Squad news


26 Nov 2012
A Deportivo at half speed grabbed a point from San Mamés; big problems passing the ball, but the defense didn’t commit the same errors from the past and the team leaves relegation. Pablo Insua debuted with the first team.

Oltra presented the expected team, with Roderick Miranda debuting at Primera División. It was a 4-2-3-1 formation, with German Lux at the goal, Laure stayed at the right-back position, Aythami Artiles joined Roderick at the centre of the defense and Ayoze Diaz covered the left spot.

At midfield, Abel Aguilar regained the place at the starting eleven joining Álex Bergantiños at the centre. Bruno Gama attacked from the right wing, Pizzi did it from the left, Juan Carlos Valerón was the playmaker and Riki was the central attacker.

Marcelo Bielsa had already announced the squad for the game, Muniain, Ander Herrera and Susaeta were among the references in attack, but all the eyes were upon Fernando Llorente, the central attacker that was making his first appearance as a starter.  He was supported by the fans at San Mamés, though the striker didn’t had a good game. Meanwhile, 410 fans travelled there in order to support Depor; there were incidents before the kick-off; according to the report one fan was hit in the head with a bottle and another person was arrested.

Flat first half of Deportivo, perhaps the worst on this league season; the main problem was the errors passing the ball –the passing accuracy was only 76.19% in this half- For this reason the defensive sector had big problems trying to stop the fast attacks of the rival; actually the goal came in this way. Neither Depor reacted up front and only completed one shot on target in the first part.

Depor had an early chance in the game: only 58 seconds after the kick-off Riki picked a cross from the right and his low attempt was saved by Iraizoz. It turned to be the lonely shot on target for the Galicians in the first half. At that moment it didn’t look like an accident, because Deportivo had the ball possession and the control over the game within the first ten minutes. The Basques were surprised by the combinative game of Oltra’s team, though there were no major opportunities to score.

But things changed. The first approximation of Athletic came at minute 9; it was a counterattack in which Susaeta beat Roderick at the right side, but his final shot was too easy for Lux. With the passage of the minutes the locals started to gain the control over the actions; Depor was still trying to attack though it missed depth.

At the beginning Athletic was only causing problems through set-pieces; at minute 18, Llorente won the first aerial battle to Roderick, but his resulting header hit the crossbar and in the rebound the ball hit Iturraspe  and was later stopped by Lux. The Basques ended the game with 13 corner-kick in favour, the highest number against Depor on the league season.

But the locals were going to score the first goal in a combinative play; Muniain released a quick counterattack after the Galicians lost the ball, the playmaker released a great pass into the left side of the area, just into the path of Susaeta, who beat Ayoze to end drilling the ball into the box, and De Marcos showed up to cross Lux with a drilling attempt.

There was no reaction from Depor; Oltra’s team seemed lost and there was no accuracy with the passes; therefore the Basques were clearly dominating and were more eager to score again.  The inaccuracies with the passes were causing big problems to the defense, because the fast counterattacks caught the defenders out of position, which explains the three yellow cards saw within the first 33 minutes; including the fifth for Laure, who’s suspended for the home game against Real Betis.

The best example of this scenario was what occurred at minute 38; Depor lost the ball at the edge of the area and the quick reply of the locals was a drilling pass to Llorente, who entered into the area to end missing the goal by inches with his crossing attempt.

Deportivo slightly improved in the final part; it scored the equalizer in a set-piece, but later suffered a lot before a rival that pushed strongly, but that missed the victory due to its lack of aim. Oltra’s side suffered its worst passing accuracy on the season (70.68%), which explains the problems of the Galician outfit throughout this match.

Things didn’t change too much for the second part; Deportivo were missing too many passes and it just caused more attacks from Athletic. Still, the Basques were not seizing this weakness and only completed three shots on target within the first 50 minutes, just one less than Deportivo.

And Athletic was going to pay the price for it, because Deportivo scored the equalizer just seven minutes after the pause. It was a corner of Pizzi that Riki headed at the penalty spot, it hit a rival and Valerón got the loose ball to release a short cross from the right that Abel Aguilar headed into the net. It’s the third goal for the Colombian on the season.

After the goal the game turned to be more open; both sides were attacking in the quest for the points; first Pizzi had an attempt from the edge of the area (55’), later Llorente headed the ball wide after picking a cross from the left (59’).

At minute 62, Athletic was close to score through a counterattack after Pizzi threw a free-kick, but Laure cleared the danger. Depor were still losing the ball, but this time the defensive line was better placed; therefore things were looking more balanced. It also helped the solid game of German Lux, who brought confidence with his key saves.

Then both coaches made a substitution; Bielsa replaced a defender, Aurtenetxe, with an attacker, Ibai Gómez, while at Depor Oltra replaced Valerón with Javier Camuñas. Athletic earned more from the substitutions, because the locals claimed total control over the actions. De Marcos was close to score at minute 78, but Lux was there to make the save.

For the final ten minutes the Basques harassed the area of Depor and the Galicians suffered a lot. To make things more complicated Roderick got injured and he had to be replaced by Pablo Insua; in this way the centre-back of Fabril tuned into the 25th player of Depor B that debuts with the 1st team in an official game since the foundation of Abegondo (2003). He had a decent performance and made a couple of important cuts.

The third substitution of Oltra was the entry of Bodipo for Riki; Oltra was trying to protect him as Oliveira remain on the sidelines; besides the Madrilenian was having muscular problems and requested the substitution as a precaution measure. The true is that the Equatoguinean attacker was closer to score as in his first appearance he could have conquered the second goal.  Camuñas released a cross from the left and Bodipo missed it by inches (84’). In the next play a series of rebounds saved Deportivo. Athletic had three chances to score within the final five minutes, the clearest one was for Iraola, but his shot was saved by Lux (90+2’)

Mixed feelings at Deportivo; the team had a grey displayed in the first part and the low passing accuracy (70.68%), the worst so far on the league season, just complicated the job of a defensive line that was already under fire. But the same time the team knew how to react in the second half and the solid job of Roderick, Abel Aguilar, Laure and mainly Lux, plus the lack of aim at Athletic allowed to pick up a valuable point. Also to notice the debut of Insua, who became into the 25th Fabril’s member that debuts in an official game.

Another good news is that Deportivo are leaving the drop zone just by the goal difference, now Granada CF is living inside the pit. On next Sunday, the Galicians are hosting Real Betis at the Riazor (17h00 CET), but before Oltra’s team has to decide the pass to the next round in Copa Del Rey visiting RCD Mallorca (Thursday, Iberostar, 21h30 CET).

Athletic Bilbao: (4-2-3-1) Iraizoz - Iraola, Ekiza, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe (Ibai Gómez 69) - Iturraspe, De Marcos - Susaeta, Ander Herrera, Muniain - Llorente
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Laure, Aythami, Roderick (Ínsua 79’), Ayoze – Álex Bergantiños, Abel Aguilar – Bruno Gama, Valerón (Camuñas 71’), Pizzi – Riki (Bodipo 83’).
Goals: 1-0: (23’) De Marcos, 1-1: (52’) Abel Aguilar
Referee: Alfonso Álvarez Izquierdo. He showed yellow card to Ayoze (16’), Abel Aguilar (27’), Laure (33’), Amorebieta (39’), Iturraspe (41’), Aurtenetxe (63’) and De Marcos (73’)
Venue: San Mamés (37,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (61% - 39%); Attempts to score (11 – 6); Total shots (26 - 9); Shots on target (6 - 5); Saves by the keepers (4 - 5); Corner-kicks  (13 - 4); Offsides (4 - 1); Fouls committed (14 - 8); Passing accuracy (84.16% - 70.68%)




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