First Division - Day 27

Deportivo La Coruña 1 - Zaragoza 0

Deportivo: Molina; Scaloni, César, Naybet, Romero; Duscher, Mauro Silva; Makaay, Djalminha (Valerón 77'), Fran (Amavisca 66'); Diego Tristán (Sergio 55'). 4-2-3-1.
Zaragoza: Láinez; Komljenovic (Garitano 80'), César, Paco, Pablo; Juanele (Bilic 65'), Aragón, José Ignacio, Vellisca; Drulic (Jamelli 62'), Milosevic. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Deportivo: Romero, Makaay, Djalminha, Fran for Capdevila, Víctor, Valerón, Amavisca / Zaragoza: Aragón for Toro Acuña.

1-0. 20. Diego Tristán. Beat Láinez with glancing header after Djalminha long pass.

Deportivo La Coruña moved back up three places into fourth spot, three points behind leaders Valencia, after a narrow 1-0 victory over Zaragoza. Having put out a defensive side for the midweek Champions League draw at Juventus, Irureta decided this time to go for broke, including Makaay, Diego Tristán and Djalminha in his opening eleven, with Fran also returning after missing a couple of games with a knock. He could not apply his rotation theory to his defence however, with César and Naybet the only two fit central defenders. Naybet it was who put in the final challenge on Milosevic in the third minute to put off the Yugoslav striker as he shot at goal, but after that the visitors disappeared from the map of the Riazor stadium, for the rest of the half at least. Djalminha was determined to show his manager that he should be given more airplay, and he almost caught Láinez out twice with shots that brushed the woodwork. Then a few minutes later he got free again, leaving José Ignacio behind to fire in a long cross which Diego Tristán headed home past the stranded keeper.

Tristán went close again with a header and Makaay almost caught out Láinez with an overhead kick, but otherwise the game was played in the centre of the park, with neither side getting very close to the opposing goal. Drulic came closest after the break when Juanele put him through, but he wasted his chance, and Vellisca tested Molina with a long cross-come-shot. Irureta decided he needed a fresh pair of lungs and brought on Sergio for Tristán, and Luis Costa took advantage to put on a couple of new forwards, Jamelli and Bilic coming on for Juanele and Drulic. Very little changed though, and as Zaragoza's challenge died out Depor took their foot off the accelerator, already thinking about the visit of Juventus to La Coruña next Wednesday.

Referee Pérez Pérez had the easiest of nights, only showing one yellow card all game, and he pronounced the game well and truly dead to the general indifference of all. Depor had stopped the rot though that had seen them only take one point from their last two home games, and they edge Barcelona out of the Champions League spots. Zaragoza stay in fifteenth, grateful that Las Palmas and Mallorca lost and Real Sociedad and Rayo drew. However having only taken one point in their last eight outings they are now only four points above the bottom three, and with Valencia, Betis and Real Madrid to play in their next four games they could soon be in big trouble.