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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 1 – MALAGA 0 (LIGA)

06 Jan 2013
Refreshing victory for Deportivo; Domingos Paciência debuted clinched the three points and most importantly, with his team looking solid in all the lines. Pizzi scored the winning goal seizing a big error of Malaga’s defense.

BEFORE THE GAME
Surprise as Domingos Paciência tested a 4-2-3-1 lineup during the whole week to end up playing with a 4-3-3. Aranzubia was returning to the starting formation and covered the spot at the goal. Manuel Pablo played at the right side of the defense, Evaldo performed at the left and the centre-backs were Ze Castro and Marchena.

The ‘trivote’ at midfield was composed by Abel Aguilar, André Santos and Álex Bergantiños. Then there was a line of three attackers; Bruno Gama was at the right, Pizzi played on the left and the central attacker was Riki.

There were also some surprises at Malaga, because coach Miguel Pellegrini left Chilean Manuel Iturra and Argentine Javier Saviola on the bench; the spots at the starting formation were claimed by Francisco Portillo and Paraguayan Santa Cruz. Joaquin and Isco were the other two references in attack.

FIRST HALF
Nice debut for the Deportivo of Domingos Paciência; the team was pretty solid at defense and transmitted confidence, but the attacking line missed too many chances. Including a free-kick of Pizzi that hit the post. Malaga was a flat team, but still the visiting team had a clear chance to score at the end of the half.

The game began with Deportivo putting a lot of pressure in Malaga’s output of the ball; the first chance to score came at minute 5; Abel Aguilar released a volley into the left side of the area and Bruno Gama was there to fire a strong shot that was deflected by visiting goalie Willy Caballero. Two minutes later Abel Aguilar fired a long distance shot that missed the target by inches. The first chance for Malaga came at minute 11, with Jesús Gamez firing over the crossbar after collecting a cross from the left.

The scheme of Deportivo was constantly changing, at times it was a 4-2-3-1 with André Santos between Abel Aguilar and Álex. At times it was a 3-4-3 and even a 4-5-1 when the rival was having the ball. What didn’t change was that there was a constant pressure over the rival, with two men marking whoever was having the ball.

After this initial push the game reached a point when the actions were stuck; a lot of fouls –not violent fouls- that stopped the impulse of both teams. Malaga was having the ball, at some point it was a 72% for the Andalusians, but they never created any danger; actually they never made a shot on target within the first thirty minutes. Depor, meanwhile, looked more vertical, but it was missing its best opportunities, the third one a long ball that Bruno Gama didn’t reach before the presence of Caballero (24’).

The excitement returned to the Riazor at minute 31; a dangerous free-kick in favour of Deportivo ended with a perfect curved shot of Pizzi, but the attempt of the Portuguese winger hit the left post of a helpless Caballero. Three minutes later Riki was close to capitalize an error of the rival’s defense, but his final attempt was too easy for Caballero.

Malaga’s first shot on target came until minute 36, Isco got the ball at the edge of the area, but his attempt was too easy for Aranzubia, who looked more attentive in this match. Two minutes later André Santos picked a high cross of Manuel Pablo, but his final attempt went wide. More clear was the next play; Bruno Gama picked a perfect pass of Pizzi, but he couldn’t beat Caballero in a one-on-one action.

The biggest chance for the visiting team came at minute 43, Abel Aguilar failed at the moment of clearing the ball and instead he assisted Joaquin, who faced Aranzubia one-on-one, and the ex-Athletic man made a great save stopping his drilling effort. Depor responded with a wide shot of Bruno Gama. The Portuguese winger was the most active man in attack, but missed his four chances to score. A clear reason that explains why the first half ended scoreless. Decent game also from André Santos and Pizzi.

SECOND HALF
And Depor finally found the deserved goal in the second part. Malaga was a disappointing team, but the Andalusians pushed hard at the end and the narrow score kept the dram until the final whistle. Deportivo improved a lot of things after just five training sessions with Domingos.

Iturra entered at Malaga for the second part, but the game followed the same path, with Deportivo pushing up front and with Malaga waiting at the back zone. Domingos switched the position of the wingers and Bruno Gama was attacking from the left, while Pizzi was at the right. But Riki was the one having the first chance to score; it was a counterattack in which the Madrilenian could have done a better job that firing the ball out.

Truly Depor impressed with the performance of the whole team, but it’s also true that Malaga was a flat team, erratic at defense and simply inexistent in attack, actually Paraguayan Santa Cruz barely touched the ball, while more was expected from Isco, the brand-new golden boy of 2012.

And finally Deportivo found the net; it was a play with two errors from Malaga; firstly Jesús Gamez failed with his pass at the left side of the filed, and then Demichelis couldn’t clear the ball properly and Pizzi seized the opportunity firing a strong shot from the box to score the winning goal. Fifth goal for the Portuguese winger on the league season and first for the Galicians since the 2-3 defeat before Real Betis. In this way Deportivo ended a drought of 356 minutes without scoring goals.

The goal changed the script of the match; now Malaga was forced to attack and Pellegrini switched the draw into a 3-5-2 as Saviola replaced Monreal. Now Depor were playing in counterattack, especially after Nélson Oliveira replaced Riki. The Madrilenian left the game with a strong hit in his nose.

The first chance to score for Malaga came until minute 74; it was a header of Santa Cruz that missed the target after a cross of Jesús Gamez. But the Andalusians improved at the end, mainly after the entry of Buonanotte, who brought the so needed ability to surpass Depor’s defense. Besides, the narrow score kept the tension within the final minutes.

And it’s that Malaga pushed hardly within the final ten minutes; at minute 80 a dangerous drilling cross from the left couldn’t be pushed in by Isco; instead André Santos cleared the danger. Then Domingos made the second substitution as Camuñas replaced a tired André Santos. The last chance of Malaga was a drilling attempt of replacement Buonanotte that was stopped by Aranzubia (89’). Domingos made a late change as Aythami replaced Bruno Gama; a modification made to waste time.

AFTER THE GAME
Third victory of Deportivo in la liga and the first one under the command of Domingos Paciência. It’s hard to say if things have changed after the exit of Oltra, after all the Portuguese coach only had five training sessions with the team, but the fact is that the team looked more solid and defeated a rival that was coming after defeating Real Madrid, though it’s also true that Malaga, perhaps, played its worst game on the season.

The result isn’t helping Deportivo to leave the drop zone, but at least the Galicians are no longer the last place as CA Osasuna lost at Sevilla FC (0-1). On next Sunday, Domingos’ team is visiting Real Sociedad in the match that’s closing the first round in la liga (Anoeta, 17h00 CET). Abel Aguilar is suspended for that game after picking his fifth yellow card of the season.

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: (4-3-3) Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Marchena, Ze Castro, Evaldo – Álex Bergantiños, Abel Aguilar, André Santos (Camuñas 83’) - Bruno Gama (Aythami 90’), Riki (Oliveira 67’), Pizzi
Malaga: (4-2-3-1) Caballero – Gámez, Weligton, Demichelis, Monreal (Saviola 62’) – Camacho, Portillo (Iturra 46’) – Joaquín (Buonanotte 72’), Isco, Eliseu – Santa Cruz
Goal: 1-0: (56’) Pizzi
Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes. He showed yellow card to Abel Aguilar (18’), Jesús Gámez (30’), Weligton (35’), André Santos (45+1’), Monreal (47’), Bruno Gama (59’) and Camuñas (87’)
Venue: Riazor (28,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (39% - 61%); Attempts to score (7 – 4); Total shots (12 - 9); Shots on target (4 - 3); Saves by the keepers (3 - 3); Corner-kicks  (3 - 7); Offsides (0 - 4); Fouls committed (24 - 16); Passing accuracy (74.71% - 84.13%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/13

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