David Aznar tried an interesting tactical experiment vs. Deportivo de La Coruña, going with a 4-4-2 diamond.
Google almost got the lineup correct, but wrongly determined that Aurélie Kaci was the defensive midfielder. She, in fact, played on the left of midfield, while Thaisa roamed the right and Ainoa acted as the team’s #6.
Reserve player Marina Martín Massanet stepped in at right center-back for the injured Osinachi Ohale, but, otherwise, Aznar had most of his regulars out on the field.
Yohana had a mixed game. She claimed all crosses comfortably bar one — which she flopped at badly on a corner kick — and made an excellent one-versus-one save. Nevertheless, she was caught in no man’s land despite having defensive cover on the first goal and probably could’ve done better on the driven shot from a tight angle on Deportivo’s second goal.
She executed a good performance offensively thanks to her dynamic movement on the underlap and her passes into the channels, but she made a crucial mistake on Deportivo’s first goal; she missed an interception that allowed the move to develop.
Was not quick enough to cover for Daiane on the first goal after the latter shifted over to account for Babett’s mistake. Massanet was fairly inactive in other portions of the game due to Deportivo’s preference for attacking down CD Tacón’s left.
Daiane has really struggled in the Primera Iberdrola this season. She nearly caused a goal against her own side after a terrible giveaway under pressure, couldn’t keep track of her mark at times, and put in weak challenges that eventually contributed to Deportivo’s winning goal.
Esther was fairly average offensively while committing some mistakes on defense. She was lax to close down crossers, at times, and that tendency contributed to the opposition’s fourth goal, when she allowed Lourdes Moreno to get off a free shot from just outside the box.
Ainoa was exceptional on the ball and her quality created a ripple effect on Tacón’s build-up. Hopeless passes being pumped into the channels were replaced with neat combinations through midfield and better control over the game. She would be rated higher if it weren’t for her defensive shortcomings, which related to her positional discipline. Instead of keeping vertical compactness, she was very aggressive in pressing higher up the field (something that may have been a coaching decision). That cost Tacón on Deportivo’s third goal, when Ainoa’s advanced stance allowed for a vertical pass to split the midfield line.
Thaisa was her usual combative self in midfield and was fairly clean on the ball. She also had the rare distinction of not being particularly responsible for any of Deportivo’s goals.
Kaci was another who had a good game on the ball, dropping (or switching with Ainoa) to aid Tacón’s build-up and being a key part of ball progression through the middle third. Furthermore, Kaci did well to cover for Ainoa’s aggressive positioning and won a lot of duels in midfield. She, even, almost prevented Deportivo’s third goal, when she nearly intercepted the vertical pass. Oh, and she also scored a beautiful goal from just inside the box. If it weren’t for the fact that she was turned too easily for Deportivo’s opener, she would be given a 9/10 rating or higher.
Jessica was unsuited for this number ten role but she made her presence known. She made threatening runs into the right channel, got off some shots, and pressed aggressively and in an effective fashion. Unsurprisingly, she didn’t offer much in build-up, but she could’ve done better to stay onside with many of her movements off-the-shoulder. Had she timed things better, CD Tacón may have opened up a bigger lead much earlier in the match.
Jakobsson scored, but she got quite lucky — her long range shot was fairly tame and aimed centrally, but the goalkeeper inexplicably let it slip under her. Jakobsson was partly responsible for Jessica’s offsides, as she could’ve played her passes quicker, but Sofia was a good influence down the right throughout the game thanks to her dribbling and willingness to drop deep in the second half. She also got off a couple of good crosses — one, of which, proved to be the assist for Kaci’s goal. I would probably rate Jakobsson a little higher if she didn’t miss a clear one-versus-one with the goalkeeper after a gorgeous through ball from Ainoa.
Asllani would’ve been the better choice in the #10 position, but she put in a solid shift as a left-sided striker, anyway. She continued her promising run of working hard as a presser and was a significant part of Tacón’s improved ball progression. Unfortunately, for her rating, she was substituted off in the 58th minute after Tacón went 1-0 up.
Lorena Navarro (on for Kosovare Asllani, 58’)
Once Lorena came on, Tacón’s attack mostly shifted to the right. Despite this, Lorena made her mark by converting an excellent volley from a corner kick to put Tacón 2-0 up.
Ariana Arias (on for Jessica Martínez, 74’)
Didn’t do much except give the ball up cheaply near the end of the game, which led to Deportivo’s fourth goal.
Malena Ortíz Cruz (on for Thaisa, 82’)
Link to the full match replay.