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REVIEW: BARCELONA 2 – DEPORTIVO 2 (LIGA)

24 May 2015
Miracle at the Camp Nou. Deportivo came back from death to score twice in a matter of eight minutes and secure the permanence. Lucas and Salomão scored for a team that played badly, but that never surrendered.

BEFORE THE GAME
Coach Víctor Sánchez presented the expected lineup for the game. The draw was a 4-5-1, with Fabricio Agosto  defending the goal, Laureano Sanabria ´Laure’ covered the right side of the defence, Roberto Canella performed on the left, then the centre-backs were Albert Lopo and Sidnei Rechel.

Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez and Álex Bergantiños were the centre midfielders, Diogo Salomão attacked from the right wing, Iván Cavaleiro did it from the left and Lucas Pérez was the centre forward.

At FC Barcelona, all the attention was focused on Xavi Hernández, who was saying good-bye to his club. Coach Luis Enrique rested several normal starters, including Luis Suárez, but Neymar and Lionel Messi were part of the starting eleven. Thomas Vermaelen was debuting in liga.

FIRST HALF
Terrible first part by Depor, the narrow score in favour of the Catalans was only possible as the hosts were too relaxed and didn’t push harder for more goals. The other results were negative and to make things worse Canella got injured and had to be replaced.

The start couldn’t be worse for Deportivo. The Catalans had the ball possession since the kick-off and only needed five minutes to claim the lead. Curiously it was after a corner-kick for the Galicians. The cross from Lucas was too low and the Catalans released a quick and deadly counterattack that ended with a cross saved by Fabricio, but no one cleared the danger and in the end Rafinha released an accurate cross that Messi headed into the goal.

It was a really poor defending by Depor, Laure slipped and couldn’t prevent the cross of the goal, while the rest of players were too slow to react when Messi moved looking for the ball inside the box. To make things worse both SD Eibar and UD Almeria claimed early leads that were putting Depor right into the relegation zone (Eibar were winning 3-0 by half-time).

There was no reaction from the Galicians in the entire first part, Barcelona were still having the ball possession and looked more dangerous, though also the locals left the feeling of been relaxed and not willing to increase the lead.

Still, they had clear chances to score. A second goal from Messi was cancelled for an offside (13’) and three minutes later Fabricio made two big saves that were keeping his team in the game. It was a shot from the edge by Messi, the drilling attempt was blocked by Fabricio and the loose ball was found by Pedro, but Depor’s keeper reacted and deflected the ball to corner-kick.

At the middle of the first half the ball possession was 82% in favour of the Catalans, a clear demonstration of the monologue on the pitch. Depor were locked at the back and only made a couple of approximations with Lucas, Cavaleiro and Salomão that didn’t end with a shot on target.

The problems continued for Depor as Roberto Canella got injured when he jumped for the ball searching for a goal-kick from Fabricio.  The problem was on his right shoulder and the player spent several minutes on the ground.

He was replaced by Medunjanin since there were no side defenders available. Álex Bergantiños was replaced as a right-back and Laure was moved to the left. The lonely opportunity to score for Depor in this half came at minute 42, Lucas got the ball at the right wing and his low cross was deflected by Cavaleiro, but the ball went close to the far post.

SECOND HALF
Miracle at the Camp Nou. Depor never lost the hope despite making a terrible game and scored twice to earn the definitive point that decided the permanence. FC Barcelona didn’t push in the end of the game and the party was unleashed in A Coruña.

The second part had the same script: Barcelona were having the ball and surrounded the visiting area, though without pushing for the final blow. Depor, meanwhile, were locked at the back and tried to attack through quick counterattacks that weren’t ending in anything due to the lack of aim by Cavaleiro.

Depor seemed to be waiting for the final minutes in order to push for the equalizer, but suffered a deadly blow at minute 58, again a defensive distraction that allowed Messi to score again. It was a kick-off by Fabricio that no one controlled at midfield, the play was converted into a counterattack led by Neymar, who just assisted the Argentine marksman to push the ball from close range.

Depor were having both feet at Segunda, but somehow there was a reaction as the Galicians scored twice in a matter of eight minutes. In their first shot on target in the game, Cavaleiro collected a drilling ball at the left side of the area, he attempted to drill it into the box, but a small defection sent the ball into the edge of the area, Lucas Pérez got it and released an impressive shot into the top left corner of Masip.

Suddenly Deportivo were only one goal away from getting the golden point and they started to attack. The equalizer could have been scored by Medunjanin with a volley in a direct free-kick that hit the crossbar.  At that point Oriol Riera was already on the pitch replacing Juan Dominguez.

And the unthinkable occurred, Depor scored the equalizer and it was in a set-piece. Medunjanin was taking the free-kick, the ball hit the barrier and Salomão didn’t think twice to connect the loose ball at the penalty spot to score with strong shot past Masip. Salomão barely played this season, but was there to score the definite goal, just like Xisco did in the first promotion three seasons ago.

The miracle was happening again, because for the fourth time Depor were losing visiting a team at the top and for the fourth opportunity it was able to clinch the equalizer (it happened the same against Málaga, Real Sociedad and Athletic). SD Eibar were now going down despite winning 3-0. Despite losing the two-goal advantage Barcelona didn’t bother and preferred to focus in the farewell of Xavi, who was replaced by Iniesta

Depor spent the last minutes wasting time and Lucas had to be replaced due to an injury. José Rodríguez claimed his spot. Nothing special occurred in the final minutes, just a shot from Adriano in the final minute of the stoppage time that went over the bar.

AFTER THE GAME
Depor clinched the permanence thanks to a great reaction at the middle of the second half to rescue a two-goal disadvantage. It’s also true that Barca didn’t want the victory, but this was the fourth time with Depor adding a point after coming back in the score visiting a team targeting the European competitions, this time the all mighty FC Barcelona.

Deportivo clinched the salvation making the same points than SD Eibar and Granada CF, but the goal difference rule condemned SD Eibar, side that joins Almeria UD and Córdoba CF in the way back to Liga Adelante.

MATCH STATISTICS
Barcelona: (4-3-3) Masip – Adriano, Marc Bartra (Mascherano 69’), Vermaelen (Douglas 62’), Mathieu - Sergi Roberto, Xavi (Iniesta 85’), Rafinha – Messi, Pedro, Neymar.
Deportivo: (4-5-1) Fabricio – Laure, Lopo, Sidnei, Canella (Medunjanin 38’) – Salomão  Borges, Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez (Oriol Riera 61’), Cavaleiro – Lucas Pérez (José Rodríguez 85’).
Goals: 1-0: (5’) Messi, 2-0: (59’) Messi, 2-1: (67’) Lucas, 2-2: (76’) Salomão
Referee: Carlos Clos Gómez. He showed yellow card to Juan Dominguez (57’), Mathieu (75’), Álex Bergantiños (88’) & Medunjanin (90+5’)
Venue: Camp Nou (80,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (78% - 22%); Attempts to score (11 – 4); Total shots (18 - 10); Shots on target (7 - 2); Saves by the keepers (0 – 5); Corner-kicks (4 - 4); Offsides (4 - 3); Fouls committed (6 - 9); Passing accuracy (93% -72%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS  

ARCHIVE NEWS MAY/15

ZAPPING

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