|First Division - Day 4|
Oviedo 2 - Zaragoza 1
Keita, Danjou, Martinovic, Boris (Ivo 78'); Amieva (Rubén 60'), Onopko,
Tomic, Iván Ania (Möller 78'); Losada, Oli. 4-4-2.
Team changes: Oviedo: None / Zaragoza: Cuartero for Garitano.
Juan Manuel Lillo looks like being the first manager to get his marching orders after his side Zaragoza fell once again to relegation candidates Oviedo. After only getting two points from their first three league matches, Zaragoza were amazingly eliminated from The Uefa cup on Thursday night in Poland despite holding a 5-1 aggregate lead going in to the second half of the second leg match. Lillo was given an ultimatum by management that things would have to improve, but after this performance it would appear that his time is up. A decision is expected to be taken on Thusday when club president (and major shareholder) Alfonso Solans returns from a trip, but names such as ex Bilbao manager Luis Fernández are on the lips of everyone (strangely if Fernández does come it will constitute a straight swap for Txetxu Rojo who left Zaragoza to go to Bilbao this season).
Lillo has desperately been changing his team around to try and find the right formula. For this match he changed five of the players who started the match against Wisla Krakow (although only one change from the last league line up), with Yordi returning up front instead of Peternac. The fact is that they have not found a reliable replacement for Savo Milosevic; Peternac is past his best, and although Yordi does get some goals, he is not in the same league as the Yugoslav. Oviedo's manager Radomir Antic kept the same line up for the third match in a row, on the theory that if at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again.
This time it was third time lucky, as his team ran up a two goal lead by half time. The first came when the game was a quarter of an hour old, with Oli laying a first time square pass across goal for Losada to volley past the keeper, and the second was a brilliant individual effort by Iván Anía, who rounded a couple of defenders before firing a shot into the top corner of the net from outside of the penalty area. Earlier Zaragoza were unlucky not to take the lead after Pablo's header from Acuña's header hit the bar, but after that the visitor's efforts were off target.
On the hour mark Lillo threw all his Basques into one exit, sorry, all his eggs into one basket, bringing on three attacking players Montenegro, Marcos Vales and Peternac, but Esteban and his defence held until Pablo once again, coming up for a corner, controlled the ball in the box and beat the Oviedo keeper. Antic pulled Onopko back into defence and put up the 'closed' sign as his team ran out the last few minutes for their first win in their new stadium. Last year their home record saved them in the end despite going almost the whole season without an away win, and they are hoping to make the Nuevo Tartiere a fortress along the lines of the old one. Zaragoza pay the price of that long, disappointing match in Poland, and are only a point above last place. It looks as if someone other than Lillo is going to have to get them out of it, and they have the players to do so ( their current squad is only really Milosevic short of the last one). Only time will tell.