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SEASON 2018/19: A FAILED DREAM

26 Jun 2019
One of the longest seasons in the history of Deportivo, and in ended in tragedy as the team waste d a two-goal lead in the playoff to end at the same point: back at Segunda.

There were doubts at the start of the season, because there was certain pessimism among the fans after the debacle at Primera División. The arrival of Natxo González didn’t convince too much, but the Basque coach had a solid start with two victories and two draws in the first four games in liga.

Depor dropped two points in the opening matchday at Albacete Balompié (1-1), but then beat Extremadura UD on the road (0-1) and again dropped points visiting CD Tenerife (2-2). The first game at the Riazor arrived until matchday 4 as the Riazor was under improvements, and it was a victory against Sporting Gijón (1-0).

The first official defeat on the season was in Copa Del Rey visiting Real Zaragoza (2-1), result that was followed by the first loss in liga, it was visiting AD Alcorcón (1-0). But that was only a mirage as Deportivo was going to chain a long undefeated streak of 13 games.

Depor chained straight victories over Granada CF (2-1) and Gimnástic Tarragona (1-3). It was matchday 07 and Los Blanquiazules were already in the promotion zone, a privilege they were going to hold for several months.

After these back-to-back wins, Deportivo started a path of adding a victory followed by a draw.  So, the 1-1 draw with Málaga CF at the Riazor was followed by a 4-0 win over Elche CF, then the 1-1 at Córdoba CF was followed by a 2-0 win over FC Reus.

The fact of been mixing wins and draws didn’t allow Depor to spend too many time among the first two places, actually the Galicians were never the leaders in the competition and only spent three matchdays at the second spot.

The path of mixing wins and draws continued at the end of 2018 with Depor adding a draw at UD Las Palmas (1-1), which was followed by a 4-0 victory over Real Oviedo. Then the team rescued a point from UD Almeria (1-1) and clinched a 2-0 win over CA Osasuna.

Then Deportivo gave its first sign of weakness. A goalless draw at Rayo Majadahonda was followed by a 2-2 draw at the Riazor with CD Numancia, a game that was 2-0 by minute 58. It seemed only a blink as the Galicians clinched later a 3-1win over Real Zaragoza, but then it came the 3-0 loss at Cadiz CF, which turned to be the worst defeat of the regular season and the last game in 2018.

And things changed for bad in 2019, the first round ended with a disappointed goalless draw hosting CD Lugo and a 1-0 defeat at RCD Mallorca. At the time Los Blanquiazules were fourth, three points above the seventh place.

It seemed there was going to be a reaction as Depor ended January with two victories and later added a draw and a win at the beginning of February, and it was encouraging for the level of the rivals. A 2-0 win over Albacete Balompié was followed by a 1-2 success at Sporting Gijón, then a new goalless draw at home with CD Tenerife and 0-1 win at Granada CF.

At this height (matchday 25), Depor were already third, only one point below the direct promotion. And at that precise moment Depor started an unexpected downward spiral that drained the confidence of the fans. The team spent nine straight games without winning on the pitch (in the middle the 1-0 win over suspended FC Reus).

Depor started to present an awful performance at the Riazor, a 1-1 draw with relegated-troubled Gimnástic Tarragona was followed by draws at Málaga CF (0-0) and at home with AD Alcorcón (2-2). The two draws at home were discouraging as the final equalizer of the rivals came within the final minutes.

The downfall for Deportivo continued as it suffered the first home defeat on the season, a 0-1 score against UD Las Palmas. The pressure over Natxo González was increasing as Depor were unable to beat UD Almeria (0-0) and Real Oviedo (1-1), and finally his stage at the Galician club ended after the home defeat with Rayo Majadahonda (0-2).

José Luis Martí arrived in order to rescue the ship, but he started in a bad way as Depor chained straight defeats with CA Osasuna (2-1) and Extremadura UD (1-2). However, the Galician outfit started a positive streak since then.

Depor returned to winning way in back-to-back wins on the road: 1-2 at CD Numancia and 0-1 at Real Zaragoza. Then, again the team dropped points within the last minutes in a 1-1 draw with Cádiz CF, the last defeat on the regular season was a 1-0 at CD Lugo, and then it came the last-minute victory over RCD Mallorca (1-0).

It was matchday 40 and Depor were already out of the promotion zone, then Depor only got a point visiting Elche CF (0-0), but the defeat of Cádiz CF put the Galicians back into the sixth place, so Los Blanquiazules only needed a 2-0 win over Córdoba CF to certify the participation in the playoff .

The playoffs were another story, because Deportivo seemed to recover their best form. The Galicians eliminated Málaga CF with straight wins (4-2 & 0-1), and caressed the glory with a 2-0 win over RCD Mallorca, but it all ended in a nightmare as they lost the second-leg 3-0.

ARCHIVE NEWS JUNE/19

ZAPPING

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