Real Zaragoza obtain yet another last minute victory in their direct duel against Sporting, which is only slightly tarnished by Granada’s late victory in their visit to Santander.
The match was one of those that contains the epic already in its initial ingredients. Sporting and Real Zaragoza, last and before-last in the table of the Primera División, face to face in a match that would leave the looser on the verge of relegation, and provide the winner with a breath of fresh air and renewed hopes of salvation.
No big surprises in Jimenez’ initial proposal, with Djumolvic and Pinter as force elements to control the centre of the park, and Lafita and Positiga in charge of posing a threat to Juan Pablo’s goal. The first quarter of an hour of the match confirmed it would be an intense one. Many fouls against both sides, and the first chance falling to Obradovic, recently converted to an offensive left midfielder by our Andalusian coach. After the initial control by the team in the bumble-bee (Avispa) outfit today, the host team started to wake up and creating the first chances. Roberto had to intervene prodigiously in the 17’ to avoid the goal minute after a corner. Zaragoza’s defence was looking very vulnerable in the set pieces.
As the minutes went by with Sporting stretching and feeling evermore comfortable on the field, Postiga found the ball in the enemy box after a prolongation from Mateos, and scored the 0-1 for Real Zaragoza. As a consequence of this, the team from the capital of Aragón controlled the rest of the first half, even adding a dangerous shot from Djumovic straight after the goal to the repertory of offensive actions. Half-time was reached in advantage, giving the chance to Jimenez to lecture his pupils in the objective of taking the vital three points.
In the very beginning of the second 45 minutes, a terrible referee decision (conceding a corner against Pablo Alvarez which clearly was a goal kick) was followed by an even worse defending action from Zaragoza, who seemed to want to leave the attacking players of Sporting in off-side (from a corner…). This Dantesque image lead to the equaliser by Eguren (playing as a central defender today), and the the host team and the crowd of El Molinón believing that salvation was possible.
After this, the match entered in a very exciting phase, with both team looking for the goal, knowing that a single point was virtually useless. In the 67’, Jimenez, of whom there is very little to criticize about, put Aranda on the field, taking off our best player (exception made of the great Roberto), and undoubtedly our greatest threat up front, Postiga. Because of their characteristics, it would have been more than interesting to see them both together on the pitch. In fact, a couple of very good action from the right side by the recently introduced sticker clearly lacked of a finisher to end in a goal.
However, in the first minute of stoppage time, a very well elaborate action from Zaragoza ended with a pass of Apoño tu Zuculini (who substituted Djumovic in the beginning of the second half) who served the ball in the box, which this time did find a finisher in the shape of Lafita. Real Zaragoza were ale to hold on to it and convert the late lead in another crucial victory which enables us to continue dreaming. It is the third in a row (and would be the 4th had we held on to the late goal against Osasuna).
The task remains heroic, also because of Granada’s late goal in Santander. The team from the South of Spain seemed like the most plausible candidate to take our place in the relegation positions, especially because we have yet to face them at home. In our favour is the excellent dynamic the team has entered, and the fact that the last 6 matches, with 4 of them at home, are in principle affordable. Against us is the fact that we play all-mighty Barcelona and the resurrected Sevilla in the next two games, and that there is not a clear candidate to fall off and enter the relegation positions.
What we can at least be sure of is that, with the attitue the team has shown in recent time, we will fight it until the very end. AUPA REAL ZARAGOZA!!
Sporting: Juan Pablo; Orfila (Caella, 65’), Eguren, Iván Hdz, Lora; André Castro (Trejo, 65’), Rivera, Nacho Cases; De las Cuevas, Barral (Sangoy, 75’) y Colunga.
Real Zaragoza: Roberto, Álvarez, Paredes, Mateos (Da Silva, 84’), Abraham; Dujmovic (Zuculini, 54’), Pinter, Apoño; Obradovic Lafita and Postiga (Aranda, 67’).
0-1 Postiga (36’), 1-1 Eguren (49’), 1-2 Lafita (91’)Posted In Match summary
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