Squad news


01 May 2011
The invention of Lotina worked the half of the way, because it blocked the game of Atletico, but it also cut the offensive effort of the locals, which was almost inexistent. Lopo was sent off and the team couldn’t hold on the 0-0.

Lotina decided to play with Valerón leaving Lassad on the bench; the rest was the expected squad; with Aranzubia defending the goal, Laure covered the right-back position, Morel performed on the left side, while the central defenders were Lopo and Colotto.

All the eyes were upon Aythami Artiles, who was playing for the first time in la liga as a midfielder; the Canarian was joined by Juan Dominguez and Juan Rodriguez, the trivote that Lotina planned for this game. Valerón and Guardado were the two playmakers in the formation, while Xisco was the central attacker.

At Atletico Madrid, coach Quique Sánchez Flores was allowing the presence of Uruguayan Diego Godín at the centre of the defence. In attack, Diego Costa was joining Kun Aguero at the centre of the attack. As it happened in the past match with Racing there was a nice attending to the Riazor (34,000 spectators).

It was an equal first part, Deportivo dominated the first ten minutes and was pleasing the fans with its quick plays, but with the pass of the minutes the visitors claimed the control over the actions, though Atletico was looking a little slow and only created danger when Aguero was returning to midfield in order to combine with Reyes.

The first five minutes were moved, with Deportivo trying to exploit the short passes, while Atletico was relying in quick plays searching to surprise up front. At minute 4 the locals were asking for a penalty after Guardado was fouled as he was searching for a high ball inside the area, two minutes later Juan Rodriguez attempted with a long-range shot after Xisco stole the ball to Perea, but his attempt went wide.

Depor was looking as a solid team with its quick and short passes, which gave some sense of danger, but that picture just lasted a few minutes, because Atletico started to regain the ball possession and thus it grow up in the game, though it missed more depth. For this reason there weren’t too many scoring opportunities in this half.

One of the main questions for the game was to watch Aythami performing at midfield, the true is that the Canarian was passing unnoticed, but it was deceiving as his presence on the sector was one of the main reasons why Atletico was stuck at midfield. But Depor was also stuck at the centre of the pitch, Guardado, Juan Dominguez and Valerón were switching positions, but the team was missing too many passes.

Then, Reyes scored a goal that was disallowed for an offside of Aguero, though the assistant of the referee lasted in indicating the offside, which provoked the protest of the locals players. To mention that the muscular injuries continued striking Deportivo as Claudio Morel sustained a thigh problem, it seemed that Fabril’s Diego Seoane was going to enter, but in the end the Paraguayan continued on the pitch, at least for some minutes.

Depor had its best chance in the first part at minute 20; a clearance of Laure ended with a long run of Guardado, the Mexican ran 30 meters and ended releasing a strong volley that visiting keeper De Gea cleared to corner-kick. The best chance for Atletico came at the 28th minute, it was a long-range shot of Aguero that surprised Aranzubia, but the ball hit the crossbar.

Then, Lotina decided to replace Morel with Seoane. The Paraguayan lasted twenty-five minutes on the pitch after suffering his injury –it was later reported that the defender sustained a hamstring strain injury- the Galician youngster was now playing on the left-back position leaving Laure on the right.

Atletico had the control over the actions for the last minutes on the half, but they never found the way to surpass Depor’s deadlock, for this reason their last attempts were long-range shots. Like the one of Tiago that was an easy catch for Aranzubia, or the wide shot of Ujfalusi (42’).

Guardado, who was the most active attacker for Depor in the game, had a new chance at minute 42; again after long throw coming from defense; this time Aranzubia sent the ball from Depor’s side of the pitch and the Mexican winger ended the play with a crossed shot that De Gea barely deflected to corner.

And the second part was unfortunate for Deportivo; the players were exhausted and to make things harder the locals played the last half an hour with one less man after Lopo was sent off in which was a rigorous decision. The point was tasting like gold, but Aguero appeared ten minutes before the end to leave Depor in big troubles.

Atletico started stronger the second half, the Madrilenian almost surprised Aranzubia with a long ball, and then gained a corner-kick. All in a matter of two minutes. Reyes was making a lot of damage on the left side of Depor’s defense; first facing Morel and now Seoane. The first attempt of Depor in this part came after a combination between Guardado, Valerón and Xisco that ended with the Majorcan firing over the crossbar (49’).

At the 56th minute the visitors were close to score, this after a series of errors at the left sector that ended with Lopo missing to clear the ball, then Aguero released a crossed shot that was stopped by Aranzubia.

Then, the game reached the same scenario of the first half; with Depor still insisting with short and quick passes, but always with the first mission of blocking the rival’s game at the centre of the pitch, while Atletico was having problems to surpass the marks of Deportivo.

But then a decisive play came as during a counterattack for the visitors in which Valerón and Aythami lost the ball in attack, Lopo had to obstruct Kun Aguero in order to prevent the counterattack, and Turienzo Álvarez sent him off as it was his second yellow card –he saw the first at minute 40- It was a controversial call as it wasn’t a violent action and the referee could had let him on the pitch. To mention that this was the third foul in the game for Lopo, while the other player that committed three fouls in the match, Diego Godín, only saw a yellow card.

It is the 7th red card for the ex-Espanyol on his career, which means that he, Sergio Ballesteros and Carlos Marchena are the active players with more red cards in la liga. Now, Aythami delayed his position to the centre of the defense, leaving Juan Dominguez and Juan Rodriguez at midfield.

The fans were in silence at the stadium as they were expecting the worse, but the true is that Deportivo managed the things with solvency as they were still obstructing the game of the rival at midfield, though with the pass of the minutes it was pretty clear that the major part of the players were exhausted.

Guardado sent a wide shot in which was one of the few chances for Depor in this half (67’); then Forlán entered for Diego Costa, while Juanfran did the same for Tiago. Clearly Quique Flores was going for the game. And Lotina responded with Riki claiming the spot of Xisco, who was very tired.

The true is that the changes of Atletico made an impact in the game as both men were involved in the play of the goal, while Riki barely appeared. Then Lotina tried to protect the draw and Guardado was replaced by Ze Castro; the Mexican was another of the players that were exhausted -it was later know that he requested the change after a knock- The modification meant a new change in the draw, because now the Portuguese, who was playing in la liga for the first time on this year, was joining Colotto at the centre of the defense, and once again there was a trivote at midfield with Aythami joining Juan Dominguez and Juan Rodriguez.

But it wasn’t enough to stop Kun Aguero; at minute 78, Ujfalusi sent the warning with a crossed shot that was saved by Aranzubia, and in the next play the visitors scored their goal. It was a combination inside the area between Juanfran and Forlán that was blocked by Laure, but the rebound was found by the ex-Osasuna player, who drilled a pass to Aguero, and the Argentine beat Aranzubia from close range. It is the 17th goal in liga for Aguero and now he is the only player on the liga campaign that has scored a goal in seven straight games.

Ten minutes were remaining in the clock, but there was no reaction from the locals players. They were tired and never gave the sense of been close to tie the game, actually Atletico was closer to score the second goal with a drilling shot of Aguero (84’). The Galicians were only able to approach to the area of De Gea through a couple of long ball and corner-kicks, but this time there was no miracle of Aranzubia although the keeper tried twice to head a corner.

The defensive draw of Depor worked as it stopped the fluidity of Atletico, but it also blocked the game of the Galicians as Lotina’s barely disturbed De Gea, only with the attempts of Guardado. The players were pretty tired in the second part, and to make things harder Lopo was sent off thirty minutes before the final whistle. Then it was only a matter of time to see Aguero scoring the winning goal.

And to make things worse, it was reported after the game that Morel sustained a hamstring strain injury, which could leave him out of action for the rest of the season. This means more problems for a team that has the casualties at defense of Lopo and Manuel Pablo for the next game in liga. At least the knock of Guardado isn't serious.

The defeat leaves Depor in deep troubles, because Zaragoza and Real Sociedad surprisingly bet Real Madrid and Barcelona, now the Galicians remain three points above the pit and hope that Osasuna and Malaga could fail during their Sunday’s meetings. On next Saturday Depor has to pay a visit to Sporting Gijon (18h00 CET), another crucial match in the quest for the permanence.

Deportivo: (4-3-2-1) Aranzubia - Laure, Lopo, Colotto, Morel (Seoane 31’) - Juan Domínguez, Aythami, Juan Rodríguez – Valerón, Guardado (Ze Castro 75’) – Xisco (Riki 69’)
Atletico: (4-4-2) De Gea - Ujfalusi, Perea, Godín, Filipe Luis – Reyes (Raúl García 85’), Mario, Tiago, Elías (Juanfran 68’) - Kun Agüero, Diego Costa (Forlán 66’).
Goal: 0-1: (80’) Agüero.
Referee: Javier Turienzo Álvarez. He showed card to Godin (55’), Reyes (71’), Ujfalusi (77’), Ze Castro (90+1’) and Forlán (90+4’). Lopo was sent off (59’).
Venue: Riazor (34,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (42% - 58%); Attempts to score (3 – 8); Total shots (8 - 16); Shots on target (3 - 6); Saves by the keepers (4 - 3); Corner-kicks  (9 - 6); Offsides (5 - 7); Fouls committed (16 - 8); Accuracy in the passes (81.34% - 88.08%)




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