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REVIEW: REAL MADRID 2 – DEPORTIVO 0 (LIGA)

15 Feb 2015
Solid game by Deportivo. The Galicians completed fifteen shots, their second highest mark on this season, but fell before the punch of Real Madrid. Great performance by the whole squad.

BEFORE THE GAME
Víctor Fernández presented the predicted lineup. It was a 4-2-3-1 figure, with Manuel Pablo and Laure as the novelties compared to the previous meeting with SD Eibar. The Canarian was joining Albert Lopo at the centre of the defence, while the Madrilenian was performing at the right side. The defensive positions were completed with Fabricio Agosto covering the goal, while Luisinho played at the left.

Álex Bergantiños and Celso Borges were the centre midfielders. Isaac Cuenca attacked from the right wing, Iván Cavaleiro did it from the left, Lucas Pérez was the playmaker and Oriol Riera was the centre forward.

At Real Madrid, Ancelotti presented the expected squad with Asier Illarramendi and Álvaro Arbeloa as starters. The trio upfront was one of the most feared attacking lines in the world: Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.

FIRST HALF
Deportivo played a decent first half, facing problems with the individualities from Real Madrid, but also brave enough to step into the rival’s area trying to complete shots on target. Only a great goal by Isco was marking the difference by half-time, though the locals hit the crossbar twice.

The game was equal at the beginning, Real Madrid had the ball possession, but the side having the opportunities was Deportivo. At minute 5, Cuenca combined with Lucas and his strong shot from inside the area was saved by Casillas with the head, one minute later Cuenca attempted again, this time his shot from the edge of the area went over the crossbar.

It wasn’t a mirage as Deportivo continued to show the same solidity in the whole game. Depor were looking comfortable and continued stepping into the rival’s area. At minute 11, it was Lucas Pérez who fired from the edge of the area, but his low attempt was an easy catch for local goalie Iker Casillas. The locals reacted and Cristiano Ronaldo had the first big chance for the locals. He got the ball at the edge of the area and his volley beat Fabricio, but it hit the crossbar. In the next play Lopo cleared the ball to corner-kick before Bale was able to score the goal.

The locals weren’t looking so plugged into the game, but they had already hit the woodwork twice before the 20-minute mark. The second opportunity was a quick play in which Bale found the ball at the edge of the área, again the ball ended at the crossbar (17’). One minute later the Welsh player drilled the ball into the box and the final attempt by Benzema was deflected by Lopo.

What changed from the game in the first round was that Depor weren’t putting excessive pressure upfront leaving big holes at the back. Now the pressure was focused at midfield, it caused problems to the Madrilenians, though they continued to find cracks at Deportivo’s defence, mainly in quick counterattacks.

Real Madrid increased the pressure and it didn’t last in scoring the first goal. It was after a play in which Ronaldo couldn’t push the ball from the goal line, it reached the path of Francisco Román Alarcón ‘Isco’, who released a wonderful curved shot from the right side of the area past Fabricio and into the top-left corner.

The locals gained confidence after the first goal and sought for more. At minute 25, Ronaldo threw a free-kick at the left wing and the ball went directly into the hands of Fabricio. Depor were still looking fine. Cavaleiro and Lucas were pretty active in attack, the latter had the next chance to score with a low attempt from the edge of the area that missed the target (30’). Oriol Riera was also pretty active winning every aerial ball that he was disputing.

There were big worries with the presence of Manuel Pablo as a centre-back but, despite a couple of individual duels with Ronaldo, he was fine, just like the whole defence, led by Lopo and with a great performance by Luisinho and Laure.

SECOND HALF
Deportivo was the best team is the final part, at times playing combinative football. It didn’t find the goal despite completing fifteen shots. Meanwhile Real Madrid found the goal in the only good combination between two of their stars.

The second part begun with the locals scared as Depor were close to tie the game twice. At minute 47, a big play by Cavaleiro ended with Oriol Riera assisting Celso Borges, who fired from inside the area, but the drilling attempt by the midfielder hit the far post. In the next play Luisinho released a precise cross from the left that Riera headed on target, and Casillas made a big save clearing the ball to corner-kick.

The following were the best minutes of Depor in the game. The Galicians gained confidence and were combined and releasing dangerous and fast attacks before an asleep rival. Cavaleiro, Lucas and Cuenca led the attacks, having a great support by Álex and Borges behind them.

Depor’s first substitution in the game was the entry of Hélder Costa, who replaced Oriol Riera. The move pushed Cavaleiro to the centre of the attack, while Costa was now the right winger. The Portuguese winger didn’t shine in the game, while the Catalan ended scoreless again, but showing a great partnership to assist his partners with the aerial game.

Real Madrid started to push and Marcelo (65’) and Ronaldo (66’) completed shots on target, but the drilling attempts were easy for Fabricio. The dream of a possible draw for Depor ended as two of the stars at Real Madrid combined in the second goal. A quick play for the locals ended with Ronaldo reaching the left corner of the area to drill a pass to Benzema, who chipped the ball before the presence of Fabricio.

The second goal killed the game. Depor were no longer attacking, though it neither suffered at the back. Víctor ordered the other two substitutions and Juan Dominguez and Medunjanin entered for Lucas and Borges.

Depor were already defeated, but in ended the team completed fifteen shots in the match, the second highest on the season, only behind the sixteen against Elche CF at the Riazor. Ronaldo was frustrated all night long and lacked aim, though he had a great chance to score the third at the end after collecting the ball in a cross by substitute Jesé, but he missed the target (87’).

AFTER THE GAME
Víctor Fernández promised that the horror of the first round game wasn’t going to be repeated, and it was like that. Depor played a great game, showing positive things before a rival living between the relaxation and the apathy. Only two great individual moves broke the deadlock and Depor had a lot of chances, to the point of completing the second highest number of shots on the season.

The defeat will leave Depor close to relegation, though waiting for Sunday’s results in order to have a better picture. The next game is the Galician derby as RC Celta visit the Riazor (Saturday, 22h00 CET). Laure is suspended for that game after picking the fifth yellow card on the season.

MATCH STATISTICS
Real Madrid: (4-3-3) Casillas– Arbeloa, Varane, Nacho, .Marcelo – Illarramendi (Lucas Silva 70’), Kroos, Isco (Carvajal 79’)– Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema (Jesé 85’).
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Laure, Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Luisinho – Álex Bergantiños, Celso Borges (Juan Domínguez 84’) – Cuenca, Lucas (Medunjanin 78’), Cavaleiro – Oriol Riera (Hélder Costa 64’).
Goals: 1-0: (22’) Isco, 2-0: (72’) Benzema
Referee: Xavier Estrada Fernández. He showed yellow card to Celso Borges (44’), Nacho (47’), Manuel Pablo (60’), Arbeloa (78’), Lopo (83’) & Laure (87’)
Venue: Santiago Bernabéu   (73,671)
Other statistics: Ball possession (58% - 42%); Attempts to score (10 – 10); Total shots (17 - 15); Shots on target (6 - 4); Saves by the keepers (4 - 4); Corner-kicks (6 - 6); Offsides (3 - 4); Fouls committed (12 - 17); Passing accuracy (89% - 82%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS FEB/15

ZAPPING

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