FC Midtjylland – Match report vs FC Copenhagen – 28/06/2020

In this game the top two Danish Superliga teams met at Telia Parken. Midtjylland lined up in a 4-2-3-1 and were very compact and difficult to break down. When defending Midtjylland dropped into a 4-4-2 and made it difficult for their opponents to create any meaningful chances for a lot of the match. Despite giving up a lot of possession to Copenhagen, they were on top for a lot of the game until the final few minutes. They were constantly a threat on the counter attack and made it difficult for Copenhagen to have a prolonged period of pressure or build any momentum.

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

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 this game as one of Midtjylland’s 2 midfielders behind a more advanced attacking three, his performance on the defensive side of the ball was important in giving Midtjylland a strong base to counter attack from. He was also able to show some on the ball qualities on a few occasions.

Onyeka’s typical aggressive pressing style was on show right from kick off, he rarely gave his opposing midfielders time to settle on the ball and made it extremely difficult for them to play a controlled game due to his pressing, harrying and ability in the tackle to win the ball off them if they made a mistake. His positioning was particularly impressive, he seemed to always be in the right place to pick up and stray passes or loose balls and he covered the area in front of the back line well and made sure that they came under as little pressure as possible by cutting out a lot of moves before they could become threatening to the defence and keeper.

Onyeka’s imperious defensive display meant he often found himself responsible for initiating the counter attack. He demonstrated the ability to do so with either a pass or by carrying the ball himself . He showed a good range of passing and was able to progress the ball well with some good longer balls over the top of a pressing midfield. His passing wasn’t always the most accurate but he generally played good, simple passes and moved the ball at the right times into the right spaces.

He was confident on the ball, even when he came under pressure he was able to move or pass away. He was able to complete a number of dribbles, his pace was apparent both on and off the ball as he could cover ground across the pitch quickly with his long strides. One dribble led to the opening goal for Midtjylland. Onyeka, after getting the ball back, easily beat a player down the wing before accelerating away. He decelerated well to stand the defender up after cutting inside onto his right foot, dropped his shoulder and moved the ball to create space for a shot. The rebound of his shot after a save was finished to open the scoring.

Onyeka was something of an immovable object for Copenhagen, he repelled a number of attacks, was rarely beaten in the air and won a number of tackles and duels thanks to his strength, defensive positioning and intelligent pressing.

Rating- A1

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 played this game as a number 10 in behind the striker and was influential for Midtjylland in this game. He created a number of dangerous situations and worked hard off the ball as well. He was key in driving them forward on counter attacks.

Dreyer was one of Midtjylland’s key men on the ball. He was able to deliver quality in the final third from across the pitch and showed a threat from dead all situations too, creating one particularly good chance for Sviatchenko in the first half which was saved. He was difficult to mark for Copenhagen and was able to find space in front of the defence and was able to turn and run at them. He showed good craft and creativity in attacking areas, he was able to create space and chances for his teammates with some good skill, passes and with his good close control in tight spaces. He delivered a couple of dangerous crosses, the pace and whip made them difficult to deal with and he showed he was able to mix it up with some lower and cut back deliveries from wide areas too.

He was key on counter attacks, he would often receive the ball and be responsible for driving forward with the ball into the opposition half. His agility allowed him to quickly move away from defenders and get on the turn quickly and Dreyer showed a greater turn of pace in this game than he has in previous games. He was able to get in behind with his pace more regularly and it allowed him more time and space on the ball on the counter, His passing was accurate for a lot of the game even when he tried more progressive and difficult passes and he was able to create a couple of clear chances in the game.

Off the ball, Dreyer pressed well from the front, he put defenders under pressure and tried to force them to play rushed passes. He did well to chase some ‘lost causes’ and was able to win set pieces or throw ins in attacking areas with his pressing. Midtjylland dropped into a 4-4-2 when defending and he was one of the two up front so he again didn’t have a great deal of defensive responsibility but he demonstrated an ability to press with urgency and effectively.

Dreyer seemed more comfortable and effective in a more central role than he did in wider areas in previous matches. When starting on the wing he often drifts to central areas and in this game he was able to exploit the spaces in central areas with regular success and was a creative force for his team more than normal.

Rating – A2

Nicolas Madsen

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Danish
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 17/03/2000
  • Current Club: FC Midtjylland
  • Career: FC Midtjylland
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Defensive Midfield.
  • Preferred foot: Right

Madsen played alongside Onyeka in central midfield in what was his first Superliga start after having made a previous 4 substitute appearances. He coped fairly well in the game, he didn’t do much wrong and was able to keep the ball moving quite nicely.

Overall, Madsen had a fairly quiet game, he went about his role effectively but unspectacularly. Madsen showed good positional and defensive discipline throughout the game. He was able to transition between the defensive and attacking shapes seamlessly and was important in helping the midfield maintain a good shape while the transitions occurred. He made the midfield difficult to play through and was able to win the ball back well in the middle of the park.

Madsen comes in at 6’2″ and was a fairly strong presence in the midfield, he was strong in tackles but didn’t often have cause to challenge in the air but he was competitive when he did. He used his body well and was able to use size and strength to his advantage on the ball. He sometimes seemed a bit slow in his movements and was sometimes guilty of leaving some space in midfield when he was tracking the run of opposition players but he generally followed runs well and at the right time. He pressed well and at the right times with teammates to force the opposition backwards and quickly got back into position to do so again if necessary.

He sometimes struggled to get on the ball, but he often came deep between the centre backs to make an option for a pass. When he was on the ball he showed some nice touches. He played good simple passes for the most part and he was accurate with the vast majority of his passing. He was confident enough on the ball to take a man on in a couple of situations and was able to help progress the ball through the midfield.

Rating – B1

He had a solid first start of the season and was seemed comfortable for most of the game, He showed some good attributes both on and off the ball and as his development continues should see more fist team opportunities come his way.

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