Wolfsberger AC – Match Report vs TSV Hartberg 20/09/2020

Wolfsberger AC travelled to Hartberg in the second game of the Austrian Bundesliga season on the back of their opening day defeat to league favourites – RB Salzburg. Wolfsberger lined up in a 4-4-2 (diamond) whilst Hartberg in a 4-1-4-1.

Wolfsberger controlled the game, although Hartberg had a few bright moments in the first half. The score was 0-0 at half time but Wolfsberger’s dominance increased and resulted in them taking the lead in the 55th minute through a great finish from Matthaus Taferner. This lead doubled just minutes later as Dario Vizinger scored with a tidy header. The game was all but finished when Samson Tijani, the 18 year old who recently received a call up to the Nigerian National Team, got himself harshly sent off in the 72nd minute for Hartberg, and Wolfsberger went on to cruise the game, finishing 2-0.

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, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

Matthaus Taferner

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 30/01/2001
  • Current club: Wolfsberger AC  
  • Career: Dynamo Dresden, Wacker Innsbruck, Wolfsberger AC
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Taferner played on the right side of the midfield diamond before coming off after an hour. He had a promising game, with some very good moments (scoring a very well taken goal) but also a few not so good moments. You would expect this from a 19-year-old, but there were some good signs for the midfielder.

Taferner’s role on the right side of the diamond involved covering a lot of ground, so was no surprise to see him come off on the hour mark. Taferner had no real problems with the physical demands of the role however, covering a lot of ground and rarely looking out of position.

When defending the Wolfsberger formation was really a 4-3-3, Taferner moved wide to support the Right Back when the ball was down their right side, when Hartberg were attacking down the left the midfield shuffled over and he moved central. He did this really well throughout, showing a lot of energy and a good understanding of the system and the requirements of him. He offered some good support to the Right Back and made two interceptions and five ball recoveries.

When Wolfsberger were attacking, the holding midfielder in the diamond held his position in front of the Centre Backs, the Full Back on the opposite side of the attack also stayed back and tucked in. This gave Taferner the licence to get forward and support the attack, and he did this well. Taferner showed a great touch and the standout component of his performance was his ability to move forward both with and without the ball. In the first half, on multiple occasions, Taferner was able to carry the ball between the lines and move the team forward. Tijani picked up his first yellow card when he brought down Taferner to stop a brilliant burst through the heart of the Hertberg territory.

Taferner’s attacking movement off the ball was also good, often appearing on the edge of the box. This is exactly what happened in the 55th minute when he appeared on the left edge of the box, he cleverly let the ball run behind him before swivelling and unleashing a brilliant curling finish into the far corner to open the scoring.

As mentioned, there were some not so good moments. These were often when he tried to hold the ball for too long in deeper areas, and sometimes trying to turn an opponent at the wrong time. His inconsistent decision-making didn’t end up costing his team but on another day they could’ve done. Being critical the other area where Taferners didn’t excel was his physicality, winning only 6 of his 19 duels and was often knocked off the ball in tussles with his counterparts. Building his frame could definitely improve his game.

Rating – B1

Excited to see more of him season, a very strong performance and hopefully he continues to develop through the course of this campaign.

Dario Vizinger (22)

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 06/06/1998
  • Current club: Wolfsberger AC  
  • Career: Celje, Rudar Velenje (L), Hrvatski (L), Rijeka, Varazdin, Wolfsberger AC
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary Position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Vizinger played as the left forward and had a very bright game for Wolfsberger. In the team’s setup his role was as an inside forward because the number 10 (tip of the diamond, Michael Liendl) occupied the central area.

Vizinger was lively, when the ball was down the Wolfsberger left he was constantly running the channels and causing the defenders torment by trying to get in behind the Full Back and down the sides of the centre backs. When Wolfsberger attacked down the right he came in centrally and looked to make runs diagonally and in behind the defence. This is exactly what happened on the hour mark when the Wolfsberger number 10 picked the ball up deep and found Vizingers run with a brilliant lofted pass. Vizinger got there and lifted a header over the outrushing goalkeeper for a well taken goal and a deserved goal based on his performance.

Due to Vizingers role in the team, he did have some defensive responsibility. Although he didn’t have to track the Full Backs forward runs or double up defensively to provide support to his Left Back, he did have to just drop in to fill a deeper gap when Hartberg attacked down his side. He did this well, showing some good discipline and his high intensity and energy game worked in the defensive phase as well as going forward.

The highlight of Vizinger’s performance was definitely his movement and energy he brought to the team, his runs were penetrative and looking to get in behind and he worked tirelessly for the team, running channels and fulfilling his defensive responsibilities. Being critical, Vizinger did get physically dominated by the defenders, winning only 7 of his 30 duels, this certainly wasn’t the main aspect of his game but would be something to improve on from this performance.

Rating – B1

A very strong performance. Looked like he would be a top player in this division, at 22 this could be an interesting season for his development. I look forward to keeping an eye on this.

Dejan Joveljic (21)

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Serbian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 07/08/1999
  • Current club: Wolfsberger AC, on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt
  • Career: Crvena Zvezda, Anderlecht (L), Eintracht Frankfurt, Wolfsberger AC (L)
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary Position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Joveljic like Vizinger played as an inside forward, occupying the space on the right. Joveljic though wasn’t anywhere near as effective or as much of a threat as Vizinger. Joveljic didn’t seem to have that same spark or energy about his game and the game seemed to pass him by.

The Serbian striker who is on loan from German Club – Eintracht Frankfurt, completed only three passes and made no successful dribbles or progressive runs. His movement wasn’t as sharp, and it was actually Taferner breaking from deep down who looked like the bigger threat down the right side.

Unsurprisingly Joveljic was hooked off at Half Time and replaced by Chiekhou Dieng, who looked a lot livelier down the right side for Wolfsberger. Albeit lacking in quality at times, he brought the energy to the right side of the pitch that Vizinger brought to the left.

This really wasn’t a great game for the young striker, albeit early in the season and after only recently arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt. Much improvement is needed based on this performance.

Rating – D

As performances go, this really was about as poor as they come. He’s obviously a player with talent as he is under contract at Eintracht Frankfurt and was loaned to Belgian giants, Anderlecht, last season. Perhaps just taking some time to settle but drastic improvement is required. Would like to watch again in a few weeks to see how he has progressed.

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