Squad news

REVIEW: LEVANTE 0 – DEPORTIVO 4 (LIGA)

14 Apr 2013
Massive win for Depor, the biggest one in nine years playing on the road and at Primera División. The Galician outfit was a perfect mechanism that knew when to strike before a soulless Levante that never had a clear idea of how to face the meeting.

BEFORE THE GAME
Fernando Vázquez, who was at the stands serving the first of his two matches of suspension, was only making one modification to the team that clinched three straight victories; Riki was out for precatory measures and his place at the centre of the attack was for Nélson Oliveira. Aranzubia defended the goal, Manuel Pablo performed at the right side of the defense, Sílvio covered the left side, while the central positions were for Aythami and Marchena

The two pivotes in the formation were Juan Dominguez and Abel Aguilar, the right wing was territory for Portuguese Bruno Gama, his compatriot Pizzi attacked from the left wing; finally Juan Carlos Valerón was the playmaker.

At Levante, coach Juan Ignacio Martínez presented the expected 4-2-3-1 formation; the only novelty was the presence of Rubén García performing as the link between midfield and attack claiming the spot of ex-Depor Michel. Italian Robert Acquafresca was the chosen striker at the starting eleven. Around 200 Depor’s fans from four peñas were at the stadium supporting the team.

FIRST HALF
The dreamed first half of Deportivo; Levante was a broken team that gave some problems with their long throws, but they were so soft at defense that the Blanquiazul outfit had already scored three times before the 30-minute mark. Accuracy and punch, the keys to explain the result by half-time.

The script of the game was pretty clear since the first minutes: Levante were relying in the long throws, while Depor were trying to keep the ball over the grass. Both tactics were effective as the long passes of the local were giving some problems to the visitors, while the game of the Galicians earned them the ball possession.  The first shot in the game was for Nélson Oliveira, but it went wide (4’).

Still, things were peaceful until a combinative play ended with the first goal in the game. It was possible thanks to the Canarian connection Manuel Pablo-Valerón. The play began with Bruno Gama, who made a short pass to Manuel Pablo and the side defender released a low cross that El Flaco found at the penalty spot to score at will. It’s his first goal on this league season.

The Valencians tried to react and had a couple of approximations, though without been able to complete a shot on target. Depor were also looking dangerous too. At minute 15, Marchena attempted from the edge of the area, but his shot turned into a volley that was caught by ex-Depor Gustavo Munúa.

And Deportivo were going to reply quickly and using the same favourite weapon of Levante: the counterattack. Juanfran lost the ball at Depor’s area and Bruno Gama started a long run that ended with a an assist to Pizzi at the edge of the area, and the winger was going to score with a perfect and curved shot past Munúa. It’s his 8th goal of the season.

Levante was in shock, so much that Deportivo were close to score the third after a long-range attempt of Nélson Oliveira that was hardly cleared by Munúa (26’). But the Portuguese wasn’t going to waste his next chance. He picked a loose ball at the edge of the area after Pizzi fell down, and the attacker turned off and released an accurate and drilling attempt that went into the near post of Munúa. It’s his third goal in liga and the first since matchday 04.

For the first time in the history Depor were scoring three goals in four straight Primera matchdays, and they continued pushing for more. JIM tried to regain midfield territory and pulled Michel out of the bench, but it didn’t work out, the Galicians were placidly controlling the actions despite the long throws of the locals; actually Ballesteros was close to score an own goal at the end as he headed the ball backwards, the ball went close to the post (44’).

The only bad news for Depor in the first part was Abel Aguilar, who picked a muscle problem and had to be replaced by Álex Bergantiños (42’). The medical report is that the Colombian picked a hamstring injury. More scans will be made during the week.

SECOND HALF
If the first part was an example of aim, the second was a masterpiece in terms of strategy. The Galician outfit suffered a new injury case, but always knew how to play and reserved the strength for the final minutes, time when they scored a fourth goal. Levante were looser, making several attempts, but almost always missing the target.

Deportivo suffered an injury early in the second part; Marchena fell into the ground after an attack of Levante and had to be stretched off. The medical report is that he picked a muscle injury on his right thigh. He was replaced by Ze Castro. Also, Nélson Oliveira was also dragging a muscle injury, but he was able to continue on the pitch.

The visiting team had doubts within the first minutes, but the true is that Levante were lost and didn’t give problems to Depor. The first shot on target for the locals came at minute 51; it was a drilling shot of Rubén García that was stopped by Aranzubia. The curiosity is that Levante completed 23 attempts in the game, their highest on this season, but only five went on target, a powerful stat that demonstrates the terrible evening of the whole Valencian team.

At minute 53, Oliveira replied with an attempt that went over the crossbar. Depor were trying to hold on the ball over the grass, while Levante were looking dangerous, but their lack of accuracy and fresh ideas converted the game into an easy walk for Los Blanquiazules. Their crosses were normally ending in passes intercepted by Depor’s defenders or instead in attempts that missed the target. Like the header of substitute Roger that went over the crossbar (60’).

The best chance to score for Levante came at minute 65; it was a long throw that left Roger alone before Aranzubia, but Depor’s goalie made a double save.  The locals continued pushing and claimed the ball possession, but without creating a clear scoring opportunity.

The Galicians were saving energies, but created some danger from time to time, always with Valerón as the leader in attack; a powerful demonstration of class from the Canarian veteran. At minute 69, the visiting team released a dangerous counterattack that ended with a shot of Bruno Gama that was saved by Munúa. Three minutes later Aranzubia made a great save with one hand blocking the attempt of substitute Juanlu after he picked a high cross coming from the right.

At minute 78, Depor released a new dangerous counterattack, Valerón combined with Nélson Oliveira and the Portuguese attacker ended the play with a drilling attempt that was an easy save for Munúa. Then Salomão replaced Oliveira for the final ten minutes.

The impulse of Levante was gone for the final stretch in the game; the Valencians only had a chance to score as Juanlu headed the ball in target after a high cross coming from the right, but it was too easy for Aranzubia (85’). Actually, Depor were closer to score with the counterattacks of Salomão (86’) and Pizzi (89’); in the first the ball missed the target and the second was saved by Munúa.

So, it wasn’t surprising when Deportivo scored a fourth goal in the stoppage time. Again it was a counterattack; Valerón made the assist to Bruno Gama, who entered the area, eluded Ballesteros, and scored the goal with a drilling attempt past Munúa. It’s his fourth goal in liga.

AFTER THE GAME
New step forward of Deportivo ahead of the salvation; the Galicians played a perfect game against a rival that played its worst match of the season. Vázquez’s team always knew how to face the game and scored the goals at the precise moment. The previous Primera game in which Depor scored four or more goals playing away from home: 0-5 at RC Celta (March 1, 2004)

Depor have now picked fourth straight wins in la liga; it will be enough to leave the drop zone if Real Zaragoza or Granada CF fail in their Sunday’s matches. On next Sunday, the Galicians return to the Riazor in order to host Athletic Bilbao (17h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Levante: (4-2-3-1) Munúa – Lell, Ballesteros, Navarro, Juanfran – Iborra, Diop (Michel 31’) – Pedro Ríos, Rubén Garcia (Roger 56’), Barkero (Juanlu 70’) – Acqufresca
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Marchena (Ze Castro 49’), Aythami, Sílvio – Abel Aguilar (Álex Bergantiños 41’), Juan Domínguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Pizzi – Oliveira (Salomão 79’).
Goals: 0-1: (12’) Valerón, 0-2: (20’) Pizzi, 0-3: (28’) Oliveira, 0-4: (90+1’) Bruno Gama
Referee: Xavier Estrada Fernández. He showed yellow card to Juanfran (33’), Bruno Gama (62’) and Iborra (88’)
Venue: Ciutat de Levante (13,571)
Other statistics: Ball possession (48% - 52%); Attempts to score (5 – 9); Total shots (23 - 18); Shots on target (5 - 9); Saves by the keepers (5 - 5); Corner-kicks (7 - 5); Offsides (2 - 2); Fouls committed (11 - 4); Passing accuracy (80.24% - 82.64%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS APRIL/13

ZAPPING

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