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REVIEW: ESPANYOL 4 – DEPORTIVO 1 (LIGA)

25 Sep 2017
New defeat and once again with a Deportivo committing huge errors in defence, the team had the ball, more chances and more shots, but is going back to a Coruña with a heavy loss.

BEFORE THE GAME
Coach Pepe Mel sent the expected squad with Lucas Pérez as starter and leaving Florin Andone on the bench. The figure was a 4-4-2 with Costel Pantilimon at the goal, Juanfran Moreno covered the right side in defence, Luisinho stayed on the left, with Alejandro Arribas and Fabian Schär at the central positions.
 
Guilherme and Celso Borges were the centre midfielders, Fede Cartabia covered the right wing, the left flank was for Fede Valverde, Emre Çolak was the playmaker and Lucas Pérez was the centre forward.

At RCD Espanyol, coach Quique Sánchez Flores presented the novelty at midfield territory of Pape Diop for Javi Fuego.  The latter was a last-minute casualty due to illness. The rest was the expected squad with Leo Baptistão and Gerard Moreno as the references up front.

FIRST HALF
Unfortunate first part for Deportivo, once again the team conceded quick goals, later it had the ball and created chances to score, but it didn’t materialize them.  In the end, a high price paid by the Blanquiazul outfit.

The game started with both sides pushing up front, Depor were looking fine, but didn’t last in allowing the first goal in the game. Víctor Sánchez released a low cross from the right, Leo Baptistão threw himself into the ground and connected a header that turned into a crossed shot past Pantilimon.

The game continued with the initial script, because there wasn’t a clear side dominating, both teams were trying to attack with Çolak pretty active for Deportivo, but the Galicians weren’t creating scoring opportunities. 

Depor’s first chance came at minute 15, Cartabia picked the ball at the left side of the area and attempted a strong shot that went over the crossbar of local goalie Pau López. The response of the Catalan side was a high cross from the left that Jurado couldn’t head inside the area.

At minute 19, Gerard Moreno headed the ball out in a lateral free-kick, and then the second goal arrived. After two straight corners, Gerard Moreno headed the ball at the near post, then it hit Arribas and went in by the centre, very close to Pantilimon.

Depor tried to react and Fabian Schär was close to score after stealing the ball in defence, he ran until the edge of the area and his low shot was barely deflected by Pau López (25’). Then Çolak collected a rebound at the edge of the area, but his strong shot just passed close to the crossbar (28).

At this height in the game, Depor (3) already had more chances than Espanyol (2), but was trailing by two goals. Just as it happened against Real Sociedad, the Galicians were paying a high price for their defensive weakness and their lack of aim up front.

The previous action of Çolak was repeated at minute 32, this time Pau López cleared the ball to corner-kick. With the two-goal advantage, Espanyol were giving the initiative to Depor, so the visiting side had the ball possession. Espanyol had the next chance to score, Leo Baptistão found the ball at the left side of the area in a rebound and the Brazilian missed the target with a strong shot (34’). Depor tried to push at the end of the half, but it didn’t create more scoring opportunities.

SECOND HALF
Deportivo improved a lot in the second part, to the point of deserving the draw at the middle of the half, but an unfortunate penalty sunk a team that continued committing huge errors in defence. In the end, the game passed from a probable 2-2 situation to a painful 4-1.

Depor started the second part with a double chance, first Guilherme was unable to connect the ball properly when he was alone inside the area during a corner-kick action (46’), one minute later Cartabia connected a cross from Valverde and Pau López made a great save.

Mel was switching the positions of Çolak and Valverde and the visiting side continued to have the ball and the initiative, and it finally found the reward of a goal. Luisinho made a great play on the left and released a drilling cross, Borges collected it inside the box and, despite not been properly positioned, he managed to release a volley into the far post.

Deportivo continued pushing, RCD Espanyol were still looking dangerous in the counterattack, so the game was open.  At minute 66, Fede Valverde was close to score after collecting a loose ball in a corner-kick action, but Pau López made the save.

Mel made the first substitution and Andone replaced Guilherme, but just when the team was looking better, Espanyol got a penalty from nowhere. Arribas committed the penalty after trying to move the ball away inside the area, in the process he slightly connected Aarón Martín and the referee whistled the penalty. Gerard Moreno seized the chance firing from the spot.

Borja Valle replaced Çolak and the Galicians went down as they were again losing by two goals, the locals felt more comfortable and were close to score the fourth goal in a double chance at minute 81, the clearest one was an error of Pantilimon, who ended assisting substitute Sergio García, who incredibly missed the target with his volley from the edge of the area.

The last substitution at Depor was the entry of Bruno Gama for Cartabia, and the last opportunity for the visiting side came with a crossed shot of Lucas that was deflected to corner-kick (85’). And the fourth goal arrived at the last minute, Leo Baptistão released a short cross from the left and Gerard Moreno connected it at the box to sink a Deportivo that was already out of the game.

AFTER THE GAME
Deportivo had the ball possession, it had more goal opportunities and more shots, but the team returns to A Coruña with a heavy loss. The big defensive errors and the lack of aim provoked a radical change passing from a scenario in which Depor deserved the draw into a 4-1 loss.

The Galicians will continue in relegation and with Pepe Mel still facing the strong criticism from the media and the fans. The next game is the visit of Getafe CF to the Riazor (Saturday, 13h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Espanyol: (4-4-2) Pau López – Víctor Sánchez, Hermoso, David López, Aarón – Jurado (Sergio García 64’), Darder, Diop (Marc Navarro 70’), Piatti (Granero 59’) – Baptistão, Gerard Moreno.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Pantilimon – Juanfran, Schär, Arribas, Luisinho – Guilherme (Andone 70’), Borges – Cartabia (Bruno Gama 85’), Çolak (Borja Valle 73’), Valverde – Lucas Pérez.
Goals: 1-0: (5’) Baptistão, 2-0: (22’) Arribas (o.g.), 2-1: (52’) Borges, 3-1: (71’) Gerard Moreno (penalty), 4-1: (89’) Gerard Moreno.
Referee: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea. He showed yellow card to Luisinho (19’), Víctor Sánchez (74’) & Bruno Gama (90+2’)
Venue: RCDE Stadium (19,585)
Other statistics: Ball possession (37% - 63%); Attempts to score (9 – 11); Total shots (16 - 21); Shots on target (5- 6); Saves by the keepers (2 - 4); Corner-kicks (4 - 6); Offsides (1 - 1); Fouls committed (16 - 6); Passing accuracy (77% - 85%)

ARCHIVE NEWS SEP/17

ZAPPING

 

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