Monday, 14 February 2011

Match Report: Deportivo La Coruña 1 Villarreal 0

Depor eased their relegation worries with a well deserved 1-0 win over Villarreal at the Riazor.

Lopo got the only goal of what was a fairly poor game with Champions League chasing Villarreal especially disappointing.

After a similarly disappointing 1-0 defeat to Levante at home last weekend, Juan Carlos Garrido, had rung the changes both in personel and formation for the visitors.

With Giuseppe Rossi unavailable due a fever and Bruno dropped to the bench in came Mateo Mussachio and Javier Matilla. Garrido also changed from his normal 4-4-2 to a defensive 4-2-3-1.

The consequnce of these changes was that the visitors were even more narrow than normal with Cani and Cazorla the wide players in midfield coming inside into an already crowded midfield area. Up front Nilmar was isolated without his usual partner in Rossi and continued to look very rusty on the ball following his recovery from injury.

In contrast Depor were good on the break, utilised the space the worked well and could have added to their solitary goal.

The home side should have been ahead of the half hour when Adrián got in behind a slow Villarreal backline but was denied by Diego Lopez; Riki firing another chance on the rebound wildly over the bar.

Without their normal fluidity, Villarreal only looked dangerous from set-pieces. Gonzalo’s header saved by Aranzubia their best effort of the first-half.

Depor eventually took the lead on the hour mark. Antonio Tomas’s deep free-kick was won well by Juan Rodriguez but questions must be asked of a static Villarreal defence who allowed Lopo acres to room to slide in ahead of Lopez for the vital touch.

Moments later Carlos Marchena was lucky to stay on the field for a foul more than worthy of a second yellow card. The home crowd’s mood not helped when Garrido immediately subbbed the World Cup winner for the returning Marcos Senna to ensure he didn’t see red.

Rodriguez tested Lopez again with a fierce drive from distance and had a goal marginally ruled out for offside as the home side continued to dominate.

Villarreal’s response was poor and again came closest in the second period via a set-piece. Senna’s wicked delivery found substitute Marco Ruben with a free header but he headed over.

Overall a fine win for Depor who move up to 14th, three points clear of the relegation zone. For Villarreal, two chances from set-pieces says it all, thier creative cogs never got going and they now look under threat from Athletic Bilbao for that fourth Champions League place.

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