Squad news


21 May 2012
The celebration has been postponed; Depor played a new dark game outside the Riazor and suffered a loss before a rival that was playing without pressure. The defensive mismatches cost the three points, but Oltra’s side still has a four-point gap.

Aranzubia was the novelty in the starting formation of Oltra; the ex-Athletic keeper was returning after been off for a couple of weeks (Achilles injury). The rest of the lineup was the same of the past two matches. Laure played at the right-back position, Ayoze covered the left sector, while the central defenders were Colotto and Ze Castro.

Juan Dominguez and Álex Bergantiños were the two pivotes; Bruno Gama attacked from the right wing, Andrés Guardado was covering the left flank, Valerón was the playmaker and Lassad was the central attacker.

At Xérez, coach Vicente Moreno was presenting several novelties, starting with the fact that Toni Doblas was on the bench, so Toni Lechuga was the starting goalkeeper. Veteran Jose Mari was one of the strikers in the 4-42 draw, the other was Jesús Rodríguez Tato, but the main threat in the game turned to be winger Francisco Maldonado.  It rained a lot in Jérez before the clash, so the grass was wet, though it didn’t affect the players throughout the match.

The first half had two different scenes; in the first Xérez was the most dangerous side with its counterattacks, which allowed them to claim an early lead; the second scene started as soon as Depor equalized through its only shot on target in this half. The visitors had the ball possession and surrounded the local area, but missing spark and ideas to complete more shots on target, while the Andalusians lost some depth up front.

Things couldn’t start more twisted for Depor; just three minutes after the kick-off  Xérez easily penetrated the defensive line of Depor by the left side; Israel assisted Francisco Maldonado and the winger scored his third goal in liga with a crossing shot from close range past Aranzubia.

Again Deportivo was showing that same grey impression of past away meetings; the Galician outfit was disoriented, lacking pace and accuracy with the passes, while the hosts were feeling pretty comfortable and constantly reached the edge of the area defended by the Galicians.

But Deportivo responded quickly and also scored a goal in its first opportunity; Ayoze Diaz collected a short pass of Guardado at the left wing, then the Canarian released a high cross that Lassad Nouioui met at the six-yard-box, it was a big error of the whole defense of Xérez as nobody marked the Tunisian striker while local goalie Toni Lechuga hesitated in going out for the ball, so Depor’s attacker placidly headed the ball into the bottom corner close to the near post of Lechuga.

Despite the early equalizer, Xérez was still pushing in attack and found out a defensive line that was badly placed. It was the same problem of past away meetings; the line of four defenders was playing in an advance position, and with the midfielders unable to cut the counterattacks of the rival, the defenders were finding themselves bad placed before the runs of Jose Mari, and specially Maldonado, a constant threat throughout the match.

At minute 15, the locals had a double chance; Jose Mari was close to score as he collected a perfect cross from the left, but his shot was blocked by Colotto and later Campano missed the target  with his drilling shot (18’).

Maldonado was giving a lot  of problems on the left side of the defense, at minute 24 he released a cross that Jose Mari missed by inches. Curiously, Depor was having the ball possession –up to 60% at some point in the half- but the true was that Xérez was faster with its counterattacks, which gave the sense that the locals were more dangerous, though with the pass of the minutes the .Andalusian were losing accuracy and precision.

Depor had a great chance at minute 32; Lassad was assisted on the right wing and ended releasing a drilling cross that Valerón met at the far post and El Flaco missed the target as he attempted to find the top-left corner of Toni Lechuga. Four minutes later Guardado missed the target with a shot from the edge of the area.

The visitors ended the half surrounding the area of Xérez, but the true is that they only completed one shot on target in this half, precisely the one of the equalizer. The locals seemed close to score in two counterattack actions, but both Tato and Jose Mari couldn’t reach the ball when they were about to face Aranzubia one-on-one.

It seemed that Depor was going to win the game as it claimed the lead, but the advantage for the visitors just lasted two minutes, later the defensive mismatches appeared again and Xérez scored just when the draw seemed the most probable outcome.

The final part started in the same way than the first: with Depor disoriented and Xérez pushing in attack; the Andalusians were surrounding the visiting area; Maldonado had the best chances within the first ten minutes; in the first he missed the target with his header (48’), in the second his strong shot from inside the area was blocked by Ze Castro.

But if something characterizes this Depor is its punch in attack; the Galicians scored the second goal in their first big opportunity of the half. Bruno Gama and Valerón made a double combination on the left wing, then the Portuguese attempted a drilling shot from outside the area, but his shot went into the path of Lassad, who scored a weird goal as he deflected the ball with the heel turning the drilling attempt into a volley that beat Toni Lechiga. The brace of the Tunisian attacker means that he’s the new Pichichi at the team with 14 goals in favour.

And Xérez just lasted three minutes to score the equalizer; Los Azulinos were throwing a free-kick on the left wing, but instead of sending the ball into the area, Campano assisted Jesús Mendoza, surprised the defensive line as he rifled a shot from the edge of the area that was impossible for Aranzubia.

At this point the game was open, with both sides alternating the ball possession, and Oltra decided to bet in the direct game, in this sense he switched the draw into a 4-4-2 allowing the entry of Riki for Valerón

But Xérez was still having the best scoring opportunities and Tato had two straight opportunities to score, but his shots were repealed by Aranzubia (66’ & 68’).  Depor was just arriving through set-pieces, like the attempt of Ze Castro after a corner-kick, but the Portuguese defender missed the target.

Xérez remained as the most dangerous side on the pitch; Los Azulinos were already saved and it was noticed on the pitch as they were looking fresh and willful, always knowing what to do against a Depor that was distracted.

At minute 74 Israel missed the target from inside the area.  Then Oltra ordered the second chance and ordered the entry of Saul for Guardado; it was a bad call, because the Mexican was pretty active in the game, while the Asturian barely touched the ball within the final fifteen minutes.

Depor seemed to be pushing for the final ten minutes, but Xérez found a goal nine minutes before the final whistle, it was a new defensive error as nobody could stop a counterattack for the locals that ended with Israel drilling a perfect pass that Maldonado seized to score his second goal in the game with a crossed shot past Aranzubia. It was a copy of the first goal, a stab that lowered the euphoria for the imminent promotion.

Oltra reacted quickly and ordered the entry of Xisco replacing Ayoze, then Depor was playing with a 3-5-2 figure, with Ze Castro covering the left-back position. The switch turned the final eight minutes into the most exciting part of the clash. Depor pushed strongly and Xérez was founding more room to release its counterattacks.

The best of Depor came within the final two minutes, first Juan Dominguez collected a high cross inside the area, but the midfielder couldn’t score from close range as Toni Lechuga blocked his drilling attempt; then the opportunity was for Riki, who headed the ball inside the area as Depor was harassing the local goal, but his attempt hit the crossbar. Xérez could have even scored a fourth goal, but the shot of Maldonado was stopped by Aranzubia (90+3’)

New horrible game of Deportivo playing outside the Riazor; the Galicians never felt comfortable on the pitch and fell down before a rival that was playing without the pressure of the relegation. The Galicians were leading 2-1 at the middle of the second half, but the errors and mismatches at defense cost the game and the three points.

This is the first time on the season in which Depor loses a game after been drawing or winning at half-time, RC Celta and Real Valladolid won their clashes, so the difference with the third place has been reduced to four points. Oltra’s team still need five more points in order to secure the promotion, or instead to win one match and to see Celta drawing or losing one game, or to see Valladolid losing. On Wednesday Depor visit Gimnástic de Tarragona (22h00 CET), a rival that’s already relegated to Segunda B.

Xérez: (4-4-2) Toni Lechuga - Mendoza, Lombán, Calahorro, Campano - Rafa García, Cordero (Capi 79’), Israel (José Vega 85’), Maldonado – Tato, José Mari (Iñigo Vélez 90+1’).
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Ze Castro, Ayoze (Xisco 83’) – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón (Riki 62’), Guardado (Saúl 75’) – Lassad.
Goals: 1-0: (2’) Maldonado, 1-1: (9’) Lassad, 1-2: (52’) Lassad, 2-2: (55’) Mendoza, 3-2: (81’) Maldonado
Referee: Alfonso Pino Zamorano. He showed yellow card to Maldonado (16’), Cordero (69’), Calahorro (76’), Laure (81’) and Lomban (83’).
Venue: Chapín (6,305)
Other statistics: Ball possession (45% - 55%); Attempts to score (15 – 9); Total shots (22 - 17); Shots on target (8 - 4); Saves by the keepers (2 - 5); Corner-kicks  (9 - 7); Offsides (1 - 1); Fouls committed (12 - 12); Accuracy in the passes (84.10% - 82.95%)




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