Squad news


22 May 2011
Deportivo paid each one of its sins and returns to Segunda División after twenty years; the Galician team had countless opportunities, but it was too anxious against a passive Valencia that scored at the start and at the end of the game.

No surprises at the lineup of Deportivo as Lotina presented the expected 4-3-3 figure, the same one used in the previous matches against Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona. Aranzubia was at the goal, Laure played at the right-back position, Manuel Pablo performed on the left side, while the central defenders were Colotto and Lopo.

At midfield territory, Juan Rodriguez and Rubén Pérez were the two pivotes playing behind Andrés Guardado, who was constantly switching positions with the other players up front. Valerón was the playmaker performing at the centre, while strikers Adrian and Riki were at the wings.

The novelties were at the side of Valencia, because in the end coach Unai Emery switched the plans into a 4-2-3-1 figure, with a double pivote figure at midfield: David Albelda and Mehmet Topal, while Ever Banega was the playmaker in the formation. . In attack, Joaquin and Juan Manuel Mata were the wingers, while the central attacker was Aritz Aduriz.

Deportivo was fighting against the third place in la liga tournament; that was something to fear, but it also fought against itself; because the Galician players were extremely anxious, hurrying up the plays and wasting the precious opportunities to equalize a game that was uphill almost since the kick-off.

The beginning was tense; Deportivo was very nervous and spent more time waiting at the back zone than trying to harm the rival, and as it happened against Athletic Bilbao, the visitor found out a quick goal. It was during the first attempt to score for Valencia; Joaquin collected the ball at the left wing and sent a drilling cross that Aritz Aduriz found at the edge of the area to cross Aranzubia with a weird cross.

It was a weird goal as the ex-Athletic Bilbao striker didn’t connect the ball properly, but it was also a big error of the whole defensive sector as nobody was able to stop the cross, and neither Lopo nor Colotto were quick enough to avoid the attempt from the striker.

Depor was in shock and the fans at the Riazor couldn’t believe what they were watching. The Galicians started to press searching for the equalizer; first Adrian sent wide a free-kick (7’), then Guardado released an accurate cross into the box that was headed by Riki, but the ball went over the crossbar. (10’). Three minutes later Riki himself was wasting the first big opportunity in the night after Valerón drilled a perfect past that left the ex-Getafe man alone against visiting keeper Cesar, but his strong attempt went wide.

At minute 16, Ruben Pérez fired from long-distance, but César blocked the shot. The next big chance for the Galicians came at minute 25; Guardado sent a volley into the area, Colotto headed it and then Riki found it at the box, the attempt of the Madrilenian was saved by the visiting keeper, and then Colotto missed the target.

Depor was too nervous with the pass of the minutes, and despite it was having the ball possession it was committing errors that gave some chances to Valencia, like the opportunity in which Ever Banega stole the ball near the area to attempt a shot that was saved by Aranzubia (28’). In another counterattack Mata attempted a volley that almost surprised Aranzubia, but the keeper cleared the danger (33’). Anyhow, the visitors left the feeling that they were renouncing to attack, giving the chance to Depor in order to search for the game.

Neither the results at other stadiums cleared all the fears; actually it just increased the anxiety, because Zaragoza and Getafe were winning their games, though Real Sociedad and RCD Mallorca were losing, thus Depor was still depending on itself as an equalizer was enough to save the club from the burden of Segunda División.

The true is that Valencia was not doing too much to deserve the win; and it’s that Deportivo had twenty-five shots on target in the whole game, a record on this season, but the precipitation and the hurries were blocking the road to the equalizer, while the visitors, despite not making a big effort, were warning with dangerous counterattacks.

The locals insisted within the final minutes and Adrian had an attempt from the edge of the area, but his shot hit a rival and went out (39’). The Mata scared the Riazor after collecting a pass from Joaquin; he was alone against Aranzubia, but his strong shot just hit the net by the outside. (41’). And Riki had a new chance to equalize the things at the end of the half, but he couldn’t seize another good pass of Valerón as César blocked the attempt, then Guardado missed the target after been pressed by two rivals (44’).

The picture didn’t change for the final part; Depor was still having scoring opportunities, mainly at the end of the match, though it missed more depth and strength up front. The salvation was always at reach thanks to the unexpected loss of RCD Mallorca, but Depor ended paying the price for its lack of goals throughout the liga campaign.

The final part started, but the nerves were still there; the local team was too anxious and it was losing the ball too easily against a calmed Valencia. Somehow the locals were able to find their first attempt to score in this half, Los Ches lost the ball and quickly Valerón drilled the ball into the area, just where Adrian was standing, he eluded two rivals and bet César with a crossed shot, but his attempt just went close to the left post (50’). It wasn’t the day for Depor.

At minute 56, Guardado had an attempt to score with a direct free-kick that missed the target.  A big chance for Depor came at the 59 minute, Valerón threw a free-kick at the right wing, he put an accurate cross that Riki headed on target, but Cesar barely touched the ball and it passed close to the left post. The second big chance in this half.

Then Riki was replaced by Xisco, the Madrilenian, who had a terrible season due to the injuries, was a real disappointment as he missed too many opportunities. And Valencia was close to reply with a counterattack led by Joaquin, but neither AdurizMata were able to find the ball at the area (63’), one minute later Mata found the ball again inside the area, but his final shot was miraculously saved by Aranzubia.

At minute 78, Guardado attempted with a shot from close range, but Cesar made the save. At this point the match was broken in two pieces; Depor was desperate to score and it was even possible to see the central defenders constantly joining the attacks, which opened the cracks that Valencia should have seized to score a second goal.

But the visiting players knew what was at stake and it seemed that they didn’t want to make more harm, and it’s that Valencia had enough chances to score, but mysteriously the never pressed the accelerator. Ten minutes before the final whistle Aduriz eluded the central defenders during a counterattack for them, because his crossed shot was saved by Aranzubia.

At this point RCD Mallorca was still losing against Atletico Madrid, a draw would have meant to add the same number of points than the Majorcans, and with the aggregate score in favour of the Galicians (2-1), the whole Riazor knew that a single goal was separating the Primera and the Segunda División. But the goal was a scarce resource throughout the season. So close, but at the same time so far.

Then Guardado was replaced by Lassad, who had a good opportunity at minute 86 after collecting a cross from Juan Rodriguez, but his attempt was saved by Cesar. Three minutes later the visitors had a new chance to sentence the game, Soldado, who replaced Aduriz a few minutes before, incredibly missed the target with his crossed shot after a new counterattack for Valencia.

The last minutes were a real sorrow, Mallorca was still losing and everybody at the stadium knew that a goal would have meant the  salvation, the players were desperately trying to create a scoring opportunity, and even Aranzubia tried to head a corner-kick twice, but this time there were no miracles.

Depor had its best chance in the second part at minute 89. It was a header of Xisco that was miraculously saved by Cesar, solid keeper and butcher of Depor on this match. The final chance for the locals came after Colotto found the ball at the edge of the area after a series of rebounds, but he missed the target. It was the last shot of Deportivo at Primera División.

In the next play Valencia scored the second goal, it was a counterattack that left Soldado alone against the keeper; he completed a crossed shot that was impossible for Aranzubia. The ex-Real Madrid attacker didn’t even celebrate the goal. It wasn’t necessary. Riazor was a tomb.

Depor was the side that scored the lesser number of goals on the season, and it paid the price for it at the last match of the game, because the Galicians had enough chances not only to tie the actions, but to win the match; however Deportivo forgave and Valencia, side that was very relaxed, just seized two opportunities to condemn a team to its unfaithful destiny.

Depor is now the only club in the history of la liga that has ended at Segunda División despite adding 43 points in a Primera season. President Lendoiro has now the tough mission of rebuilding his team ahead of a tough period at Segunda División.

Deportivo: (4-3-3) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Lopo, Manuel Pablo – Juan Rodríguez, Guardado (Lassad 80’), Rubén Pérez – Adrián, Valerón, Riki (Xisco 66’).
Valencia: (4-2-3-1) César - Bruno, Navarro, Dealbert, Alba- Albelda, Topal, Joaquín, Banega (Tino Costa 61’), Mata (Jonas 71’) – Aduriz (Soldado 81’).
Goals: 0-1: (4’) Aduriz, 0-2: (90+4´) Soldado.
Referee: César Muńiz Fernández. He showed yellow card to Cesar (24’), Aduriz (81’) and Ruben Pérez (88’).
Venue: Riazor (34,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (47% - 53%); Attempts to score (9 – 5); Total shots (25 - 12); Shots on target (6 - 6); Saves by the keepers (4 - 6); Corner-kicks  (11 - 3); Offsides (0 - 7); Fouls committed (6 - 22); Accuracy in the passes (81.238% - 87.55%)




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