Real Sociedad – Match Report vs FC Barcelona 14/12/19

 Ratings

  • A1- Very good, could play higher
  • A2- Strong potential to play higher
  • B1- Good, strong player at level
  • B2- Potential to be strong player at level
  • C- Average for the level, rewatch
  • D- Below average, don’t follow up

Alexander Isak

Neither Barça or any club will can 'touch' Isak this summer if don ...

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Swedish
  • Age: 20
  • DOB: 21/09/1999
  • Club: Real Sociedad
  • Career: AIK, Borussia Dortmund, Willem II (L), Real Sociedad
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right
  • Height: 6’3”

Isak impressed me throughout the game, especially when you consider the two centre backs he was up against in Pique and Lenglet. He showed good technical ability on the ball, liked to drop deep, receive and turn with the ball to then drive at the back 4. Showed good speed and balance when dribbling, dodging a few tackles while keeping control of the ball as well as being able to stay on his feet to continue the attack. Linked up well with the wide players and the attacking midfielder, playing one touch passes showing his ability to think ahead and know where his next pass is going to be before he makes it.

He did well in leading the press from the front by being aggressive, quick to his man and arching his run to block off passing options forcing opposition to go long. He can be frustrating at times, one time he took too long to take the shot when he was in a good position in the oppositions box and he was tackled and the chance was gone. But he made up for this by showing good positioning and movement in the box to be wide open to tap the ball in the net after the keeper parried it out.

One thing which he could improve on is using his body to shield the ball as sometimes he was pushed off the ball to easily and losing possession for his team. As well as this I would like to see him being a bit more aggressive when challenging for the ball in the air.

Rating: A1

Very talented, for his size has brilliant control and technical ability. As he grows into his body a bit more and improves physically, he will be able to start adding something to his game by learning to hold the ball up and bring others into play.

Martin Ødegaard

Real Sociedad insist there is 'zero chance' Odegaard will return ...

Player Profile:

  • Age: 21
  • DOB: 17/12/1998
  • Club: Real Sociedad, on loan from Real Madrid
  • Career: Strømsgodset, Real Madrid, Heerenveen (L), Vitesse (L), Real Sociedad (L)
  • Position: 10
  • Other position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left
  • Height: 5’10”

Ødegaard was a threat to Barca all game long, he had a free roam role and he caused problems wherever he was. Majority of the time he spent just off the striker, linking up well with the striker and the winger, but at times he would also drop deep and collect the ball of the centre backs and carry it forward as well as advance beyond the striker. He made it difficult for the likes of de Jong and Rakitic to mark him as he would always be moving into different areas of the pitch to create overloads. Showed brilliant technical ability, at one point dribbling past 3 Barcelona players inside the 18 yard box. When he was dribbling he did it at such pace which meant that any sort of contact from a Barcelona player and he would go down which helped his team retain possession up the field.

Showed bravery throughout the game by trying a few shots from around 25 yards and wasn’t effected when it didn’t go in the net. He is a threat from corners, the penalty which his team won came from him putting in a dangerous cross which lead to the Barca player making the foul. Displayed brilliant spacial awareness by always moving in between the lines to receive the ball off his 6 or from the centre backs. When he received the ball with his back to goal he showed great agility and technique to be able to turn first time and drive at pace at the opposition while keeping control at all times.

Was aggressive in his pressing but also clever in timing when to press and the angle to press at to make sure he put the defender in a situation where they need to put the ball long, showing a tactical understanding to his game.

Rating: A1

Very good performance, will be one of Real Madrids best players in the coming years.

Alex Remiro

Remiro: "Con el apoyo de la gente contra el Mirandés todo saldrá ...

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 25
  • DOB: 24/03/1995
  • Club: Real Sociedad
  • Career: CD Basconia, Athletic Bilbao (Y), Levante (L), SD Huesca (L), Real Sociedad
  • Position: GK
  • Preferred foot: Right
  • Height: 6’3”

Despite conceding 2 goals to a Barcelona side who weren’t at their best, Remiro had a very good game. Throughout the game he showed good distribution on the ball playing short passes to his centre backs in the build up play or bypassing the Barcelona press by going long to his striker, ending the game with a 82.4% passing accuracy. The Spaniards speed off the line was very good, at one point the ball had come off a few deflections and was bouncing in the box and Remiro was the first to react and pounced on the ball.

Remiro made 2 saves in the games from Suarez and Griezmann, despite both shots being shots you’d expect him to make he parried both of them away from danger allowing his defence to recover and reshape. He also shows signs of being able to stay calm under pressure, at one point Remiro had slipped near his goal line but he was quick to get up and clear the ball away before the striker was able to get to it. There were a few opportunities where he should have come off his line to claim a cross but none of these lead to goals so can’t complain.

Rating: A2

All the attributes needed for a modern day goalkeeper, very good but is not as good as the likes of Oblak, Courtois and Ter-Stegen to warrant a move to one of the top clubs in Spain or Europe. If he could improve on claiming crosses from open play and from corners then he could potentially make that move to a top European club.

Igor Zubeldia

Left Back Football

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 23
  • DOB: 30/03/1997
  • Club: Real Sociedad
  • Career: Real Sociedad
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Secondary position: Central Midfield / Centre Half
  • Preferred foot: Right
  • Height: 5’11”

Despite being a defensive midfielder, Zubeldia filled in at centre back and played very well as he came up against a striker such as Luis Suarez. Throughout the game he showed his strength despite not being the tallest, holding of the likes of Suarez and Griezmann in 1v1 duels winning 75% of his ground duels. Did lose a few aerial battles however, his size could be an issue when he is played at centre half. He showed real quality on the ball especially when stepping out of defence with the ball and playing a ball through the lines to the striker or playing a diagonal pass to the wingers. with the Spaniard ending the game with 90.6% passing accuracy.

He also showed good awareness of the space around him and noticing where the danger is, at one point stepping up to intercept the ball and clearing it before the Barca player had a free shot from the edge of the box. Another scenario, which is the best of the lot, was where a corner came in and the keeper comes off his line but the Barca player gets his head to the ball but Zubeldia had positioned himself on the line and was able to stick a foot out to clear it away ultimately saving his team a point.

For Barcelona’s first goal you could argue that his body angle was wrong, he was facing the Barca player who was running at him and he was running back with his body angled to the left when Griezmann was to his right. When the pass was made into Griezmann, it took him that half a second longer to get to him as he had to turn his body towards the Frenchman.

Rating: A2

Solid at the back for majority of the game however I think his height could be an issue if he continues to play at centre half. Shows good traits to be a very good DM, especially due to his age he could grow into a player playing for a top club in Europe but will need to improve on being more aggressive in aerial duels.

Ander Guevara

Ander Guevara - Ander Guevara Photos - Zimbio

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 22
  • DOB: 07/07/1997
  • Club: Real Sociedad
  • Career: Real Sociedad
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Secondary position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right
  • Height: 5’11”

Throughout the game he impressed me with his positioning, especially when the centre backs had the ball, always scanning the space around him and putting himself into spaces to receive the ball off the centre halves. He always knew where his next pass was going to be while allowed him to play first time passes either to the opposite CB or a forward pass to one of the players positioning themselves behind the Barcelona midfield. This helps cover up for the fact that he is a bit slow to cover ground and isn’t the biggest physically.

When receiving the ball under pressure he was calm and was able to retain the ball and then move it on either to an advanced player or back to his defenders. Showed brilliant technical ability throughout, playing a variety of short and long passes with both feet as well as some good first touches in limited space which made it easier for him to keep possession of the ball.

At times he found himself near the oppositions box but showed poor decision making at times with a few misplaced passes and one shot which was wide when he had options either side. This is something which if worked on could help him and his team in the future in a tactical sense as he could then be used as an 8 or even a 10 due to his good positional awareness and technical ability.

Rating: A2

Good positional awareness and brilliant ball control and technical ability, but lacks the physical presence and the pace to be able to play at the top clubs at the moment. Could potentially make the move however if he improves decision making in final third and is converted to a 10.

Mikel Merino

Sergio Busquets, Mikel Merino - Sergio Busquets Mikel Merino ...

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 23
  • DOB: 22/06/1996
  • Club: Real Sociedad
  • Career: CA Osasuna, Borussia Dortmund, Newcastle, Real Sociedad
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Secondary position: 10 / Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left
  • Height: 6’2”

Merino played in a double pivot in this game however he was comfortable on getting up the pitch to press or to be part of the attacking play. Showed good technique on the ball to take the ball off the defenders and carry it up the pitch. Showed variety of short and long passing with accuracy, ending the game with 91.7% passing accuracy. Impressive use of his body to shield the ball when being pressed.

Another thing which impressed me is his aggression in challenges, although he didn’t win every tackle he forced the opposition into a mistake or turning and playing the ball backwards. Despite not being the quickest he covers ground quick enough to get into the positions he needs to be in. Could take more risks when in the final third which will help him develop into a more all round midfielder.

Rating: B1

Playing at a good level at Real Sociedad, could potentially make the move to one of the top clubs if he took a few more risks in his passing, especially in the final third. Would allow him to develop into more of an all round midfielder and could be coached into a 8 or 10 position and make him more versatile. He would need this if he moves to a top club which has majority of the ball in games and need to break down low blocks.

Mikel Oyarzabal

West Ham boss David Moyes is reportedly a big fan of talented ...

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 23
  • DOB: 21/04/1997
  • Club: Real Sociedad
  • Career: Real Sociedad
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary position: 10 / Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left
  • Height: 5’11”

Oyarzabal was a threat to Barcelona throughout the entire game, either dribbling through the defence and getting a shot or pass away or putting in crosses into dangerous areas for his team mates to attack. In the 1st minute he put in a dangerous cross to the back post which the striker was inches away from getting a touch on the ball, showing brilliant vision and accuracy of his passing. Switched between staying out wide to open up space for the central players to roam in and moving into the left half space to allow the LB (Monreal) to create the overlap and therefore create a 2v1.

Showed good technical ability and movement by linking up well with the advanced midfielder and the striker, using 1 touch passing to get around the opposition quickly and retaining possession. He is always looking for the forward pass into his striker and advanced midfielders, making 4 key passes.

The captain also showed his ability to track runners and help his side defensively, at one point tracking the run of Sergio Roberto who could have been through 1v1 with the keeper if he wasn’t marked. Despite not having rapid pace, he has good acceleration which helps him when he is in a 1v1 with the defender and needs to use skill to get away from them. Also scored a penalty which he made look effortless against one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Marc Andre Ter-Stegen.

Rating: A1

He has been linked to Man City in the past and no doubt he could develop into one of Europes top wingers under Pep Guardiola, with the awareness, quick feet and passing ability that he possesses at such a young age he will only improve. One thing which he will definitely learn under Pep is to be a bit more direct with his dribbling to push his full back.

Twitter: @EmiraldoBrace

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