yb dz team sheet

 Swiss club BSC Young Boys (YB’s)  and the most successful club in Croatia, GNK Dinamo Zagreb  faced off in the first of two legs in the Champions League Qualifier. The most important phase of the game quickly became the battle between Dinamo’s  defensive block and YB’s pressing and counterattack. 

First Half 

BSC YOUNG BOYS

In the opening minutes of the match BSC Young Boys (YBs) lined up in a traditional 4-4-2.  Young Boys manager, Gerry Seoane took a conservative approach which translated to a defend in a compact deep block; and press in wide areas then quickly transition from defense to counter-attack. It was apparent from the opening minutes Seoane trained his players to think attack while defending and vice versa. This approach worked well and led to a goal in the 2nd minute by right full-back Kevin Mbabu (see below).

GNK DINAMO ZAGREB

Nenad Bjelica Dinamo Zagreb took a conservative approach as well.  Mario Gavranovic as the lone number 9 in a 4-1-4-1/4-3-3. Bjelica’s approach was to concede possession lock down the central areas: Dani Olmo (ESP),  Amer Gojak (B & H), and Arijan Ademi (CRO & MAC), and have Gavranovic to occupy YB’s centre-halfs:  von Bergen and Wüthrich.  However, this approach failed because von Bergen and Wü thrich had more time and space, frequent switches with a threat of a counter-attack. 

This pushed Dinamo’s defense further and further back toward their own box. YB’s then assumed full control of the match as Dinamo were forced to defend their box as the Swiss Champions constantly threatened into attacks into their penalty box while making sure to maintain balanced enough positions to control counterattacks.

The Battle for Control of Central Areas

For much of the first half YB’s physically imposing nines, Guillaume Hoarau and Nicolas Ngamaleu, caused problems Zagreb’s back four. Hoarau in particular was a consistent threat inside the six yard box; the target man used his height and strength to impose his will on Dinamo’s centre-halfs.  On two occasions he nearly successful in doubling the lead. However, Dinamo keeper, Zagorać, sharp reflexes would deny YB’s 34- year old French striker. YB’s second line was anchored by a pair of 8s, Sanogo and Sow, whose raw power and techniques broke up any attempt to penetrate central areas. In my opinion, Seoane’s strategy to tighten the central areas with two defensive minded pivots was spot on.  Time after time in the first half YBs would defend, press, win the ball then quickly transition to a counter-attack.  

Despite the home side’s dominant performance early in the tie the guest subtly began to take control of the match.Spanish midfielder Dani Olmo started as an eight but later advanced into the number 10 role to support Gravanovic–especially, during the press and pinning back  von Bergen and Wüthrich. This slight adjustment tactics helped Bjelica’s men achieve their primary objective to control the central areas and use accurate through ball to dispossess Fassnacht and initiate the counter-attack which lead to a sublime equalizer from Mislav Oršić (see below).

Second Half

Bjelica switched to a 4-4-2  for a couple of reason; to put pressure on  YBs’ backline and to tighten space in central areas and limit Sanogo and Sow time and space with the ball. Further, Dinamo had success blocking the home side’s passing lanes limiting access to their strikers. However, Dinamo had ongoing problem adjusting to the physicality and pace of the Swiss club. If Dinamo hope to qualify for the Champions league group stage they will need to take more risks out of possession specifically, press more aggressively than they are in the competition. These suggestions are base Dinamo’s tendency to concede possession and play defensive football outside their domestic league. 

Conclusion

Next week the return leg will be held at the Stadion Maksimir if the match will be anything like it was this past Wednesday it will be a clash of titans.  Cheers

This piece is an introduction and announcement of the launch of my blog “6th Disciple Analytics” the place football enthusiast of all levels can access digestible football match analysis. This blog will be a resource to folks that love football but for one reason or another don’t enter spaces where they can ask questions without being ridiculed or ignored. So this is where I come in, and hopefully a few other enthusiastic lovers of the beautiful game, to provide player, manager, club, and match analyses. The idea is to provide platform for football diversity–domestic leagues across the globe. Though I love UEFA as a confederation it is not the lone wolf on this planet so the aim is to write about leagues in Europe and as far as New Zealand. Don’t get me wrong I plan on writing about the North London Derby, El Classico, and the Eternal Derby too, this will be a place for up and coming writers and analyst to showcase their skills and meet people where they are. Please if you have ideas about what you would like to see from the site shoot me a DM. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Today Marcelo Alberto Bielsa managed his first match in England with Championship (2nd tier) side Leeds United Football Club. Leeds outclassed Stoke 3-1 to open the Championship with a victory and three points.

In my opinion this new project is somewhat of a do over for Profé Bielsa whose short lived time with Lille did not live up to his previous stint in Ligue 1 with Olympique Marseille. I won’t spend time in the weeds retelling the story leading up to his dismissal from Lille but it was a partnership destined for failure.

Fast forward six months Leeds United chairman and owner, Andrea Radrizzani, convinced the eccentric manager to once leave his native Argentina for a new challenge this time in England. This is not the first time a club in the UK approached Bielsa; after Gary Monk was sacked Welsh club Swansea City sent a contingency to Argentina.

Bielsa’s presence at Leeds gives me the feeling the club is looking to head in a new direction–specifically, to try and get the club in contention for winning promotion to the Premier League. Leeds’ opening day performance, though it’s still early days, showed promise, if anything, of strategic, entertaining and energetic football.

Like most of you I am curious to see how things turn at Elland Road. As I watch Leeds from afar (Brooklyn, NY) it’s gonna be an exciting season in England’s second tier. I guess more will be revealed.

Cheers.