Manuel Labor reports.....
First Division
First Division - Day Seventeen

Zaragoza 2 - Deportivo de La Coruña 1

Zaragoza: Juanmi; Pablo, Lanna, Paco, Sundgren; Helguera, Garitano, Aragón, Radimov; Juanele, Milosevic. 4-4-2.
Deportivo: Songo'o; Manuel Pablo, Ramis, Naybet, Romero; Mauro Silva, Jokanovic; Flavio, Turu Flores, Makaay; Pauleta. 4-2-3-1.

Deportivo run of seven wins in a row finally came to an end against on form Zaragoza, who move up to second place within six points of the leaders following this victory. Irureta was forced to make three changes to his starting line up, giving Ramis his first start this season in place of the injured Donato, bringing in Jokanovic for Víctor who was also nursing an injury, and replacing the suspended Djalminha with striker Pauleta. Lanna also came in for his first match of the season for Zaragoza in place of the suspended Aguado, and Radimov, back from a loan period overseas, replaced the injured Vellisca. Without Víctor and Djalminha Deportivo were unbalanced however, with strikers Makaay and Turu playing in unfamiliar positions wide on the wings, and for a long time they could not find the final pass to unlock a Zaragoza side that has now gone 15 games undefeated at home. It was the home side's twin strike force, Milosevic and Juanele, who wrapped the game up within an hour, with Milosevic getting on the end of a defence splitting pass from from the Asturian forwardin the 18th minute, and Milosevic returning the favour for Juanele to net ten minutes into the second half. Víctor's entry on the hour mark settled Depor down, and the visitors pulled one back fifteen minutes from the end through Turu, whose shot took a deflection off Garitano. Another shot by Turu two minutes from the final whistle rattled against the crossbar, but this time the force was not with them and Depor fell to their first defeat in eleven games. They still however have a comfortable lead at the top.

Celta 2 - Málaga 4

Celta: Dutruel; Velasco, Cáceres, Djorovic, Juanfran; Makelele, Giovanella; Karpin, Mostovoi, Gustavo López; Turdó. 4-2-3-1.
Málaga: Contreras; Rojas, Bravo, Larrainzar, Valcarce; Rufete, De los Santos, Movilla, Agostinho; Catanha, Edgar. 4-4-2.

This was everybody's home banker in the local pools, with nobody giving Málaga a chance against high flying Celta. Football is a funny game however, and Málaga once again surprised one of the country's best teams on home territory, taking all three points with two late breakaway goals. Víctor Fernández opted for an unchanged side from the team beaten by Deportivo at the weekend, bringing Mazinho onto the bench in place of Tomás, who had to watch the match from the stands. Events in Málaga off the field once again overshadowed their match preparations, with further accusations against their president Fernando Puche, with more details emerging about the tobacco contraband operations which he is reputed to head. With Jesus Gil also appearing in Spanish courts at the moment, football presidents are not the flavour of the month. Peiró made three changes, leaving out Roteta, Ruano and young striker Luque, with the manager bringing back Agostinho in a more defensive 4-4-2 line up. Their star was undoubtedly Brazilian striker Catanha, who scored a hat-trick of breakaway goals, including the last two in the last five minutes. His first came in the 17th minute, giving his side the lead after good work from Rufete and Edgar. Celta were level before the break from the penalty spot, Karpin scoring after De los Santos had brought down Gustavo López. The visitors were back in the lead at the start of the second half however, this time Rufete taking Movilla's pass to beat Dutruel, who was criticised by fans during the match. Revivo once again equalised for the Gallician side after Mostovoi had set him up, but with Celta pushing forward Catanha took advantage of a free kick by Edgar and then a through ball from Rufete to send the Celta supporters home with their tails between their legs. Celta lose the chance to close the gap on Depor and drop to third, with Málaga rising to 14th, still only a point above the relegation zone in this very tight league.

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