Competition news


01 Feb 2009
Depor returned to the path of the victory and achieved a solid victory over Villarreal, result that allows Lotina’s squad to reach the sixth place in the table. Lafita and Riki destroyed a poor yellow submarine that gave a grey impression at the Riazor. Aranzubia even stopped a penalty and Lassad debuted.

Both coaches sent the expected squads to the pitch. Lotina continued with his 4-3-2-1 figure, Aranzubia and Riki were the novelties in the scheme compared to the squad that lost against Real Madrid. At Villarreal, Pellegrini trusted in his usual 4-4-2, though Rossi and Nihat were out injured, this time the attacking positions were for Llorente and Mexican Guille Franco.

Depor was coming after fifth straight defeats and was searching for a turning point, and definitely the Galicians found what they were looking for. Because this was one of the most complete games of Deportivo, at the same time Villarreal continued showing a sad face, the one of a team that's falling down after been at the top during the first matchdays.

And all taking in mind that Depor had a very favourable start, with a goal after just two minutes in the clock. It was a long ball sent by Depor’s defense that Riki headed at the age of the area, it turned into a pass that Angel Lafita chased entering to the area by the right side, Godin was too slow and the Aragonian was smart enough to chip the ball and pass Diego L??pez to send the ball to the back of the net.

Before to the goal, Riki claimed penalty after a great pass of Valer??n, but the referee didn’t whistle it. The true is that the early advantage gave calmness to Deportivo while the visitors never found a solution against the deadlock imposed by Depor’s defensive zone, which returned to be the rock of past occasions. The only opportunity for Villarreal in the first part was on the boots of Llorente, it was the only combination between Guille Franco and the ex-Valladolid attacker during the game, the Mexican tried to send a cross and the ball hit Lopo first, then Llorente arrived but his shot went over the crossbar (26’).

Guille Franco had to leave the game before half-time after he suffered an injury during a collision with Aranzubia, he was replaced by Ibagaza as Villarreal ended the first part switching its strategy into a 4-2-3-1 system.

But the protagonists in the first part were Lafita and Riki, men that shined and created a couple of good chances against Pellegrini’s men. At minute 19, Riki headed a free-kick inside the box and only the intervention of Diego L??pez saved Villarreal from the second goal. Verd?? also missed a chance to score the second goal with a shot from long-distance, but his effort went wide (44’).

The pace of the game was not too high in the first half, Depor just capitalised its first great occasion and spent the rest of the half controlling a rival that never reacted. Both Lafita and Riki were shining as Depor was approaching to a new victory at home.

The final 45 minutes started as the first half begun: with Deportivo having a very clear chance to score, though this time it missed the opportunity. It was a one-to-one action between Riki and Diego L??pez that the Galician keeper repealed (48’), in the next play the same Diego L??pez saved his team after Verd?? found a precise pass of Lafita inside the box.

Then the game reached a pause of ten minutes in which Villarreal had the ball possession though without creating clear chances to tie the game, later Depor regained the control and the occasions started to flow for the Galicians. First with a new one-on-one action between Riki and Diego Lopez, this after a great pass of Valer??n, this time the Madrilenian missed the target (58’).

It seemed that Depor was wasting too many chances, but then the second goal arrived, again scored by Angel Lafita, it was a fast counterattack in which Lopo started the action making a pass to Riki, then he assisted the Aragonian winger, Lafita ran and crossed the pitch from left to right against the mark of Eguren until he fired a precise shot from the edge of the area sending the ball to the left post of Diego Lopez. Lafita continues to be the Pichichi of the squad, now with seven goals scored.

Pellegrini tried to react with the double entry of Joan Tom??s and Matias Fern??ndez for Pires and Eguren, but it was Depor who found the third goal just six minutes after the second. Again during a fast play of Depor, Verd?? started the action as he fulfilled a good pass to Riki on the right wing, the Madrilenian was trying to sent a cross to the area, but the central defenders of Villarreal were distracted with the presence Lafita inside the box, and they never marked the ex-Getafe man, then Riki decided to end the play by himself with a crossed shot that entered by the far post of Diego Lopez. It was a beauty that closed a period of three months scoreless for Riki.

Then referee Carlos Velasco Carballo whistled an inexistent penalty of Lopo over Matias Fern??ndez, it occurred twenty minutes before the end and suddenly, a door was opened to Villarreal. But Aranzubia closed it as he stopped the shot to the centre made by Senna.

Later the game became a party, Villarreal was already defeated and the public at the Riazor celebrated and applauded Depor’s player when Lotina made his three substitutions. First Juan Rodr?guez entered for Valer??n, then Lassad Nouioui debuted with the first squad as he entered for Riki, the French attacker is the first Fabril’s player used by Lotina on the present liga season, the second in all the competitions as Juanan played  the two legs in Intertoto.

The final modification was the entry of Pablo ?lvarez for Lafita, player that received a standing ovation at the Riazor. Precisely, the last two men that entered to the pitch were the protagonists of the last opportunity in the game, it was during the stoppage time as Pablo ?lvarez assisted Lassad with a drilling cross that the French attacker smashed into the body of Diego L??pez.

Solid presentation of a Deportivo that was very effective against a poor and harmless Villarreal, Lafita and Riki were the best players for the local team as their moves provoked the three goals of Depor. Verd?? and Valer??n also shined with their precise passes. The win was so comfortable that Lotina even had time to allow the debut of Lassad with the first squad. To make perfect the things, Aranzubia stopped a penalty.

The important repercussion of the triumph is that Atletico Madrid (1-2 Vs Valladolid) and Malaga (2-3 at Athletic Bilbao) lost their respective games, meaning that Depor is now jumping from the 8th to the 6th place. Depor has ended the tough period in the calendar in which it had to face the elite in liga, now it starts a short stage in which it will face the last two places in the competition, starting with the visit to the Ono Stadi in order to face current last place RCD Mallorca (Sunday 17h00 CET).

Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Z? Castro, Filipe – Verd??, Antonio Tom??s, De Guzm??n – Lafita (Pablo Alvarez 89’), Valer??n (Juan Rodr?guez 78’) – Riki (Lassad 85’).
Villarreal: Diego L??pez - Javi Venta, Fuentes, God?n, Capdevila - Eguren (Joan Tom??s 67’), Senna, Cazorla, Pires (Mati Fern??ndez 67’) - Guille Franco (Ibagaza 45’), Llorente.
Goals: 1-0: (2’) Lafita, 2-0: (63’) Lafita, 3-0:  (68’) Riki.
 Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo. He showed yellow card to Eguren (17’), Manuel Pablo (18’), Javi Venta (35’), Llorente (36’), Lopo (74’), Ibagaza (79’) and Verd?? (81’). 
Venue: Riazor (16,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (44% - 56%); Total shots (17 - 10); Shots on target (12 - 4); Saves by the keepers (3 - 7); Corner-kicks  (5 - 4); Offsides (7 - 2); Fouls committed (15 - 19); Accuracy in the passes (80.58% - 82.58%)



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