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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 1 - ATHLETIC BILBAO 2 (LA LIGA)

07 May 2006
Once again Deportivo showed a poor performance at the Riazor, they had the victory in the pocket thanks to a goal scored by Arizmendi during the first half, but in the last 45 minutes several errors and a lack of ambition gave the three points to the Basques. Now Deportivo has lost all the chances to reach the UEFA cup although they continue to occupy an Intertoto spot, a competition that’s the last hope to save a disastrous season at home.

BEFORE THE MATCH
As it was expected coach Caparr??s presented an offensive formation with Trist??n upfront, Munitis on the left wing and Arizmendi on the right. Iago played as second striker while De Guzm??n replaced Duscher, the Argentinean was suspended for this match. In Athletic the veteran striker Urzaiz was selected by coach Clemente in order to lead the salvation dreams of the Basque squad.

Athletic needed a positive result in order to secure the category, Alav?©s lost in Zaragoza (0-3) and  the Basques were only needing a point to avoid the relegation. Meanwhile, Deportivo was needing a victory to secure definitely the Intertoto spot, Villareal drew 3-3 at Madrid meaning that  they were one point behind the Galicians.

FIRST HALF
Depor's players knew that a win in this match will secure them a spot in the Intertoto cup, for that reason they searched the victory since the first minutes, Trist??n was the most dangerous player during these minutes while the Basques didn't generate any danger.

The desired goal arrived soon, Munitis assisted Trist??n and the Sevillan striker sent a shot that keeper Lafuente deflected, but Javier Arizmendi was near and he scored his second goal of the season after missing to connect the ball in the first occasion, curiously both goals were scored against Athletic.

This goal affected the visitors' morale, they started the game using a defensive strategy knowing that a point will give them the salvation, and now the Basques were needing to change the mentality when the game was just starting. For this reason Athletic seemed lost during the first half and Yeste was the only one that gave some troubles to Molina. Deportivo in the other side, continued dominating the actions but the Galicians weren’t able to increase the lead in the score.

SECOND HALF
Clemente reacted sending Etxeberria to the pitch, but it was Depor who continued dominating the actions. Trist??n continued enjoying of some opportunities, but he wasn't able to score in his probable good-bye at the Riazor. Then Caparr??s decided to replace the Sevillan striker and also Iago. Iv??n Carril and Xisco entered to the game. Trist??n received an ovation from the fans in the stadium although some of them showed their disappointment with the marksman. A new demonstration of the controversy that surrounded him during the last seasons.

The modifications relaxed the environment and Deportivo lost all the offensive potential they showed at the beginning. The situation was helpful to Athletic and the Basques started to push for the equaliser, a result that arrived in a corner-kick that Casas headed on goal. It was a new mistake in stationary plays since the Basque player was alone when he headed the ball in the penalty spot. The goal only gave more impulse to the visitors and Depor lost the control over the ball.

When the draw seemed to be an acceptable result for Athletic, a new an decisive opportunity arrived for them. Sergio connected the ball with his hand when Yeste took a free-kick, referee Ram?­rez Dom?­nguez called the penalty since the Catalan was in Depor’s area. Molina was near to save his team but at the end Orb??iz scored the wining goal for his club, Depor didn't have time to react and the fans in Riazor ended the season with a bittersweet taste in the mouth... while the Basques on the stadium were celebrating the salvation.

AFTER THE MATCH
Once again Deportivo failed at the Riazor, their chances of reaching the UEFA cup are gone and the only hope of playing in Europe are related to the Intertoto cup, but first Depor needs to win the last match against Alav?©s or at least, to repeat the result of Villarreal against Racing. Athletic in the other side, secured their presence in Primera.

It has been one of the worst home seasons of Deportivo, the Galicians only achieved six wins at the Riazor while they suffered eight defeats. The balance between goals scored and allowed is also negative: Depor only scored 19 goals when they played at home, while they allowed 22 goals.

The negative news of the day were the incidents that happened outside of the pitch , before to kickoff, there were a confrontation between some Depor's and Athletic's fans outside of the stadium. As result several vehicles suffered broken windows, but there were no injuries among  the public attending to the stadium. One Basque's fan was arrested by the Galician police.

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: Molina - Manuel Pablo (Gallardo 80'), Coloccini, H?©ctor, Cadevila - Arizmendi, De Guzm??n, Sergio, Munitis - Iago (Iv??n Carril 61'), Trist??n (Xisco 65')
Athletic: Lafuente - Lacruz, Luis Prieto, Ustaritz, Amorebieta (Etxeberria 46'), Casas - Iraola, Murillo, Orb??iz, Yeste (Llorente 89') - Urz??iz (Tiko 74').
Goals: 1-0: (19') Arizmendi. 1-1: (70') Casas, 1-2: (88') Orb??iz (p).
Referee: Ram?­rez Dom?­nguez. He showed yellow card to H?©ctor (34'), Capdevila (58') and Sergio (86').
Venue: Riazor (15,000).

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