Competition news


03 Jan 2008
The media emphasised the big difference between Espanyol and Deportivo: the class of the Catalan strikers. Depor needs a lot of occasions in order to score a goal, while Valverde's team in able to survive with just a couple of opportunities.

La Opini??n A Coru?帶: Farewell to the Copa. A less tournament on the fight, but also one less distraction in the road for the real goal of the season: to achieve the salvation. Deportivo gave the face to Espanyol and overcame the initial goal of Luis Garcia, but fell down in the extra-time when it had the rival trapped in a corner. It died one year and it was born in another, but Riazor remains to be the same trap than in 2007. The Galician fans again left the stadium satisfied for the performance of its players, but sad with the outcome. Again it was repeated the long history of this season. Depor rules on the pitch, but not in the scoresheet. Eugenio Cobas.

La Voz de Galicia: Victim of its lack of goal and its mistakes in defence, Deportivo left the copa after losing against Espanyol (1-2). The beginning was dotted with minor disappointments. Depor came clearly using counterattacks, but it wasn't shooting on target. Espanyol kept the ball in its zone, but it was unable to reach the area of Mun??a. The game ended up to be for no one. The laws of football, a little illogical, gave to Espanyol a goal at the fifteenth minute during a counterattack that was born in a header of Juan Rodriguez to the hands of Lafuente. It was the first arrival of Espanyol.

The hit fuelled Depor, which warned four times through Filipe and Bodipo. Without consequences. Espanyol kept the ball away from its area. Depor was riding of the ball with lashes, but the counterattacks died without goals. The beatings were so scattered, that after the first half of hour, the game was a slippage. Deportivo paid during the first part its lack of defensive intensity and misdeed in attack. The teams were doubtful, thereby maintaining interest in the definition of the game. The opportunities were for Deportivo, but the scoresheet remained to be Catalan.

The start of the second half saw the same thing. It didn't lose anything. Insisting, Depor followed its line. Quiet, Espanyol was trying to control the game and left everything to the counterattacks. The same thing witnessed on the first minutes: give and take. Ruben came at the 57th minute, a few seconds after a resounding mistake of Lafita in the rival's area. The winger wanted to amend his error and his shot ended in a penalty for a hand of one rival inside the area. Sergio restarted the eliminatory, then Depor pressured and Espanyol was in troubles. Ruben dynamised the attack. The ball was repeatedly 'touring' all over the area of Lafuente. Then Guardado entered.

Lotina started a pulse with Valverde. With De la Pe?帶 and Tamudo in, the opponent changed from been agonising to have the power, but the score was the same. Mejuto swallowed a penalty to Luis Garcia eight minutes before the end. Three minutes of stoppage time and the extension was needed. The extra-time begun with los Periquitos installed in the Galician area. The local counterattacks returned the madness. The minutes were passing. But as it's usual on this season, when the closest thing was a victory for Deportivo, it came the goal for Espanyol and the quality of Tamudo was again decisive. Yesterday, rather than a Cup, it was a pitcher of cold water. Pablo G??mez.

AS (Madrid): Deportivo was once again better than Espanyol and it paid the price. The Galician team, once again, would take this fight for the points, but in football only the KO counts, and it's that Valverde's team was lethal. The Galicians had one thousand occasions to sentence the game, but it was the connection De la Pe?帶-Tamudo the one that killed a thrilling match that was clarified until the extension. Luis De La Cruz.

Sport (Barcelona): It had to be at the limit of the extra-time and suffering for many moments of the match, but Espanyol still alive in the Cup. At the end, the magical cocktail, which almost never fails was again miraculous.: Ball to De la Pe?帶, an splendid cross of Ivan and a providential appearance of Tamudo. The same film los Periquitos are used to live almost in every encounter, but it kept alive the hope of a group who dreams of lifting the third Copa del Rey of the twenty-first century.

It was not easy. Espanyol went out with the lesson learned and it was aware of the subject. Without making a big deployment during the game and even without been dominating the centre of the field, Valverde knew they were forced to score and they did it. A great goal of Luis Garcia after an excellent move of the whole team. However, the goal didn't provide the serenity expected to the Catalans. Quite the contrary. There was no way to tie the rival, and only a couple of interventions by Lafuente were decisive in order to reach the rest keeping the difference on the scoresheet.

The problem came in the second half. Depor assumed the risk, it pulled and it found a Espanyol with a weak defence, without ideas using the counterattacks and with problems up front. Luis Garcia had the sentence in his boots, but inexplicably, he missed in the definition. Lotina's players collected their prize after a hand of  'Lola' that Sergio capitalised from the penalty spot. Then, there was no margin of difference and Valverde risked with the team locked at the back. Tamudo, Moises and De la Pe?帶 came to the rescue.

Anything can happened during the extension. Even Depor had its choice but the shot of Filipe miraculously hit the post. After the ordeal and with the match broken by the physical effort accumulated by both teams, it was time to see the class making the difference on the field. and it came with the collaboration of Mun??a, who was not lucky in the action. Tamudo sentenced and resolved the first major challenge of 2008. The Cup is alive and confirms the good time of this Espanyol. It wins when plays well ... And also when not. Xavi Canals.

El Mundo Deportivo (Barcelona): The difference between Deportivo and Espanyol, an abysmal distance in la liga by the way, is that while Miguel Angel Lotina's men may be playing an entire day to achieve a goal, to Ernesto Valverde's squad is worth with only four occasions to end with at least one goal in the count. Yesterday, this extreme was once again noticed. Deportivo arrived nearly twenty times on the goal of Lafuente, and it only managed to score from the penalty spot. Espanyol did it in a half a dozen of occasions and achieved two goals that gave the option of reaching the last-eight round in the tournament. Rogelio Rom??n.

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