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REVIEW: BARCELONA 2 – DEPORTIVO 2 (LIGA)

13 Dec 2015
Déjà vu at the Camp Nou; Deportivo came back again from a two-goal disadvantage and rescued a point scoring twice within the last fifteen minutes. Lucas scored again and Cardoso made an explosive debut.

BEFORE THE GAME
Coach Víctor Sánchez opted in presenting a 4-4-2 draw characterized by the presence of four full backs playing at the same time. German Lux was the goalkeeper, Laure returned and performed at the right side of the defense, Fernando Navarro performed at the left, while the central positions were for Sidnei Rechel and Alejandro Arribas.

Álex Bergantiños and Fayçal Fajr were the centre midfielders, Juanfran Moreno performed at the right wing, Luisinho did it on the left, while the two strikers were Jonathan Rodríguez and Lucas Pérez.

At FC Barcelona, coach Luis Enrique was playing with 20-year-old Sandro Ramírez in the place of Neymar, the rest was the normal 4-3-3 scheme with Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez as the main references in attack.

FIRST HALF
Decent first part by Deportivo, Víctor’s strategy was to block the game by the centre and rely in the counterattack; the Galicians had a couple of opportunities, while Barca seemed unhurried, but were only able to score in a set-piece, a perfect free-kick by Messi.

The locals dominated the ball possession during the entire half, within the first five minutes Luis Suárez made two penetrations that didn’t end in a shot on target as he lost the ball first and later as his cross was blocked by Lux.  Depor’s first approximation was a wide shot of Lucas from the left wing (3’).

The first clear chance to score came at minute 4, a quick play ended with Sandro assisting Luis Suárez, who missed the target from the penalty spot with a low shot. Fajr was marking Busquets, but Barca were still feeling pretty comfortable on the pitch, having the ball and approaching the area at ease. They only missed aim as the passes of Messi weren’t finding Luis Suárez and neither Iniesta when the duo moved quickly into the area.

Barca’s first shot on target came at minute 13, it was a direct free-kick by Messi that was blocked by Lux. Two minutes later Depor had its first big chance. It was a counterattack with a low cross by Juanfran that found Jonathan at the left side of the area, he attempted to score with a drilling attempt, but local goalie Claudio Bravo made the save.

Despite not witnessing shots on target, the game was entertaining, because Messi and Barca’s side defenders were making interesting moves, the first with internal passes and the others with quick plays on the sides, mainly the sector defended by Laure, but their crosses were going out or were cleared by Arribas or Sidnei. Meanwhile, Depor were relying in the counterattack, with both Luisinho and Juanfran playing at the centre and searching for long passes to the forwards.

At minute 31, Messi found the ball at the edge of the area and his curved shot was deflected by Lux, in the next play Luis Suárez headed the ball out after a cross by Dani Álves. Depor were playing good defensively, but Barcelona always seemed close to score, so it wasn’t strange when the locals scored the lonely goal in this half.

It was a free-kick after Luisinho fouled Messi at the edge of the area, the Argentine seized the opportunity with an impossible shot for Lux. It is the 16th goal that he scores before Deportivo. Nothing changed after the goal as Barca continued pushing, while Depor were relying in the counterattack.

SECOND HALF
And Depor did it again. It rescued a point from the Camp Nou when it seemed that the defeat was sealed. Cardoso entered and changed the game; the game was frantic within the five minutes with both sides having the chance to win.

The final part started with Juan Dominguez replacing Luisinho and with Depor having three chances in only three minutes. The first was a counterattack that ended with a shot by Jonathan that was saved by Bravo, a few second later Lucas fired from the edge of the area and his attempt was deflected to corner-kick.

Barca were trying to push for the second goal, but Depor started better the second half. At minute 47, a great counterattack was close to be the equalizer. Sidnei made a long pass to Fajr, who made a long run on the left wing and his cross was met by Jonathan, who missed again, this time firing from the far post.

The locals regained the control of the game and started to search for the second goal, at minute 51, Arribas made a great play clearing the ball after Luis Suárez was assisting Sandro inside the box.

Depor’s second substitution was the entry of Luis Alberto replacing Jonathan. The Uruguayan missed three clear chances before been replaced, but at least he was showing up as Luis Alberto didn’t appear too much in the game.

And Barca seemed to have the victory inside the pocket after scoring the second goal at the middle of the second half. Ivan Rákitic collected the ball at the edge of the area and scored with a low and crossed shot past Lux.

The last substitution for Depor was the entry of Cardoso for Juanfran, the Portuguese winger was debuting at Primera and in his first approximation he missed the target in a quick counterattack in which he ran ten meters with the ball (69’). Cardoso was going to change the game as he totally unbalanced the meeting, because the Catalan defense wasn’t prepared to contain his moves by the centre.

It was him who assisted Lucas, who scored for the sixth straight matchday with a low shot that completed a great counterattack by Depor. Before the Portuguese hit the crossbar with a strong shot that was later headed in by Lucas (73’), though the goal was disallowed due to an offside.

With the narrow lead, Barca chose to continued pressing, something that only encouraged a Depor that continued to look very dangerous in the counterattack. Lux made a double save (79’) and then the Galicians got the equalizer in a new counterattack that saw Lucas assisting Álex Bergantiños, who entered the area by the left side to release a strong and crossed shot past Bravo.

Depor had done it again, it was rescuing a point like the closing game on last season. The last five minutes were frantic, with both sides openly searching for the goal. Depor had a couple of counterattack, in the main one Cardoso missed the target from the left side of the area when Lucas was alone at the centre waiting for the ball (90’)

AFTER THE GAME
New comeback by Depor at the Camp Nou. The Galicians played a great game before a Barcelona that seemed too comfortable at times and that later felt in overconfidence with the 2-0. Depor always believed in their chances and the entry of Cardoso changed the game, the Portuguese was debuting at Primera and assisted Lucas for the first goal, later Álex Bergantiños tied for a Depor that had only lost twice on this season.

Despite the positive result, Depor could end out of Europe at the end of the matchday. On next Saturday, Deportivo host SD Eibar at the Riazor (22h05 CET), but before Los Blanquiazules will play the second-leg in Copa with UE Llagostera (Riazor, Tuesday, 20h00 CET). Laure will miss the game in liga after picking the fifth yellow card in this game.

MATCH STATISTICS
Barcelona: (4-3-3) Bravo – Álves, Piqué, Mascherano, Jordi Alba (Mathieu 76’) – Rakitic (Sergi Roberto 71’), Busquets, Iniesta – Messi, Luis Suárez, Sandro (Munir 67’).
Deportivo: (4-4-2) Lux – Laure, Arribas, Sidnei, Navarro – Juanfran (Cardoso 69’), Álex Bergantiños, Fajr, Luisinho (Juan Dominguez 46’) – Lucas Pérez, Jonathan Rodríguez (Luis Alberto 57’)
Goals: 1-0: (37’) Messi, 2-0: (61’) Rakitic, 2-1: (76’) Lucas, 2-2: (85’) Álex
Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez. He showed yellow card to Luisinho (37’) and Laure (67’)
Venue: Camp Nou (67,194)
Other statistics: Ball possession (65% - 35%); Attempts to score (11 – 9); Total shots (17 - 13); Shots on target (7 - 4); Saves by the keepers (2- 5); Corner-kicks (6 - 2); Offsides (4 - 6); Fouls committed (4 - 11); Passing accuracy (88% - 75%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/15

ZAPPING

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