First Division - Day 11

Osasuna 1 - Deportivo 1

Osasuna: Sanzol; Yanguas, Aitor Ocio, Cruchaga, Mateo; Alex, Oscar Arpón (Palacios75'); Alfonso, Sabino (Iván Rosado 80'), Lekumberri; Armentano (Trzeciak 62'). 4-2-3-1.
Deportivo: Molina; Manuel Pablo, Naybet, Helder, Capdevila; Mauro Silva, Emerson; Scaloni, Valerón (Víctor 71'), Fernando (Makaay 89'); Diego Tristán (Pandiani 65'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Osasuna: Sanzol, Aitor Ocio, Oscar Arpón, Armentano for Nuno, Vidakovic, Palacios, Iván Rosado / Deportivo: Scaloni, Fernando for Víctor, Turu Flores.

0-1. 01. Scaloni. Header from close after Fernando's cross headed on by Tristán.
1-1. 16. Cruchaga. Bundled ball into net after Mateo headed on Alex's corner.

The next to bottom team and the next to top met in the Sadar stadium, with Osasuna looking for their first home victory and Deportivo looking for a win to take them to the top of the table. In the end neither achieved their objective as the game petered out to a draw. It didn't look like it at the beginning though, with Deportivo scoring the quickest goal of the season in only 16 seconds through Scaloni after Tristán headed on Fernando's cross from the left. That gave them wings (in more ways than one), and the next ten minutes or so belonged to Deportivo as they attacked along both touchlines.

Osasuna were missing two key players in defence, with Vidakovic failing a late fitness test and keeper Nuno left out for contractual reasons, as Osasuna would have had to pay Deportivo another 25 million Pesetas under their loan agreement if he played. Lotina came to the edge of the pitch to shout instructions, changing his formation around to block the Depor attacks, and a few minutes later the scores were level as Cruchaga came forward to meet Alex's corner. Not much else happened up to the break, but in the second half Coruña stepped on the gas again for the first fifteen minutes, but Nuno's replacement Sanzol was steady in goal and stopped shots from all and sundry.

Lotina brought on Trzeciak for his first appearance as his team went for the Wimbledon-style long high balls forward, and Sabino hit the bar with a header a few minutes later. Irureta tried Pandiani and Víctor but again Sanzol was there to deny the Uruguayan striker twice near the end. With a minute to go Deportivo brought on Makaay, much to the striker's disgust, and referee Pérez Burrull ended the game a couple of minutes later. With Valencia drawing as well, Deportivo stay level with them at the top, but they missed an opportunity to open up a gap. With Real Sociedad winning, Osasuna drop back to the bottom, and with Barcelona and Real Madrid to come next they could be there for some time. As Lotina side before the match, "it's not enough just to have b*lls. You need to play football too". But you also need money to buy the footballers, which Osasuna don't have right now.