Dinamo Zagreb – Match Report vs NK Istra 8/3/20

Dinamo Zagreb are clear at the top of the Croatian top division, meanwhile Istra are down in 8th, two points above relegation. Dinamo dominated the match in a 4-3-3 with high flying wing backs offering width and wingers who mainly stayed very narrow, looking to combine with the striker, but could provide width when needed. Istra defended in a 4-1-4-1 block and defended within the box well. Dinamo Zagreb won 2-0 scoring an early corner and finishing a loose ball after the striker was tackled in the box.

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

Josko Gvardiol

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 23/01/2002
  • Current Club: Dinamo Zagreb
  • Career: Dinamo Zagreb
  • Position: Centre Half
  • Preferred foot: Left

Starting the game as a left centre half, the young Croatian had a strong game. Comfortable on the ball and capable of passing with both feet, Gvardiol used progressive touches and was calm under pressure. He grew into the game and wanted to pass forwards, but the midfield didn’t always offer a lot of options. His passing was with good technique but his passes could have been faster at times. His decision making was good other than one pass to his left back which was underweighted and cut out. He was able to break the lines into midfield but didn’t test his passing range. He also used disguised passes into midfield nicely.

Gvardiol is 6’1″ with a decent build but didn’t show much physicality in this game. Dinamo dominated the game and Istra had very little possession to be able to attack. His aerial duels off long balls in midfield were okay but lacked aggression. He covered behind his defensive partner well when long balls came over him and he had decent pace over medium distances but lacked explosiveness over a few yards.

He was keen to press out of the line, reading danger well and making tackles from behind as the opposition tried to receive in front of his back line. But could be too keen to press out and could have more disciplined, especially in deeper positions. He didn’t have to do much deep defending overall but lacked aggression in his defensive actions, other than pressing into midfield. He lost concentration on one counter attack and made no effort to mark his man who nearly connected with a cross.

Rating – A2

This is only his third start in the Croatian top division but he looks like a promising modern defender who I need to watch again. He is being linked with Bayern Munich through Miroslav Klose’s recommendation.

Nikola Moro

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 12/03/1998
  • Current Club: Dinamo Zagreb
  • Career: Dinamo Zagreb
  • Position: Defensive midfield
  • Secondary Position: Central Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing as the 6 at the base of the midfield three, Moro was good at counter-pressing from midfield when the ball was lost in the final third and won possession well, reading danger and springing out to win the ball.

In build up he checks his shoulders well and received the ball on the turn, looking to play forwards. He could have fought for his positioning more and been more accessible for the defence at times. He was calm under pressure but took risks at times but showed fairly good ball retention under pressure.

He’s 6’0″ with an average build but lacks aggression. His passing was good and progressed the ball well but sometimes slowed the tempo of the game and didn’t show his range much. He was a good presser but was less successful when being dribbled at and lacked aggression in the challenge. He also produced a rocket half-volleyed shot which was tipped onto the post.

Rating – A2

Petar Stojanovic

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Slovenian
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 07/10/1995
  • Current Club: Dinamo Zagreb
  • Career: NK Maribor, Verzej (L), Dinamo Zagreb
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

The Slovenian international had a lot of freedom on his wing to push up very high and provide width to his team. He was good in the buildup, showing to be calm on the ball with crisp passing and able to switch play, however could have adjusted his positioning better at times.

The 5’10” defender showed good pace and made strong overlapping runs in the final third while his winger moved inside. He travelled with the ball well into space and was able to knock the ball past opponents a few times. He made some good inside passes in the final third but his few crosses were weaker and he could have set himself better.

Defensively he was too passive in 1v1s and could have been more active to win the ball and stay tight. His positioning stopped the opposition from moving towards the byline but allowed them inside too easily. Overall a solid game where he was particularly impactful in the first half.

Rating – B1

Bruno Petkovic

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 25
  • Date of birth: 16/09/1994
  • Current Club: Dunamo Zagreb (Y), Catania, Trapani, Bologna, Hellas Verona (L), Dinamo Zagreb
  • Career: Dinamo Zagreb
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Standing at 6’4″ Croatian international is a strong physical striker who worked really well within this system with inside forwards running off him. He receives the ball well and was able to hold up play well using his strength to hold off defenders. He played good lay offs and liked to drop deeper to receive and then play forwards while the inside forwards moved into the space he created.

He had average pace but surprisingly good feet for his size and was able to travel with the ball in tight situations with good ball control even if he lacked agility. He didn’t have many scoring opportunities for himself created for others and put teammates into dangerous positions, facilitating the attack with his hold up play and good passing. He worked hard to press and was a constant threat with high involvement. A lot of play flowed through him and he impressed a lot overall and could be a good option for other European sides.

Rating – B1

Lovro Majer

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 17/01/1998
  • Current Club: Dinamo Zagreb
  • Career: Dinamo Zagreb (Y), Lokomotiva Zagreb, Dinamo Zagreb
  • Position: Attacking midfield
  • Secondary Position: Central Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Playing on the right side of the midfield three, Majer had licence to push high up the pitch and make late runs into the box, getting a goal in the second half with a good finish on a loose ball. He was a direct player who wanted to play forwards and travel with the ball but didn’t get that many touches on the ball overall.

He evaded pressure well and showed good ball control. He positioned himself between the lines and dropped deeper to assist in buildup when needed. He looked to drive at the defence and combine with the front three or play balls in behind the defence but these didn’t come off enough. He was strong technically but didn’t have a big enough impact on the game and was quiet through parts of the match. He lacked intensity when pressing but had a good burst of pace and was agile.

Rating – B2

Luka Ivanusec

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 26/11/1998
  • Current Club: Dinamo Zagreb
  • Career: NK Varazdin (Y), Lokomotiva Zagreb, Dinamo Zagreb
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Ivanusec was calm of the ball, using feints to retain possession and create space under pressure. He had a good first touch but lacked physicality and could be pushed off the ball and lost possession a few times too easily. He drifted to the left side often and offered support there and creating an overload. He had good pace with agility and exploited space well with good passing into the front three and spreading play.

He travelled with the ball into space and supported the attack when needed but also would often sit back to protect the defence and prevent counter attacks. He pressed out from deeper positions when his team lost the ball and was an effective midfield presser overall and did well to close the ball but lacked aggression in challenges and could have imposed himself on the game more, being quite quiet at times.

Rating – B2

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: