Rapid Wien – Match Report vs LASK Linz 10/06/20

Rapid won 1-0 versus LASK despite having to defend for most of the game and rarely threatening going forward. Both teams lined up in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Rapid reverting to a flat back 5 when out of possession and LASK’s wing-backs pushing high up the pitch. LASK dominated possession and had plenty of chances but struggled to get shots on target and were punished when a defensive mistake was capitalised on for Rapid to score the winning goal in the last few minutes of the game.

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

Leo Greiml

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 03/07/2001
  • Current Club: Rapid Wien
  • Career: St Pölten (Y), Rapid Wien
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Greiml impressed as the right centre-back in the back three, dominating aerially and timing his tackles well to win the ball high up the pitch. He is 6’1 and has decent upper body strength which allowed him to get in front of opponents and intercept passes effectively. His passing was assured but limited as Rapid spent most of the game without the ball, overall though his style of play was very calm and composed considering his young age.

Despite his aerial dominance he needs to focus more on the direction of his headed clearances and work on heading the ball away from danger rather than solely winning aerial duels. He was caught focusing on his opponent’s movements rather than the ball when defending set-pieces which, on one occasion, led to a good chance that LASK should have converted. He needed to alter his body position to be side on and give himself a view of both the play and the location of the player he is marking.

His preference for engaging attackers early leaves him susceptible to being caught high up the pitch but he won the majority of his duels and possesses good speed which allows him to get back into position and to cover out wide if the wing-back had pushed on. He often chose to go to ground and win the ball through a slide tackle but his timing and reading of the game meant he was successful in doing so.

Rating: A1

Greiml has great defensive attributes, both technical and physical, and his scope for development means he should push on and improve on his already impressive qualities – a very promising player.

Dejan Ljubicic

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 08/10/1997
  • Current Club: Rapid Wien
  • Career: Rapid Wien, Wiener Neustadt (L)
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Secondary position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Ljubicic played at the centre of the back three which suited his ball-playing abilities and relied less on his mobility as centre-back is not his natural position. He showed good technical quality when receiving the ball to bypass the initial press but he needed to pick better passing options afterwards.

He had good vision and attempted difficult progressive passes through the middle of the pitch with some success but overall he struggled with the execution. He needed to find the balance between building attacks slowly through retaining possession and attempting killer passes to create overloads in the final third.

Defensively his ground defence was solid, he was hard to evade when opponents were receiving passes to feet with their back to goal and he covered round the back well when clearing attempted passes in behind. However, he lost too many aerial duels, despite being 6’2, as he was often pinned to the ground by opponents and didn’t have the athleticism to out-jump them.

Rating: A2

Ljubicic has clear technical quality and defended well overall considering he was playing out of position. Could definitely improve but has the potential to thrive at centre-back in a possession-based system.

Maximilian Ullmann

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 17/06/1996
  • Current Club: Rapid Wien
  • Career: FC Pasching, LASK Linz, Rapid Wien
  • Position: Left Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Ullmann played at left wing-back and was quiet for the most part, with the majority of LASK attacks coming down the left side and Rapid struggling to apply consistent attacking pressure.

He pressed well early on when out of possession, wanting to engage high up the pitch and disrupt the rhythm of LASK’s passing game. However, he dropped back as the game developed, with Rapid becoming content to play with a deep defensive line and allow LASK to dominate possession.

He is a good passer of the ball, playing it into the midfield with pace and accuracy but he struggled to showcase his ability from attacking positions. His short, stocky build aids him when using his stature to retain the ball and he showed good strength in defensive duels. He reacted quickly to pressing triggers in wide positions which was effective in closing down angles and stopping crosses coming into the box.

Rating: B1

Ullmann was solid and reliable but did not contribute enough to stand out or suggest potential to play higher, would need to watch again.

Kelvin Arase

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 15/01/1999
  • Current Club: Rapid Wien
  • Career: Rapid Wien, SV Horn (L), SV Ried (L)
  • Position: Right Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Arase played on the right of the front three and worked hard with his running off the ball but ultimately failed to impact the game. He worked best with space to run into where he could use his speed to travel with the ball and drive the team forward but he needs to improve his passing and his ability to keep the ball in tight areas.

He was often playing off the shoulder of the last defender and looking for the pass in behind but he needed to watch the defensive line and time his runs better as too often he was caught offside. He could have relaxed more on the ball as he always seemed rushed or panicked under pressure which led to too many inaccurate or misplaced passes.

He was also too passive when receiving passes, waiting for the ball to come to him rather than engaging proactively and this allowed defenders to get in front of him and win back possession.

Rating: C

Arase needs to work on a few fairly basic elements of his game still but has the potential to be a dangerous player if given the right service.

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