Molde FK – Match Report vs IK Start 24/06/20

Molde ran out eventual 3-2 winners in a game that, in truth, lacked the excitement and quality that the scoreline suggests. Molde lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation that became almost a 2-4-3-1 in possession whilst Start went with a 4-1-4-1 system. Molde absolutely dominated the ball with 67% possession but their play lacked intent and Start did not press with enough intensity to increase the tempo of the match. Molde came back from 1-0 down to go into half-time 2-1 up, Start then equalised in the 75th minute and the game looked to be heading for a draw before Molde scored a late winner with virtually the last kick 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

Tobias Christensen

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 11/05/2000
  • Current club: Molde FK
  • Career: IK Start, Molde FK
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Secondary position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left

Christensen started on the right of the attacking midfield trio but played quite narrow in the right half-space which gave Pedersen space to overlap from right-back but also allowed Christensen to come inside on his stronger left foot. He was fairly quiet in the first-half as Molde struggled to progress the ball into attacking areas but showed his quality with good close control and some neat touches to link play in and around the box.

For a player with obvious technical ability his passing let him down too often in this game as he either gave the ball away carelessly or made the wrong choice in possession. His instinctive passing ability is very good and he was able to play smart one-touch passes under pressure to progress the ball in tight areas. However, when given time on the ball to think about his decision it often seemed to decrease his passing accuracy and result in possession being given away.

He showed a good burst of pace to accelerate past or away from his opponent and his attacking positioning was impressive. He alternated between well-timed late runs into the box and holding his run slightly to find space in good shooting positions but was not found by teammates to create shooting opportunities. He performed well in midfield duels, showing good strength on the ball and commitment to physical challenges.

Rating – A2

Christensen still, unsurprisingly at 20, has a few areas that need improvement but is developing well and showing good promise in a strong set-up at Molde.

Ola Brynhildsen

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 27/04/1999
  • Current club: Molde FK
  • Career: Stabaek, Molde FK
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Brynhildsen started on the left wing and performed well before moving to striker midway through the second-half and seeing less of the ball in the later stages. He had great energy and was constantly on the move off the ball, looking to play off the shoulder of the last defender and use his speed to exploit the space in behind.

This provided a good attacking outlet for Molde but he needed to be more positive when receiving the ball in these positions. He preferred to cut-back than drive forward which was effective at times in allowing support to arrive but too often resulted in Molde losing attacking momentum from promising positions.

When he was more direct with his dribbling he was very effective, using his low centre of gravity and balance to cause problems for the Start defence, but he did not do so often enough. He played some nice lay-offs to teammates with his back to goal and his work rate was a big positive, chasing down every loose ball and lost cause.

Rating – B1

Marcus Holmgren Pedersen

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 16/06/2000
  • Current club: Molde FK
  • Career: Trømso IL, Molde FK
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Pedersen had a great first-half from right-back, providing a constant attacking threat and scoring the equaliser with a header before being removed at half-time through injury. He showed good athleticism to make advanced attacking runs and return to his defensive duties when out of possession, although he didn’t have many as Molde dominated possession.

He pushed extremely high up the pitch when Molde were in possession, almost acting as an auxiliary winger and making diagonal runs into the box from wide. The Start full-back struggled to track these runs which gave him space in behind where he would look to either cut the ball back into the box or, as seen from the equaliser, attempt a header back across goal.

Rating: A2

Was a shame to lose him at half-time as from this small sample size he looked to be a really promising attacking full-back, would need to watch him again in a full match where he is tested defensively.

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