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REVIEW: ALAVÉS 1 – DEPORTIVO 1 (LIGA)

12 May 2014
Déjà vu in Mendizorroza; Depor rescued the result at the last minute after failing to read the game in the previous 80 minutes. Borja Bastón and Toché entered and changed the game; the first scored the equalizer, the second suffered a disallowed goal.

BEFORE THE GAME
In the end Juan Carlos wasn’t a starter, which pulled coach Fernando Vázquez to modify the 4-2-3-1 figure. Luisinho was used as a left winger, which opened a spot for Manuel Pablo at defense as Diego Seoane was switched to the right side.

Lux was the starting keeper, Insua and Lopo were the centre-backs, Juan Dominguez and Álex Bergantiños were the centre midfielders, Sissoko performed on the right wing, Rabello was the playmaker and Ifrán was the central attacker.

At Deportivo Alavés, coach Alberto López presented the expected 4-4-2 formation with the novelty of Guzmán Casaseca playing behind Borja Viguera in attack. Ion Vélez started the game on the bench.

FIRST HALF
A very careful approach by both teams; it seemed that Deportivo and Alavés were more afraid of losing than motivated to win. The locals barely disturbed Lux, while Depor had big problems to complete the plays, tough the Galicians dominated the last ten minutes and could have scored in a couple of opportunities.

Depor had the first opportunity; after 30 seconds the Galicians had a corner-kick on the left and the low cross of Luisinho was sent wide by Insua. The first approximation for the locals was a free-kick in which Depor’s defenders worked hard to clear the danger (3’).

Both sides didn’t want to risk within the first minutes; Alavés were trying to have the ball, but they had big problems to step into the rival’s area, while Depor lacked width at the moment of releasing the counterattack. The first shot on target came at minute 12, it was a header of Manu García after a lateral free-kick that was caught by Lux.

Depor’s problems were related to the usual lack of punch in attack. The connection Rabello-Luisinho wasn’t working, both were locked at the centre of the pitch, so the Galicians were wasting the chance to penetrate by the sides, while Sissoko was well marked. Meanwhile, the Basques were only creating danger in set-pieces. At minute 16, Toti missed the target after collecting the ball in a corner-kick.

With the passage of the minutes Depor started to control the ball possession, it was then that Sissoko began to shine causing many problems to the local defense. His individual moves were a headache for the defenders and he was constantly fouled. The locals committed four fouls at the edge of the area, but the visiting outfit never seized the set-pieces.

Borja Viguera didn’t show up in this half, mainly as his team missed depth in attack. At minute 31, Manu Sánchez collected a loose ball at the edge of the area, but he missed the target. More active was Raul García trying to penetrate by the left, the ex-Depor released a couple of crosses that forced Lux to search for the ball.

Both sides had a conservative approach in the major part of the first half, but Depor pressed within the final ten minutes. At minute 37, a combination between Sissoko and Seoane allowed Juan Dominguez to get the ball at the left corner of the box, but his drilling attempt was saved by local goalie Iván Crespo. Two minutes later Sissoko made a big play and assisted Rabello, but the Chilean couldn’t connect the ball when he was standing before the goal and it was cleared by the defense.

SECOND HALF
Fernando Vázquez didn’t read the game properly; the locals were putting a lot of pressure at midfield and the team never felt comfortable enough to create scoring changes. The early goal of Viguera complicated the things and the team had to wait until the last minute to rescue a tasteless point.

Depor didn’t feel comfortable throughout the second half; Alavés was pressing up front and the visiting outfit had big problems with the output of the ball. Sissoko suffered a knock in the knee and wasn’t the same player of the first part. So the Galicians, instead of stepping into the rival’s area, spent the time trying to find a crack at the local defense and were easily losing the ball, which only made things easier for Alavés.

Then the Basques scored their goal in a weird play; Lux was trying to make a clearance and accidentally the ball hit the back of Seoane and turned into a perfect pass for Borja Viguera, who got the ball at the left wing, entered the area and beat Lux with a crossed shot. It was his first appearance in the game and he turned to be a real threat for Depor, side that never read the game properly.

The script was clear after the goal: the locals were still putting pressure at midfield and playing with an advanced defensive line, while Depor were desperate and having big problems to create scoring opportunities. Vázquez decided to make the first change and Núñez replaced Rabello. The Chilean didn’t have a good game, but neither the winger was a factor.

With 20 minutes remaining, Depor’s ordered a double substitution; Toché and Borja Bastón entered for Sissoko and Ifrán. In this way the team passed to play with a 4-4-2 and this time the changes worked out as both players were going to have an impact in the game.

Depor’s first shot on target in the second half came until minute 76, it was a drilling attempt of Luisinho that was an easy catch for Crespo. Then it came the polemic play on the game. A long clearance from midfield by Álex Bergantiños found Toché alone before Alavés’ keeper and he scored from close range, but the linesman saw an inexistent offside (78’).

The action revealed that, despite the solid tactic of Alavés at midfield territory, it remains as one of the worst defensive lines in the league, mainly at the moment of containing long and drilling passes coming from midfield. Depor risked more within the last ten minutes and had two more shots on target, in the first the strong attempt of Luisinho from the left wing was stopped by Crespo (84’).

But the local keeper was going to fail in the second attempt at the last minute; Seoane drilled the ball from outside the area in a similar play to the disallowed goal, the defenders were too slow to react and Borja Bastón was there to get the ball, turn off and score the goal drilling the ball before Crespo, who should have blocked the attempt. It’s the tenth goal on the season for the Madrilenian striker. Both sides tried to score during the stoppage time, but there were no more shots on target.

AFTER THE GAME
After a tense first half, Alavés had everything in favour in the second after scoring a goal and blocking Depor at midfield, but the Galicians rescued the miracle of past games with a last-minute goal by Bastón. Minutes before the referee disallowed a legal goal to Toché. With the result Los Blanquiazules have added 36 points on the road on this season, which is a new club’s record. Depor have scored 13 goals within the last ten minutes plus the stoppage time, which helped to add 8 points.

Still, the point in Mendizorroza is tasteless as the victory of UD Las Palmas reduced the distance with the playoff zone to five points. On next Sunday, Depor return to the Riazor in order to live a final facing second place SD Eibar, side that’s only two points behind (12h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Alavés: (4-4-2) Crespo - Rubio, Samuel, Jarošík, Raúl García - Manu García, Emilio Sánchez (Tejera 64’), Beobide, Toti (Ion Vélez 75’) – Guzmán (Luciano 86’), Borja Viguera.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Seoane, Lopo, Insua, Manuel Pablo – Juan Domínguez, Álex Bergantiños – Sissoko (Borja Bastón 72’), Rabello (Núñez 62’), Luisinho – Ifrán (Toché 72’)
Goals: 1-0: (52’) Borja Viguera, 1-1: (90’) Borja Bastón
Referee: Daniel Ocón Arráiz. He showed yellow card to Manu Garcia (33’), Juan Dominguez (41’), Toti (43’), Samuel (56’), Tejera (66’), Insua (84’) and Ion Vélez (90+2’)
Venue: Mendizorroza (12,114)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS MAY/14

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