Squad news


12 Feb 2017
Deportivo returned to old habits and ended losing after a polemic play and after wasting an initial advantage. The Galicians were better in the first part and just conceded twice in the second despite Athletic didn’t do too much.

Coach Gaizka Garitano allowed the return of Raúl Albentosa to the starting lineup. He was claiming the spot of Alejandro Arribas at the centre of the defence. The rest was the expected 4-2-3-1 formation.

Tytoń was the starting goalie, Juanfran Moreno covered the right side in defence, Fernando Navarro performed on the left, Sidnei Rechel joined Albentosa at the centre, Guilherme and Celso Borges were the centre midfielders, Carles Gil attacked from the right wing, Gaël Kakuta did it from the left and Florin Andone  was the centre forward.
At Athletic Club, coach Ernesto Valverde was presenting the expected squad with the only novelty of Beñat Etxebarria performing at midfield. The references in attack were Aritz Aduriz, Iñaki Williams and Iker Muniain.

Deportivo were the best team in the first half, it had the ball and the best opportunities, and got a deserved reward with Çolak scoring the lonely goal. The defence was also great as it was blocked all the local attempts.

The game was fluid since the kick-off, Athletic were pushing through quick attacks, while Depor were focused in attacking on the left wing of Kakuta. However, there weren’t scoring chances within the first fifteen minutes.

The first chance in the game came at minute 13, Kakuta released a cross from the left and into the path of Andone, but the Romanian didn’t connect the ball properly and went over the crossbar. Athletic were trying with quick and drilling passes into the area, but Albentosa and especially Sidnei were alert and blocking all the attempts.

Athletic’s first opportunity came at minute 20, it was a corner-kick action in which Yeray found the ball inside the area and completed a low shot, but Tytoń made the save. Depor’s first big chance in the match came at minute 26, after a local error in the output of the ball, Çolak moved faster than the rival and drilled the ball into the path of Andone, and his drilling shot was blocked by local goalie Gorka Iraizoz.

That was the first time in which the Turkish and the Romanian combined and Andone had a second chance soon. It was minute 31, Borges drilled the ball into the path of the striker, he left behind two defenders and, at the moment of connecting the ball before Iraizoz, he ended missing the target.

Depor were deserving to be leading in the scoresheet, not only for the chances had in attack, but also because the defence was concentrated and never gave an opportunity to the Basques. The next chance was for Carles Gil; Navarro sent the cross from the left, Iraizoz made a poor clearance, but the Valencian winger sent the ball out from the edge of the area (34’).

Athletic had its next chance until minute 40, Williams sent the cross from the right and Raúl García surpassed Juanfran, but his header went over the crossbar. Then Depor got the reward for been the best team in the half as Emre Çolak scored. It was a counterattack with Juanfran assisting the Turkish, then he ran a couple of meters and released a marvellous shot from the edge of the area that was impossible for Iraizoz.

Athletic pressed in the final part, but the Basques didn’t do too much to deserve the victory. Still, it was enough to grab the three points as Depor lost the concentration in two punctual actions, one of them was a polemic call due to a possible offside.

The locals tried to push since the start, but Deportivo were also trying to attack and had the first opportunity in the half. Kakuta made a great play on the left eluding two rivals and released a cross into the path of Andone, but he lost the ball before a rival when he was inside the box (51’).

The first chance for the locals in this half came at minute 59, Beñat released a cross from the left in a free-kick action, Raul García headed the ball at the near post, and his attempt hit the post. At minute 63, Guilherme headed the ball over the crossbar in a corner-kick of Çolak.

Then Garitano made the first substitution an Ola John debuted replacing Kakuta. The Frenchman was already tired after a decent first part, but neither the Dutchman was a factor in the final half despite touching the ball in 21 opportunities after 24 minutes.

And then Athletic found the equalizer. Aduriz headed the ball on target after a cross from the right, Tytoń made the save, but the loose ball was found by Iker Muniain, who pushed the ball in from the goal line.

Garitano ordered the second substitution and Joselu replaced Andone. It neither was a factor as Depor were barely attacking. The final change was Fajr for Çolak, it was more a move trying to have the ball at midfield and protect the draw.

And Depor left San Mamés without any point as Athletic scored at the end. Borges lost the ball at midfield, then Muniain dribbled a couple of rivals and entered the area, Aduriz was coming from behind and ended crossing Tytoń. It was a tough call for referee Mario Melero López as Aduriz could have been in offside position.

Depor only reacted at the stoppage time as Fajr released a strong shot from the left side of the area, Iraizoz got the ball (90+1’). That was the first and lonely shot on target by Deportivo in this half.

Deportivo returned to live the same problem of 2016 as it dropped crucial points at the end of a game. After a decent first part in which it was deserving the lead, the team didn’t do too much and Athletic, despite making a discrete match, got three points after seizing two of their only three chances in the second part.

Depor now return to the 16th position and will wait for the games of the teams in relegation in order to know the distance with the pit. The next game is the visit of Deportivo Alavés to the Riazor (Saturday, 19h30 CET).

Athletic: (4-2-3-1) Iraizoz – De Marcos, Laporte, Yeray, Balenziaga – Beñat (Iturraspe 68’), San José – Williams (Villalibre 85’), Raúl García (Susaeta 68’), Muniain – Aduriz.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Tytoń – Juanfran, Albentosa, Sidnei, Navarro –Borges, Guilherme – Carles Gil, Çolak (Fajr 87’), Kakuta (Ola John 67’) – Andone (Joselu 74’).
Goals: 0-1: (42’) Çolak, 1-1: (71’) Muniain, 2-1: (89’) Aduriz
Referee: Mario Melero López. He showed yellow card to Navarro (58’), San José (62’) & Joselu (88’)
Venue: San Mamés (41,469)
Other statistics: Ball possession (51% - 49%); Attempts to score (5 – 5); Total shots (13 - 8); Shots on target (5- 3); Saves by the keepers (2 - 3); Corner-kicks (3 - 2); Offsides (4 - 1); Fouls committed (12 - 11); Passing accuracy (77% - 76%)



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