Competition news


17 Jan 2020
Big win for Deportivo. Merino and Çolak debuted and scored, the latter was sent off and the Galicians had to hold on for 30 minutes in a brilliant meeting at the Riazor.

Fernando Vázquez kept the system with five defenders and allowed the debut of Sabin Merino, who went into the starting formation despite only completing two training sessions with the group. Also to notice that Gaku Shibasaki was performing at midfield, the Japanese midfielder was a starter for the first time since October (0-2 Vs. Málaga CF).

Dani Giménez was the goalkeeper, Eneko Bóveda covered the right side in defence, the left was for Salva Ruiz. The centre-backs were Javi Montero, Mujaid Sadick and Michelle Somma. Peru Nolaskoain joined Gaku at midfield, Ager Aketxe played attached to the right wing, Mamadou Koné attacked from the left flank and Merino was the centre forward.

At Racing Santander, Cristóbal Parralo was presenting a 4-2-3-1 formation. Jon Ander Pérez was the one selected for the centre of the attack, with Karim Yoda and Álvaro Cejudo as the other references in attack.

Decent first part with variants. Deportivo started better, but lost the control of the game as soon as it allowed the goal. The coach had to switch the draw and the presence of Çolak brought stability and it coincided with the equalizer from debutant Sabin Merino.

The game started with two opportunities for Depor, both in free-kick actions. In the first the shot of Aketxe was saved by Luca Zidane (1’). One minute later, Aketxe released a cross from the left and Koné was unable to connect the ball properly despite the visiting keeper missed to clear it first.

The first approximation of Racing was a recovery of Yoda at the edge of the area that ended with a shot that went off (4’). Depor were looking good, but then Racing found the goal. It was a long ball possession for the visiting side that ended with Cejudo releasing a volley that entered by the near post of a Dani Giménez that should have done better.

At minute 22, a free-kick for Racing almost ended in a goal. Mario Ortíz had a shock blocked and Sergio Ruizcollected the loose ball, and his shot passed close to the far post of Dani Giménez.

The game had changed. Depor were lost and committing silly mistakes that almost cost a second goal. Fernando Vázquez didn’t like what he was watching and ordered the entry of Emre Çolak for Montero. The draw was switched into a 4-2-3-1 and the equalizer arrived seconds later.

It was a corner-kick action of Aketxe that Sabin Merino headed despite the opposition of a defender at the near post. It was the first goal for the Basque attacker playing in an official game in more than three years. Depor lived good moments after the equalizer, but later Racing settled and the only scoring opportunity was a drilling shot of Çolak that was an easy catch for Zidane (45’).

The second half was vibrant, Çolak scored, but was sent off during the celebration. Then the game became exciting with substitute Papunashvili close to score in a couple of opportunities, and with Depor looking dangerous in the counterattack.

Depor started strongly in the final part and the first big opportunity was a header of Koné in a secondary play of a lateral free-kick that was saved by Zidane (47’). The first chance for Racing in the second part was a shot of Mario Ortiz saved by Dani Giménez (53’).

And then Deportivo found the second goal and it was a beauty, Aketxe combined with Emre Çolak at the edge of the area, Bóveda made the assist and then Çolak  ran towards the centre and released a volley that was impossible for Zidane. Unfortunately for the Turkish playmaker, he was sent off for celebrating the goal with the fans, that was his second yellow as four minutes before he had a discussion with Yoda.

The true is that the referee didn’t have the same treatment for both teams. Yoda could have been sent off minutes before for a tough foul, but preferred to show the red card in a celebration that didn’t look excessive. 

The numeric disadvantage didn’t reduce the impulse of Depor and the locals continued pushing. With the passage of the minutes, Racing started to grow, substitute Papunashvili had the next chance with a shot saved by Dani Giménez (63).

The entry of Papunashvili changed the game, the new arrival for Racing had some clear chances and it was then that Dani Giménez started to shine. The second substitution was the entry of Álex Bergantińos for Koné. Cejudo had the next opportunity with a volley from the edge of the area, and again Dani Giménez made the save (68’).

Sabin Merino was tired and he was replaced by Vicente Gómez. The game was open within the last fifteen minutes, Racing had the initiative, but Depor were looking very dangerous in the counterattack as there was plenty of room at the back zone of the visiting team.

A clear example of how the game was in this frame was what happened at minute 85. Yoda headed a corner-kick of Cejudo and Dani Giménez made the save at the goal line, in the counterattack Gaku dribbled a couple of rivals and the play ended in a dangerous free-kick for Aketxe. There was time for a new save by Dani Giménez against the strong shot by Papunashvili (88’).

Great victory for Deportivo. The team was better inn several stages, but it’s also fair to say that Racing tried in the second part, mainly after the entry of Papunashvili. Sabin Merino and Emre Çolak debuted and scored a goal, the latter was sent off and the Galicians had to hold with ten men for thirty minutes.

This is the third straight victory for Depor in liga, now the Galicians are only one point below the safety and Racing Santander is the new bottom club. The next game is the visit of leaders Cádiz CF to the Riazor (Sunday, 16h00 CET)

Deportivo: (5-4-1) Dani Giménez – Bóveda, Somma, Mujaid, Montero (Çolak 30’), Salva Ruiz – Aketxe, Nolaskoain, Vicente Gómez, Koné (Álex Bergantińos 67’) – Sabin Merino (Vicente Gómez 79’).
Racing: (4-2-3-1) Luca Zidane - Aitor Buńuel, Alexis (Nico Hidalgo 82’), Jordi Figueras, Abraham Minero - Sergio Ruiz (Sergio Rodríguez 70’), Mario Ortiz – Yoda, Cejudo, Enzo Lombardo – Jon Ander (Papunashvili 61’).
Goals: 0-1: (14’) Cejudo, 1-1: (32’) Merino, 2-1: (53’) Emre Çolak
Referee: Rubén Ávalos Barrera. He showed yellow card to Somma (22’), Sabin Merino (49’), Yoda (50’), Koné (58’) & Bóveda (90’). Çolak was sent off with two yellow cards (50’ & 54’)
VAR Official: Luis Mario Milla Alvendiz
Venue: Riazor (19,053).
Other statistics: Ball possession (45% - 55%); Attempts to score (8 – 8); Total shots (15 - 19); Shots on target (8 - 8); Saves by the keepers (7 – 6); Corner-kicks (5 - 7); Offsides (1 - 0); Fouls committed (20 – 21); Passing accuracy (70% - 75%)



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