Competition news

REVIEW: MALAGA 4 – DEPORTIVO 1 (COPA)

19 Dec 2014
Depor out of Copa Del Rey after a game with two faces; the first half was boring, and in the second Malaga totally outplayed the Galician team with deadly counterattacks and the presence of Amrabat. Salomão played some minutes.

BEFORE THE GAME
Víctor Fernández presented a 5-3-2 figure for the second-leg in Copa. It was the expected team, though not the formation, with the novelty of Manuel Pablo performing as one of the three centre-backs, while Cezary Wilk was a starter at midfield. Salomão was also a novelty as he was on the bench together with Seoane, the only two players without minutes on the season.

German Lux was the starting keeper, Laureano Sanabria ´Laure’ covered the right side in defense, Manuel Pablo was joined by Pablo Insua and Albert Lopo at the centre of the defense. Luisinho performed on the left.  Juan Dominguez and Juan Carlos joined Wilk at midfield, Isaac Cuenca and Hélder Postiga were the attackers.

At Malaga CF, coach Javi Gracia opted in improvising with Miguel Torres as a centre-back due to the injury problems hitting the defense. The references in attack were Samuel García, Ricardo Horta, Juanpi and Roque Santa Cruz. Curiously there was a last-minute change in the lineup as it was announced that Ignacio Camacho was going to be the centre-back and Samu Castillejo one of the attackers, but in the end the latter was dropped while Camacho was moved to midfield.

FIRST HALF
One of the worst first halves on the season. Deportivo did nothing despite been forced to at least score a goal and Malaga neither helped to improve the show. In the end a tasteless start in the game with only one scoring opportunity and two shots on target.

The first fifteen minutes were equal. Depor and Malaga were trying to have the ball possession, but were unable to release an accurate attack and neither completed shots on target. Depor were focusing their attacking efforts on the left wing, with Luisinho joining Cuenca on that side.

The first shot in the game came at minute 15, Juan Carlos found the ball at the edge of the area, but his shot went wide. The game earned some excitement starting at minute 23, first Juan Carlos completed the first shot on target in the game repeating his previous attempt, this time it went on target, but it was too easy for local goalie Guillermo Ochoa.

Two minutes later Santa Cruz headed on target a corner-kick coming from the left, and Lux cleared the ball to corner-kick. That was the lonely clear opportunity in this half. At that moment it seemed the match was going to be more interesting.

But it was only a mirage, because the game returned to the same dead point in which neither Malaga nor Depor were having the needed ideas to create scoring opportunities. Malaga never found the way to surpass the line of three centre-backs, with Manuel Pablo facing problems to adapt, while Depor were lost in the inaccuracy of both Cuenca and Postiga.

The best player in this half was Cezary Wilk. The Polish made five clearances and recovered three balls. Meanwhile, Postiga lost the ball in eleven opportunities. The cold first half ended with a wide shot of Camacho (43’).

SECOND HALF
Despite the series was tied early in the second part, Malaga was a hurricane and clearly deserved to pass the round. Depor never found the way to stop the deadly counterattacks by the locals, mainly after the entry of Amrabat.

The second part started with a big opportunity for Malaga CF; Wilk lost the ball at midfield and in the counterattack Juanpi fired from long-range with Lux making the save (48’). In the resulting corner-kick Camacho missed the target from inside the box.

Then the locals scored the first goal in the game. A long pass coming from midfield was looking for Santa Cruz, who was marked by both Lopo and Insua. Catalan Lopo should have cleared the ball into the left side of the defense, but instead he headed the ball into the right, just into the path of Roque Santa Cruz, who didn’t hesitate to score from close range.

Depor now needed to score a goal in order to extend the game, so it started to push up front, but it was only finding the offsides by Postiga (5 in 55 minutes), but that changed at minute 56. Cuenca finally found the needed room at the edge of the area and drilled the ball to the Portuguese attacker, who beat the offside trap to score from the left side of the area crossing Ochoa.

The tie was now equal, but the picture only lasted two minutes, because Malaga scored the second goal after a cross from the left was deflected by Manuel Pablo, the ball went into the path of Recio, who fired a perfect shot into the far post past Lux.

With three goals in fifteen minutes the game turned to be interesting and totally different to the picture saw in the first part. The coaches moved the bench and Nordin Amrabat and Haris Medunjanin entered into the pitch, the latter replaced Juan Carlos.

And the modification that succeeded was the one of Malaga’s coach, because Amrabat changed the half as Malaga became the leading force despite already having the advantage, to the point that he was involved in all the attacking plays, starting with the third goal, which was a cross released by him from the left that ended with Santa Cruz crossing Lux with a header.

Deportivo now needed two goals and it left the impression that it wasn’t going to surrender. Salomão entered replacing Luisinho and Depor was close to score the second goal at minute 69. Postiga fought for the ball and managed to assist Cuenca when he was on the ground, later the Catalan winger sent a strong shot that was saved by Ochoa.

But it was only a mirage as the final twenty minutes were totally for Malaga. Depor never knew how to stop the deadly counterattacks by the locals. The Andalusians had other four clear chances to increase the lead. At minute 79, Horta had a one-on-one action before Lux that was blocked by the Argentine keeper.

Then Amrabat starred the next three chances, in the first two he missed the target as his team was trying to finalize a counterattack (82’ & 86’). The fourth goal for Malaga came in the stoppage time, Rosales sent a cross from the left in a new counterattack, Amrabat connected the ball inside the box, it hit Lux and then the post, and Camacho was there to just push the ball in. Salomão just had one play in the game and it was during the stoppage time with a cross that was stopped by Ochoa. José Rodriguez played the final five minutes replacing Juan Domínguez.

AFTER THE GAME
Two very different halves. The first part was boring, but things were intense in the second. The game was equal until the entry of Amrabat and the tie was 2-2 by minute 57, but then Malaga was a hurricane that destroyed a poor Depor in defense. The only good news is that Salomão had his first minutes on the season.

For the fourth straight year Depor out of Copa Del Rey in the last-32 round. The aggregate score was 5-2 for the Andalusians. Now the Galician outfit will only focus in liga with the last game in 2014 to be played on Sunday as Victor’s team visit Villarreal CF (El Madrigal, 12h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Malaga: (4-4-2) Ochoa - Rosales, Angeleri, Torres, Boka - Samuel, Recio, Camacho, Horta (Portillo 83’) – Juanpi (Amrabat 59’), Santa Cruz (Luis Alberto 73’).
Deportivo: (5-3-2) Lux – Laure, Insua, Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Luisinho (Salomão 68’) – Wilk, Juan Domínguez (José Rodríguez 85’), Juan Carlos (Medunjanin 63’) – Cuenca, Postiga.
Goals: 1-0: (51’) Santa Cruz, 1-1: (57’) Postiga, 2-1: (59’) Recio, 3-1: (68’) Santa Cruz, 4-1: (90+2’) Camacho
Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera. He showed yellow card to Lopo (76’) and Horta (82’)
Venue: La Rosaleda (30,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (58% - 42%); Attempts to score (11 –3); Total shots (16 - 6); Shots on target (8 - 3); Saves by the keepers (2 - 5); Corner-kicks (8 - 5); Offsides (6 - 7); Fouls committed (10 - 14); Passing accuracy (90% - 81%)

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/14

ZAPPING

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