ball into the back of the net at 51 minute mark.
Marking was non existant in that goal. Though it has to be said, Lobo really out muscled Pepe to score that goal . He looked the most determined man on the planet and he got what he willed.
Real Madrid always get nervous on these corners. Don’t know why does it happen. Real Madrid do have tall defenders with the exception of few but I think the problem is that nobody is willing to work like a dog in Real Madrid’s defence to clear the air balls.
Well, Real Madrid blew their levelling goal after just 4 minutes and now Deportivo looked more aggressive than ever.
Real Madrid did not have any creativity upfront. Higuain and Van Nistelrooy thrive on service, which they did not get. Sergio Ramos was completely neutralized in the first and the second half because of imbalance in the team. Marcelo and Robben were playing on the same side and did not know what to do with the ball once they got it. Hence Real Madrid’s attaack suffered throughout the match not just the second half. It was a dull Real Madrid.
Pepe again made a powerful run into the midfield but he just lost control of the ball due to water tight defending from Deportivo which gave no space to Real Madrid attackers. Pepe lost the ball while making that powerful run into the penalty box of Deportivo and just like Tier 2 team, Deportivo counter attacked immediately and had it not been for Guti’s sluggish tackle for which he got a booking, Real Madrid could well had fallen behind by 2 goals.
Deportivo played with great determination and strategy. They really exploited the fact that Real Madrid rarely had someone marking the far post on set pieces and that is where they scored their second goal early on.
Anyway, Real Madrid did make some chances, though not very good ones. A ball crossed in with speed was headed by Diarra and Deportivo’sgoalkeeper made a great save to stop Real Madrid from levelling the score line.
Real Madrid defended horribly so far on all set pieces and air balls. No one controlled the midfield for Real Madrid. Diarra, Guti and Robben just passed the ball slowy back and forth with nothing to show for it.
Pepe did try some long balls but to no avail. The first time I though Schuster was doing something was when he switched Robben to the other side with Marcelo, just to give Sergio Ramos more freedom to attack the ball and sweep the right flank of Real Madrid.
Till now, Robben was the most effective player on the pitch, he was the one who took on players and tried to make something happen. Real Madrid really missed Robinh today because no one had enough guts or ability ( I should say) to make something happen. Deportivo was defending so deep with so many men that it was very hard to break them down.
Deportivo continued with their game plan and continued to work Real Madrid on the flanks, Deportivo just did not stop for one moment and just kept on pressurizing Real Madrid defence with fast paced crosses and always from Sergio Ramos’s side because when they put the cross towards the far post, Marcelo had very little to defend that because of his height, Basically they just exploited his physique.
Sergio Ramos obviously got frustrated with disappointing team performance and wrecked a Deportivo Player and got booked. Deportivo again broke and Real Madrid was caught napping, fortunate for Real Madrid that Deportivo player Riki got injured while trying to out run Heinze (not that Heinze is quick or anything) and could not take advantage of the break Deportivo worked so hard for.
Real Madrid slowed the game down and I do not know why, as Real Madrid was the one loosing so Deportivo just sat back on their butts and just watched Real Madrid pass the ball among their defenders.
Anyway, I have to give thumbs up to Pepe, he made some vital clearances in the second half and showed remarkable pace in 77nth minute when he made a massive tackle to save Real Madrid from further damage.
Time was running out and Real Madrid just did not have any imagination in their attack and looked very very monotonous. There was not right sided player, too many lefties in one team in never a good idea.
Diarra was forced to help get Real Madrid moving by helping out in attack which is not his forte.
Finally, Real Madrid lost the game, I said Finally because Real Madrid looked so lethargic and looked like they did not care about the defeat as Barcelona also lost which is a looser’s attitude.
Real Madrid definitely need two attacking players who can bring some youth and power into this side otherwise, I do not think Real Madrid would be able to defend their title for the 3rd stragiht year.
The Spanish Champions looked sluggish in tonight’s performance, Deportivo seized on bad defending by Real Madrid which cost Real Madrid the game.
To sum up in a few words, Schuster’s side just ran out of ideas.
Even though Real Madrid lost, I am going to sign on by saying or writing, HALA MADRID!!!
2 – Deportivo La Coruña: Aranzubía; Laure, Lopo, Ze Castro, Filipe; Pablo Álvarez (Juan Rodríguez, 79′), Sergio, De Guzmán, Guardado; Verdú & Mista (Riki, 61′, Omar Bravo, 73′).
1 – Real Madrid: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Heinze, Marcelo; Robben, Guti (De la Red, 80′), Diarra, Higuaín; Raúl (Drenthe, 80′) & Van Nistelrooy.
1-0, 26′: Mista.
1-1, 47′: Van Nistelrooy.
2-1, 51′: Lopo.
Referee: César Muñiz Fernández. Booked Mista (35′), Guti (55′), Sergio Ramos (70′), Pablo Álvarez (75′), Aranzubía (78′) & Marcelo (85′).
Highlights: Matchday 1 of the Spanish league. Venue: Riazor Stadium. Attendance: 34,000.