Squad news


01 Dec 2014
The defense passed the test, but the offense continues to struggle. Those are the two realities at Deportivo. Juanfran was early replaced with a muscle problem. The team remains in relegation.

Coach Víctor Fernández presented the expected lineup. It was a 5-3-2 figure with Modibo Diakité making his second appearance on the season. There were only two modifications compared to the team that drew with Real Sociedad. The French defender was one of them and the second was Cezary Wilk, the Polish midfielder was making his fifth appearance as a starter.

Fabricio Agosto was the goalkeeper, Juanfran Moreno covered the right-back position, Luisinho played at the left, while Pablo Insua and Sidnei Rechel joined Diakité at the central positions. Wilk, Haris Medunjanin and José Rodríguez were the centre midfielders, finally Hélder Postiga and Iván Cavaleiro were the attackers. 

At Atlético Madrid, Diego Simeone presented a 4-1-4-1 figure. Raúl García was benched, while Saúl Ñíguez and Frenchman Antoine Griezmann were the wingers in the formation. The other references upfront were Arda Turan, Koke Resurrección and Mario Mandžukić.

Solid first half by Depor’s defense, having problems with the set-pieces and even suffering the casualty of Juanfran Moreno, but it was enough to reduce the game of Atlético to only two shots in 45 minutes. One of the few errors cost the first goal at the end of the first part.

The game was equal since the beginning. Depor was looking comfortable on the pitch as both sides were trying to have the ball. The first opportunity in the game came at minute 7 and it was for Depor. A corner-kick from Medunjanin was cleared with the fists by local goalie Miguel Ángel Moyá.

Atlético reacted and did it through their main resource: the aerial game. Just one minute later Koke released a precise cross from the left wing and the downward header by Mario Mandžukić hit the right post of Fabricio. After this play, the Madrilenians had three corner-kicks in a matter of ten minutes that brought problems to Depor’s keeper.

Then Juanfran Moreno picked a muscle injury and had to be replaced by Laure. Depor lost an important resource due to the offensive skills of the Madrilenian, but the true is that the Galicians were suffering more on the left side as Arda Turan was giving a lot of problems to Luisinho.

But that picture didn’t last too much, because Atlético were unable to break the deadlock and, despite approaching the area, they were unable to release more shots on target. Depor’s defense was strong and even was participating in some offensive moves, like the impressive run of Sidnei that caused the yellow card for Giménez (38’)

Meanwhile, Depor were still facing problems upfront; there were some interesting passes and some moves that caused a couple of dangerous counterattacks, but there was a lack of communication between Cavaleiro and Postiga, so the visiting outfit ended the half having a decent ball possession ratio (46%), but unable to complete a shot on target.

And Deportivo paid a high price in one of the few errors committed in the half. Wilk committed an unnecessary foul at the left wing, it launched the most dangerous weapon of the Madrilenians; the set-pieces. Koke sent the ball into the area, Mario Mandžukić headed the ball and Saúl Ñíguez made a second deflection inside the box to score the goal.

The game ended after the second goal, which came after a new distraction in a set-piece. After it Atlético Madrid were relaxed and Deportivo tried switching the draw twice, but it only created danger within the final minutes.

The second part started with Atlético pushing for the second goal. At minute 53, Antoine Griezmann released a shot from the edge of the area, the ball was deflected and the second goal arrived in the resulting corner-kick.

Koke threw the corner from the left, the ball was deflected and was later collected by Arda Turan, who released a drilling shot from the edge of the area, the ball was deflected by Diakité  near the goal line.

Víctor Fernandez reacted switching the draw into a 5-2-2-1 with the entry of Isaac Cuenca for Medunjanin, a move that also delayed the position of Cavaleiro, but the side that was having the opportunities was Atlético.  At minute 62, Saúl Ñíguez headed the ball on target after a cross by Arda Turan, but it was saved by Fabricio.

The 2-0 advantage brought calm to Atlético, the locals were sharing the ball possession and weren’t suffering in defense. Simeone was so calm that Mario Mandžukić and Antoine Griezmann were early replaced in the game.

Meanwhile Depor were suffering trying to move the ball into the local area. The plan continued to be moving on with short and accurate passes, but since it was unable to succeed the coach decided to replace Cavaleiro with Toché, now the draw was a 5-2-1-2 and the visiting outfit was relying in the aerial game and long throws.

Still, it was Atlético the side that continued having the opportunities. At minute 80, substitute Alessio Cerci was assisted by Koke and his left-foot attempt was saved by Fabricio. One minute later another substitute, Cristian Rodríguez missed the target from close range.

Depor only brought danger within the final five minutes. First Sidnei collected a pass by Laure and released a strong shot that was saved by Moyá (85’). It was the first shot on target in the game for the Galicians, then Cuenca assisted José Rodríguez and his shot was deflected to corner-kick (87’).

The match had two readings. The first is that the defense demonstrated that it has finally improved. It contained the moves of the current champions in liga and only allowed the goals in set-pieces actions. The second is that the offensive continues to be flat. There were interesting moves, but the first shot on target came until minute 85 and was completed by a centre-back.

Depor remain in relegation and now face a busy week having two straight meetings against Malaga CF playing at the Riazor. The first is on Wednesday for Copa Del Rey (20h00 CET) and the other is on Saturday for la liga (22h00 CET).

Atlético Madrid: (4-1-4-1) Moyá – Juanfran, Godín, Giménez, Ansaldi – Tiago – Saúl (Cebolla Rodríguez 65’), Arda Turan, Koke, Griezmann (Cerci 73’) – Mandžukić (Jimenez 57’)
Deportivo: (5-3-2) Fabricio – Juanfran (Laure 15’), Insua, Diakité, Sidnei, Luisinho – José Rodríguez, Wilk, Medunjanin (Cuenca 62’) – Cavaleiro (Toché 76’), Postiga.
Goals: 1-0: (42’) Saúl Ñíguez, 2-0: (54’) Arda Turan
Referee: José Antonio Teixeira Vitienes. He showed yellow card to Juanfran Moreno (12’), Mandžukić (32’), Giménez (38’) & Insua (39’)
Venue: Vicente Calderón stadium (30,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (53% - 47%); Attempts to score (5 – 2); Total shots (9 - 3); Shots on target (4 - 1); Saves by the keepers (1 - 2); Corner-kicks (5 - 3); Offsides (2 - 1); Fouls committed (16 - 18); Passing accuracy (85% - 79%)




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