RC Deportivo - Athletic Club
Matchday 19

RC Deportivo - Athletic Club

RC Deportivo
RC Deportivo
Athletic Club
Athletic Club
  • 50' Filipe
  • 59' Juca
  • 90' Pablo Álvarez
  • Colotto (Key not found (generic.pp)) 79'

LocationRiazor , A Coruña

Good play but little harvest

Deportivo 3 Athletic Club 1Athletic Club lost to Deportivo in Riazor by 3-1, despite the…

Athletic Club

Deportivo 3 Athletic Club 1

Athletic Club lost to Deportivo in Riazor by 3-1, despite the fact that in the first half they did a more than commendable job to put the clash on the right track. Filipe Luis, San José (own goal) and Pablo Álvarez were the goal-scorers for the Galician squad and our team’s goal was scored by Colotto against his own team.

Everything took place in a second half best forgotten for different reasons, for example the defeat, Filipe Luis’s serious right ankle injury and the injury of the Red-White debutant at Cornellá-El Prat, Javi Martínez and San José for the accumulation of bookings. As if all of this were not enough, those wise people who are in charge of writing about the refereeing decisions will have videos they can check where it can be seen that our team came off worse for wear on several occasions.

Nevertheless, the key to the match was in Athletic’s hands. Both teams came onto the field with two forwards in their starting line ups, but only our team went after the match from the very start and did so by playing perhaps one of the best first half periods in recent years, however, goalless, something that can cost you dearly in football sooner or later.

Absolutely sure about their possibilities, the Red-Whites had emulated the overwhelming start to the match of just one week ago, dispelling, along the way, any doubts about the danger of relaxation following the Real Madrid match. Seeing that in minute three of the game a Llorente header was deflected by Aranzubia and the rebound was struck once again with a header but this time by Iraola, just a couple of metres from the goal line, although the ball went over the crossbar.

Athletic were like a hurricane and Deportivo, more willing yesterday than our team when it came to playing an ugly game, could be seen coming and our team wanted it that way. So much so that the rival team made it to the halftime break more shaken than they would have been by the almighty Barça on their day. In the twelfth minute, once again, the goal-scoring tap had been left open when Llorente took a shot at goal that bounced off a rival, and just missed (high). Just the opposite to what happened to our team in the second half.

The corner was taken by Yeste and kicked to the area, where Iraola received an “assist” from a team-mate, but his header was caught again by Aranzubia, who played very well as usual against his former team-mates. Prior to the fifteenth minute mark the pressure kept on intensifying when Toquero passed the ball to Javi Martínez which the latter had finished off thus beating Aranzubia, but the referee disallowed the move, when the ball had already found the back of the net. Just two minutes later Toquero had a goal disallowed for being offside, which adds more fuel to the fire when talking about the centremetres needed to determine whether the forward was offside or not.

The next goal-scoring opportunities were for Llorente, in the 17th minute, after having finished off a personal move but his shot at goal went astray, so too his header only one minute later, in the 27th minute he couldn’t make it in time to finish off a move by Susaeta. As the minutes went on the Red-White offence started to mollify, but not the feeling of playing insultingly better and not only with regards to ball possession. Playing from behind, helping each other out and combining deep passes. Our team reached the rival goal easily enough and as a demonstration of the rival team’s tardiness, Deportivo’s first shot at goal, by Adrián which went high, was not taken until the 41st minute.

Perhaps to avoid confusion and to avoid going to the break with the wrong feeling, during injury time Javi Martínez had had a good goal-scoring opportunity, but the ball that was struck practically with the shin guard could not get past Aranzubia who had to stretch to cover the left post. Incredibly though, good play, that had kept the rivals and at times the general public out of the match, do not go hand in hand with a good harvest. Surely, our team’s thousands of fans, with that overwhelming pendulum-like feeling, would agree that they saw a rival with little or no chance of reaching our goal, but, at the same time, a team with a great possibility of putting Murphy’s law into practice by defeating us when least expected. And that’s just how it was. Athletic paid dearly.

At the start of the second half Juan Domínguez left the field of play and was replaced by Valerón. On the other hand, and with the strong assumption of knowing that it would be very difficult to reach the same level shown in the first half, Athletic had subscribed to the harmful practice of the last two away games, that’s to say, having the first goal of the match scored against them in the 50th minute and Riazor was no exception. A ball to the centre of the area had come into contact with a Red-White player, rose in the air, and then Bodipo headed the ball to the opposite post where Filipe Luis was and who was able to outsmart Iraizoz, with his left to score the 1-0. Though with such bad luck that the goalie’s thigh caused a tear to the scorer’s right ankle. In the small hours of the following morning Gorka Iraizoz paid him a visit in hospital to wish him well and a quick recovery. Laure took his place on the pitch, sending Manuel Pablo to cover the left wing.

After the enormous effort the match was in a, bad to say the least, state because if Deportivo didn’t mind playing an ugly game, and with the score in their favour what more can be said. Besides our squad had been dealt a hard blow and even more so in the 60th minute when a shot at goal by Juca, who didn’t know where it had gone, rebounded off San José’s back finding its way to the back of Iraizoz’s net. Apart from the blow from the ball the Navarren defender also took home another souvenir as a result of the Brazilian’s studs. In a nutshell, Deportivo only took one shot at goal but now had two goals in the bag.

Shortly afterwards Iraizoz exaggerated his collision with Bodipo and the public, until that moment critical of their players were not pleased with the lesson they were being given, started to jeer, something seen by some members of the media as a reprimand for Filipe Luis’s unfortunate injury. For whatever reason, for the hosts it was more than ever a question of defence and in this context many local fans took it out on our coach, who was the personification of all evil.

The truth is that our visits to Riazor over these last three seasons, as well as the circumstances that always turn a match with a slight possibility of scoring around, provide for a unique experience. Imagine that the Red-White supporters are entering San Mamés and on the bench are, Iriondo, Koldo Agirre, Kendall, Iribar, Aranguren, Saez, Txetxu Rojo, Irureta, Stepanovic, Amorrortu, Luis Fernández, Jupp Heynckes, Ernesto Valverde, Mendilibar, Clemente, Sarriugarte or Mané and then suddenly after each foul, their mothers are mentioned by a big percentage of the crowd. Well just that.

With the aim of bouncing back, Gabilondo and Muniain stepped in for Koikili and Yeste in minute 63 of the game. Gabilondo sent to cover the right wing and Muniain sent up front. Bit by bit Athletic could see the light and Llorente had a go on the half turn that posed no problem for Aranzubia. The pace of the game was high and the transition between defence and attack continued being easy for the Red-Whites. Maybe that’s why Lotina tried to reinforce the midfield area by sending Iván Pérez in for Bodipo. On the opposite side Caparrós made his third substitution in the 74th minute: Iturraspe stepping in for Orbaiz.

All of a sudden and out of bad luck’s shadow a ray of hope appeared by way of Colotto who scored a goal against his own team as a result of a centre pass by Iraola. It was in minute 79, but just like last season’s match it all boiled down to a mere mirage. Once more this was not to be Athletic’s day in bringing home the bacon from Coruña. It was the 82nd minute when Aranzubia brought Toquero to the ground despite having come into contact with the ball. For the experts’ information the referee did not make a ruling and the linesman was looking just like a cow would at a train, as if it had nothing to do with him. Away from the heat of the moment, logically, our former player admitted that his tackle against Toquero was punishable. But he wasn’t punished and despite the overly angled shot at goal by Iraola to follow in minute 86 of the game, it was Deportivo who sealed the game after a well-elaborated play that was finished off by Pablo Álvarez.

This defeat, nonetheless, does not put a damper at all on a good first half of the season for Athletic Club: 30 points, close to the top spots and with the intention of repeating in game and attitude, we hope that all of this will be accompanied by goals that with their presence or absence can give or not give any points.