, but they never built up a decisive play and the Galicians left the pitch without completing a shot on target.

The result leaves Depor still living close to the danger zone, but now three points above the relegation. On next Wednesday’s Lotina’s team has a crucial meeting with a direct rival for the permanence as Deportivo visits the Reyno de Navarra in order to play against Osasuna (20h00 CET).

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Lopo, Morel – Antonio Tomás, Rubén Pérez – Adrián (Lassad 71’), Juan Rodríguez, Guardado (Pablo Álvarez 56’) – Sand (Riki 83’).
Real Madrid: (4-2-3-1) Casillas -Ramos, Pepe, Carvalho, Marcelo (Granero 75’) - Alonso, Lass Diarra (Adebayor 60’) – Kaka (Di Maria 60’), Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo – Benzema.
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán . He showed yellow card to Carvalho (49’), Pepe (59’), Laure (71’), Ruben Perez (75’), Sand (82’), Granero (85’) and Riki (90’)
Venue: Riazor (33,500)
Other statistics: Ball possession (35% - 65%); Total shots (3 - 15); Shots on target (0 - 8); Saves by the keepers (8 - 0); Corner-kicks  (5 - 11); Offsides (5 - 5); Fouls committed (21 - 13); Accuracy in the passes (73.68% - 89.27%)




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