Girondins de Bordeaux – Match Report vs Olympique Lyonnais 11/09/2020

Bordeaux played host to Lyon under the lights on a Friday evening, going into the game undefeated off the back of their opening two games of the season, whilst Lyon had beaten Dijon 4-1 prior to making the trip to the South-West of France. The two teams shared the spoils in this game following a 0-0 draw, with neither side able to find an all important winning goal. It was Lyon who edged the possesssion and had four times more shots than Bordeaux, but on the whole, both teams had their opportunities but the ball never really dropped for anyone at the vital moment.

Lyon had been hoping to get another win under their belt despite widespread speculation surrounding the possible departures or key players such as Houssem Aouar and Memphis Depay. The former started on the bench, but really the team was largely unchanged from the side that was competing in the semi-finals of the Champions League just a few of weeks prior to this game. They created space and opportunities down either side of the penalty area, especially through Dubois on the right who maintained his width whilst frequently bombing forward into the final third. Consequently, they were able to put many crosses into the area, put elected primarily to try and find dangerous areas rather than picking out teammates, and Bordeaux’s defending was solid and brave. They game close through subsitutes Mendes and Aouar, with the latter striking the base of of the post after some good footwork. It wasn’t for want of trying that they didn’t find the back of the net, but Bordeaux’s last ditch defending combined with a lack of finding a killer final ball resulted in Lyon drawing a disappointing blank.

Bordeaux on the other hand, relied on their defensive experience and solidity to prevent Lyon breaking the deadlock. Koscielny and Baysse both put in outstanding shifts, throwing their bodies on the line to get in the way of shots and crosses and battling aggressively in duels with the likes of Depay and Dembélé. In front of them, Bašić and Otávio covered a lot of ground in central midfield but sometimes became too isolated when the front line pressed whilst the defence sat deep. When attacking, Kalu was asked to provide an attacking outlet down the right hand side, whilst Oudin played down the left but had a more defensive role of tracking the persistent Dubois. Makeshift striker Hwang failed to have any real impact, but de Préville was alwyas on the move looking to win fouls and cause problems for the Lyon back line, playing as the number 10 in his side’s initial 4-2-3-1 formation. The introduction of exciting young midfield player Yacine Adli accompanied a system change for the last half an hour and the home side became more threatening, with both Bašić and Adli driving forward from deeper areas.

On the whole, a 0-0 draw will have been more satisfying for Bordeaux than Lyon who will have been frustrated not to have found a way through and taken their tally to 6 points from two games. Bordeaux are yet to concede a goal in Ligue 1 so far this season, and they will be eager to see that run extended, whilst Lyon face some uncertain weeks ahead prior to the transfer window drawing to a close and they will be looking for some stability as well as hoping to kick on and improve upon their 7th place league finish from the previous campaign.

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

Toma Bašić

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 25/11/1996
  • Current Club: Bordeaux
  • Career: Hajduk Split, Rudeš (L), Bordeaux
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Toma Bašić displayed his quality on the ball and ability to provide a physical presence at the heart of the midfield, but seemed a bit lethargic and defensively passive at stages in this match. Due to Lyon spending the more time of the two teams on the front foot, and with Bordeaux seeming content with a draw for periods of this match given their oppositon’s attacking prowess, the 23 year old operated in perhaps a slightly deeper role than usual. Whilst when he did venture into the opposition half and final third, the majority of his touches came in wide areas where he offered support to the wingers and provided an option to link up and create crossing opportunities.

In the deeper areas, just inside his own half, the Croatian used good close control and spacial awareness at times to turn into space and get his team looking forward, providing a platform from which to build the attack. Due to his strong stature, he was able to drive with the ball at his feet and ride challenges and as the game reached the closing stages, he provided one of Bordeaux’s best attacking threats by making supporting runs, picking the ball up in wide areas and driving into the penalty area. Generally his passing game was effective, finishing the game with an 87% completion rate and finding some good balls into wide areas and in behind the opposition defence. Bašić’s final ball was also to a decent standard, and he was able to deliver some dangerous crosses from open play and from set pieces.

However, despite displaying all of these positive attributes regularly throughout the game, there were also some areas of his performamce that let him down. For example, on occasion he seemed very slow and lethargic with the ball at his feet, allowing heavy touches to get away from him and misplacing simple passes to teammates. Furthermore, due to his poor control on one occasion, he was dispossessed in a dangerous area in midfield that exposed his team to the counter attack, so although he could often provide an effective link between defence and attack, he needed to be careful with his concentration and take more care on the ball at times. Also it may be worth noting that in the latter stages of the game, depsite showing good energy levels and stamina, after driving into the oppositon box he went down far too easily in search of a penalty rather than trying to continue with the ball to create a chance.

Defensively, Bašić’s positioning was effective when screening the back four and covering for his teammates in wide areas as well. Whilst, as mentioned earlier, he can provide a physical presence in midfield, standing at 6’3 and with a strong build, and he showed that at times in this match. However, having previously been impressed by his aggression and ball winning ability in other games, today he was a bit underwhelming in that department. Just as he sometimes appeared lethargic on the ball, he also struggled occasionally and seemed very passive defensively, failing to get into the face of the opponents and allowing them to bypass him too easily. Perhaps he was keen to not give away any free kicks in dangerous areas, against a team of technical players with quick feet and one that also contains dangerous set piece takers, but he made it too easy for the opposition at times and needed to show more aggression in defensive situations.

Overall, the Croatian midfielder displayed his quality in possession and ability to put his team on the front foot in attacking situations whilst also being useful in transitions from defence to attack. However, the lethargic manner with which he approached the ball on occasion and his fairly passive defensive display showed that there is room for improvement based on this match.

Rating: B1

Remi Oudin

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 18/11/1996
  • Current Club: Bordeaux
  • Career: Reims, Bordeaux
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary position: Left Wing / 10
  • Preferred foot: Left

Remi Oudin had quite an understated game, with his main contributions coming in a defensive capacity rather than going forward, even though he was playing as Bordeaux’s left winger on paper. The French wide man was tasked with tracking the perpetual forward runs of Lyon right wing back Leo Dubois and as a result he spent most of this match back in his own half.

Aside from one or two momentary lapses in concentration, he performed his defensive duties to a fairly high standard, trying to prevent Dubois having space to run into and forcing his man to stay wide or pass backwards rather than deliver dangerous crosses (although this was not always possible). The two main lapses in concentration came when he ventured too wide to mark his man and allowed space in behind him for the ball to be played in to, and then he also misjudged the flight of the ball to miss a header and allow Dubois to get a run on him. He was able to compete in the air and for the most part he defended sensibly, not diving in (apart from once where he committed a clumsy foul) and trying to stand his man up and force the play away from goal.

Going forward, the Frenchman was only able to have 5 or 6 touches in the final third, but he did not look particularly convincing. He put in a poor cross from a promising position, and then also found himself in a decent area to try and test the keeper, but delayed too long and allowed the defender to get a block in. He needed to take more care over his passing, playing a very poor pass back to the goalkeeper that was very nearly cut out, misplacing 10 out of 33 attempted passes in the match. His close control and inventiveness did help him, as he was able to make some clever flick-ons and lay-offs to teammates in tight areas whilst he could retain possession under pressure, but he seemed to lack a yard or two of pace which hindered his effectiveness on the counter attack.

Overall, Oudin displayed a willingness to work hard and do the dirty work for his team by sacrificing his attacking output to help out defensively, but as a result of his defensive contributions, he did lack any real threat going forward despite demonstrating good levels of close control with the ball at his feet.

Rating: B2

Samuel Kalu

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Nigerian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 26/08/1997
  • Current Club: Bordeaux
  • Career: AS Trençin, K.A.A. Gent, Bordeaux
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Despite struggling to get involved in proceedings at times, Samuel Kalu grew into the game and capped his performance off with one of the best attacking actions in the match (that should have resulted in a goal) before being withdrawn with half an hour to be played. As opposed to oudin, who dropped deeper to help out defensively on the other wing, Kalu seemed to have been instructed to stay high and wide on the right hand side, providing an aggressive approach to defending against Maxwel Cornet whilst also making himself a threat on the counter attack. The Nigerian winger showed promising signs with the ball at his feet, displaying an inventiveness when trying to beat his opponent as well as good close control and an impressive burst of pace.

Along with de Préville, Kalu posed the biggest attacking threat for Bordeaux before being substituted, and really showed his true potental when he drove at the defender from wide, forcing him onto the back foot before jinking one way and then the other and delivering a very dangerous cross that flashed across the 6 yard box. Despite his positive intentions with the ball, he did seem to lack strength at times, as he was brushed off the ball with ease on a couple of occasions whilst he sometimes got a bit ahead of himself and had a poor first touch rather than receiving the ball and then looking to drive with it.

Defensively, Kalu worked hard and made a nuisance of himself by pressing his man and getting in the face of his opponent, which resulted in him making three tackles in this match, the most of any player on his team. The energy and speed with which he got out to his opponent often put them under instant pressure, forcing mistakes or making them pass backwards.

On the whole, Kalu showed glimpses of his quality going forward with his quick feet and acceleration, but failed to get very involved and drifted in and out of this game, perhaps lacking the required physicality in shoulder to shoulder duels. Whilst defensively, he put a shift in for his team and was effective when pressing. A solid display from the young Nigerian and one that he will be looking to build upon.

Rating: B2

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