Squad news


17 Aug 2008
Grey game for Deportivo and Cruz Azul, the Mexicans just took advantage of an error committed by Piscu in order to take the lead and later they did nothing, while the Galicians only reacted until the final moments as they achieved the comeback in just five minutes. Youngster Juanan had a solid performance in defence and even scored one of the goals.

In the end, neither Lopo nor Manuel Pablo entered to the list of called players, that’s why Lotina had to trust in two players coming from Fabril: Laure and Juanan, meanwhile Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’ was covering the absence of Z? Castro, meaning that Depor played with a defensive line of four men from which three were Fabril’s members during the past season. Due the long list of casualties, Lotina even called Rodri, who is one of the discards, for the game.

Supposedly Lotina was testing the strategy to be used in the returning leg with Hajduk Split: a 4-4-2, although the actors were different. Antonio Tom??s was taking the place of Sergio in midfield, while Pablo ?lvarez (right) and Cristian (left) were the wingers. Verd?? performed as second striker, just behind Mista. Cruz Azul presented an offensive team with all C?sar Villaluz, Cristian Riveros, Pablo Zeballos and Nicol??s Vigneri on the pitch. The match was played in an almost empty Riazor (only 4,000 spectators).

The first minutes were very poor; Deportivo was getting use to the several novelties at the squad while Cruz Azul seemed tired after the long journey from Mexico. The Galicians were the first side to enjoy of an opportunity as Juan Rodr?guez fired a mid-distance shot that passed near the right post (5’). Since that moment, Depor started to dominate the actions though the only chances were coming, as usually, in set-pieces.

That’s how the next chance for the home team arrived at minute 15, a free-kick taken in short by Verd?? was received by Cristian and the final shot of the Catalan was cleared by keeper Yosgart Guti?rrez to a new corner. As it happened in the UEFA game with Hajduk Split, Deportivo seemed in control of the actions but without enough ideas to create any danger against the rival. Meanwhile the Mexicans were a shy team who had its first approximation until minute 26, it was a shot without consequences coming from Vigneri.

However, a difference with the game against the Croatians is that there was a player in midfield trying to direct the traffic of the ball: Joan Verd??. The ex-Barcelona demonstrated he can play as second striker, he was constantly building combinations with Juan Rodr?guez and Antonio Tom??s, although his efforts weren’t materialised in too many clear occasion.

Verd?? himself was near to score after a combination with Filipe that ended in the roof of the net (29’).Seven minutes later, the same player had Depor’s clearest chance in the first half as he took a free-kick that Guti?rrez cleared. At minute 38 Cristian made a good run on the left win and his drilling cross was near to end in goal, but the final shot of Mista was deflected by a defender.

And Cruz Azul surprisingly took the lead one minute later; it was a shocker because it was the only action in which the Mexicans created some danger against Aranzubia. And all started with a big mistake of Piscu as the youngster lost the ball when he was the last man in Depor’s defensive line, Paraguayan Nicol??s Vigneri was the one that stole the ball and he easily surpassed Aranzubia in the one-on-one action.

There wasn’t any reaction from Deportivo during the final five minutes of the first half, just a new sequence between Mista and Cristian that ended in nothing. Once again the Galicians were dominating the game and one more time they were incapable of taking advantage of the ball possession, this time they were even losing the encounter after the first 45 minutes. Bad day for Piscu who committed a huge error, but the other side of the coin for the youngsters was Juanan, who was very lively and impressed during a couple of times in which he faced much experienced Vigneri.

The second half was very similar to the first part: a Deportivo that possessed the ball, but that failed to create any danger, at least during the first ten minutes, period of time in which the game was very boring. Suddenly things started to heat up as Depor started to have some chances, as always the main opportunities came through the stationary game. At minute 61, a free-kick of Filipe was transformed into a cross to the box that Pablo ?lvarez headed out, one of the two chances in which the right winger appeared on the game.

Lotina tried to improve the things and he sent Riki and Valer??n to the pitch, they replaced Cristian and Juan Rodr?guez. In this way, Verd?? delayed his position on the pitch while El Flaco took the function of second striker. Despite the move, the mind of the Galicians continued to be stuck and the team wasn’t generating any occasion. Besides coach Galindo took off Lozano and specially Vigneri. The Paraguayan was the best man in the Mexican side. Therefore the game continued to be poor. Fifteen minutes before the end, Sergio replaced Verd??, who lowered his level during the second half.

Cruz Azul was near to score the second goal at minute 77, a long ball was controlled by Pablo Zeballos and he faced a doubtful Aranzubia, but the Paraguayan miscalculated the action and he lifted the ball over the crossbar. And as it happened in the first half, one of the teams scored a goal during the following play after a great occasion for the opposite side, and this team it was Deportivo who scored. And the goal for the Galicians came in the expected way: a set-piece.

Sergio took a free-kick and Juanan headed the ball inside the box to tie the actions. Suddenly, Depor was breathing its ?second air’, because Lotina’s side started to have clear chances, first Valer??n lifting the ball over the keeper after a dead ball inside the ball (83’), and one minute later a penalty over Mista was called, the ex-Valencia entered to the box and midfielder Cristian Riveros tackled him. Sergio took the chance and materialised the penalty. Surprisingly, Depor was achieving a comeback in just five minutes.

The final minutes were a monologue for Deportivo. First Riki was near to score the third goal after he sent a shot that ended in corner (87’), in the next play Pablo ?lvarez sent a drilling shot that was stopped by Guti?rrez. The match ended with a big question mark after Aranzubia lost a ball inside the box, the action almost ends in goal for the visitors, a demonstration the Basque keeper still without the proper pace to play the position.

Grey game at the Riazor, Deportivo was a shadow and it only reacted during the final fifteen minutes of the game. Not even the entrance of Valer??n was enough to awake a team that seemed disconnected. Lotina has to work fast if he wants to find the solutions before the second-leg in UEFA. The good news was the good job done by Verd?? in the first half and the solid performance of Juanan, youngster that even scored one of the goals. Meanwhile Cruz Azul was a shy rival that made one of its worst games on the last months.

Now Depor waits for the winner of the encounter between Atl?tico Madrid and Sporting Gij??n, match that will take place on this night (21h00). The loser of this match will meet Cruz Azul in the game for the third place, match that will take place on Tuesday; this confrontation will be followed by the final of the Teresa Herrera.

Deportivo: Aranzubia - Laure, Piscu, Juanan, Filipe Luis - Cristian (Riki 61’), Juan Rodr?guez (Valer??n 67’), Antonio Tom??s, Pablo Alvarez -Verd?? (Sergio 75’) - Mista.
Cruz Azul: Guti?rrez - Bonet, Beltr??n, Dom?nguez, Chavel (Viades 75’) - Villaluz, Velasco, Riveros, Lozano (Andrade 67’) – Zeballos, Vigneri (Vela 67’).
Goals: 0-1: (38’) Vigneri, 1-1: (80’) Juanan, 2-1: (85’) Sergio (penalty)
Referee: Gonz??lez Gonz??lez. He showed yellow card to Laure (84’).
Venue: Riazor (4,000)

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