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Primera División

  • 13 February 2011
  • • 18:00
  • • Estadio Municipal de Riazor, A Coruña (La Coruña)
  • Referee: Rafael Ramírez Domínguez
  • • Attendance: 18000

Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 Villarreal: Controversial Lopo strike damages visitors’ Champions League aspirations

Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 Villarreal: Controversial Lopo strike damages visitors’ Champions League aspirations

Second half effort proved enough to secure victory for hosts

The Riazor remains a fortress for Deportivo La Coruna, who have only lost at home two times all season.

The hosts managed to secure their fifth home victory of the season with a 1-0 win over Villarreal, a result that will surely lessen the pressure on manager Miguel Angel Lotina.

The hosts scored the games only goal in dubious circumstances. Juan Dominguez headed a free-kick into the path of a seemingly offside Alberto Lopo who stretched out a leg and put the ball past Diego Lopez.

The assistant referee remained unmoved however, and the goal was awarded bringing a much needed victory for Deportivo.

The home side enjoyed the majority of the early possession but Deportivo were unable to turn the pressure into any serious threats on Daniel Aranzubia’s goal.

Villarreal had been limited to half-chances, the best of which was when Nilmar was unable to catch up with Cani’s through ball.

Deportivo then threatened through Adrian, the Brazilian saw a gap in the Villarreal defence. He surged through but Diego Lopez was alive to the danger and rushed out to save his compatriot’s shot with his trailing leg.

Villarreal responded to Deportivo’s pressure when Borja Valero swung a delicious corner across, which Gonzalo met with a glorious header. The ball was heading for the bottom corner when Aranzubia managed to fling himself low to his right, and make a stunning one-handed save ensuring that the side’s finished the half level.

The second half commenced with Villarreal looking to force an opening but it was Deportivo who looked more likely, and they were rewarded on the hour mark.

Deportivo took the lead through Lopo on the hour mark when the Galican worked a free-kick well. The ball came in and Juan Dominguez rose highest to send the ball back across goal, and the defender was on hand to divert the cross into the net.

The goal sparked the game into life as Villarreal looked to respond but their attacks were never controlled and the hosts were comfortable in clearing the ball away. More so, the home side looked a serious threat on the counter attack with Diego Lopez required to come a long way out of his goal to remove any danger.

Juan Rodriguez thought he had doubled the home-sides lead, when a cross found its way through to him at the back post. He controlled the ball well and lashed in a vicious drive but as he turned to celebrate he was flagged correctly as offside.

Villarreal began to dominate the game as it reached a conclusion, looking to penetrate the home side's defence,  but seemed to lack any invention up-front.

The hosts looked to put the game to bed, when Manuel Pablo sent in an inviting cross but the three Depor players were unable to make the chance count giving Villarreal another chance to launch the ball forward.

Deportivo though, saw out the game well, and were always threatening on the counter-attack, and this victory will have done wonders for their ambitions of staying in La Liga.

The result see’s Deportivo leap into thirteenth place in the league, and will surely ensure Lotina is at the helm for another game.

For the visitors' though, they will see this result as a missed opportunity, surrendering third place to their rivals Valencia. Villarreal will turn to their next game against Napoli in the Europa league on Thursday hoping that their search for European glory continues.

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