Squad news


15 May 2016
The expected result with Real Madrid playing at half-speed. Depor exclusively defended in the first half and attacked a bit in the second, though always leaving a grey impression.

Coach Víctor Sánchez presented some novelties in his 4-4-2 lineup, Stipe Pletikosa was a starter for the second time after his arrival during the winter window, while Álex Bergantiños was a starter instead of Celso Borges.

Pletikosa was the goalkeeper, Manuel Pablo covered the right side in defence, Fernando Navarro performed on the left, Sidnei Rechel and Alejandro Arribas were the centre-backs. Pedro Mosquera joined Álex at midfield, Fede Cartabia attacked from the right wing, Fayçal Fajr did it from the left, while Lucas Pérez and Luis Alberto were the centre forwards.

At Real Madrid, coach Zinedine Zidane was presenting the expecting lineup, with Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo as the references in attack. At half-time, former coach Arsenio Iglesias was honoured by the club.

Poor first half by Deportivo; a half-speed Real Madrid didn’t find any opposition and already had secured the victory at the middle of the half. Only Fede Cartabia was doing something, though it wasn’t enough to complete a single shot on target.

The game started as it was expected: Real Madrid were pressing up front and Depor were holding in the defensive half. And the first goal didn’t last in arriving. Bale made the individual move on the right side of the defence, he eluded Manuel Pablo and drilled a cross that Benzema slightly deflected, luckily for the Madrilenians Cristiano Ronaldo collected the ball at the box to score from close range.

The goal didn’t change the script as Deportivo were still bottled at their side of the field, while Real Madrid were still pressing up front, having the ball possession, but unable to create more scoring chances for the next ten minutes. Neither Depor were creating scoring opportunities, actually the locals didn’t step into the rival’s area during the first 23 minutes.

Depor’s first approximation was a long pass searching for Lucas that the striker missed by inches. Then it came the second goal for Real Madrid and it was a polemic play. A corner-kick from the right was found by Ronaldo, but before Bale hit Mosquera when both players were standing at the right side of the box and the referee didn’t disallow the goal despite the local protests.

The second goal wasn’t celebrated with the same enthusiasm by the Madrilenians as at this point FC Barcelona were already winning 0-1 and were caressing the title. Neither Deportivo reacted to the second goal, because Real Madrid were still having opportunities. 

Cristiano hit the post twice in a matter of five minutes and Pletikosa made a great save before Benzema (29’). At minute 35, Cartabia had the best chance for Depor with a low and crossed shot that went close to the far post of visiting goalie Keylor Navas. The Argentine was the only one making things in attack; actually he completed the lonely two shots of the Galicians in the half.

The pace was low in the second half. Real Madrid knew that it had to reserve its best effort for the final in Champions League, while Deportivo tried though without a convincing approach to at least deserve a goal.

The final part started with the news that Cristiano Ronaldo was replaced by James. The Portuguese was dragging issues and Zidane didn’t want to risk him ahead of the final in the Champions League.

The game was open in this half, Real Madrid already knew that FC Barcelona were winning 0-2 and their players barely made an extra effort searching for more goals. Neither Deportivo were willing to do too much despite been in disadvantage.

Lucas Pérez completed the first shot on target in the game for the Galicians, it came at minute 53 with the attacker picking the ball at the edge of the area, but his low shot was saved by Navas.  That was also the first opportunity in the game for the top-scorer of Deportivo.

Some scoring chances were witnessed in this half, but it cannot be said that the game was entertaining. The lack of intensity was so evident that it wasn’t strange to see both Depor’s centre-backs combining to have a chance to score. At minute 64, Sidnei and Arribas combined at the edge of the area after a free-kick action and the Brazilian released a low shot that Navas cleared to corner-kick.

The lack of intensity was also noticed in the changes, Bale was also replaced and the first one for Deportivo was the entry of Róber replacing Arribas. The centre-back was debuting at the Riazor and only two minutes later he could have scored after heading a corner-kick of Lucas, but Navas made the save at the goal line (72’). That was going to be the third shot on target for Depor in the game (and the last one on the season).

Depor’s last two changes were the entries of Oriol Riera and Celso Borges claiming the spots of Fajr and Mosquera. There were some good opportunities for both sides within the last ten minutes, Luis Alberto missed the target (86’) and Pletikosa made a couple of good saves to keep the score at 0-2. The public applauded the moves of the Croatian goalie, who during the week announced his retirement.

Grey impression left by Deportivo in the game. The team never represented a problem for a Real Madrid that resolved the game in only 25 minutes, later there were no more goals as FC Barcelona were also having an easy game at Granada CF (0-3), also because Ronaldo hit the post twice while Pletikosa made a couple of good saves. Cartabia was the best player in attack.

This is the end of the season for Deportivo, the Galicians are only pending to determine their final position in La Liga waiting for Sunday’s results. The club will inform in the coming days about the calendar for the pre-season.

Deportivo: (4-4-2) Pletikosa – Manuel Pablo, Arribas (Róber 70’), Sidnei, Navarro – Cartabia, Álex Bergantiños, Mosquera (Borges 75’), Fajr (Riera 75’) – Lucas. Luis Alberto.
Real Madrid: (4-3-3) Navas – Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo – Kross (Isco 60’), Casemiro, Modrić – Bale, Benzema (Bale 75’), Ronaldo (James 46’).
Goals: 0-1: (7’) Ronaldo, 0-2: (25’) Ronaldo
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz. He showed yellow card to Kross (49’), Mosquera (56’), Sergio Ramos (85’) & Modrić (89’)
Venue: Riazor (29,017)
Other statistics: Other statistics: Ball possession (41% - 59%); Attempts to score (4 – 10); Total shots (10 - 16); Shots on target (3 - 5); Saves by the keepers (3 - 3); Corner-kicks (4 - 8); Offsides (0 - 3); Fouls committed (6 - 9); Passing accuracy (82% - 90%)





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