Squad news


26 Nov 2011
Pleasant victory for a Deportivo that had problems at the start, but that by minute 57 it was already winning by three goals. The rival disappointed as it showed too little in attack. Ze Castro had a fight with Oltra as he was replaced in the second part.

Bruno Gama was the main novelty at the starting eleven of Deportivo; the Portuguese was making his first appearance as a starter in a liga match; his presence moved Mexican Andrés Guardado to the left wing, while Valerón was returning to the playmaking role. Ze Castro was the replacement of Aythami at the centre of the defense.

The lineup was a 4-2-3-1 figure; with Aranzubia at the goal, Laure was playing at the right-back position, Ayoze was at the left side, while the central defenders were Colotto and Ze Castro. At midfield, Juan Dominguez and Álex Bergantiños were the two pivotes, Bruno Gama was attacking from the right wing, Guardado was at the left, Valerón was the playmaker and Lassad the central attacker.

At Almeria, the only novelty presented by coach Lucas Alcaraz was the presence of Rafael Ramos Lozano ´Rafita´ at the right wing. The main reference in attack was Argentine striker Leonardo Ulloa, who is the top-scorer at the team with nine goals scored before this match.

Deportivo completely dominated the actions in the first part; it had the ball possessions and the major part of the scoring chances, but it missed the key to unlock the defensive wall of an Almeria that was locked at the back zone; the visitors only had only clear opportunity to score, and luckily for the locals Guardado found the goal during the stoppage time.

The first minutes were calmed, with Deportivo keeping the ball possession, while Almeria was relying in long throws searching for Ulloa. Still there were no clear opportunities for both teams. The first approximation for Depor came at minute 9, it was a cross of Bruno Gama that was an easy catch for visiting goalie Esteban Suárez.

The first scoring opportunity in the game came at minute 13; it was a free-kick of Guardado at the left wing that the Mexican sent into the box, Álex Bergantiños headed the ball, but it went wide. Guardado and Bruno Gama were switching positions, which brought some depth at both wins, but they were missing a proper connection with Valerón and Lassad, reason why Depor was lacking scoring chances.

At the other side, Almeria was doing what was expected from the Andalusians: to hold on at the back and to rely on the counterattack, the problem was that neither Soriano nor Aleix Vidal were accurate enough with their moves, which left Ulloa alone against Colotto, his mark throughout the encounter.

Depor was close to score at minute 25, it was a corner-kick of Guardado that Colotto headed on target, and Esteban made the save clearing the ball to corner-kick. Four minutes later Soriano missed a pass to the centre of the defense, but Lassad couldn’t shot on target as he was blocked twice by a defender.

The first chance for Almeria in the game came at minute 32, it was a shot of Ulloa that missed the target, but Deportivo was still controlling the action and actually it enjoyed of nine corner-kicks before the 35-minute mark (13 in the whole first half). But Depor was still lacking more depth and the ability to give the last pass. Bruno Gama was making interesting moves, but Valerón just appeared once to give a good pass searching for Guardado.

At minute 36, Aranzubia made a great save as he blocked a header of Ulloa after a corner-kick coming from the right, then Colotto cleared the danger. It seemed that both teams were going to reach he half-time mark with the 0-0 in the scoresheet, but then it came the polemic as Carlos Garcia pulled Colotto side the area during the last corner-kick of the half, and referee Valdes Aller whistled the penalty. Guardado came and scored the deserved goal for the locals from the penalty spot. It is his fifth on the liga season.

Things were pretty easy for Depor as in just ten minutes the Galicians scored two more goals that were giving a pleasant lead. Almeria tried to react, but it only gave problems within the final ten minutes. But all the attention was focused in Ze Castro and his weird change, which caused a discussion between the Portuguese defender and Oltra. In the end everything was sorted between both men.

It seemed that both teams were going to switch their roles as Depor started the second part waiting at its zone, while Almeria was trying to take the initiative, but Deportivo got a second goal just three minutes after the pause. It was along collective play that ended with Lassad assisting Álex Bergantiños at the edge of the area, then the midfielder drilled the ball into the area, Juan Dominguez was there backwards the goal, but the midfielder had enough time to turn on and release a perfect cross and score his first goal in liga.

And the third goal didn’t last too much, and again it came after a penalty; Guardado was trying to release a cross and the ball hit the hand of Dani Bautista. This time Lassad Nouioui scored the goal from the penalty spot. It is his sixth in liga and also broke a nark, because he scored for the third time in a row, something that Angel Lafita did for the last time at Depor (March 2008)

In the rest of the half Deportivo had a pleasant match, though Almeria tried to push in attack, the main chance at this stage was a shot of Michel Maicedo from close range that was stopped by Aranzubia (61’). Then Oltra moved the bench and Salomão replaced his compatriot Bruno Gama, who made a solid match in his first appearance as a starter.

At minute 75, Soriano had a new chance for the visitors, it was a shot from the edge of the area that was stopped by Aranzubia. Things were calmed on the pitch, but everything changed as soon as Oltra ordered the second change, because the Valencian trainer replaced Ze Castro with Manuel Pablo

The Canarian man was playing as a central defender and there was a discussion between Ze Castro and Oltra, just in front of the whole stadium. The Portuguese went directly into the changing room. Later it was confirmed by Oltra himself that the defender was injured and that he requested for the change, and that the fight was because the coach didn’t like to see him leaving by the one of the sides, in any case both men settled their differences after the game ended.

The true is that the modification affected the central positions at defense; mainly as Goitom was already on the pitch playing alongside Ulloa. Rodolfo Bodipo also replaced Lassad, but the side that had the best chances within the final ten minutes was Almeria. Two minutes before the regular time Goitom assisted Leonardo Ulloa, who from the edge of the area sent a drilling and crossed shot that beat Aranzubia, two minutes later the same combination almost cost the second goal as the Swedish attacker assisted again the Argentine men, this time with a short cross from the left in which Ulloa attempted a scissors-kick, it was a beautiful attempt, but the shot turned into a crossed shot that missed the far post by inches.

Important victory for a Deportivo that had big problems to break the deadlock of a solid team at defense, but that, at the same time, was too naïve in attack. Luckily the locals found the goals before the desperation could arrive to the Riazor, though two of the goals came from the penalty spot. Solid match of the whole team, though tarnished by the fight between Oltra and Ze Castro.

The victory leaves Depor living inside the promotion zone, at least until Sunday; the important fact is that the Galicians are now tied in points with Almeria and is just waiting to see the other direct rivals failing in their games. On next Sunday, Depor will pay a visit to Real Valladolid (José Zorilla stadium, 20h30 CET).

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Ze Castro (Manuel Pablo 76’), Ayoze – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez – Bruno Gama (Salomão 66’), Valerón, Guardado – Lassad (Bodipo 81’)
UD Almeria: (4-2-3-1) Esteban - Míchel, Carlos García, Jakobsen (Aaron 70’), Dani Bautista - Bernardello, Verza (Corona 50’) – Rafita (Goitom 50’), Soriano, Aleix Vidal - Ulloa.
Goals: 1-0: (45+1’) Guardado (penalty), 2-0: (48’) Juan Dominguez, 3-0 (57’) Lassad (penalty), 3-1: (88’) Ulloa
Referee; Jorge Valdes Aller. He showed yellow card to Esteban (27’), Ayoze (40’), Álex Bergantiños (42’), Verza (44’), Carlos Garcia (44’), Lassad (51’), Jakobsen (55’), Dani Bautista (55’), Ulloa (65’) and Goitom (81’)
Venue: Riazor (25,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (56% - 44%); Attempts to score (10 – 3); Total shots (13 - 9); Shots on target (7 - 3); Saves by the keepers (2 - 5); Corner-kicks  (16 - 4); Offsides (3 - 0); Fouls committed (9 - 10); Accuracy in the passes (86.32% - 79.48%)




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