Deportivo 2-1 Real Madrid (31-Aug-2008)

The legend of Riazor could not be broken. Real Madrid did not secure its objective to leave seventeen years of negative history in Corunna. Deportivo La Corunna demonstrated to be in form and began the season with much force. Mista and Lopo both scored their first goals, both from a play to set pieces. The goal of Van Nistelrooy was not sufficient for a Real Madrid that suffered in Riazor and that did not find it’s reward which it did not deserve.

 

OK, since it was not the best performance Real Madrid has ever given in a match. I will go through this match step by step. Lets talk about the first half which was as boring as reading books.

I mean, a lacklustered Real Madrid just could not cope with the pace at which Deportivo played their game. Deportivo came out in the first half with a mission. To defeat Real Madrid was that mission.

Deportivo scored in the 26th minute through mista. It was a messy goal, really messy. If you ask me, noone should get the credit to this goal.

Real Madrid defended horribly. I mean, all the Diarra’s, Pepe’s and Sergio Ramos’s could not clear a ball inside the penalty box, one little stupid ball. And Deportivo took full advantage of it and scored.

Real Madrid fell behind just like always. You know, from the way Real Madrid performed in the first half, it was difficult to fathom by Real Madrid has not won there for the past 17 years. Real Madrid’s defence had no shape what so ever. As I said before, Diarra had to lead Real Madrid in the midfield and he did not.

There was no playmaker in Real Madrid’s midfield. Marcelo and Guti were just hoaking balls down to the flanks, mainly to Robben. The left side of Real Madrid’s attack was as good as dead. Only Marcelo attacked from that side with his loopy, unaimed crosses with no pace, no direction which meant that van Nistelrooy could not hit powerful headers off Marcelo’s crosses as it is very difficult to generate pace from a loopy cross like the one Marcelo put in throughout the first half.

Generally, Real Madrid sucked. I did not see one attack which lead to something useful, not even a good shot so to speak. Real Madrid did have some close calls but they went only as far as the keeper, who made easy saves. One was Robben’s chance late in the half, he chested down a long ball beautifully and got into the box but the angle he created for himself was just too acute and he just gave up in the end by making a weak shot towards the goal which was easily cleared by the keeper.

Marcelo also had a MISPLACED cross hit the cross bar which was as close as Real Madrid to scoring in the first half. Real Madrid players clearly showed that they were nervious because of Real Madrid’s poor record in this ground.

Deportivo played with great intensity and vigour. They were not afraid to attack and leave space behind in defence and went into the locker room at half time leading by a single goal but could have been two, if the bar did not come to help Real Madrid as well.

If you ask me to sum up Deportivo’s strategy as far as first half is concerned then that would be to get into the wings and Wup in some bad, wicked balls into Real Madrid’s penalty box. Low, hard and fast crosses also worked for Deportivo in the first half. They hit the bar actually.

OK, on to the second half, Real Madrid came out and scored. Yeah, nothing before that, plenty after that.

Real Madrid struck very early in the second half. Raul found himself just outside the penalty area with an lofted ball, he controlled it and struck it with his left would, which took a wicked deflection off a Deportivo defender and the ball found, or Van Nistelrooy found the loose ball inside the penalty area and just struck it cleanly with his left foot into the low cornerofthe net.

Boom, that is what I am talking about. Van Nistelrooy though 32 years old, still is a scoring machine.

In the second half, Deportivo started to move the ball from left flank to the right flank, tiring Real Madrid player out of the game. Real Madrid though on level terms were clearly being bossed off the ball when Real Madrid got close to Deportivo’s penalty area.

Real Madrid really felt the need for some fresh blood, some hunter, some Huntelaar if you know what I mean. No striker or attacking player who could produce some magic football to get Real Madrid the upper hand in this game.

Real Madrid did start to play with a little more spring in their foot, they ran hard. Diarra and Pepe made some good powerful runs into the midfield of Deportivo but none bore fruit.

Diarra stuck in a lot of challenges in the second half which was exactly what I expected of him in the first half, he had to do what he did in the second half, in the first half. Deportivo continued to attack and did not care about what Real Madrid were doing. They attacked from the wing and the strategy was same as it was in the fisrt half. Wup in balls with velocity, low and hard into the box and hope that someone would deflect it pass Casillas.

Right now I was feeling pretty confident that Real Madrid would get a draw atleast. I was happy with the draw as Barcelona lost their opening match away from home.

Though I have to say, big teams like Real Madrid always find themselves in the right place at the right time, not always but most of the time and today was not ALWAYS, though Van NIstelrooy’s first goal was a classic example of what we call positioning.

But certainly, lightning struck twice. NO Real Madrid did not score, but Deportivo did. Guess what, from the corner (wing and wide). Real Madrid’s achillies heel has always been the set pieces. Poor defensive positioning by Real MadriddefendersleadDeportivo’sLopotoheadthe