Squad news


10 Feb 2013
A dead Deportivo received the hardest punishment as it was unable to do something, just when the fans were wishing for a reaction. Neither Granada deserved the big score, but the Galicians only completed one shot on target.

In the end Manuel Pablo was the starting right-back in the game; the rest was the expected 4-2-3-1 draw. Aranzubia was defending the goal, Manuel Pablo played at the right. Evaldo performed on the left side and the centre-backs were Marchena and Ze Castro. This was the game No. 20 for Aranzubia on this season, which means an automatic renewal for one more year.

Álex Bergantiños and Paulo Assunção were the two centre midfielders, Bruno Gama performed at the right wing, Diogo Salomão attacked from the left-back, Pizzi was the playmaker and Riki was the central attacker. Despite the importance of the game, only 26,000 fans were at the stadium, just another proof of the fans’ disappointment.

At Granada, coach Lucas Alcaraz presented the same squad that defeated Real Madrid on the previous match, so Nigerian Odion Jude Ighalo was the starting attacker leaving Youssef El Arabi on the bench.  New signings Diego Buonanotte and Manuel Agudo, ‘Nolito’ were on the bench.

Horrible first half at the Riazor; Deportivo was ineffective in attack and despite been serious at defense it allowed a goal at the last minute in a very fortunate play. Everybody was talking of the importance of this game, but the true is that both teams were really cautious. Especially the local side, team that should have been the one attacking. Depor were trying to move the ball with calm, while Granada was waiting at the back zone relying in the counterattack.  At the home team, Pizzi, Salomão and Bruno Gama were constantly exchanging their positions.

The first attempt to score came at minute 9, Álex Bergantiños collected the ball at the edge of the area, but his shot went wide. The visiting side responded with Nolito easily beating Manuel Pablo to end releasing a shot from the right corner of the area that missed the target (11’).

With the passage of the minutes the game didn’t grow up in intensity; Deportivo were trying to have the initiative and had the ball possession, but the Galician were looking too slow; neither Salomão nor Pizzi were precise with their passes and crosses, only the moves of Riki crated problems to Toño. Granada, meanwhile, were still waiting for a clear opportunity in a counterattack.

And that chance arrived at minute 23, Assunção missed with his pass to Aranzubia, it was too short and the keeper cleared the ball with the foot before the pressure of Aranda, his clearance went into the path of Ighalo and the Nigerian attacker tried to score from 30 meters, but he missed the target.

At minute 31, Pizzi had a chance to score with a direct free-kick, the Portuguese hit the ball with his attempt, but in the next play Marchena got the ball at the left side of the area with visiting goalie Toño outside of his position, but the chipping attempt of the ex-Valencia defender went over the crossbar.

Four minutes later, Deportivo committed a new error at defense as neither Assunção nor Ze Castro could clear the ball, so they assisted Aranzubia and his clearance was so bad that the action ended with Ighalo firing from the right corner of the area, but his crossed attempt missed the goal. The Galicians were looking serious at defense, and only these punctual mismatches brought a sense of concern among the fans.

It was a boring first half that changed within the last five minutes; and it’s that both sides had their best chances in this frame of the game. First Riki made a solo-play inside the area, but his drilling and crossed shot from the left corner of the box missed the far post by inches (43’).

And Granada were going to score the first goal in the game at the last minute; Nyom made an exhaustive run on the right side beating anything on his way, his cross hit Ze Castro, but Ighalo got the loose ball and his high cross went into the path of Nolito, who headed the ball at the far post; his attempts hit the crossbar and later the left post, then the ball went into the path of Marchena, who couldn’t avoid the final push into Depor’s goal.

Fate was playing another cruel chapter against Depor; once again the Galicians missed a clear chance to score, only to allow a goal two minutes later. Still, the performance of the Blanquiazul outfit was too thick and grey to deserve more.

No reaction in the second part; actually things were worse and Depor fell down allowing other two goals. The team was dead since the first goal and neither the entry of Valerón nor the switch in the draw helped out. The fans lost the patience and there was huge protest towards the players and the president.

Domingos ordered the first substitution and Nélson Oliveira replaced a disappeared Bruno Gama; with the move the Galician side switched the draw into a 4-4-2. But it was ineffective as Oliveira was too slow to cause any harm. Deportivo looked like a soulless team, crippled to do anything to tie the game.

At minute 47, Pizzi found the ball inside the area after a rebound inside the area, but his ugly attempt went wide. And if the first goal was a cold hit as it came at the last minute of the first part the second  was the last nail in the coffin as it came just six minutes after the pause.

This time the goal came after an error of Manuel Pablo, who instead of clearing the ball ended assisting Nolito, who drilled the ball into the path of Siqueira; then the side defender easily surpassed Assunção and his perfect drilled cross went into the path of Ighalo; the Nigerian attacker beat Aranzubia from close range.

Riazor reacted with a huge protest towards the players, ”You don’t deserve these fans” was heard at the stands while the exit of president Augusto César Lendoiro was also requested by the public. Meanwhile, there was no reaction on the pitch; Deportivo continued to be an indolent team, a ghost without direction and only the efforts of Riki were creating problems to Toño, one if his attempts ended in a disallowed goal due to an offside (56’).

A desperate Domingos Paciência sent Valerón to replace Salomão; the Portuguese winger tried to do the right things, but he always looked too hurried and missed in all his crosses, reason why he never found a receiver. The entry of Valerón brought guidance to the team, but the point is that Deportivo were still without making a shot on target.

And it’s that Depor’s first –an only- shot on goal came until minute 71, it was an attempt of Pizzi from the edge of the area, the ball hit the ground first and was later stopped by Toño. The last substitution was the entry of Juan Dominguez for Álex. More passing skills, but with the same result.

The last chance of Deportivo came at minute 81, Pizzi through a corner-kick from the left and the header of Valerón missed the far post by inches. Granada were closer to score the third goal within the final five minutes, first the long-range attempt of Ighalo was barely deflected by Aranzubia (87’) and the third goal finally came in a doubtful penalty in which Ighalo felt before the pressure of Manuel Pablo.

The Canarian defender wasn’t sent off for the foul, but for the protest –he call the referee “a donkey” according to the act-. In this way Deportivo suffered an expulsion in three straight Primera matches for the first time in their rich history. Siqueira didn’t hesitate and scored the goal from the penalty spot. The goal just raised the anger at the Riazor as the public remaining in the stadium offered a huge protest towards the players and Lendoiro.

Perhaps Granada got too much in a game where the Andalusians didn’t do the much, but the point is that Deportivo were the side more hurried for the three points and basically did nothing to win the game, only a shot on target that came when the score was already 0-2. The fans were so upset that there were fights and aggression attempts outside the stadium, the police arrive and avoided further problems.

It is another hard hit for Deportivo; other direct rivals such as RC Celta, Osasuna and RCD Mallorca didn’t win, but the point is that the Galicians are now six points from the safety and without giving any hope for the reaction. Coach Domingos Paciência even said after the game that he’s ready to leave if the club wants it. In the end he's staying, but only after talking with the president. The players had to leave the stadium in a bus. In the middle of the chaos the next game is the visit to Sevilla CF (Friday, 21h30 CET).

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Marchena, Ze Castro, Evaldo – Álex Bergantiños (Juan Domínguez 78’), Assunção – Bruno Gama (Oliveira 46’), Pizzi, Salomão (Valerón 63’) – Riki.
Granada: (4-2-3-1) Toño – Nyom (Juanma Ortiz 52’), Ínigo López, Mainz, Siqueira,  - Mikel Rico, Recio - Torje, Aranda (Bounanotte 69’), Nolito (Iriney 81’) -  Ighalo
Goals: 0-1: (45’) Marchena (o.g.), 0-2: (51’) Ighalo, 0-3: (90+4’) Siqueira (penalty)
Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gamez. He showed yellow card to Ze Castro (15’), Mainz (30’), Oliveira (54’), Mikel Rico (55’), Marchena (87’) and Siqueira (84’). Manuel Pablo was sent off (90+3’)
Venue: 22h00 (26,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (56% - 44%); Attempts to score (4 – 7); Total shots (15 - 15); Shots on target (1 - 2); Saves by the keepers (2 - 1); Corner-kicks (5 - 5); Offsides (4 - 5); Fouls committed (9 - 13); Passing accuracy (78.66% - 71.68%)



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