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REVIEW: ATHLETIC 2 - DEPORTIVO 3 (LIGA)

15 Apr 2018
Dramatic victory for a Deportivo that completed a great first part, it was later complicated in the second half, but managed to add three golden points in the quest for the permanence.

BEFORE THE GAME
Coach Clarence Seedorf sent the expected lineup for the game. Rubén Martínez covered the goal, Juanfran Moreno performed on the right side in defence, the left flank was for Luisinho, while Fabian Schär and Raúl Albentosa were the centre-backs.

The diamond figure at midfield had Emre Çolak as the link with the attackers, with Michael Krohn-Dehli, Pedro Mosquera and Celso Borges playing behind. The attackers were Adrian López and Lucas Pérez.

At Athletic Club, the only novelty of coach José Ángel Ziganda was to see Xabier Etxeita performing at the centre of the defence. Iñigo Córdoba, Markel Susaeta and Iñaki Williams were the refences looking for the goals.

FIRST HALF
Perfect first part by Deportivo, the Galician outfit scored early in the half and later knew when to attack and when to defend an Athletic that was heavily whistled at San Mamés. Depor never suffered and even deserved a bigger lead.

The game started with the first goal from Depor. Lucas released a corner from the left, Fabian Schär headed the ball at the far post, then it went into the path of Adrián López, who headed the ball again at the box to score from close range.

Adrian was close to score again, this time collecting a cross from the right coming from Juanfran, but his shot from the left corner of the box went close to the near post of Kepa Arrizabalaga (7’).

Athletic didn’t react and Deportivo replied. It was a throw-in for the Galicians, Lucas made the play and released a cross from the right. The ball went into the far post, Borges headed it into the penalty spot and Adrián was there to push the ball in.

Suddenly San Mamés were whistling and the locals started to push, but their lonely chance within the first twenty minutes was a cross from the left that Iñaki Williams headed out (15’). The Basques were having the ball, but their crosses weren’t creating any harm.

Meanwhile, Deportivo continued to be dangerous in the counterattack. At minute 27, a new cross from Juanfran was headed by Adrián and the ball went wide.  The Galicians were holding at the back, and at the same time were looking more dangerous than the Basques.

The first dangerous play for Athletic came until minute 30, De Marcos got the ball at the edge of the area after a collective play on the left, but he sent the ball over the crossbar. In the next play Lucas didn’t seize an aerial duel before Kepa and later Luisinho was offside after been assisted by the Galician attacker.

The superiority of Depor was so evident that the first half should have ended with a new goal, after a collective play with more than 20 passes, a long throw by Schär left Lucas alone before Kepa, the attacker dribbled the keeper, but the ball hit his heel and a defender managed to clear the danger (45+2’). In that play Kepa touched the ball with the hand when he was outside the area, but the referee didn’t see it.

SECOND HALF
The suffering came in the second part, Athletic scored early, Depor recovered the two-goal lead thanks to Borja Valle, but a new distraction of Rubén left the victory in doubt. The same Rubén saved his team twice before the rain of corners for the locals. 

The final part started with three modifications, one of them was at Depor as Adrián ended the first half injured (knock in the foot). Borja Valle replaced him.  If the first half had a goal from Depor at the start, now the early goal was for Athletic.

It was a corner-kick from the left, Schär failed to clear the ball and it ended in the head of Raúl García, who headed it into the near post past Rubén. It was the worst possible start for the Galicians, but they didn’t allow a reaction as they immediately scored the third goal.

Luisinho made the play on the left after a local error, he assisted Lucas Pérez, who released the cross from the left and Borja Valle pushed the ball in from close range after anticipating a rival, it is his first goal at Primera.

Then Seedorf made the second substitution and Fede Valverde replaced Çolak. The goal stopped the reaction from the Basques, now the scenario was similar to the one of the first part as Depor were looking more dangerous in the counterattack.

Athletic’s next chance came until minute 65, it was a low shot by Beñat that went close to the near post. Depor seemed to have things under control, but a new distraction in defence cost a goal. It was corner-kick from the left.

Susaeta released the cross, Raul García pushed a rival at the near post, a foul that the referee didn’t whistle, but the key aspect was that Rubén didn’t react, so the ball hit he ground and entered by the far post.

This new goal changed the game, Athletic harassed a Depor that lost the timing with the exit of Çolak and the suffering started. A desperate Seedorf replaced Krohn-Dehli with Navarro, but it didn’t stop the avalanche led by substitutes Muniain and Aduriz, mainly represented in the countless corners.

It was then that Rubén showed up to fix his previous error with two key saves, both in corner-kick actions. In the first he blocked a low attempt by Raul García (76’), three minutes later it was a similar play before Iñigo Martínez. Athletic didn’t have any clear chance within the last ten minutes, but the Galicians suffered due to the pressure and the narrow advantage.

AFTER THE GAME
Back-to-back wins for Deportivo, the Galicians played a magnificent first half, it returned to commit errors in the second part, but this time it didn’t affect the result. Lucas led the attack, Adrián scored twice, while Rubén Martínez made two key saves after a new big error that cost a goal.

The win left Deportivo waiting for the result of Levante UD visiting Atlético Madrid, it’s a week with three games, so the Galicians have little time to recover as Sevilla CF play at the Riazor on Tuesday (19h30 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Athletic: (4-2-3-1) Kepa – De Marcos, Etxeita (Yeray 46’), Iñigo Martínez, Balenziaga – San José, Beñat (Muniain 66’) – Susaeta, Raúl García, Iñigo Córdoba (Aduriz 46’) – Iñaki Williams.
Deportivo: (4-3-3) Rubén Martínez - Juanfran, Albentosa, Schär, Luisinho - Krohn-Dehli (Navarro 76’), Mosquera, Borges – Çolak (Fede Valverde 58’), Lucas, Adrián (Borja Valle 46’).
Goals: 0-1: (5’) Adrián, 0-2: (13’) Adrián, 1-2: (47’) Raúl García, 1.3: (53’) Borja Valle 2-3: (72’) Susaeta
Referee: José Luis González González. He showed yellow card to Raúl García (61’), Ruben (78’) & Yeray (90+1’)
Venue: San Mamés
Other statistics: Ball possession (62% - 38%); Attempts to score (7 – 6); Total shots (13 - 5); Shots on target (4- 3); Saves by the keepers (2 - 0); Corner-kicks (10 - 6); Offsides (1 - 7); Fouls committed (5 - 9); Passing accuracy (85% - 77%)

ARCHIVE NEWS APR/18

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