Hertha Berlin – Match Report vs VfB Stuttgart 17/10/20

Stuttgart continued their strong start to their returning Bundesliga campaign with a 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin. Leaving Hertha sat 15th in the table after 4 games with just the three points from their opening game vs Werder Bremen. Stuttgart were an interesting watch playing in a 3-4-2-1 which pressed high and looked to counter quickly with several interesting young players.

Hertha set up in a 4-2-3-1 with Cordoba getting another start over Piatek. They enjoyed the bulk of possession with 64% but weren’t effective enough with it. They ended up with 15 shots but only managed 5 within the first 50 minutes and struggled with a final ball. All their play was going through Cunha, but he wasn’t able to carry the team to a win. They built up patiently with their centre backs in deep positions but struggled to progress the ball much and found most of their success from long balls over the top and late on when Stuttgart sat deeper and tried to absorb the pressure, so Hertha found it easy to get into the final third but still weren’t clinical enough to find a comeback.

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

Matheus Cunha

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 27/05/1999
  • Current club: Hertha Berlin
  • Career: Coritiba (Y), FC Sion, RB Leipzig, Hertha Berlin
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Cunha played on the left wing in this game and was Hertha’s main outlet. He started of the game with good intensity, pressing high and showing tenacity. He then gave away two fouls in quick succession and picked up a yellow card in the 15th minute. Hertha conceded early in the 9th minute and then struggled to impose themselves on the match or have much control. Cunha’s frustration was obvious and between roughly the 20th and the 60th minute, he lost that tenacity. He worked hard to make runs and was then good on the ball but his intensity dropped off when he wasn’t directly involved in play. As Hertha improved in the final stages of the game, so did his concentration.

He was great technically and athletically. He was strong in the challenge with a good build and showed good pace. He received the ball well and made dangerous runs behind the defence on the left wing and was a huge threat from wide areas of the box. When 1v1 he had good feet and created space easily, able to charge to the byline and cut it back into the centre.

The Brazilian received the ball well between the lines and was able to turn and face the defender well. He wanted to carry the ball forward and play directly, able to glide with the ball or knock it past defenders and use his pace. He wanted to take on defenders, which he did well a few times but also lost the ball a lot, but the Hertha attack often relies on him running at defenders and trying to penetrate the box so this is expected. He was strong on the ball and showed good balance and press resistance. Between the lines he played a good 1-2 with the striker and spread the ball to runners on the right a few times. He made dangerous runs into the box and also tried to link with the striker with some good runs off him.

Overall a strong performance with all their play going through him, but not enough final product on the day and he needed to keep his head up more when the game was tough. He was a threat though but needed more help from his team. He was also a great corner taker and quite right footed.

Rating – A2

Deyovaisio Zeefuik

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 11/03/98
  • Current club: Hertha Berlin
  • Career: Ajax (Y), Groningen, Hertha Berlin
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Zeefuik was brought on in the 21st minute due to an injury to Pekarik before being subbed back off in the 78th. At 5’10” he is well built with big legs and good frame. He was tenacious and worked hard, looking to press up his wing, getting into the back of the left wing back, Coulibaly, who he had a very good battle with throughout. Defensively, he used his agility and strength very well. He got tight to his man and was able to get between man and ball several times, able to shield it and used his body well. He did well and defended on the counter well with good recovery speed. He knew when to get tight and commit and when to sit off and be a bit more patient, but overall could be a calmer defender, however this will come with time.

In possession, he showed smooth passing in the buildup, taking progressive touches and was calm on the ball. He wanted to carry into space but lost the ball in his own half twice and needed to make better decisions and shape his body better to avoid pressure. Going forward he got into good positions on the right and made some good overlapping runs. His final ball was okay but nothing special and could be improved to vary the types of crosses he tries.

Overall, he did well to defend Coulibaly who was dangerous throughout the match. He was physical in defence and showed good athleticism and positioning. He made a few small mistakes which could have been costly and I’d like to see him be more effective in the final third.

Rating – A2

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