Squad news


22 Apr 2013
Suffered point for a Deportivo that was always surpassed by an intense Athletic; the Basques had the ball possession, but barely completed shot on targets. Bruno Gama scored a goal for the third straight matchday.

The surprise at Deportivo’s lineup was the presence of Kaká, the Brazilian was the selected choice in order to replace Marchena at the centre of the defense. The rest was the expected 4-2-3-1 draw; with Dani Aranzubia as the starting goalie, Manuel Pablo performing at the right side of the defense, Sílvio Azevedo playing at the left, while Aythami Artiles was joining Kaká at the centre.

As it was expected, Álex Bergantińos was the man joining Juan Dominguez at midfield, Bruno Gama attacked from the right wing, Pizzi did form the left, Juan Carlos Valerón was the playmaker and Riki was the central attacker.

At Athletic Bilbao, the big surprise was that Fernando Llorente was making his fourth appearance as a starter during this liga campaign, therefore Aritz Aduriz, the top-scorer at the team, was sat on the bench. Another novelty was that Laporte was benched, so the left-back at the starting formation was Jon AurtenetxeMarkel Susaeta and Iker Muniain were the other references in attack.

Suffered game for Deportivo, the Basques were the better team as they gained control over the actions thanks to their pressure over the key players at Depor; the locals claimed the lead, but Athletic got a deserved equalizer before the pause.

The actions started with Deportivo putting pressure in attack; in their first attack the locals earned a corner-kick in which visiting goalie Gorka Iraizoz had problems to clear the danger with his fists. At minute 5, the Basques had their first dangerous attack, a long cross of Susaeta searching for Llorente that was cleared by Sílvio. Depor responded with Pizzi stealing the ball at midfield and his cross into the area was headed by Riki, but he missed the target (6’).

Depor were having big problems to launch their quick attacks, the rivals were marking Juan Dominguez and Valerón, while Bruno Gama was missing several passes, reason why the only attacks for the Galicians were coming with the connection Pizzi-Riki.

Athletic were looking more settled on the field, locked at the back when Depor attacked and finding the cracks at midfield at the moment of releasing the counterattack, mainly with Muniain and Susaeta penetrating by the sides and with Llorente as the most dangerous threat inside the area. At minute 13, the Basques were close to score after Llorente got the ball when he was backwards the goal inside the box; he beat the mark of Aythami and released a shot that went over the crossbar.

At minute 17, Herrera sent a cross into the area after a quick throw-in, again it was looking for Llorente and once again the tall striker sent the ball wide. At this point in the game the visiting team was already the best outfit on the pitch, The Lions had submitted a Depor that had decided to lock themselves at the back and play through counterattacks.

An example of this situation was the play on minute 25, Riki made a solo-play on the right wing that ended with a shot from inside the area that missed the target. The first shot on target in the game came at minute 32, Muniain found the ball inside the area after a cross coming from the left and Aranzubia blocked the attempt with his body, two minutes later Llorente attempted a scissor-kick inside the area that missed the target.

And Depor scored the goal just when it was suffering the most, and it was a beautiful one; Iraola lost the ball at the edge of the area before the pressure of Bruno Gama, who later released an impressive curved shot past Iraizoz. It’s his third straight goal in liga, the last player at Deportivo that had scored in three straight Primera matchdays was Bodipo (2008-09).

Suddenly, Deportivo lived their best moments and Pizzi completed a second shot on goal for the locals after been assisted by Valerón, but his drilling attempt was too easy for Iraizoz. But the visiting team was going to score the deserved equalizer at the last minute, Iraola corrected his previous mistake releasing an accurate cross into the area, Aythami failed in the mark over Fernando Llorente, who easily beat Aranzubia with his specialty: a crossed header. Fair outcome.

The script of the game was the same one for the second part; the Basques dominated and deserved the three points, but they missed the chance to pick up the win due to their inability to make shots on target and for missing their biggest attempt hitting the woodwork. The visiting team played the last ten minutes with ten men and Depor tried to seize the situation, but they didn’t find the way to score a second goal.

The beginning of the second part was equal, with both teams attacking through quick attacks, and as it happened in the first part the Basques earned the ball possession with the passage of the minutes, putting a lot of pressure at both sides of Depor’s defense –mainly on the one defended by Sílvio- and with Llorente as a real headache for Aythami.

The second half was a copy of the first, because Athletic were looking better, but it didn’t transform this superiority into shots on target –only four in the whole match- just endless plays at both sides that brought the sense of constant danger inside of Depor’s area. At minute 60 there was a possible penalty of Aythami over Llorente that wasn’t whistled.

Athletic was the superior side, but they barely attempted to beat Aranzubia with shots from the edge of the area, one of the few came after Muniain attempted after collecting a high cross, but he missed the target (65’).

And the big chance for the Basques in order to win the game came at minute 69, it was a triple chance that saw how three players were left alone before the goal of Aranzubia, incredibly no one was able to put the ball at the back of the net as Llorente hit the post and later Muniain sent the ball wide.

The play pushed Fernando Vázquez to make the first substitution, Paulo Assunçăo replaced Valerón; the move was clear: the Brazilian and Álex Bergantińos were now trying to put mark at midfield and claim the ball possession, with Juan Dominguez as the link to release the counterattack. It didn’t work and the Blanquiazul outfit was still suffering.

At minute 74, Riki had the first goal attempt for the locals in the second part, but his shot from long-range missed the target. The visiting team responded with a new clear chance in which Ander Herrera sent the ball over the crossbar when he was alone at the edge of the area (75’). Then Bielsa made a double substitution as Aduriz and Ibai Gómez replaced Llorente and Muniain.These changes didn’t improve the aim of the visiting team.

The second chance for Depor in the half came at minute 80, again Riki was the finisher , his attempt didn’t meet the target as it was blocked by a defender. Seconds later the visiting team was reduced to ten men as Iturraspe was sent off with two yellow cards after he challenged Bruno Gama during a counterattack for the home team.

That action changed the game for the final ten minutes, because Depor got the initiative and pushed for the winning goal. At minute 82’ Juan Dominguez missed the target from the edge of the area in a corner-kick action, one minute later Bruno Gama released a drilling attempt that was stopped by Iraizoz. Then a weird thing happened as Bielsa replaced Aduriz, who just spent nine minutes on the pitch, and San José entered into the game in order to secure midfield territory. Oliveira replaced Riki for the final three minutes and the Galicians pushed during the stoppage time, but were unable to create a scoring opportunity.

Athletic Bilbao cut the winning streak of Deportivo; the Basques deserved the win, but left the Riazor with only a point after they failed to complete shots on target. It was a grey game of Fernando Vázquez’s team, facing big problems at midfield and missing spark in attack. The best thing was the great goal of Bruno Gama in the first half.

The point is helpful for Deportivo as the Galicians will keep living outside relegation for one more week, now pending in what will happen in the visit of Real Zaragoza to RC Celta. On next Monday, the Galicians are visiting Real Betis (Benito Villamarín stadium, 22h00 CET)

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Kaká, Aythami, Sílvio – Álex Bergantińos, Juan Dominguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón (Assunçăo 71’), Pizzi – Riki (Oliveira 87’).
Athletic: (4-3-3) Iraizoz - Iraola, Gurpegui, Ekiza, Aurtenetxe - Iturraspe, De Marcos, Herrera - Susaeta, Llorente (Aduriz 75’) (San José 88’), Muniain (Ibai Gómez 75’).
Goals: 1-0: (37’) Bruno Gama, 1-1: (44’) Llorente
Referee: Pedro Jesús Pérez Montero. He showed yellow card to Ander Herrera (22’), Susaeta (49’), Riki (59’) and Ekiza (90+1’). Iturraspe was sent off with two yellow cards (31 & 81’)
Venue: Riazor (30,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (42% - 58%); Attempts to score (5 – 10); Total shots (17 - 10); Shots on target (4 - 4); Saves by the keepers (3 - 3); Corner-kicks (3 - 5); Offsides (1 - 2); Fouls committed (11 - 19); Passing accuracy (79.51% - 85.42%)




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