TSG 1899 Hoffenheim – Match Report vs 1.FSV Mainz 05 30/05/20

In a fairly cagey affair in which neither side was able to consistently execute their game plan, Hoffenheim ran out eventual 1-0 winners thanks to a goal just before half time. Mainz threatened through Mateta at times in the first half and came close through Quaison’s freekick that hit the woodwork but failed to capitalise on their chances and rushed their opportunities in the final third. Both teams had long periods where they dominated possession and it was quite a physical game with seven yellow cards being shown before half time. Hoffenheim also had some good chances and were denied by a string of great saves form Mainz keeper Florian Muller including a penalty stop, but as the game entered its latter stages they struggled to pose an attacking threat as they dropped deeper to fend off Mainz’s attempts at finding an equaliser.

Hoffenheim set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation that looked to find their attacking midfielders in the spaces between the lines, whilst the striker also dropped deeper to involve himself in the build up play. Their fullbacks were fairly ineffective and they lacked creativity in the midfield on occasion but defensively they stood quite firm under a lot of pressure with the two central defenders having a solid game, restricting Mainz to only two shots on target.

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 in this match

Stefan Posch

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 14/05/1997
  • Current Club: 1899 Hoffenheim
  • Career: Sturm Graz (Y), Admira Wacker, 1899 Hoffenheim
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Secondary Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Stefan Posch had a very solid game in central defence as Hoffenheim kept a clean sheet against a struggling Mainz side. Defensively Posch was a rock at the back, timing his tackles well to win the ball and showing good awareness on several occasions to cover for this teammates and make vital interventions. At 6’2″ and with a strong build he was able to effectively challenge for headers and was brave when making blocks and clearances. The Austrian has a decent turn of pace which he used to sweep but he also made a couple of rash and unnecessary fouls in safe areas of the pitch.

On the ball, Posch was very confident and made some excellent progressive passes into midfielders and forwards, he rarely gave possession away and made some clever passes into the channels over the top of the opposition defence. He posed an aerial threat from set pieces and perhaps should have done better with what seemed like a good headed chance from a corner on one occasion.

Overall, the 23 year old was a rock at the back for Hoffenheim whilst also displaying creativity and composure in possession.

Rating: A2

Christoph Baumgartner

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 01/08/1999
  • Current Club: 1899 Hoffenheim
  • Career: 1899 Hoffenheim
  • Position: 10 (Attacking Midfield)
  • Secondary Position: Central Midfield / Left Wing / Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing as the number 10 in this game, Baumgartner showed some real quality at times but also failed to get a foothold in the game for long periods. His movement was key to any success he did have, finding spaces between the midfield and defensive lines where he could receive the ball and drive at the Mainz goal. He had good quick feet which he used to draw fouls or beat his man and he made simple yet very effective passes to find his teammates. This quick feet and positioning culminated well in the first half where he beat a couple of defenders and drove into the penalty area only to then be brought down and win a penalty for his team.

The Austrian made some excellent flicks for players to run on to and he also showed his ability to hold up the play, using his body well to retain possession before laying the ball off. However, he does not provide much of a physical threat and he also had a tendency to try and do too much with the ball, overrunning it and consequently losing possession on a couple of occasions. He didn’t get many chances to get a shot off but the one effort he did have flew way wide of the target from range.

Baumgartner was given few defensive duties but worked hard to cut passing lanes and drop deeper to help out the midfield, battling adequately in his challenges. Overall, the 20 year old showed a good level of potential on the ball and looked threatening when driving at opponents, but perhaps could have improved upon his decision making in this match.

Rating: A2

Diadie Samassekou

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Malian
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 11/01/1996
  • Current Club: 1899 Hoffenheim
  • Career: Real Bamako (Y), Liefering, Red Bull Salzburg, 1899 Hoffenheim
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Central Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Samassekou had a solid yet unremarkable game in midfield, performing his role well yet also making a couple of errors. Defensively he disrupted Mainz’s build up effectively, making several key interceptions and tackles, displaying good levels of aggression and strength in duels. His reading of the game allowed him to occupy positions from which he could mop up loose balls and knick the ball off the toes of his opponents whilst providing support for teammates. However, he also made some poor decisions, making a couple of reckless challenges, one of which resulted in a yellow card and he made one or two poor clearances straight to the opposition.

In possession, the Malian central midfielder made some sharp passes and linked up effectively with his teammates in transitional and build up phases. He rarely carried the ball far before releasing it, preferring to find a simple pass rather than take on a defender, but he exposed some poor awareness and complacency at one stage when attempting to let the ball run, only for an opponent to dispossess him, forcing him to make the tackle for which he received a booking. Although he rarely made particularly progressive passes, on one of the occasions that he did go forward, he found an excellent pass between the two central defenders to assist the only goal of the game.

Overall, Samassekou was for the most part solid defensively whilst also managing to provide the only assist of the game. Perhaps he could look to improve upon his defensive discipline and use his vision more regularly when in possession, based on this match.

Rating: B1

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