The mist that had descended over the pitch made this Uruguayan match difficult to watch. Peñarol showed more attacking intent than their opponents, but it was from a set piece and one of Nacional’s few chances that they were able to take the lead through Bergessio. In this match, Pellistri stood out for his team, using his acceleration and movement he was able to cause problems either with or without the ball and although he was isolated at times, he was still able to cause confusion amongst the opposition ranks. Towards the end of the game he moved into the number 10 role and his team were able to find the equaliser via a fortunate series of events that ended in the ball finding the back of the net.
- 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, re-watch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Uruguayan
- Age: 18
- Date of birth: 20/12/2001
- Current club: CA Peñarol
- Career: CA Peñarol (Y)
- Position: Right Wing
- Secondary position: Left Wing, Second Striker
- Preferred foot: Right
Facundo Pellistri illustrated his versatility by operating on both wings at different points in this match. In a game in which chances were few and far between, his energy and acceleration had a positive impact on his team in attacking situations.
He is able to combine his technical ability and athleticism to be an instant threat when receiving the ball and driving at his opponents. His agility is another important asset for his game, adjusting his body position to receive the ball on the turn and quickly evade challenges whilst injecting pace into the attack. In order to beat the defender, rather than use any fancy skills, he prefers to use his quick feet and change of pace to avoid tackles whilst his elegance with the ball means he is easily able to maneouvre and manipulate his direction of travel. He doesn’t overplay and is efficient in possession, releasing the ball effectively, whilst he is also elegant without the ball as quick body feints can allow him to get away from the defender and buy him an extra second when receiving possession. His strength allows him to ride challenges whilst maintaining control of the ball and to keep his feet when running at high speeds.
He was very involved and active, mostly occupying wide areas but also displaying a capability to offer and option between the lines. He was able to play quick one touch passes in order to link up effectively with his teammates and progress up the pitch. When he drifted inside, he freed up space for Joaquín Piquerez to get forward and combine in attack. On the left hand side, players were granted freedom to move and drift and so when Matias Britos or David Terans occupied wide positions, Pellistri showed good game intelligence and awareness to move inside to compensate for their movements. On either wing, Pellistri’s pace allowed him to stretch the defence both horizontally and vertically and it also made him effective when pressing as he could quickly get in the face of the defender and apply pressure.
From the left wing Pellistri made diagonal runs inside to get away from defenders and he was able to switch the play effectively to his teammates in space in the final third. Occasionally when he had driven inside he would try to link up and break through the opposition defensive line, but his teammates were not precise enough at times in tight areas. On the right wing, he was able to drive inside or go around the outside, showing a willingness to get at defenders and drive at them in the penalty area. He caused problems throughout, but at stages he found himself isolated and so was not able to be as effective without sufficient support from his team.
The 18 year old’s defensive contribution was limited in this match. His team set up in a 4-4-2 system when defending and he would occupy one of the two wide midfield positions. With Nacional offering very little going forward, he preferred to maintain his advanced positon as an option on the counter attack. There is still some room for improvement in the final third, as although he can create openings and cause problems, his final ball or end product could be improved upon. Once he has gained more experience and can make the most of the openings he creates, he will be even more of an attacking threat. Although he lacked some precision in the final third at times, he was still one of the best players on the pitch in this Classico.
Facundo Pellistri is still a young player who can improve upon some aspects of his game, but his physcial and technical ability made him a very exciting prospect to observe. The Uruguayan Primera División seems to be increasingly too small for him with every match he plays, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him leave Peñarol over the coming weeks or months.