Squad news


24 Feb 2013
Cruelty at the Riazor; an excellent first half in which Deportivo only missed to score more goals was wasted in the second part; the worst thing is that Real Madrid didn’t do the merits to deserve the win. Depor remain at the bottom.

As it was expected Juan Carlos Valerón was a starter in the game, while Brazilian Paulo Assunçăo was the chosen one in order to play at midfield. Also, Ze Castro was still dragging muscle problems, so Kaká had to play at the centre of the defense leaving Fernando Vázquez without defenders on the bench.

Aranzubia defended the goal, Sílvio performed at the right side of the defense, Ayoze covered the left spot, while Marchena was the partner of Kaká at the centre. Abel Aguilar joined Assunçăo at midfield, Bruno Gama attacked from the right wing, Pizzi did it from the left, Valerón was the playmaker and Riki was the central attacker.

At Real Madrid there were some novelties; the biggest one was that Cristiano Ronaldo was a substitute for the first time on this season and for the first time in almost a year and a half, so Ángel Di Maria and José Callejón covered the wings, while Gonzalo Higuaín was the central attacker. Also, Varane was dragging a muscle problem, therefore Ricardo Carvalho joined Pepe at the centre of the defense. The Riazor wasn’t full for the game as only 28,000 spectators were at the stadium.

Impressive first half of Deportivo, solidary at defense and perhaps a little shy in attack, though this last problem was corrected in the final minutes. Riki scored his tenth goal in liga and the home side wasted several opportunities to clinch a bigger score, something they will end paying in the second part.

Deportivo began putting a lot of pressure at midfield; as a result there were two scoring opportunities within the first five minutes. In the first Abel Aguilar attempted from long-range after a pass of Valerón, but it was stopped by Diego López (3’), then El Flaco appeared again to assist Riki on the left wing and the Madrilenian released a powerful shot that Madrid’s keeper couldn’t contain, luckily for the visitors Pepe cleared the danger (5’).

Real Madrid were having the ball possession, but the true is that Deportivo were the side looking more dangerous, mainly with the moves of Riki and the penetrations by the side defended by Arbeloa. The visiting team was looking cautious and waiting to have a change with their dangerous players in attack, but this never happened, at least in the first half.

The first goal attempt for the Madrilenians came at minute 15; Di Maria had a free-kick attempt that was deflected by Aranzubia.  After this opportunity both teams were exchanging the ball possession; the Madrilenians seemed calmed and not willing to play, while Depor were having the initiative, but looking too shy in attack.

To mention that Sílvio wasn’t fine after a collision with Aranzubia, action that took place at minute 7; Álex Bergantińos was warming up and replace him almost twenty minutes later. The report of the club is that the Portuguese defender was feeling dizzy. The Galician midfielder claimed the spot at the right, curiously he had the aids of Valerón, immense throughout the clash -he completed 10 recoveries in the game, he's the second offensive player that reaches this mark on this season after Bruno Gama made 11 in the clash against Malaga CF- 

There was a big change for the final fifteen minutes, Real Madrid continued to be an apathetic team, but Deportivo were more incisive, despite the inaccuracies with the passes they were looking more dangerous. In this sense Pizzi was close to score at minute 32 with a curved shot that just missed the far post of Diego López by inches.

And then Deportivo reached the deserved lead; Pizzi made a quick pass to Riki, who entered into the area by the left corner to end unleashing a powerful shot; Diego López could have cleared the danger, but instead of pushing the ball out it ended going in. It’s the tenth goal on the season for the Madrilenian, so he’s the first player that scores ten or more goals for Depor playing at Primera since Diego Tristán (11, 2006/07).

The goal didn’t awoke Real Madrid, though the visitors had a couple of opportunities, mainly a wide attempt of Kaká from close range (38’) and a one-on-one action for Callejón that was blocked by Aranzubia (45+1’). Still, if there was a side that deserved to score it was Deportivo.

And it’s that the Galician had three clear chances to reach half-time with a bigger score; first a great solo-play of Pizzi in which he eluded Carvalho, against he attempted a curved shot and the ball was going in, but Marcelo cleared the danger a the goal line (39’); then Riki made a solo-play at the left, but his crossed shot missed the target by inches (41’). Finally, a quick counterattack that ended with a powerful shot of Bruno Gama, and this time Diego López made a big save (45’)

Cruel end for Deportivo; the Galician side suffered two unexpected casualties at defense and ended allowing two goals within the last seventeen minutes to end suffering a new defeat in liga. Truly the Madrilenians were the clear owners of the half, but neither deserved the victory.

The second part was more moved, at least within the first twenty minutes. The Madrilenians had two chances within the first four minutes; the clearest one a shot of Higuaín from close range that went over the crossbar (47’). Deportivo were trying to use the same dose: covering all the gaps at defense and then trying to unleash fast counterattacks, mainly by the sides, but as it happened at the beginning of the first half they missed more depth.

At minute 50, a long and collective play of Madrid ended with Kaka releasing a cross that was headed wide by Callejón. It gave the sense that Madrid was going to present a different picture, less apathetic and more offensive. Still, they lasted to score the goals and it didn’t left the feeling that they deserved the victory.

Mourinho changed the entire picture as he made three substitutions; Ozil, Khedira and Cristiano Ronaldo replaced Essien, Marcelo and Modrić. To make things worse, Kaká sustained an injury –hamstring- and Fernando Vázquez had to improvise again putting Jesús Vázquez at the centre of the defense. So, Depor played the last half an hour with two midfielders playing as improvised defenders, a weight that was too big.

And the visiting side got the deserved draw in a great effort of Kaká, the Brazilian picked a pass from Di Maria and his accurate shot beat Aranzubia at his near post. Immediately, Fernando Vázquez refreshed the attack with the entry of Nélson Oliveira for Riki. And one more time the Portuguese was a ghost on the pitch, losing the ball three times and never having a chance to score.

The side having the best chances was Real Madrid, at minute 78, Ronaldo was close to score with a crossed shot from the left corner of the box, but Aranzubia made a big save clearing the danger to corner-kick. In the next play the Portuguese star headed the ball wide. Referee Álvarez Izquierdo also claimed a protagonic role in the game with his polemic decisions, mainly three questionable offside calls against Deportivo.

And Real Madrid was going to score the winning goal three minutes before the final whistle; Kaká made a great play on the left and drilled a perfect pass that Ronaldo, who slightly deflected it to the far post, with this move Aranzubia got lost in the way and Higuaín arrived on time to just push the ball in from close range.

Deportivo were already exhausted and wasn’t able to do anything else, this despite Real Madrid were reduced to ten men after a weird expulsion of Di Maria, who was saw two yellow cards in a matter of seconds due to technical fouls.

New wasted opportunity. The direct rivals still losing, but Depor too. The Galicians, as it happened before Valencia, had the advantage by half-time after completing a great first part, but the entry of Madrid’s starters, the wasted goals in the first part, plus the casualties at defense locked the team at the back and Fernando Vázquez’s men ended paying the price with the late goal of the Madrilenians.

Deportivo remain at the bottom of the standings, hoping to see CA Osasuna and RC Celta dropping points to not increase the difference with salvation. On next Saturday there’s a new game at the Riazor, it’s the visit of Rayo Vallecano (18h00 CET).

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Sílvio (Álex Bergantińos 25’), Marchena, Kaká (Jesús Vázquez 57’), Ayoze – Abel Aguilar, Assunçăo – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Pizzi – Riki (Oliveira 74’).
Real Madrid: (4-2-3-1) Diego López – Arbeloa, Pepe, Carvalho, Marcelo (Ozil 57’) – Essien (Khedira 57’), Modrić (Cristiano Ronaldo 57’) – Di Maria, Kaká, Callejón – Higuaín .
Goals: 1-0: (35’) Riki, 1-1: (72’) Kaká, 1-2: (87’) Higuaín
Referee: Alfons Xavier Álvarez Izquierdo. He showed yellow card to Carvalho (16’), Pizzi (39’), Marcelo (53’), Abel Aguilar (62’), Callejón (65’) and Ayoze (71’). Di Maria was sent off (89’)
Venue: Riazor (28,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (39% - 61%); Attempts to score (14 – 14); Total shots (15 - 17); Shots on target (5 - 8); Saves by the keepers (6 - 3); Corner-kicks  (3 - 5); Offsides (5 - 7); Fouls committed (11 - 13); Passing accuracy (74.86% - 85.19%)




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