Competition news


07 Jan 2013
The papers are convinced that the arrival of Domingos Paciência has brought fresh air to the tactics of Deportivo. The new defensive strategy was considered as the key that lead to the victory; also that Malaga was a disappointing rival.

La Voz de Galicia: A new Deportivo defeated Málaga in the night of the Kings. Aranzubia, who returned to the starting formation in Paciência’s debut on the bench, was rubbing his eyes from the goal. It coincided with the eve of the Magic Kings, a night normally for surprises. In just one week the young coach had transformed the team. Depor played a neat game, it practiced a good defensive balance, Pizzi and Bruno Gama were more united than ever before, and the three starting midfielders (Abel Aguilar, André Santos, who played more minutes than throughout the entire season, and Alex Bergantiños) multiplied to help in the burned areas and cover their misplaced fellows. A well-armed Depor at the back. Even Evaldo was dressed as Baltasar  to offer 89 minutes and a half of peace to the suffering fans.

Regarding names, the only substantial change introduced by Paciência was the entry of André Santos for Valerón. On the board there was also news. The traditional 4-2-3-1 of Oltra gave way to a 4-5-1 without the ball, and in some situations it turned into a 4-3-3 when Depor were having the leather. But the most important change was the spirit. Depor went out of the changing room convinced to build the house by the foundation, willing to clinch a clean sheet.

Depor could and deserved to claim the lead in the first half. Bruno Gama wasted three opportunities, Pizzi crashed a free kick into the post, and Riki insisted with his gear, the second line joined with danger and tried from long distance... but either the lack of aim or the saves of Caballero were the reasons why the Riazor didn’t celebrate the goal before the break. In front, Malaga, a mature team with the hand of gentleman Pellegrini, they demonstrate a good treatment of the ball in the big European stages. This philosophy and the emergence of talented Isco have led them to qualify to the knockout stages of the biggest clubs’ tournament. The Andalusians, surprised by the physical deployment of the opponent in the first act, expected that fatigue was going to pass the bill. They weren’t misguided. But just when Depor was beginning to turn down, Jesus Gamez failed so miserably. Pizzi picked up the gift, he confronted Demichelis, the last defender, cut him twice and let out a whip with his left foot that ended at the back of the net.

The second half of Depor was less intense, but neither Aranzubia had much work to do. Los Blanquiazules only suffered in the last quarter of an hour, but the discipline and good defensive positioning paid off and the three points stayed in A Coruña. Fran Balado.

La Opinión A Coruña: During the presentation he made it clear that he would not be sitting on the bench if things have gone better before, so it was necessary to impose changes to modify the path . With those credentials Domingos Paciência was presenting himself for the game against Malaga , match where he practically turned in the team, almost like a sock.

From the beginning it was clear that Deportivo is another team, with a completely different draw and yet it was very present during the highlights of the previous stage. And it’s that for Los Blanquiazules, due to the characteristics of some players, they’re more focused in doing more to summon vertigo rather than to arm themselves from the possession of the ball.

The new coach gives more value to make the most of the few moments when the team has the ball rather that to try to keep it safe, a clear sign of this was the fact that he dispensed the two main players in the squad. Valerón and Juan Dominguez, he was back in the list, but remained on the bench, and instead placed André Santos, unseen with Oltra. A different type of player, his position between the two midfielders was a formula to populate midfield, reducing the distance between the lines and giving flight to the attacking players.

It was with rapid transitions the way in which Deportivo found a way to do more harm to a Malaga as parsimonious as lazy with the ball. The intention was translated into opportunities and two steals that gave chances to a team that didn’t practice an exquisite football. These are the new weapons for extreme survival scenario, both sporting and institutional, in which the team is located and yet allowed them to pounce on Malaga at times.

If with the tie the risks were minimal, with the advantage on the scoresheet they were reduced beyond the possible. Depor hardly suffered, partly because the rival never found the seams of this Deportivo and partly because Málaga never got into the game, even with the entry in the field of Saviola and Buonanotte, skilled forwards that often select their victims among players like Evaldo, however he experienced his particular resurrection in form of a solvent side defender. Neither the two Argentines helped when Deportivo were no longer having the possession and as the rival spent the time strengthening to what turned to be a complete facelift, a way to start down the path away from the relegation zone. All with patience. Marcos Otero.

Marca: New Year, New Depor. Two months later, Deportivo La Coruña won a game again. The debut of Domingos Paciência couldn’t be better. The Galician team beat Malaga thanks to a goal from Pizzi and also gave symptoms of a major improvement in their game. Pellegrini’s team did little to take the three points against a well-armed defense.

Remains to be seen if this is a flower of a day, but the true is that Deportivo offered a very different picture from the one witnessed in previous games on this season. With Paciência in command the Galicians built the game from behind. The Portuguese coach had already warned that the priority was to keep a clean sheet and it was showed in the approach. Valerón on the bench, a sort of trivote at midfield and Aranzubia back at the starting team.

It seems that Deportivo’s problems at the back can be solved, sort or less, but still the team is leaving a negative impression in attack. Not because of the number of scoring opportunities, but by the absence of a striker with guarantees. It’s about to be seen if Nelson Oliveira offer his best version in A Coruña, but it seems clear that Riki cannot turn the team's offensive weight on his back. Given this gap, it was Pizzi who signed the goal taking advantage of an error by  Gámez.

The fact is that Deportivo was better than a harmless Malaga. Pellegrini’s men had problems in order to create opportunities. A lot of it had to do with the work of the Galicians, but also with the game of the Andalusians. The few opportunities of Malaga came mostly from Depor’s gifts. Joaquin had the best opportunity for the visitors, but wasn’t able to beat Aranzubia in a one-on-one action. Ramiro Aldunate

El País: Deportivo covers itself and succeeded. Deportivo saw the light, the one of the permanence, a prerequisite to ensure the viability of a club overwhelmed by the debt, about to enter into the bankruptcy law, and also with the sporting rope around their neck. If there is a way to achieve that goal it was shown at the Riazor against a Malaga that never felt comfortable, always topped, a team that ended with its entire arsenal on the field, but barely found cracks toward the goal. There was no trail this time of the team that has excelled in the Champions League.

Deportivo are a team from the bottom of the table; actually it was the bottom club when the day started. It isn’t the dominator, their players aren’t better than most of the rivals, or at least not so superior as to handle the ball possession and to be strong through it. The vaunted style of Oltra was proclaiming the message of ‘I want but can’t’, an invitation to the opponent, who always brought superiorities in finding a team prone to breaking up. The dismissed coach guided his last speeches to explain to their boys the need to regroup.

Domingos Paciência has convinced them after working in five training sessions: aids, coverage and the movement of the ball. So Deportivo passed from been an open team to an uncomfortable side for the opponent. Gathered to await the mistake of Málaga in the movement of the ball and from there it looked out for the flanks. Juan L. Cudeiro

Diario Sur: Malaga disguised as the bottom club at the Riazor. It usually happens in football that need is a decisive factor. Unless quality marks the difference. Clearly the hungrier Deportivo went out for the game against a Malaga with some mattress in their quest to finish in the top four and with a good balance of points. And the Andalusians dressed up at the Riazor as they were the last place. Even as Magic Kings.

Like it or not Malaga were faithful to the performances away from home, but this time without the insulting effectiveness of other occasions. With a fake ball control and without showing deeper than the rival, side beset by emergencies and over excited for the change of coach it turned to be a more vertical team and the one that created more opportunities. Domingos Paciência repeated the formula that gave so much success at Sporting de Braga (Europa League finalists with a team without stars): with three defensive midfielders, with Andre Santos ahead, and granted some freedom to Pizzi and Bruno Gama, very participative in the game. Everything was passing through a good retreat without the ball and intense pressure.

The system of Deportivo choked Málaga, a team that wasn’t  incisive and with the only novelty of Santa Cruz in attack, perhaps as a reward for his two goals against Real Madrid in the previous matchday. Clearly, the Paraguayan isn’t as involved as Saviola. So, Deportivo tested Caballero again and again.

Buonanotte entered and it was the best news for Malaga. The Argentine, who’s rumoured to go out in January, was  the most blatant and vertical player. His actions gave life to the team. Definitely Málaga didn’t deserve more. It happens that it never won in La Coruña, and not only that, but it only has added a single draw and many defeats with its current name. That bad luck and the triumphs of Betis (side tied in points), Levante and Valencia mean bad news to start the year. Pedro Luis Alonso



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