1. FSV Mainz 05 – Match Report VS SC Freiburg 22/11/20

Mainz recorded their first win of the Bundesliga season as they eased past a poor Freiburg team. a first half hat-trick from Jean-Philippe Mateta put Die Nullfünfer in control. Freiburg grabbed a goal back through Nils Petersen in the 63rd minute, but failed to capitalise on a staggering 72% possession. Mainz proved deadly on the counter attack, and although having under 30% possession and a 67% pass success rate, they still managed 20 shots. A final score of 3-1 was reflective of the game, however Mateta could have easily scored 5 for himself before being substituted on the 80th minute.

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-Phillippe Mateta

Jean-Philippe Mateta - Player profile 20/21 | Transfermarkt
  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 28/06/1997 
  • Current Club: Mainz 05
  • Career: Chateauroux, Lyon, Le Havre (L), Mainz 05
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Mateta put in an almost flawless performance as the lone striker for Mainz. His movement throughout the game was sublime, always playing on the shoulder of the Freiburg defence, and as a result he got played in frequently. In two of his 3 goals he beat the offside trap as a result of this movement, and duly finished the chances with precision. he also was solid in hold up play, using his 6’3″ frame to dominate defenders and bring the ball down and play it to supporting runners.

He combined well with Quaison and Boetius, with good communication in attack, with the two attacking midfielders for Mainz feeding off the Frenchman’s clever flick-ons. This allowed for Mainz to counter-attack quickly due to the space created by Mateta and his presence up top. However in some instances Mateta was let down by his passing. He should have produced a better pass for Boetius in the 8th minute that could have led to a goal, however it was slightly scuffed and the Freiburg defence recovered. He should have finished better in the 15th minute, with a 1v1 with the keeper, however his weak foot let him down and he smashed it straight at the goalkeeper.

On the ball he was pacy, a tricky dribbler and showed good skills in the box. Defensively he did not do much, but this was down to Mainz’s style of play, where they sat back frequently instead of pressing Freiburg. Overall he really did show such a complete performance, showing good attributes that a forward needs in abundance- strength, pace, awareness and good finishing. he continues on his fine scoring record this season, and I cant believe I am saying this after a hat-trick but he should’ve scored more!

Rating – A1

Leandro Barreiro

Leandro Barreiro - Player profile 20/21 | Transfermarkt
  • Nationality: Luxembourgish
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 03/01/2000 
  • Current Club: Mainz 05
  • Career: Mainz 05
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Barreiro lined up alongside Edimilson Fernandes in central midfield. On the ball he was very technical, balanced with good agility and control throughout. His passing was by far the best on the Mainz team. He created the most chances in the match with 6, and played 5 key passes. they were mainly along the floor through balls and he slipped a good ball through for Mateta’s opening goal just 60 seconds into the match. He looked confident on either foot, and showed good range of passing, sometimes switching the play with good lofted balls.

His work rate was also good, with good energy and pace shown in tracking back on defence. He made 8 interceptions, which shows good reading of the game as well as good anticipation. In 1v1 duels he lacked physicality, sometimes being bullied when attempted to make tackles, this showed with him only winning 4 of 13 duels attempted. Aerially he also struggled, as coming in at only 5’7″ he lacked some presence. However this was countered by his midfield partner Fernandes being strong in the air, and the pair showed strong communicative skills as a midfield 2, pressing and dropping back as a pair and generally not getting in a mix up.

In the future I would like to see Barreiro play in more advanced positions, as he showed good attacking tendencies throughout, and made good runs into the box, just missing the target in the 20th minute where arguably he should have done better. Playing more advanced would also allow him to drop some of his defensive responsibilities, which are arguably his weaker point. Overall a really strong performance, and definitely Mainz’s best player outside of Mateta.

Rating – A2

Jeremiah St. Juste

  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 19/10/1996
  • Current Club: Mainz 05
  • Career: SC Heerenveen, Feyenoord, Mainz 05
  • Position: Centre-Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

St. Juste lined up on the right-hand side of a Mainz back 3. although conceding a lot of shots and having little possession, the Mainz defence rarely faced any real attacking quality from Freiburg. Despite this, St. Juste showed that he was a powerful and quick defender, with strong recoveries as his result of his impressive physical attributes. He was more of a no-nonsense centre-back, with only 14 accurate passes in the game he played simple forward balls up to the midfield or wide to Oztunali or Brosinski on the sides of the pitch. He only attempted 1 long ball the whole game, which shows that he was intent in keeping things simple at the back. He drove out of defence well, utilising his pace, but did not get too carried away, shielding the ball well and laying off simple passes.

His position was slightly off at times, sometimes allowing Grifo too much space down the wing. This was a result of generally underwhelming communication with Oztunali. when playing a 3/5 man defence it is important for the wide centre backs to talk often with their wing backs, which he struggled to do at times, often leaving gaps that Freiburg should have exploited. in 1v1 duels he was underwhelming, and although he showed good aggression in places, he sometimes allowed Freiburg attackers too much time on the ball, showing a lack of concentration. For example he was caught ball watching in the lead up to Freiburg’s goal, and as a result lost track of Nils Petersen who duly scored the rebound.

An average performance from the Dutchman, although was composed for the most part against a Freiburg team that offered little. I fear a side with more attacking quality than Freiburg may expose St. Juste more. He needs to focus on defensive concentration and more powerful aerial clearances.

Rating – B2

Moussa Niakhaté

Niakhate and Kunde strike in 2-0 victory for Mainz at Eintracht Frankfurt |  Goal.com
  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 08/03/1996 
  • Current Club: Mainz 05
  • Career: Valenciennes, Metz, Mainz 05
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Niakhate captained the Mainz side from the left hand side of the back three. He was vocal in defence, generally working well with his defensive partners. he was aggressive in the tackle, but sometimes let it get the better of him, with some rash challenges whilst already being booked. he was rarely challenged in defence, although was generally sound aerially, utilising his 6’3″ height well.

He had the least touches of any outfield player with 22, and mainly looked to lay the ball off to more creatives players such as Barreiro ahead of him. When he did attempt long balls, they were mainly wayward. He rarely looked to dribble with the ball, but took good touches and seemed rarely troubled by the Freiburg press. He was quick off the mark, but really did not contribute much in terms of recoveries and interceptions. Both Hack and St. Juste had over double Niakhate’s recoveries and duels won.

Overall Niakhate is a clear leader on the pitch, and generally communicated well with his defensive partner. He was sometimes a bit rash, but generally didn’t seem troubled. He could improve his passing game, as well as showing more awareness in tracking runs and making interceptions.

Rating – B2

Levin Öztunalı

Levin Öztunali - Player profile 20/21 | Transfermarkt
  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 15/03/1996 
  • Current Club: Mainz 05
  • Career: Hamburg SV (Y), Bayer Leverkusen, Werder Bremen (L), Mainz 05
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Primarily a Right-Winger, Oztunali operated more as a Right Wing Back for Mainz in this game. As a result, often defensively he was found slightly out of position. He sometimes allowed Vincenzo Grifo on the left wing for Freiburg too much space, and Grifo really should have produced better quality into the box. Oztunali’s clearances were sometimes weak and rushed. he needs to be more composed in defence when he wins the ball back, and look for a simple pass instead of instinctively hoofing the ball out or skewing it for a corner.

In attack he definitely showed more positive features, he is a good dribbling on the ball, and looked to drive the ball down the right wing and find a ball into the box. He only managed 1 cross in the whole game however, which is slightly worrying considering Mateta is a perfect player to pick out in the box. He did well in looking for a pass inside for Boetius, and his first touch was good, he seemed to be one of the more senior players on the pitch, and often was seen trying to rally the team and encourage other players.

What Oztunali really lacks is pace and direct running, lined up against Christian Gunter at left-back who is known for his speed, he struggled in 1-on-1 encounters, and lacked the trickery or physicality to hold on to the ball. overall it was a very average game for Oztunali, he didn’t really get on the ball much as Mainz liked to counter through the middle, so perhaps in a different type of game where they would have more possession he may get more involved.

Rating – C

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