Bayer Leverkusen – Match Report vs Inter milan 10/08/20

Antonio Conte’s Inter came out as 2-1 winners over the German side in the Europa League quarter-finals. Lukaku and Barella scored early into the game to put Inter 2-0 up by the 21st minute. Kai Havertz quickly replied but Leverkusen couldn’t find another goal to force extra time. Leverkusen set up in a 4-2-3-1 with Havertz playing as a false winger on the right with Bender pushing up into space. There were some close calls with several VAR decisions, including two penalties being taken away from Inter.

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

Kai Havertz

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 11/06/1999
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Left

Playing as a false winger on the right of the 4231, Havertz had a lot of license to roam and find pockets of space. He scored Leverkusen’s goal with a powerful finish but wasn’t at his best tonight, however he still showed a lot of quality even if he didn’t have his usual impact in the opposition half. He had a great first touch, receiving the ball well in space. He looked to drive into space and was fairly direct with his play. He is very elegant on the ball and glides with the ball at his feet, able to create space for himself in the penalty area to make cut backs or passes.

He made some good runs into the box showing good intelligence and changes of speed and a good burst of pace. His late runs were good and did well to get ahead of the defender but couldn’t get more shots on goal. Calm on the ball with some good passes with nice weight and power but only created once chance on the night. He dropped into midfield at times to support the buildup and spread play wide well.

Overall not his best game and lacked intensity at times but his quality is easy to see and he makes everything look very simple to do.

Rating – A2

Edmond Tapsoba

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Burkinese
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 02/02/1999
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: Salitas (Y), US Ouagadougou (Y), Leixões SC (Y), Vitória Guimarães SC, Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

This was probably one of the toughest games of the Burkino Faso international’s career. He was tasked with defending Lukaku all game, a challenge he struggled with. Tapsoba is 6’4″ with a broad frame but not very stocky and struggled with the physicality of the Belgian who was on top form this game. Lukaku backed into him and looked to receive the ball and in the box was able to turn and shoot twice, scoring one and the other’s rebound being scored.

Tapsoba has a decent top speed but can be quite upright and his acceleration isn’t great. He allowed Lukaku to get in front of him but did well to catch him a few times. He was also lucky that one time Lukaku was running through and had him beat but a foul was, wrongly in my opinion, given against Lukaku, denying him a 1v1 with the keeper. Tapsoba struggled to contain the physical attacker, however Lukaku is probably the best in the world at this.

Tapsoba was often playing too much on the front foot and looking to press out. He was dragged out of the line too easily, at times leaving Lukaku in a lot of space which Inter were able to then exploit and play through. He needed to be more disciplined and aware of the danger around him instead of trying to press out at every opportunity, as well as improving his timing and decision making when he presses to better judge if he can win the ball.

On the ball he played smooth passes, rarely going long and usually to Tah or Baumgartlinger in midfield. He was composed on the ball and wasn’t under much pressure. He came across as a bit too casual at times and could have done more to adjust his positioning and improve his concentration.

Rating – A2

Moussa Diaby

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 07/07/1999
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: PSG, Crotone (L), Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left

Diaby started on the left wing, often hugging the touchline and providing width but was narrower on the counter. Diaby is extremely fast, with great changes of speed and effortless acceleration. He has good balance and carried to ball at the defence well. He doesn’t try to beat his man with skill but would try to weave through tight spaces and beat the defender with pace. In static or slower 1v1s though he doesn’t try much and is forced backwards quite easily.

He got into good positions and put in a few dangerous crosses into the box with good technique. His shot selection can be a bit wild and tries things from range. He’s quick and direct with his play wanting to go forwards and drive into space. He drew several fouls too but isn’t as effective in slower phases of play than on the break but wasn’t able to create much in this game.

Rating – A2

Jonathan Tah

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 24
  • DOB: 11/02/1996
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: Hamburg (Y), Hamburger SV, F.Düsseldorf, Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Tah came into the starting team due to an injury to Bender in the warm up. As the right centre back in the back four, he had a bit of quiet game. He was fairly passive and wasn’t that noticeable, with Tapsoba being tasked with the main challenges in defence and buildup. Tah was used a lot less in possession than the rest of the defence.

Tah is 6’5″ with a stocky build, he was brave and not afraid of going in for a loose ball or going for a block. He was good in the air and physical with his opponent. Although he did well to organise the defence at times, he made a few positional errors, such as being too deep a few times. He was easily attracted to the ball, being pulled out of position and needed to scan the pitch more. He was calm when dealing with long balls though and his passing was solid but nothing remarkable.

Rating – B1

Daley Sinkgraven

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Age: 25
  • Date of birth: 04/07/1995
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: SC Heerenveen (Y), SC Heerenveen, AFC Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Left Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Sinkgraven played as the left back until he was brought off in the 67th minute. He had quite a defensive role, often staying deeper while the ball was on the far side, which they predominantly used to attack. When they attacked down the left, he pushed up but stayed as a narrow outlet for Diaby rather than trying to make under/overlapping runs into the final third to attack goal. He stayed back and then circulated the ball back to the right.

He stands at 5’10” with okay pace and was able to recover well, he put in one quite reckless challenge in the box to stop a counter which worked well but was risky. He tried to carry and dribble several times but was unable to beat his man and didn’t have great control of the ball, lacking elegance and ability to go round his man. He did carry into space well a few times though. He did well in some awkward situations, able to deal with pressure and bouncing passes well.

Defensively he was well positioned but could have covered for Tapsoba better at times, but also had his own man to worry about. He did well 1v1 with good body positioning and patience and was able to slow opposition attacks.

Rating – B2

Ezequiel Palacios

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Argentinian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 05/10/1998
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: River Plate, Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Playing in the midfield two, Palacios had a bit of quiet game before being brought off in the 59th. The 5’10” Argentine was very energetic and athletic, with good agility and stamina to cover a lot of ground. He put pressure on the ball well and counter-pressed well when they lost possession. He showed good anticipation and intensity but could have been more disciplined at times, sitting deeper to better protect the back line, instead of allowing space which Tah and Tapsoba then had to deal with.

In possession he didn’t do much. His passing was short and simple, lacking weight at times. He didn’t do much to progress the ball and wasn’t used much in possession by his team. His positioning in buildup wasn’t great and wasn’t very accessible.

Rating – B2

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