FC Midtjylland – Match Report vs AC Horsens 01/06/20

League leaders FC Midtjylland unexpectedly lost 1-0 against AC Horsens in a match in which they dominated possession but couldn’t break down a resolute Horsens defence. Horsens scored against the run of play through Louka Prip and Midtjylland were wasteful with their shooting, creating a few good chances late on but failing to hit the target. Horsens were compact and disciplined in a 4-4-2 low block while Midjtylland lined up in a 4-2-3-1 but struggled to build play through the middle and were unsuccessful with crosses into 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 in this match

Evander

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 09/06/1998
  • Current Club: FC Midtjylland
  • Career: Vasco de Gama, FC Midtjylland
  • Position: Central midfield
  • Secondary position: Attacking midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Evander played in a central midfield pivot and had a strong first-half but faded in the second as Midtjylland struggled to break through Horsens low block. He has a very sleight build but uses his body intelligently to protect the ball from opponents and is very hard to dispossess on the ball. He has very good balance and awareness of where space is opening up to drive into when receiving the ball on the turn which makes him a very effective ball carrier.

He was accurate with his passing but seemed to lack vision and imagination when receiving the ball from the defence, often opting for sideways passes rather than looking to progress it through the midfield. He was dangerous when picking the ball up on the edge of the box and using his close control to make space for a shot but his shooting was inaccurate and he missed a big chance inside the box that should have been squared to his teammate in space.

Midtjylland played increasingly direct in the second-half with long balls up to the central striker and this meant Evander struggled to get on the ball and impact the game. He drew a lot of fouls and was very effective when making progressive runs and driving at opponents with speed but he did not do so enough in this game. He did not have many defensive duties to carry out due to a combination of the work of Onyeka in the midfield and Midtjylland’s dominance in possession.

Rating: A2

Evander is a technically gifted player and was the main creative outlet for Midtjylland but needs to carry the ball forward more and work on his pass variation.

Frank Onyeka

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Nigerian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 01/01/1998
  • Current Club: FC Midtjylland
  • Career: FC Midtjylland
  • Position: Central midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Onyeka impressed in midfield, performing his defensive duties well and covering a lot of distance with his impressive work rate. He is a combative defensive-minded player, standing at 6’0 with good strength and ground speed that allows him to engage and dispossess opponents quickly.

He engaged high up the pitch and made it difficult for Horsens to play through the middle when cutting passing lanes and pressing aggressively. He was committed to challenges and timed his slide tackles very well, able to use his long legs to recover the ball and prevent attacks from developing. His defensive discipline was important in allowing the attacking players to get forward and he was very effective in protecting the back four.

He kept things simple in possession with short accurate progressive passes but was impressive when using his speed to drive the team forward into more advanced areas and offloading to the more creative players in the team. He reads the game well and had good body position so he wasn’t caught flat-footed, he was constantly on the move and scanning the pitch to track runners.

Rating: A1

Onyeka looked like a strong player at this level and has the physical attributes and defensive skills to be a solid defensive midfielder at a higher level.

Anders Dreyer

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Danish
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 02/05/1998
  • Current Club: FC Midtjylland
  • Career: Esbjerg, Brighton, St Mirren (L), Heerenveen (L), FC Midtjylland
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary Position: Attacking Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Left

Playing as the 10 in Midtjylland’s 4-2-3-1 mostly, however along with the wingers he had a license to roam by rotating positions, supporting play in wide areas and dropping deep. He took up dangerous positions, able to receive the ball well between the lines on his back foot and then turn. However when dropping deeper and receiving with his back to goal with his front foot he took some heavy touches while being pressed from behind. He was quite a direct player in attack, looking to carry at the defence and then spread play.

He was effective at drawing his defender before playing a pass and showed good creativity and vision in the final third to spread play to wingers and pass through tight spaces. He wanted to link up and try combinations in the final third and progressed play well overall through his passing and ball carrying.

He’s 5’8″ with decent speed and great agility but lacked explosiveness and physicality. He had tight ball control but never really hit his top gears while on the ball when carrying it, preferring to pass-and-move rather than try to dribble through tight spaces himself.

Rating – B1

Overall he facilitated the attack well, progressed the ball and involved others in play. A lot of their attack went through him and was very active in attack with good work rate and decisions in the final third but lacked great athleticism and physicality.

Mikael Anderson

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Icelandic
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 01/07/1998
  • Current Club: FC Midtjylland
  • Career: FC Midtjylland, Excelsior (L)
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing on the left wing, Anderson was a threat at the back post when the ball was on the far side but was unable to direct two good headed chances on target. As the left back pushed up, he was positioned quite narrowly, looking to receive in the half spaces. He linked with Dreyer and his left back quite well down the wing with good first time passes and quick play.

He was fairly right footed and wanted to move inside rather than into crossing positions. He was fairly quiet, with a lot of the play coming down the right side. But he could have been better positioned to be more accessible and involved in play. He showed decent pace and good acceleration, with good support runs on the counter but I felt I never say him reach his top speed. He was subbed off in the 57th minute and failed to have a big impact before that.

Rating – C

Joel Andersson

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Swedish
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 11/11/1996
  • Current Club: FC Midtjylland
  • Career: Häcken, FC Midtjylland
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

The Swedish international full back supported play down his wing and got into crossing positions. He attempted a lot of crosses throughout the game, they were mixed quality and lacked variation in the type of cross he made. He lacked speed and floated a bit too much and didn’t react to what was happening in the box enough to create any dangerous chances.

He pushed up his flank but didn’t do so with marauding overlapping runs, instead he would be the outlet option 5-10 metres behind his winger and would then put in crosses from about 18 metres out.

His play lacked intensity, which offered balance to the left back, but he still worked hard. He 5’10” but put in a few strong challenges, tending to dive in on loose balls. He never really got to top speed but had a good change of pace and worked fairly hard on his recovery runs showing good speed. He was calm on the ball, almost casual and taking his time and could have made better decisions in the final third after failing to make use of his many crossing opportunities. He played mostly simple passes, some of which could have had better accuracy though.

Rating – B2

Awer Mabil

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Australian
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 15/09/1995
  • Current Club: FC Midtjylland
  • Career: Campbelltown City, Adelaide United, FC Midtjylland, Esbjerg fB (L), Pacos de Ferreira (L)
  • Position: Right winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Mabil started on the right wing but switched sides on numerous occasions in a fluid attacking midfield trio. He is a dynamic player with great speed and good strength on the ball but looked quite raw and displayed only a basic level of technical ability. He was too one-dimensional in this match, limited to receiving the ball in wide positions and immediately looking to get into crossing positions where he was inconsistent with his delivery.

He was too reliant on his right foot which made him quite predictable and he needed to vary his play to come inside and look to link up with teammates in central positions. He made good runs in behind and saw a lot of the ball but struggled with his first touch and passing, misplacing too many and giving away possession needlessly on a number of occasions. He didn’t look comfortable taking opponents on and preferred to pass back for the full-back to cross as Midtjylland seemed to over-commit to getting balls into the box for the tall central striker.

He began to vary his crosses in the second-half to better effect and delivered two very dangerous crosses late in the game, resulting in a point-blank opportunity missed and a shot off the post. He needed to be stronger in duels both offensively and defensively as he was too easily outmuscled and didn’t commit enough to 50/50 challenges.

Rating: B2

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