Squad news


27 Aug 2012
Massive second half of Deportivo; Oltra’s men came back from a 1-3 situation and outplayed a very confused Valencia that could have even lost the match; Abel Aguilar scored a brace and Pizzi equalized from the penalty spot.

There were no surprises at the starting lineups presented by both teams; actually both coaches were repeating the same starting eleven of matchday one. Oltra was playing with Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo performed at the right side of the defense, Evaldo was at the left, while the central positions were for Marchena and Aythami Depor’s goalie wasn’t feeling okay before the game, but he was a starter.

Abel Aguilar and Juan Dominguez were the two pivotes in the formation; Bruno Gama attacked from the right wing, Pizzi did it from the left, Valerón was the playmaker and Riki was the central attacker.

At Valencia, coach Mauricio Pellegrino was relying in the same squad that drew at the Bernabéu; Andrés Guardado was facing his former team for the first time. Sofiane Feghouli attacked from the right flank, while the two central attackers were Jonas Gonçalves and Roberto Soldado.

Valencia didn’t need too much in order to claim a comfortable 2-0 lead before Deportivo, because the Galicians were fine on the pitch, but committed big errors that cost two goals, and just when Depor was reacting it came the third goal after a new mismatch.

The pace of the game was slow within the first ten minutes; Valencia was having the ball possession and the locals didn’t have any hurry against a well planted Depor. Soldado had the first attempt in the game; the striker collected the ball at the edge of the area, but his shot went wide (3’). Depor’s first approximation came at minute 5; Evaldo released a high cross from the left and Riki headed the ball at the penalty spot, but he missed the target.

At minute 9, Feghouli collected a high cross from the left and drilled the ball to Jonas, who was alone at the edge of the area, but the Brazilian sent the ball over the crossbar. It was just the first distraction of a team that had big problems marking the rivals. And just two minutes later the combination Jonas-Soldado brought the first goal in the game.

It was a quick play in which the whole defensive line failed after Jonas chipped the ball to leave Soldado alone enough to easily surpass Aranzubia and score his fifth goal against Depor with a drilling and crossing attempt.

The goal brought tranquility to Los Ches though it didn’t change the script at Depor as the visitors were still trying to dominate the ball possession. At minute 18, Pereira assisted Feghouli and the Frenchman was close to surprise Aranzubia, but he blocked the volley.

With the passage of the minutes Valencia began to feel pretty comfortable, mainly as Depor was lacking accuracy with its passes and as it was unable to complete a shot on target within the first half an hour. And then it came the second goal and again after a big error using the offside trap; Tino Costa found Jonas in the area, Jonas then delivered to Soldado who volleyed home to double Valencia's lead.

Depor responded with its first two shots on target in the game; the first was an attempt of Riki from the right (31’) and the second from Pizzi from the edge of the area, but in both opportunities local goalie Diego Alves made the saves.

And Depor could have reduced the distance at minute 35; Manuel Pablo released a drilling cross from the right and Riki was fast enough to beat both central defenders and push the ball into the net, but referee Velasco Carballo disallowed the goal due to an inexistent offside. The Madrilenian was coming from behind surpassing both centre backs (35’).

But three minutes later Depor found its first goal; it was a corner-kick coming from the right; Pizzi found the ball inside the area and drilled the ball between two defenders, Colombian Abel Aguilar was at the six-yard-box to push the ball in before the passive attitude of Valencia’s team.

The locals, however, only needed two minutes to reestablish the two-goal lead; and again it was a big distraction of Deportivo; Dani Parejo, who replaced Gago minutes before, drilled a pass that Evaldo should have stopped, but somehow he was slow enough before Sofiane Feghouli, who surpassed the Brazilian to end crossing Aranzubia with a drilling shot.

Depor was reacting at this point; it was knocking at Valencia’s gate leaving glimpses of its punch in attack, but the slowness at midfield and defense  was costing the game. Valencia could have even have scored a fourth goal after Valerón lost the ball at midfield, but this time Aranzubia blocked the ball in the one-on-one play before Soldado. The game was 1-3 at half-time and it seemed that the defeat was the most probable result.

The final part was completely different; with a Deportivo that was a steamroller against a flat Valencia that never knew how to stop the visiting outfit. Depor scored twice and Bruno Gama even had the opportunity to score a winning goal that never came. In any case very positive impression of a team that never surrendered and that was able to pick up a valuable point.

Aranzubia had to be replaced due to a gastric problem, but Depor barely noticed because Lux didn’t have too many problems. Depor went out to the pitch trying to attack and attempting to move the ball over the grass; the Galicians were having the ball possession, while Valencia was looking pretty dangerous in the counterattack, at least within the first minutes. At minute 53, Manuel Pablo drilled the ball from the right, but Riki arrived late and Alves collected the ball first.

Two minutes later Pizzi attempted from the edge of the area and Alves made the save; in the resulting corner-kick there was a possible penalty over Marchena and then the shot of Valerón from the six-yard-box hit the back of a defender. The best moment of Depor in the game had already began.

And the Galicians seized the moment and scored a second goal, again capitalizing a corner-kick; the ball came from the left; after a the first deflection Juan Dominguez collected a high volley, eluded two rivals and drilled a short and drilling pass that Abel Aguilar deflected into the far post of Alvés.

Oltra moved the bench and allowed the entry of Nélson Aguilar, who replaced Valerón. The modification switched the draw into a 4-4-2. And Deportivo continued pushing; Oltra’s team completed two mid-distance shots in the next minutes; the first one of Oliveira was caught by Alvés (65’), and the second of Pizzi was deflected by a defender (67’)

At this point Deportivo was clearly outplaying an unrecognizable Valencia. Juan Dominguez was commanding midfield territory, while the wingers -Pizzi and Bruno Gama- were easily beating the defense thanks to short and quick passes that were showings the cracks at Valencia’s defense. Pellegrino was so desperate that Guardado ended the game as a left-back, this trying to stop an impressive Bruno Gama. Deportivo deserved the equalizer, and it found it in a new and polemic play.

There was a high ball that Oliveira was searching inside the box when he was backwards the goal, Tino Costa challenged from behind and referee Velasco Carballo whistled the penalty and sent the player off [it was his second yellow] Pizzi was the one that scored from the penalty spot sending Alvés in the other way.

Fifteen minutes were remaining and Depor even had the chance to in the game facing a broken rival reduced to ten men. In the last minute of the stoppage time Bruno Gama made a solo-play on the right and eluded three rivals; and his final shot was miraculously saved by Alvés.

Deportivo remain undefeated in liga after an impressive reaction in the second part; Oltra’s team committed several errors in the first part, but an immense second half allowed a comeback that meant to drag a point from a tough stadium. The Galicians practiced an attractive style and never surrendered, which were their main virtues.

This is the first time in five years in which Deportivo comes back from a two-goal disadvantage to end earning a point. The previous opportunity was in the 2-2 at San Mamés against Athletic Bilbao
 (25/Nov/2007). Depor has now four points in two games and returns to the Riazor in order to host Getafe CF (Saturday, 20h00 CET).

Valencia: (4-4-2) Alves – Pereira, Ricardo Costa, Víctor Ruiz, Mathieu (Bernat 69’) – Feghouli, Gago (Parejo 38’), Tino Costa, Guardado – Jonas (Rami 77’), Soldado.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia (Lux 46’) – Manuel Pablo, Marchena, Aythami, Evaldo – Juan Domínguez, Abel Aguilar – Bruno Gama, Valerón (Oliveira 59’), Pizzi – Riki (Camuñas 81’)
Goals: 1-0: (11’) Soldado, 2-0: (27’) Soldado, 2-1: (38’) Abel Aguilar, 3-1: (40’) Feghouli, 3-2: (58’) Abel Aguilar, 3-3: (75’) Pizzi (penalty)
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo. He showed yellow card to Marchena (27’), Mathieu (63’), Oliveira (69’), Pereira (79’), Victor Ruiz (84’) and Parejo (90’). Tino Costa was sent off (74’),
Venue: Mestalla (38,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (46% - 54%); Attempts to score (7 – 8); Total shots (13 - 13); Shots on target (5 - 8); Saves by the keepers (5 - 2); Corner-kicks  (2 - 10); Offsides (5 - 2); Fouls committed (15 - 10); Accuracy in the passes (80.48% - 83.12%)




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