FC Midtjylland – Match Report vs Aalborg BK – 14/06/2020

In this championship round game vs AaB, Midtjylland ran out 2-0 winners thanks to two first half games. The league leaders were comfortable during this match, their goal was rarely threatened and they controlled the ball for most of the match. They were able to create chances regularly from wide areas and set pieces and didn’t come under much pressure from AaB. Midtjylland played a 4-2-3-1 but when defending it was more of a 4-3-3, with the more advanced midfielder dropping in to match up with the 4-3-3 from AaB.

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

Jens Cajuste

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Swedish
  • Age: 20
  • Date of Birth: 10/08/1999
  • Current Club FC Midtjylland
  • Career: Orgryte IS, FC Midtjylland
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Cajuste was on of two deeper midfield players in this match, and demonstrated his defensive abilities throughout the match. At 6ft 1in he won his fair share of defensive headers and he was strong in tackles. His stregth was also evident when he was on the ball, he was able to carry the ball beyond defenders with relative ease. A combination of his speed and strength made it seem almost impossible to get the ball off him without committing a foul.

When defending Cajuste was impressive at noticing dangerous situations and did a good job of tracking back and following runners from midfield on a number of occasions to prevent danger from developing. He was able to fill in and cover for the right back a few times when they were caught forward to good effect. When defending, he often stepped in alongside the two centre backs to make a back five or in place of one of them to complete the back four. He looked comfortable when in these positions and he was positionally good when in the centre back area. He made it very difficult for AaB to play into the box at times due to his defensive positioning. He used his size and strength very well to hold off attackers from getting round him and to shield bouncing balls until he could play the ball.

His positioning in midfield was impressive too, he was often in position to cut out balls played through the middle and get his team on the front foot high up the pitch. He was also able to find space in attacking areas and proved a good option for progressing the ball through short sharp passes into feet. Occasionally, he was slow to release the ball, especially when he was carrying the ball. He was able to carry the ball large distances quickly but neglected passes to teammates further up the pitch which would have put them in possession in more dangerous areas. He would sometimes hold onto the ball for too long and those incisive passes wouldn’t be available anymore.

Cajuste was also sometimes slow in transition, particularly when attacking. He was slow to step out from the defensive lines on a few occasions and so he was unable to provide attacking options in midfield as the team broke forward until much later on in the moves. When Midtjylland were in possession, he would sometimes be stuck behind AaB’s forward and midfield line when they were defending which forced his defenders to go more direct rather than coming feet in front of defenders to provide a shorter option, so Cajuste wasn’t involved in possession as much as he could’ve been.

When he was in possession his passing was short for the most part, he was accurate with the majority of it. His passes tended to be sideways or bounced back to a player to retain possession rather than playing forward and through the lines. He preferred to carry the ball on his own when he had space to work in, and passed it usually when in tighter situations. He had good feet in tight spaces but without explosive acceleration, he lacked the space needed for him to get up to a good speed to carry the ball forward.

Rating – A2

Frank Onyeka

Player Profile

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

Onyeka played alongside Cajuste as on of the two deeper central midfielders. Onyeka’s aggressive pressing style was on display once again in this match as he won a number of tackles and forced the opposition into mistakes and poor passes. At 6ft tall Onyeka was a physical presence in midfield, he was competitive in the air and was strong and quick in tackles so attackers couldn’t get away from him. He was brave, wasn’t afraid to put himself in positions where he might draw some heavy contact in order to win the ball back for his team and very committed to winning the ball back.

His pressing game seems relentless but he does it intelligently, he usually only presses situations where he is confident in his ability to win the ball back and he doesn’t dive in at the end of his press, he does a good job of standing players up which allows teammates to get back into position or make the tackle from a better angle. He took up good positions to make interceptions and he was able to step across well to cut passes out, his long legs and big strides made it easy for him to do so and allows him to cover ground quickly to meet the ball.

In possession, Onyeka was a confident dribbler, he is capable of carrying the ball forward quickly and breaking from midfield into attacking areas. He shows impressive pass choice as well as timing of his passes, he was able to create shooting opportunities for his team and made good moves off the ball after passing it. His passes were usually short, the few long passes he attempted were done with good accuracy. His passing was simple but he was able to break lines with his passing and he was important for progressing moves forward with both his passing and running.

Similarly to Cajuste, he found himself stuck behind AaB’s midfield and forward line when his defence was on the ball and he rarely came short to receive it which forced the defence to go a bit longer and more direct. This meant Onyeka wasn’t involved on the ball so much throughout the game but his off the ball efforts were important for Midtjylland in controlling the game.

Rating – A2

Anders Dreyer

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Danish
  • Age: 22
  • 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 Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Dreyer started this game as Midtjylland right sided midfielder, but he was more of a right winger with limited defensive responsibilities. He would sometimes drift into central areas when looking for the ball but usually had a narrow starting position on the right leaving space wider for the fullback to attack. Being 5’8″ he sometimes struggled in physical battles but he was able to come out on top in a few and he was willing to challenge for balls despite some physical disadvantages.

In this match Dreyer was a regular threat for Midtjylland both with and without the ball. He was able to consistently find space in the box and he made good runs from wide positions onto the area to attack balls from the opposite flank. He was comfortable with the ball at his feet, his impressive agility helped him to work well with the ball in tight areas. He was quick to react to situations which meant he could go past defenders or draw fouls from them by beating them to the ball. He was able to use his body well on the ball and he was strong and difficult to knock off the ball at times.

His movement in and around the box was good, he linked up well with his other forward players and was able to create shooting chances for his teammates and himself courtesy of good passing moves, he should probably have scored from one chance but was denied by a decent save. He was able to regularly create space for himself off the dribble as well and was able to pick good passes to drive his team forward.

Dreyer was responsible for set piece delivery, in the absence of Evander, and he was able to step up to the plate and was threatening from dead balls throughout the game. His corners were consistently good and brought him an assist in the first half, a number of his corners came in at a good height along the six yard area and this one was headed in by Sviatchenko. His set pieces and corners especially caused problems for AaB in this game especially when they were out-swinging. Dreyer was often able to pick a teammate out with good accuracy if he wasn’t just delivering balls in to a generally good area.

Rating – A2

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