Angers – Match Report vs Stade Rennais 28/01/20

Despite being two goals down at half time in this cup game, Angers managed to level the scores by the end of normal  time at 3-3 thanks to two late goals, Extra time finished 5-4 to Stade Rennais in a game that didn’t show either defence in the greatest of lights. Angers lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation, and maintained that clear shape in the defensive phase, they were a bit more fluid when attacking and moved forward in more of a 4-3-3 at times. They struggled to retain possession in the first half and were quite direct with their passing. They grew into the game though and the second half was much more even. They afforded Stade Rennais a little too much respect in attacking areas and were sometimes a bit rushed in possession. 

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

Mathias Pereira Lage

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Portuguese
  • Age 23
  • Date of Birth: 30/11/1996
  • Current Club: Angers SCO
  • Career: Clermont Foot, Angers
  • Position: Centre Midfield  
  • Secondary Position: Left Midfield
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Pereira-Lage started the game in central midfield, before quickly being moved to the right of midfield for the first half an hour of the game, he moved back into the middle before being deployed on the left and right of midfield for the remainder of the game after halftime.  He stands at 5’10” tall and is well built, he was more than capable of handling himself in physical encounters with bigger players and didn’t let his height disadvantage, in some cases, deter him from challenging for aerial balls. 

He showed himself to be a willing and effective presser for the most part, he occupied good positions when Angers were in their defensive shape and his pressing often caused the opposition to make a mistake or play backwards. He pressed well in a pair with his nearest midfielder when he was playing off the wing. He continued to press well and run hard late into extra time which was testament to his fitness during the game. He sometimes found himself pressing big areas alone and was easy to play round, he may have been better served staying in shape in those instances and working as a defensive unit. 

A few times he found himself in dangerous positions in the box, he made good late runs to occupy space left by a retreating defence and this is how he scored his goal, with a firm first time finish from inside the box. He covered ground quickly both with and without the ball and made some good runs into space, especially later in the game. 

He showed his positional versatility throughout as he took on quite an attacking role in the game, Angers were quite fluid when it came to their attacking movements and he would often find himself operating from positions a striker would take up whilst the forward players dropped deeper to receive the ball. Even in the time he spent at centre midfield his runs would often take him out wide as he looked to stretch the defence to create space for his teammates on the ball. 

His passing game was limited and simple, he offloaded the ball with short quick passes before making a move off the ball. Often his poor first touch did not allow him the time or space to play a more varied passing game and put himself under unnecessary pressure. In this game he appeared a lot more comfortable playing off the ball compared to when he was in possession. His best moments came when he did things quickly, his goal was a first time finish, one and two touch passes opened space for him to run into rather than times when he spent longer on the ball, he did not seem a natural dribbler and sometimes struggled in small spaces, he found himself being dispossessed relatively easily . He was certainly a lot more comfortable with space to drive into and operate in. 

Rating – C

Angelo Fulgini

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age 23
  • Date of Birth: 20/8/1996
  • Current Club: Angers SCO
  • Career: Valenciennes, Angers
  • Position: Centre Midfield  
  • Secondary Position: Right Wing
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Fulgini played in central midfield until he was replaced in the 73rd minute. He was very comfortable in the ball throughout the match and showed impressive ball control  and a good passing range. Standing at 6ft tall Fulgini presented something of a physical presence in midfield, he was happy to initiate physical challenges and won his fair share of aerial duels. He did often find himself to be physically outmatched as he has quite a slim build but he was clever at drawing and initiating contact as he drew a number of fouls in the game and was not afraid to get involved in challenges for loose balls. 

Fulgini was a very confident player in this match, he was happy to receive the ball in any situation and it was clear his teammates trusted him with the ball as he was often a target for passes when playing out of defence on the counter attack. His first touch was consistently good and put him in a position to take a positive action with his following touches. He was happy to carry the ball and showed good close control when dribbling and the ability to beat men with the ball. He travelled quickly with the ball and made a few penetrating runs.

He showed himself to be an intelligent passer, he played good vertical passes to break lines and showed intelligence when it came to releasing the ball at appropriate times. He sometimes neglected simpler passes in favour of a more difficult pass, and despite them not always being accurate he was not deterred from attempting them again later in the game. He progressed the ball quickly whether that was by himself or to a teammate. He was clever in and around the box, and demonstrated the ability to create space and shooting opportunities for himself as well as his team. He was able to pick up good positions in space between defenders, and in between defensive and midfield lines. His timing when releasing the ball was good, and the weight of his passes was impressive. His choice of pass was usually one that would lend itself to positive progression of the ball or a sensible one to retain possession and keep the move ticking over. 

Early in the game, especially,  he pressed effectively, at the right times and he was disciplined when it came to maintaining the defensive shape. At times he was slow in transition from defence to attack if the ball was not close to him and would move up the pitch with the defence rather than contributing to a counter attack. 

When attacking Fulgini was often the player to start the attack with a quick dribble or a forward pass from a deeper position, it was later in moves that he picked up positions between the lines and turned to attack the goal from a more advanced position. He was one of the  players that was tasked with the responsibility of dictating the tempo of Angers game and for a lot of the game operated from a deeper midfield position than others. 

Rating – B1

Sada Thioub

Player Profile: 

  • Nationality: Senegalese
  • Age 24
  • Date of Birth: 01/06/1995
  • Current Club: Angers SCO
  • Career: Nimes, Angers
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary Position: Striker
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Thioub was one of the players to be subbed on at half time in this game. He came on to make a difference for Angers as they recovered from a two goal deficit at half time, Thioub scored twice. He was introduced on the right side of midfield but as Angers became more attacking he played more on the right wing in a 4-3-3. He also found himself playing on the left of the three for a time towards the end of the 90 minutes. 

Thioub is 5’10” with an athletic build but rarely found himself in physical or aerial battles in this game, he sometimes appeared to actively avoid some aerial situations so his heading may not be up to standard. His movements on the pitch were slow and laboured, especially off the ball, and he showed very little urgency in the press when he came on. He wasn’t tasked with much defensive responsibility but when he did find himself in defensive areas the positions he picked up were generally good and he did a decent job of tracking runners on a few occasions. He was very slow in both attacking and defensive transitions if the ball wasn’t in close proximity to him and he appeared lazy on the pitch sometimes.

Thioub didn’t play as you would necessarily expect a right winger to play. He drifted into central areas of the pitch constantly and didn’t play up against the full back that much. A lot of the times he received the ball he was dropping deeper into midfield to collect the ball to feet, It wasn’t often that he made runs in behind full backs unless it was in counter attacking situations. He was more comfortable receiving the ball to feet and then carrying the ball himself, despite his laboured movement and leggy running style he showed that he was capable of beating defenders off the dribble and was quick enough to evade tackles on a few occasions. His first touch was inconsistent during his time on the pitch,  when under pressure he sometimes struggled to get the ball under control and gave up possession a few times because of it. 

Thioub was another player in the team that played a simple passing game, he played a lot of short easy passes to teammates often after having carried the ball for a few seconds beforehand. He didn’t play outside of his means and played passes to keep possession more often than not. He did show some intelligence in and around the box, he linked up well a few times with his teammates. He played a couple of good one twos that resulted in a decent shooting opportunity for him and another time he delivered a good cross from the byline across the box. In both of those instances Thioub used his left foot to strike the ball and he showed that he was comfortable using either foot during his time on the pitch, he was happy to take on a player on either side which was highlighted when he moved to the left side of the pitch towards the end of normal time. 

He repeatedly showed he was capable of finding space in the box and both of his goals came as a result of this. His first goal came by virtue of a fortunate finish which looked more like a poor first touch, but his run from the corner put himself in some good space in the six yard box, in front of two defenders at the far post which meant he had time to stab home Nagers first goal. For his second goal he was in space just inside the box and was able to bring a high ball under control with a good first touch before finishing with a controlled left footed volley on the turn. He continued to find space in the area into extra time, and for Angers fourth goal he was waiting just behind the eventual goal scorer and would have been there to strike on goal otherwise. 

Rating – C

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