Squad news


21 Sep 2017
First victory on the season for a Deportivo that played awful in the first, but that later improved. Luisinho scored the goal at the end of the first part.

Coach Pepe Mel presented a 4-4-2 figure, a modification from the 4-3-3 tested the day before with the only novelty of Florin Andone replacing last-minute injured striker Adrián. Fede Valverde was performing as left winger.

Costel Pantilimon was the starting goalie, with Juanfran Moreno performing on the right side of the defence, Luisinho returned to the left, while Fabian Schär and Alejandro Arribas covered the central positions. Celso Borges and Guilherme were the centre midfielders, Fede Cartabia attacked from the right wing, Fede Valverde did it from the left, then Lucas Pérez played behind Andone in attack.

At Alavés, new coach Javier Cabello presented several novelties at the squad, but the references in attack were the expected ones: Munir El Haddadi, Ibai Gómez, Álvaro Medrán and Jorge Franco ‘Burgui’

Boring first part, Depor was a broken team that had the ball possession, but that missed a guide at midfield. Alavés did nothing until the final minutes, and after the chances from the visitors the Galicians found the goal.

The game started with Deportivo having the ball and the initiative, but somehow Alavés looked more dangerous, through a couple of free-kick without consequences.  The Galicians needed the points, but didn’t seem to have a plan for it.

And it’s that Valverde didn’t seem to be comfortable on the left wing and the team was broken in four pieces, two were defending both sides, while the other two were moving towards the wings leaving a lot of space at midfield.

The first shot in the game came until minute 16, and it was for Alavés, a counterattack that ended with a wide shot from Medrán.  The first attack from Depor came until minute 18; it was a counterattack of Andone in which he couldn’t combine with Lucas.

Depor’s first clear chance came at minute 21, Cartabia made the play on the left wing and tried to combine with Luisinho, then the ball reached the path of Fede Valverde, but the Uruguayan missed the target firing from the edge of the area. That was going to be the first of the three shots from the Uruguayan, who improved in the next minutes becoming the best man of the team in the game.

The match reached the 30-minute mark and both teams were clearly demonstrating why they were living a poor start in liga. They were moving the ball, but later lacked depth to create scoring opportunities. At minute 32, Valverde appeared again making a great pass after a corner-kick action, he assisted Andone, but the striker sent the ball over the crossbar.

Valverde appeared again at minute 35, this time in order to head a cross from the left, but he missed the target. The Uruguayan was the youngest player on the pitch, but was also the one with more matured ideas.

Alavés improved in the last stretch of the first part, Munir attempted with a shot from long range that Pantilimon cleared to corner-kick (40’), in the resulting cross Ely hit the far post of Depor’s keeper after heading the ball alone at the edge of the area. Then a later and dangerous cross from Duarte passed between the goal and Pantilimon (42’).

And just when the half was going to end, and the fans were starting to whistle the team, Depor were going to score the lonely goal in this meeting. Andone fought for the ball at the left corner of the area, then he released a drilling cross into the path of Luisinho and the left back scored with a low shot into the near post of visiting goalie Fernando Pacheco, who should have done a better job defending the attempt.

Deportivo improved a lot and had more scoring chances, but this time the team lacked aim. Alavés gave some problems and there was some tension, but it was more for the nerves coming with the narrow score than for the game of the rival.

It seemed the late goal in the first part affected Alavés, because Depor started the second half without too many pressure, so the combinations in attack were now more frequent; therefore Valverde and Cartabia were finding Lucas and Depor had more depth.

Still, Alavés had a great opportunity at minute 55, Munir found the ball at the left side of the area and Pantilimon barely made the save. He conceded a rebound, but later Munir didn’t find the loose ball.

At minute 59, Fabian Schär found the ball at the box in a corner-kick coming from the left, but he headed the ball over the crossbar. Then Depor made the first substitution and Emre Çolak replaced Lucas. The Turkish added some fresh ideas, though at that point Alavés were showing their miseries, while Depor were finding a lot of room up front.

The next change for Depor came at minute 65; it was a long pass from the defence in which Valverde didn’t hesitate in sending a strong shot that went over the crossbar. Two minutes later Andone ran with the ball on the right wing and his crossed shot was first deflected by Pacheco and later was cleared by the defence.

One of the constant combinations in the game came with Valverde finding Luisinho, at minute 76 it occurred again with the Portuguese firing a volley from the edge of the area that was saved by Pacheco. Both players were among the best men for Depor in the match.

The final ten minutes were tense, but more for the narrow score. Depor should have killed the match, while Alavés had a couple of opportunities. At minute 80, a counterattack for the locals almost ended in goal. Valverde sent a drilling cross that Andone barely connected at the far post, the ball hit the net by the outside.

Then Alavés had two late chances, first it was a drilling shot from Medrán that was an easy catch for Pantilimon (85’), then the Romanian goalie tried to clear the ball with the feet in a long pass coming from midfield, but missed the ball and luckily a foul was called (90’). In the middle of both plays Borja Valle replaced Andone.

The game ended with a great chance for Depor, but Çolak sent the ball out firing from the box when he was alone after picking drilling pass from the left (90+2’). Bruno Gama was the last substitution taking the pace of Cartabia.

Not an impressive presentation by Depor; actually the team left a poor impression before a poor rival, mainly in the first half, but the important thing was the fact of been the first victory on the season, fresh air for coach Pepe Mel, who was facing a lot of pressure after the poor start in liga.

Deportivo are leaving the relegation zone, at least until Thursday’s games. On Sunday, the team visits RCD Espanyol (RCDE Stadium, 12h00 CET).

Deportivo: (4-3-3) Pantilimon – Juanfran, Schär, Arribas, Luisinho – Guilherme, Borges, Valverde –Cartabia (Bruno Gama 90+2’), Andone (Borja Valle 88’), Lucas (Çolak 62’).
:Alavés: (4-2-3-1) Pacheco – Vigaray, Ely, Maripán, Duarte – Torres (Sobrino 68’), Manu García - Ibai Gómez, Medrán, Burgui (Pedrasa 61’) – Munir (Óscar Romero 82’).
Goal: 1-0: (45+1’) Luisinho
Referee: David Medié Jiménez. He showed yellow card to Vigaray (49’) & Maripán (61’)
Venue: Riazor (18,612)
Other statistics: Ball possession (57% - 43%); Attempts to score (7 – 5); Total shots (15 - 8); Shots on target (3- 3); Saves by the keepers (3 - 2); Corner-kicks (5 - 2); Offsides (2 - 6); Fouls committed (16 - 19); Passing accuracy (80% - 77%)



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