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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 0 – ATLÉTICO 0 (LIGA)

05 May 2013
Flat game with only three shots on target and another one that hit the woodwork; solid work at defense, but the match will be remembered for the polemic actions in which Ayza Gámez didn’t whistle a penalty in favour of the Galicians.

BEFORE THE GAME
Coach Fernando Vázquez kept the 4-2-3-1 figure for the game, but there was a novelty as Ze Castro was joining Aythami Artiles at the centre of the defense, leaving Kaká sat on the bench. The rest of the defense was the expected one, with Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo performing at the right side and Ayoze on the left.

Midfield was territory for the Galician duo composed by Álex Bergantiños and Juan Dominguez, Bruno Gama attacked from the right wing, Javier Camuñas did it from the left, Juan Carlos Valerón was the playmaker and Riki the central attacker.

At Atlético Madrid, coach Diego Simeone presented the expected starting eleven, with Colombian Radamel Falcao as the main threat in attack; ex-Depor duo Adrián López and Filipe Luis were also starters in the game. The match was declared as the day for the peñas at Deportivo. There were shows and food before the kick-off for the peña members attending to the Riazor. It was a real party for everyone.

 FIRST HALF
Tense game at the Riazor; both teams seemed crippled by their own ghosts. Depor had a solid performance at defense annulling Falcao, but the casualties of Pizzi and Abel Aguilar rested punch in attack and the offensive offer was reduced to three shots on target without any venom –two from Ayoze and one from Riki- Atlético Madrid left the impression of been closer to the goal, but the point is that they never completed a shot on target in the whole meeting; the Madrilenians looked apathetic, with Falcao far from the area.

Depor were putting pressure since the first minute, but it was Atlético Madrid the side that had the first approximations.  Both with Cebolla Rodriguez as the protagonist, in the first he couldn’t resolve a one-on-one action before Aranzubia (3’), in the resulting corner-kick he missed the target from the edge of the area (4’). Those were his only interventions in the match.

The Galicians responded making the first shot on target in the game; Juan Dominguez assisted Riki, but his attempt from outside the area was too easy for Courtois (6’). The game followed the path predicted by Fernando Vázquez: the visiting team was feeling better releasing counterattacks, while the home outfit was trying to have the ball possession.

At minute 11, Falcao collected a pass from Adrián when he was inside the area, but his final attempt was deflected by Ayoze and then stopped by Aranzubia. At minute 15, AyozeCourtois. The same action was repeated five minutes later and the outcome was the same. There were no more shots on target in the rest of the match, a clear demonstration of the lack of punch at both sides.

Depor’s team looked solid as a rock, committing errors, but the important thing is that the mistakes were always fixed. The problem for them is that they missed the spark of Pizzi. Camuñas was a hard worker and was constantly exchanging the position with Bruno Gama, but it was never a factor. Instead, the game of the Blanquiazul outfit was pending of Valerón. The Canarian was very clever in the output of the ball, making simple movements, but enough to break the pressure of the rivals.

The Madrilenians had their next chance to score at minute 28, a precise cross left Godín alone at the box, but he missed the ball; the rebound went into the path of Mario Suárez, but his final attempt was brilliantly blocked by Ze Castro. The polemic play of the half came at minute 33 after Miranda fouled Bruno Gama inside the area, but referee Ayza Gamez didn’t want to make the call. It seemed a clear penalty.

Falcao was well marked and his first appearance in the half occurred at minute 38, it was a soft attempt from the edge of the area that went over the crossbar, two minutes later he collected a low cross of Adrián, but couldn’t release a proper header and the ball went wide. It was exactly that Fernando Vázquez asked the day before: to watch the Colombian star isolated at midfield. It’s one of the keys to explain the 0-0.

SECOND HALF
There was a lot of stake and it was demonstrated in the game as both teams were too cautious; there were no shots on target in this half, only an attempt of Gabi that hit the woodwork. But there were two polemic plays in the end with a disallowed goal to Atletico and another penalty that wasn’t whistled and that was favourable to Deportivo.

Nothing important occurred within the first 35 minutes of the half; Valerón was tired and the sacrifice of Bruno Gama didn’t brought any opportunity for the Galicians; meanwhile Falcao remained drowned at midfield and without clear opportunities. The game even turned boring by the middle of the second part.

At minute 49, a combination between Cebolla Rodriguez and Falcao left the Colombian alone at the left corner of the area, but he missed the target as there was no enough room to release a better shot.  One minute later Aythami missed the target with his header after a free-kick coming from the left.

Nothing was happening in the second half; both sides were looking confident at defense, but it was different in attack as there was no depth. Curiously, Ayoze was the most active player in attack; he completed two of the three shots on target in the game, and had a new chance at minute 58, but the ball went wide. At minute 62, Bruno Gama had a direct free-kick attempt, but his shot hit the wall and went over the crossbar.

The game was becoming boring and it was then that Simeone sent Arda Turan into the pitch replacing Cebolla Rodriguez, who only showed up for the first two plays in the game. The Turkish didn’t change the match, though he generated the play that ended in the disallowed goal for Atlético. Vazquez only had Nélson Oliveira as an offensive resource on the bench, but the first change was the entry of Evaldo Fabiano replacing an exhausted Camuñas; the Brazilian performed as an improvised left winger.

Oliveira entered for the final fourteen minutes replacing Riki. The Portuguese didn’t have any chance to score, though he tried to ran and help the team. More important was the contribution of Evaldo, the unexpected left winger that brought some danger on his side.

The excitement was left for the final ten minutes in the match; first Gabi released an impressive shot from the left wing that hit the crossbar (80’), eight minutes later Arda Turan released an accurate cross from the left after a corner-kick, Miranda touched the ball inside the area and it ended at the back of the net, but Godín was in the path of the ball and he was offside, so the goal was disallowed. Fair call.

And Depor could have won the game in the last play; a counterattack led by Evaldo ended with the Brazilian firing from inside the area, the ball hit the arm of Juanfran and then his face and went out. Depor’s players protested the penalty, but once again referee Ayza Gamez didn’t have the courage to whistle it, so the game ended scoreless. André Santos entered for the final four minutes replacing Valerón. He touched the ball twice, but without any impact in the game.

AFTER THE GAME
Solid performance of the defense, though flat game in attack, which is understandable due to the casualties hitting the team. But all the comments are related with the decision of Ayza Gamez of not whistling two clear penalties in favour of the Galicians, one of those actions took place in the last play of the match. Atlético never completed a shot on target, though they hit the crossbar in one opportunity.

Depor extend the unbeaten streak to seven games, but the point can be too little if the direct rivals win their games today (Real Zaragoza and RCD Mallorca). Four games are remaining in the schedule, the next one is the visit to the José Zorilla in order to face Real Valladolid (Saturday, 18h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Ze Castro, Aythami, Ayoze – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón (André Santos 86’), Camuñas (Evaldo 72’) – Riki (Oliveira 76’)
Atlético: (4-2-3-1) Courtois – Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe –Mario Suárez, Gabi - Cebolla Rodríguez (Arda Turan 65’), Raúl García (Óliver 72’), Adrián (Saul Ñíguez 79’) - Falcao
Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gamez. He showed yellow card to Godín (42’) and Bruno Gama (88’).
Venue: Riazor (32,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (43% - 57%); Attempts to score (7 – 6); Total shots (10 - 9); Shots on target (3 - 0); Saves by the keepers (0 - 3); Corner-kicks (5 - 10); Offsides (0 - 5); Fouls committed (12 - 12); Passing accuracy (80.12% - 80.36%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS MAY/13

ZAPPING

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