Squad news


20 Mar 2017
First defeat with Pepe Mel, his defensive approach never worked before a rival that supposedly was more tired. In the end an equal game that was decided by Iago Aspas.

Coach Pepe Mel presented the 4-2-3-1 figure that he tested during the last two training sessions. German Lux was the starting keeper, Juanfran Moreno covered the right side in defence, Luisinho performed on the left, then Alejandro Arribas and Raúl Albentosa were the centre-backs.

Álex Bergantiños and Pedro Mosquera were the centre midfielders, Bruno Gama attacked from the right wing, Fayçal Fajr performed on the left, Celso Borges was the improvised playmaker and Joselu was the striker.

At RC Celta, coach Eduardo Berizzo presented the expected 4-2-3-1 draw. The only novelty was to see Facundo Roncaglia at the centre of the defence. Iago Aspas, Théo Bongonda and John Guidetti were the references in attack.

Boring derby within the first 35 minutes; Celta had the ball, but missed punch, while Deportivo were simply locked at their side of the pitch. Things were more entertaining in the final stretch with both sides having two chances to score.

The game started with Celta having the ball possession, Depor seemed comfortable holding on and waiting for the counterattack. The first approximation was for Celta, at minute 6, Guidetti collected the ball inside the area and was heading towards the goal, but Arribas blocked the attempt and in the play the Swedish attacker got injured and had to be replaced by Claudio Beauvue.

The game was highly disputed, but it missed excitement; both sides weren’t creating scoring chances. In the case of Depor there was no fluency in attack despite Borges and Fajr were switching positions, the only attacks were ending in crosses without consequences.

The game was so tight that the first shot came until minute 24, Joselu collected the ball after a bad clearance by Jonny, but the long-distance attempt by the Galician attacker went wide. Celta were still having the ball possession, but Iago Aspas wasn’t appearing.

The first approximation for Celta came until minute 29, Aspas attempted the play at the edge of the area, after a deflection it reached path of Théo Bongonda, but the Belgian sent the ball wide. That was the first play in which Aspas collected the ball with the chance to end an offensive play.

It was a boring derby until this point, but then the excitement came for the final ten minutes; first Celta had a chance to score at minute 38; after a long play that included a bad play by Lux before Aspas, Roncaglia tried to shot from the edge of the area, but his attempt was blocked.

In the next play Álex Bergantiños picked a volley at the right side of the area, he was alone before visiting goalie Sergio Álvarez, but his cross was cleared to corner-kick. At minute 42, it was Fajr who collected the ball inside the area after a cross from the right, but his accurate shot searching for the left corner of the goal was blocked. One minute later Wass starred a counterattack for Celta that ended with a shot that was slightly deflected passing close to the far post of Lux.

The ball possession was more equal in the second half, Depor should have scored at the start and later paid the price. The approach by Pepe Mel never worked out and the team was discrete in attack only completing two shots on target in the entire match.

The final part started with the best chance to score for Depor in the game; in the kick-off Celta passed the ball back, Roncaglia failed passing the ball at the edge of the area, but the shot of Joselu was blocked by Sergio and later neither Bruno Gama nor Borges were able to send the ball in when no one was marking them.

That action marked the way for the following minutes, because Celta’s defence started to feel the pressure and committed some errors, though the offensive line of Depor continued to be too thick and didn’t seize the countless penetrations by both sides.

Pepe Mel ordered the first substitution and Carles Gil replaced Bruno Gama. The Portuguese was helping with the pressure in these first minutes, but it continued to be intermittent. Meanwhile, Gil added some depth, though the locals continued to miss clear opportunities to score.

Depor were only creating chances after Celta were committing errors, at minute 63 a bad pass by Hugo Mallo wasn’t seized by Juanfran as the right-back missed the target firing from the edge of the area, then Florin Andone replaced <>Joselu.

Joselu didn’t have his game, truly he didn’t receive the ball too many times, but when he had his chance he failed. Neither Andone was a factor in the few minutes he spent on the pitch. At minute 71, Carles Gil found a corridor on the right wing and attempted a shot that was caught by Sergio.

And then Celta found the goal. Substitute Pione Sisto released a precise cross from the left and Iago Aspas anticipated Albentosa to cross Lux. That was one of the few errors committed by the local defence and only the second shot on target from the team from Vigo.

Çolak replaced Fajr for the final ten minutes, Pepe Mel was searching for more depth in attack, but the true is that Celta had the ball the major part of the time. Clearly the approach of Deportivo’s new manager failed this time, his team didn’t face too many problems at the back, but later there was nothing in attack. The last chance for Depor in the game came at minute 86, Álex headed backward a cross coming from the left and Borges was unable to find the ball at the far post.

Discrete derby at the Riazor defined by a punctual action by Iago Aspas. The approach by Pepe Mel never worked out as his team missed depth and therefore only completed two shots on target. Neither Celta did too much and maybe the fairest result would have been a draw. 

This is the first defeat since the arrival of Pepe Mel, Los Blanquiazules are now only six points above demotion, this after the victory of Sporting Gijón hosting Granada CF (3-1). There’s a break in la liga on next weekend, the next game is the visit to Valencia CF (Mestalla, April 2, 18h30 CET). Luisinho will miss that game after picking a fifth yellow card on this match.

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Juanfran, Albentosa, Arribas, Luisinho –Pedro Mosquera, Álex Bergantiños, Bruno Gama (Carles Gil 60’), Borges, Fajr (Çolak 76’) – Joselu (Andone 65’).
Celta: (4-2-3-1) Sergio Álvarez – Hugo Mallo, Cabral, Roncaglia, Jonny – Wass (Jozabed 86’), Radoja – Aspas, Hernández, Bongonda (Pione Sisto 70’) – Guidetti (Beauvue 11’).
Goal: 0-1: (74’) Iago Aspas
Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera. He showed yellow card to Cabral (14’), Luisinho (55’), Hugo Mallo (64’), Lux (74’), Mosquera (80’), Tucu Hernández (83’), Pione Sisto (86’) & Çolak (90+2’)
Venue: Riazor (30,809)
Other statistics: Ball possession (48% - 52%); Attempts to score (6 – 3); Total shots (9 - 9); Shots on target (2- 2); Saves by the keepers (1 - 2); Corner-kicks (3 - 1); Offsides (0 - 2); Fouls committed (20 - 12); Passing accuracy (73% - 75%)



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