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NOTES FROM THE GAME VS LEVANTE UD

21 Mar 2016
Víctor didn’t choose the right tactic for the game, but made a perfectly timed change with the introduction of Cartabia. Lucas completed 50 appearances with Depor and the sense of relief after the first win in 2016 was evident.

1- First win in 2016: Deportivo finally broke the spell and it took place in the final game of the trimester, after spending 13 liga games without clinching the victory, the team was only one more failure away from the negative record of last season.

The negative streak was not only reserve for 2016, because taking in mind the Copa games and the last game in 2015 (0-0 at Getafe), the Galicians were dragging a mark of 15 straight official games without victories, which was the second worst mark in the history of the club after the one witnessed in the campaign 1987/88 (17 straight games without a win).

2- Bad tactic: Víctor decided to erase the trivote as he restored the 4-4-2, it didn’t work as Depor continued relying in the crosses coming from Luisinho and Juanfran instead of trying to overflow the rival by the sides taking advantage of the weakness of their side defenders. The result is that the crosses were once again worthless, the team released 29 and only 3 met the target.

So, the only way to create danger was through the centre and with the moves of Cani crossing from the right wing. Lucas and Luis Alberto were participative as always, but the centre of Levante’s defence was overpopulated and for this reason, and despite Depor looked better in larges stages of the game, the team lacked depth and wasn’t creating too many scoring chances.

3- Finally, some luck: Many analysts don’t believe in the idea that luck is a factor in football, but the true is that there are factors that cannot be controlled in the meetings and that can be decisive. If in past home games Depor had bad luck dropping points at the last minute now it was favourable with two lucky goals at the end of both halves.

In the game with Villarreal CF, Los Blanquiazules lost with a last-minute penalty. Something that’s hard to see, the draws with Valencia CF and RCD Espanyol came with late goals that are also hard to see (especially the own goal of Arribas against the Catalans) but now the rebounds were favourable for Deportivo.

And it’s that the goals came in rebounds that benefited Depor. In the first the cross of Lucas couldn’t be cleared by Feddal and the ball hit the hip of Luis Alberto, who was lucky to pick the loose ball. In the second the pin-ball that ended with the own goal of Mariño was simply incredible. Like it or not, luck counts.

4- The guide of Cani: Deportivo lacked ideas in the first part, but the presence of Cani was a guide that paved the way for the first goal. His great pass (chipping the ball to Lucas) started the play of the first goal. Totally he made 49 touches before been replaced in the second half.

5- Perfect entrance by Cartabia: Maybe Víctor was wrong with the initial tactic, but he was perfect with the adjustments. The entrance of Cartabia was perfectly timed, firstly because it came exactly when the tide was changing in the second half, just after the longest play of the team when the team was asleep due to the equalizer, and the Argentine player changed the game.

The entry of Cartabia was crucial because it exploited the biggest flaw at Levante UD: the weakness of Juanfran García trying to cover the right wing of Depor. With the Argentine on the pitch Depor started to overflow on that side and in a couple of minutes the Galicians had already created two clear chances penetrating by that side. The winning goal was born there with Cartabia releasing the cross into the path of Luis Alberto. Rubi got aware of the situation and replaced Juanfran García to surpass this problem, but the damage was already done.

6- 50 games for Lucas: Lucas Pérez was unable to score, though he took part of both goals. This was his official game number 50 with Deportivo and his numbers are positive. He has scored 21 goals, similar marks to the ones of Roy Makaay (29) and Diego Tristán (25) at this point, but far from the one of Bebeto (35).

7- Great duo Navarro-Arribas: Levante UD gave some problems to the defence, mainly with Morales, but in the end the Valencians only completed one shot on target. Big part of this was thanks to Alejandro Arribas and Fernando Navarro, who were perfect at the centre of the defence. Navarro made one key interception and three clearances, while Arribas made five interceptions and four clearances.

8- Change in the corner-kicks: Víctor changed the tactic in set-pieces, the corner-kicks were taken with only one player in the spot (in past games there were two men, something that was criticized by the public and the media). The funny moment was that in the first corner in the game: the public applauded when they saw that only one man was taking the cross, but the true is that the accuracy didn’t change. Depor had two corners in the game and both didn’t represent ant problem to Levante.

9- Relief: Some of the players had already admitted that the winless streak was a physiological burden that was already affecting the team, so this victory has a double meaning, not only because it’s a huge step towards the permanence, but also because it restores the lost confidence after previous results. That sense of relief was witnessed after the final whistle and with the three players that addressed the media after the match.

ARCHIVE NEWS MAR/16

ZAPPING

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