Competition news

REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 2 – ESPANYOL 0 (LIGA)

20 May 2013
Vital victory for Deportivo in the quest for the permanence; it was an entertaining game, with ups and downs and, at the same time, with only a few clear opportunities. The Galicians just seized two of their four main chances.

BEFORE THE GAME
Coach Fernando Vázquez presented the expected 4-2-3-1 squad, with the novelty that Abel Aguilar was returning after missing the last two games. Dani Aranzubia completed his match number 300 at Primera as he covered the goal. Manuel Pablo was the right-back defender, Sílvio performed at the left, while the centre-backs were Aythami and Ze Castro.

Juan Dominguez joined Abel Aguilar at midfield, Bruno Gama attacked from the right wing, Pizzi did it from the left, Juan Carlos Valerón was the playmaker and Riki the central attacker.

At RCD Espanyol, coach Javier Aguirre presented a couple of novelties in his 4-2-3-1 scheme, the first one was that Uruguayan Christian Stuani was a starter despite he wasn’t totally fit to play, the other was that Cristian Álvarez was the starting goalie claiming the spot of Casilla. Ex-Depor’s players, Joan Verdú and Diego Colotto, were starters in the match. Wakaso and Sergio García were the other references up front.

FIRST HALF
It was a final, but Deportivo didn’t play like being in a final. The team pushed and had the ball possession, but they missed depth and aim, reason why they only completed one shot on target in the game. More was expected from the Galicians, perhaps it were the nerves, or perhaps they were too cautious. Espanyol was also soft in attack, dangerous in the counterattack, but their only clear chance was a header of Stuani that hit the woodwork.

Deportivo were forced to search for the victory, but it was Espanyol the side that looked more dangerous within the first ten minutes. At minute 3, Sergio Garcia released a cross from the left, just into the path of Stuani, who hit the crossbar with his header and the loose ball was found by Verdú, who missed the target from close range.

But the locals regained the control of the actions and claimed the ball possessions, though it was hard for them to create scoring opportunities: The first approximation for the Galicians was for Riki, who entered the area to drill the ball into the box, but it was cleared by the defense (11’), in the resulting corner-kick Ze Castro attempted an acrobatic shot that missed the target.

The game was entertaining, with Depor and Espanyol attempting to release quick attacks; it was exactly what Fernando Vázquez previewed, because Los Periquitos were locked at the back and were relying in the counterattack, so each time the Galician lost the ball -41 times only in the first half- the local defense had to work hard before the quick moves of Verdú, Stuani and Sergio Garcia. Still, it was a half without too many goal attempts.

The first shot on target in the game came at minute 17, a combination between Riki and Pizzi left the Portuguese winger with the attempt to score from close range, but visiting goalie Cristian Álvarez made the save.

Depor’s next chance came at minute 25, Wakaso fouled Riki at the edge of the area, the same Madrilenian attacker threw the free-kick, which was deflected by the wall, and after four straight corner-kicks, Sílvio ended the harassment sending the ball wide (27’).

It was a tricky game for the Galicians; they urgently needed the points and were trying to attack, but without depth they ended at the mercy of Espanyol’s counterattacks, though neither the Catalans had the needed depth to end their plays with shots on targets. The pace of the game was slower for the final fifteen minutes.

The first shot on goal for the Catalans came until minute 43, Verdú fired from long-range and Aranzubia couldn’t catch the ball, but there was no one to get the loose ball. The half ended with Depor releasing corner-kicks and releasing several crosses, but without aim.

SECOND HALF
Dramatic second part; from the possibly 0-1 the game passed to the 1-0 scenario, and all of this within the first five minutes; Deportivo just capitalized their best chances to claim the victory facing a dangerous, but at the same time flat rival. Excitement, drama and only a few scoring chances; that’s the resume of this clash.

The first two minutes of the second part clearly defined what was expected from this game: A Deportivo assuming a lot of risks in the quest for the goals and an Espanyol finding enough cracks at midfield to release their counterattacks.  And it’s that at minute 46, Pizzi failed to put the ball inside the area during a free-kick action, and the error allowed the visiting team to release a quick counterattack.

Wakaso assisted Sergio García and the striker tried to chip the ball over Aranzubia, the keeper was able to deflect the attempt; still the ball was going in until Sílvio cleared the danger at the goal line. The visiting team protested that the ball was in, but the Portuguese made the clearance at the right moment.

Many people began to suffer, but Depor was going to score the first goal in the next play; Bruno Gama got the ball at the edge of the area after a corner-kick, then eluded two rivals and released a screamer that was impossible for Cristian Álvarez.

The goal changed the script, because now Espanyol were pushing for the equalizer, while Depor was more cautious and relying in the counterattack, in one of these opportunities Riki should have scored the second, but he couldn’t resolve a one-on-one action before Cristian Álvarez. It’s the sixth goal on the season for the winger.

Álex Bergantiños was the first substitution in the game as he replaced Abel Aguilar; the Colombian was important in the game, but already was booked after a discussion with Wakaso and was at the edge of the expulsion after a couple of tackles.

Espanyol were close to score at minute 70, Verdú released a dangerous cross that Aranzubia deflected; Wakaso got the loose ball, but his attempt was blocked by Manuel Pablo. Then Simão entered for Baena, a modification searching for the equalizer. The true is that the visiting outfit didn’t create any danger within the final twenty minutes.

And it’s that Depor did what was necessary to claim the victory, seizing two of their four main opportunities, while Espanyol hit the crossbar and saw how their other big chance was saved at the goal line. That was the difference on this meeting in which the Galicians were playing for their life.

The second modification at Depor was a defensive move as Kaka replaced Valerón; Vázquez was trying to protect the victory putting a third centre-back and at the same time protect El Flaco, who strangely already had a yellow card.

At minute 79; the game lived the same situation of the first play in the second part, but with both sides switching their roles. Verdú threw a dangerous free-kick at the left wing for the visiting outfit, but no one was able to release a shot on target, so Depor released the counterattack that ended with Riki making a curved shot that missed the target.

The final substitution for Depor was the entry of Nélson Oliveira for Riki; the Portuguese was going to be decisive in the game. The true is that Riki didn’t match the expectations on this game, he missed two clear opportunities and didn’t lead the attack as in past opportunities, besides he lost the ball in sixteen opportunities -his worst mark on the season- neither Pizzi was a factor; he missed the target in the major part of his eleven crosses into the area, So, the motor of the team was Bruno Gama, electric and tireless throughtout the game.

There were a lot of nerves within the final fifteen minutes; the public was suffering as Espanyol pushed up front and as Aguirre pulled Simão and Petrov from the bench, but the true is that the Catalan outfit didn’t create too many danger; actually their lonely shot on target in the second part was the shot of Sergio Garcia saved by Sílvio at the goal line.

Depor had the last two opportunities to score in the game; in the first Pizzi hit the wall in a free-kick action, Oliveira got the loose ball and missed the target from the edge of the area (86’). And Nélson was going to score the second goal in the game during the stoppage time; he seized the big error of Víctor Álvarez to got the ball and chip it over Cristian Álvarez.

His goal released the joy at the Riazor, but also anger, because the Portuguese striker celebrated the goal with a gesture trying to shut up the public, many fans were angered and the player was whistled; he didn’t stay for the celebration on the pitch as Depor accomplished the mission of getting the three points.

AFTER THE GAME
Suffered victory in a match where Depor didn’t shine, but the Galicians fulfilled the mission and clinched three vital points in the quest for the salvation. They missed depth and fresh ideas at the beginning, but in the second part they stroke at the precise moment and suffered until the final minute, just when Oliveira scored the second goal.

Deportivo are out of relegation as Real Zaragoza were stunned by Athletic Bilbao at La Romareda (1-2), so the Blanquiazul outfit is more alive than ever before in the quest for the permanence. On next Sunday, Depor visit Malaga CF (La Rosaleda, 20h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Aythami, Ze Castro, Sílvio – Abel Aguilar (Álex Bergantiños 65’), Juan Dominguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón (Kaka 75’), Pizzi – Riki (Oliveira 81’)
Espanyol: (4-2-3-1) Cristian Álvarez – Javi López, Colotto, Raúl Rodríguez, Víctor Álvarez – Baena (Simão 72’), Tejera (Cristian Gómez 58’) - Stuani, Verdú (Petrov 84’), Wakaso – Sergio Garcia.
Goals: 1-0: (49’) Bruno Gama, 2-0: (90+1’) Oliveira
Referee: César Muñiz Fernández. He showed yellow card to Tejera (12’), Manuel Pablo (30’), Abel Aguilar (33’), Baena (41’), Cristian Álvarez (44’), Javi López (55’), Valerón (66’) & Colotto (86’)
Venue: Riazor (29,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (56% - 44%); Attempts to score (6 – 4); Total shots (17 - 7); Shots on target (5 - 2); Saves by the keepers (2 – 3); Corner-kicks (7 - 6); Offsides (3 - 0); Fouls committed (11 - 25); Passing accuracy (81.95% - 75.45%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS MAY/13

ZAPPING

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