Competition news

SEARCHING FOR AN HISTORIC QUALIFICATION

13 May 2008
If Deportivo is able to clinch the Intertoto spot on Sunday, Lotina's team will make history. Because it will become the first club in Spain to play a European competition after ending the first round in relegation. There are some precedents in la liga about big comebacks, but nobody has reached an Europe tournament after been in the drop zone at the end of the first round.

Thing were complicated for Lotina at the middle of the current liga tournament and it seemed Deportivo will suffer a lot in order to achieve the permanence. Lotina's team was occupying the 19th spot in the table after the first nineteen games, the Galicians had 17 point and were four points below the safety (Recreativo, 21 points). In fact, after matchday 20, the 17th place was five points away from the Galicians after the 0-1 defeat at Almer?­a.

But the reaction of Depor after that particular game has been spectacular. The Galicians have added 35 of the 54 points disputed in the second round and they are currently eighth on the table. Several things have been appointed as the cause of this reaction, the most accepted one is the change in the system implemented by coach Lotina.

Now, Deportivo is at the verge of achieving an historic thing: a spot to play an European competition after ending the first round in relegation, something that nobody has done before in Spain. In order to fulfil this, Depor only has to clinch a point in the home confrontation against Villarreal.

There are some precedents about big comebacks in la liga, but non of this reactions was awarded with a European spot. Since la liga is composed by twenty teams earning three points for each victory (season 1997/1998), only one club that ended the first round in relegation has been able to add the same 35 points that Depor has conquered in the present second round. It was Rayo Vallecano on the 2001/2002 campaign.

At that time, the Madrilenians were the last place after the first round ended, but the 35 points added in the second part of the tournament allowed the comeback and to end the season in the 11th position. If Depor is able to add a point in the last game of this season, then its record will become into the best comeback in la liga within the last eleven years.

The following is a comparison of the performance by the teams that ended the first round in the drop zone within the last 11 years:

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