Squad news


11 Apr 2011
Depor clinches a golden point in the quest for the permanence as it had to play the whole second half with ten men due to the expulsion of Laure, but neither Malaga gave too many problems as the Andalusians never surpassed Lotina’s deadlock.

Lotina said on Saturday that he hadn’t decided yet the lineup for the game, and the truth is that by Sunday he was still having doubts; and it’s that the situation was very confusing among the reporters covering the match, two hours before the game it was announced that Juan Dominguez was going to be a starter, then one hour before the kick-off was announced the 4-3-2-1 squad tested during the training session, with Antonio Tomás and Lassad taking part of the starting team

But at the moment of presenting the official lineups the name of Valerón was written on the paper, then it was clear that Depor was playing with a 4-2-3-1 system. With this appearance El Flaco was completing his game number 350 at Primera. Later Lotina confessed that he put Valerón on the starting eleven, because he had a “feeling” before the game, and also because he was searching for more passes between the lines.

In the end Aranzubia was a the goal, Laure played at the right-back position, Manuel Pablo performed on the left, Colotto and Lopo were the central defenders; Antonio Tomás and Rubén Pérez were the two pivotes, Juan Rodriguez was performing on the right wing, Valerón was the playmaker, Guardado the left winger and Xisco the central attacker.

Less complicated were the things at Malaga, because coach Mauricio Pellegrini was presenting the expected 4-4-2 figure announced since Saturday; Baptista was out injured, and this time the main references in attack were Duda, Sebastian Fernández and Venezuelan Rondon

It was a tough half for Deportivo; the Galicians never felt comfortable on the pitch and it seemed that they never found their role in the game, because they were hoping to gain the ball possession, but instead they  spent more time trying to stop the attacks from Malaga, but luckily for Lotina’s side the Andalusians were too anxious to score and missed too many passes, while in the few clear opportunities that the locals had they ended missing the target. But things ended badly as Laure was sent off at the last minute.

The first part started with Malaga pushing up front, with a corner in favour and a wide shot of Jesús Gamez (2’); meanwhile Depor was well planted on the pitch, trying to step into the field of the Andalusian rival, but the locals were also giving problems with their fast attacks, reason why the first minutes were entertaining.

At minute 5, Rondón was close to find the ball at the box during a counterattack for his team, but the defense cleared the danger; three minutes later Aranzubia had to clear the ball to corner-kick after a long-range shot of Portillo and also after a corner-kick for the Andalusians. At minute 15, Juan Rodriguez didn’t find a cross of Manuel Pablo coming from the left.

Depor’s first attempt on goal came at minute 17, it was a long-range shot of Juan Rodriguez that was deflected by Xisco and that went wide. Three minutes later Rondon was heading the ball out after a corner-kick of Duda.

With the pass of the minutes the game turned to be stuck at midfield, Malaga seemed too anxious to take the lead and for that reason its players were missing too many passes, those inaccuracies weren’t allowing them to capitalize the ball possession and actually, their best attacks came always through set-pieces.

Meanwhile Valerón was appearing from time to time, with drilling and accurate passes, and always joined by Guardado, but Depor was still a flat team in attack as Xisco never received the ball. Lotina was clearly trying to dominate the game, but it never did it and the team left the impression of been lost, without finding a clear strategy to reach the opposite goal. Because it never had the ball possession and neither was releasing dangerous counterattacks.

But things turned to be exciting between minutes 27 and 33; at minute 27, Eliseu send a high cross from midfield that Duda found at the far post, and his final shot went wide; in the next play the locals surprised with a counterattack in which Seba Fernandez assisted Rondon with a header inside the area, the Venezuelan was alone at the box, but his final attempt went over the crossbar. That was the clearest opportunity for Malaga in this half.

Depor responded with a great play of Guardado in which the Mexican eluded three rivals to end releasing a strong shot that went close to the left post of local keeper Caballero (29’). In the next play Seba Fernandez fired from the edge of the box, and Aranzubia stopped the attempt.

After those plays the game returned to the previous situation as the ball was stuck at midfield. At minute 42, Duda took a direct-free kick that Aranzubia cleared with the firsts, but the clearance just reached the boots of Seba Fernandez, who scored through a volley, but the referee whistled a foul as Rondon was obstructing Aranzubia at the box.

And the half ended with a polemic play, because Laure was sent off with two yellow cards. The first was for cutting a counterattack of Malaga (39’), a card that was well deserved, but the polemic was the second yellow, because referee Pérez Lasa showed the card for a discussion that the defender had with Apońo, it seemed too rigorous –in the act the referee wrote that Laure touched Apońo in a ‘provocative´ way, and the defender said that he only touched his face-. Now things were looking difficult as Depor was condemned to play with ten men for the final forty-five minutes

Despite the initial worries, the true is that Depor played better with ten men on the field, maybe because it was aware that its destiny was to hold on the result and wait to release a counterattack, a clear role that the Galicians fulfilled without too many problems, also helped by a poor Malaga that didn’t give too many problems.

As it was expected, Lotina sent Claudio Morel to cover the spot left by Laure, the sacrificed man was Valerón. The Paraguayan was now playing on the left-back position, while Canarian Manuel Pablo was playing at the right.

The game was still in the same dead point of the first part, with Malaga having the ball possession, but the local players were too much accelerated and were unable to create a clear opportunity against Aranzubia. Meanwhile, all the weight in Depor’s attack was on the shoulders of Guardado, who was practically performing as a playmaker. To mention that the passing ratio of the Galicians was only of 68%, with only 296 passes completed in the whole game. Both are the lowest numbers on this liga season. It clearly explain that, despite not suffering at defense, Depor was harmless in attack as its very well-known tactic of  long throws searching for Juan Rodriguez was useless.

The first chance on the half was a wide shot of Eliseu (55’), but more dangerous was the double attempt of Xisco; the Majorcan found a header of Juan Rodriguez, then he ran until the edge of the area and fired a rocket that Caballero blocked, the rebound was found by Xisco himself, and his crossed shot just missed the target (59’). Those were the most dangerous plays of Depor in the whole game.

It was also the first shot on target for Depor, and the second –and last- came just three minutes later through a direct free-kick of Guardado that was stopped by Malaga’s goalie. At this point it was clear that Depor was playing better than in the first part, which was curious as the Galicians were only with ten men, but it’s also true that Malaga was making things easier as the locals were too thick in attack, always missing the last pass and releasing easy crosses for Aranzubia.

Pellegrini also noticed it and sent both Maresca and Quincy to the pitch, this in order to have more velocity and ideas at midfield; Lotina also joined the battle for midfield territory and sent Juan Dominguez to claim the spot of Juan Rodriguez. The true is that neither of them succeeded as the game followed the same script until the end: Malaga unable to surpass the deadlock of Depor, and the Galicians inexistent in attack.

At minute 74, Seba Fernandez drilled the ball into the box, then Maresca tried to beat Aranzubia with a crossed shot, but the keeper blocked the attempt. At minute 79, Jesus Gamez released a cross from the right, and Rondon found the ball at the penalty spot, but his header went wide. Depor responded with a counterattack that ended with releasing a shot that missed the target.

For the final four minutes Lassad entered to play for Xisco, the Majorcan improved in the second part and had on his boots the best opportunity for Depor in the game. Meanwhile the Tunisian made a couple of interventions that helped his team to waste some time. In one those plays the striker was fouled by Quincy, who deserved the second yellow, but Pérez Lasa forgave the red card against the protest of Depor’s players. The game ended with Malaga harassing the area of Deportivo, but it never created any harm to Aranzubia.

Golden point for a Deportivo that had to play the whole second half with one less man; Lotina’s team seemed a little confused in the first part, but in the second it felt more comfortable assuming its role of “defensive” team. Neither Malaga gave too many problems as Aranzubia just had to make two saves.

It might be only a point, but Depor still adding in the quest for salvation and now it only needs seven more to achieve the goal. The important thing is that the difference with Malaga remains in five points and actually, the situation is now the same as three of the four games played on Sunday, and that included teams fighting for the same goal, ended in a draw. On next Sunday, Depor returns to the Riazor in order to host Racing Santander (17h00 CET).

Málaga (4-4-2) Caballero - Jesús Gámez, Demichelis, Kris, Eliseu – Portillo (Quincy 65’), Apońo – Recio (Maresca 58’), Duda - Seba Fernández (Juanmi 76’), Rondón
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Lopo, Manuel Pablo – Rubén Pérez, Antonio Tomás – Juan Rodríguez (Juan Domínguez 72’), Valerón (Morel 46’), Guardado – Xisco (Lassad 86’).
Referee: Miguel Ángel Pérez Lasa. He showed yellow card to Eliseu (34’), Guardado (41’), Juan Rodriguez (55’), Maresca (74’), Quincy (80’) and Jesus Gamez (88’). Laure was sent off (44’).
Venue: La Rosaleda (27,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (65% - 35%); Attempts to score (6 – 4); Total shots (13 - 7); Shots on target (2 - 2); Saves by the keepers (2 - 2); Corner-kicks  (6 - 2); Offsides (1 - 3); Fouls committed (17 - 11); Accuracy in the passes (83.65% - 68.24%)




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