Mainz – Match Report vs Schalke 07/11/20

This is a guest piece by Josh Banks.

Mainz and Schalke both continued there poor start to the season with a 2-2 draw in a game that lacked quality. Mainz got their first point of the campaign. A draw was probably a fair result with goals coming from two penalties, a free kick and an own goal. The xG for the game was 3.36 – 1.71 with the two penalties skewing the score in Mainz’s favour. Schalke’s 19 shots with 3 on target highlighted the lack of quality. Schalke did have a goal disallowed at the start of the second half, for handball from a corner. Mainz started off in a 4-2-3-1 but during the first half switched to a 3-5-2 formation with Juste dropping in as a RCB and Burkardt and Mateta up front. Brosinski pushed up to LM from LB and Fernandes shifted to RM. Schalke played a 3-1-4-2 with Pacienca and Uth up front.

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

Jean-Philippe Mateta

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 28/06/1997
  • Current Club: Mainz
  • Career: Châteauroux, Lyon, Le Havre (L), Mainz
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Mateta played upfront and was Mainz’s focal point for the match, scoring a penalty in the first half. He benefited from Burkardt joining him to form a 2 up top in the first half. This tactical switch allowed Mateta to play on the shoulder and use his pace to run in behind. This was executed multiple times and had a few chances to score. He had on opportunity on his (weaker) left foot which he generated lots of power from, but went near post when the angle was tight (xG 0.08), when he would have been better going across goal. He won the penalty by running onto a through ball, shielding the ball well and positioning his body so the only way the defender could get it was to foul him, which he did. He showed strong psychological skills after a ‘stare off’ with the keeper as the penalty was reviewed by VAR, then scored going bottom left and sent the keeper the wrong way. He should have scored again, xG 0.55, as he side footed it into the bottom corner but the recovering keeper made a good save with his feet. He should have won it just before being subbed off in the 78th minute. Again, running through on goal he opened his body up too much to finesse it past the right hand post, xG 0.5.

Physically, Mateta is powerful, at 6’3″ he is strong and quick and wasn’t just a threat in behind. He held the ball up well, winning flick ons in the air and linking play. He made quick decisions to pass first time to the midfield runners and was comfortable receiving the ball fizzed in. This left space for the midfield to exploit and was effective for Mainz to get up the pitch. He gets up well in the air and was busy in his own box, attacking corners to help his defence out. He was commanding and bullied the opposition, making himself difficult to defend. No player won more duels than the 12 Mateta won in a dominant display which reminded me of Lukaku. The only negative was that he should have scored more and will need to do so if Mainz are to stay up.

Rating – A2

Jonathan Michael Burkardt

  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 11/07/2000
  • Current Club: Mainz
  • Career: Darmstadt (Y), Mainz
  • Position: Centre Forward
  • Secondary Position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Burkardt started out wide right before joining Mateta upfront as a 2 up top. This suited Burkardt who was able to drop deeper to collect the ball and run at the Schalke defence. He was lively and tried to play first time passes where possible, showing technical ability to execute them too. Often highlighted by link up play with Mateta. He played Mateta through on goal twice, with lovely through balls, once for the penalty and the other for a shot that was saved by the keeper (xG 0.08). His first touch and awareness was really good and this often set him up to break the midfield lines or win free kicks. His off the ball movement was clever to find space and predict where the ball will land. His 5’9″ height meant he was nimble enough to pop up in the pockets of the attacking third, being difficult to pick up by Schalke’s holding midfielder and defence.

Burkardt played a good one two and continued his run into the box before a complete air shot in which he should have scored. This miss kick meant the ball ran to Mateta whose shot was saved. He had another big chance he should have scored but failed to as his right footed shot was straight at the keeper after a clever run. He almost tried to flick it over the keeper as his positioning was not the best. If he had opened his body up and gone with his left he could have slotted it into the bottom left corner. To take the next step he will need to start scoring goals and deal with the pressure when in a goal scoring position.

He worked hard off the ball too, to press high up the pitch and try to force a defensive error. His four fouls were the most by any Mainz player, which highlights his eagerness to win the ball back. This was a solid all round performance by Burkardt and was unlucky not to come away with a goal and an assist.

Rating – A2

Luca Kilian

  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 01/09/1999
  • Current Club: Mainz
  • Career: Hombrucher SV (Y), Dortmund (Y), Paderborn, Mainz
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Kilian was for the majority of the game the middle centre back in a back three after starting off as RCB in a back 4. He showed good positional awareness to occupy the middle of the box and was rarely dragged out of possession, showing good communication skills to pass on opposition players who drift wide onto teammates Juste and Niakhate. The one time he was forced wide, he lacked pace and was easily passed, however this was in the 77th minute against a 71st minute substitute.

It was clear he favours his right foot and playing the easy ball back down the righthand side, instead of opening his body up and switching play to the left hand side, or LCB at least. He looked uncomfortable so much were his efforts to play with his right foot when being presed. Particularly when playing as the middle centre back in a back 3 this is something  that needs to improve. His longer passes weren’t successful but these can be difficult for even the best centre backs.

His 6’3″ frame helped him win the joint most aerial duels (4) and was brave to head the ball away from a high boot. His headers did lack power and one clearance fell to an attacker on the edge of the box who fired over the bar. This would be something to work on as he has the right height for the position. Kilian was dealing with a lively Pacienca in the first half but failed to block any shots, albeit they often went wide. As the middle CB he could have picked up Uth more often when he dropped deep to pick up the ball. Leaving his other 2 CB’s with Pacienca would have been fine. He made an important interception in the 89th minute to prevent what would have been a shot on goal, so this concentration late on in games is key.  

Overall, he had an okay game but did not impress that much . I’m sure he will have more defensive actions when facing better attacking teams and he as only just turned 21. I think he could be a bit stronger and more commanding but this will come with age. 

Rating – C

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