IK Start – Match Report vs Sarpsborg 08 08/11/20

Start beat Sarpsborg 3-2 in a very entertaining match to earn a crucial three points in their Eliteserien relegation battle. Start fought hard for the win, having to battle back from a goal down twice in the game before pushing late on in search of a winning goal, which came via Kevin Kabran scoring from a rebound after Christian Bolaños had his 88th-minute penalty saved. Start lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation whilst Sarpsborg lined up in their usual 3-4-3 system.

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

Jesper Daland

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 06/01/2000
  • Current club: IK Start
  • Career: Stabæk (Y), FK Vigør, IK Start
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Daland played as the left-sided centre back and had an eventful game, getting the assist for the equalising goal with a low cross from out wide following a set-piece but then giving away a penalty just before half-time with a clumsy push in the back having allowed his opponent to get goal-side of him.

Overall, it was a strong defensive performance, with one costly mistake, that showcased his athletic abilities and tactical awareness. He is very quick over short distances which he utilised to good effect when covering balls in behind, reacting sharply and winning the foot race to get in front of the attacker on multiple occasions. He is 6’2 and has a fairly strong build so should perform well in aerial duels but was not often tested in the air, with Sarpsborg favouring a short passing game. However, he showed good strength in ground duels and was successful when stepping out of the backline to win the ball high up the pitch.

In possession is where he was most impressive, showing an ability to carry the ball out of defence and progress the ball with both his passing and dribbling ability, which was evidently a key part of Start’s build-up play. He was very confident and composed on the ball, patiently waiting to find the right option and successfully executing difficult passes through the lines. He was not fazed when receiving the ball under pressure and showed good press resistance with some neat turns to lose opponents and create space which he would then drive into to provide the catalyst for a number of attacking moves.

Rating – A1

Not the most complete defensive performance but Daland was a standout performer in possession and is a player with a very high ceiling, looking increasingly ready to test his abilities at a higher level.

Erlend Segberg

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 12/04/1997
  • Current club: IK Start
  • Career: FK Vigør, IK Start
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Segberg, who is 6’0 with an average build, was playing as the holding midfielder in this game, anchoring the midfield and dictating the tempo as a central part of Start’s build-up play when receiving the ball from the defence. He scored Start’s first goal with a snapshot from inside the box and was unlucky not to be credited with the second, which was ruled an own goal after his powerful header was adjudged to have crept over the line despite the combined efforts of the Sarpsborg goalkeeper and centre-back.

He did a lot of his work on the ball in the centre circle, often finding space to receive from the centre backs and spreading the play out to the wide players. He is a strong passer of the ball and showed good range and accuracy, particularly with his long passes out to the left back who was finding space high up the pitch. He had a good combination of speed of thought and technical ability to spot the pass early and move on the ball on quickly and accurately before Sarpsborg had a chance to get bodies around him.

His defensive work was not at the same level, however, and his lack of mobility meant he found it difficult to assert himself in midfield duels. He did show good tactical discipline and positional awareness, especially when slotting in at centre-back with Daland pushing higher up the pitch, but he was slow in transition and struggled to adjust to fast passing interplay in central areas.

He was caught flat-footed a couple of times which allowed him to be bypassed too easily and left the defence exposed at times. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with the position he plays to ensure that he is offering protection to the defence and, while he did well to provide support in an established defensive structure, he struggled to regain this structure after possession turnovers and left Start vulnerable to the counter-attack.

Rating – B1

Segberg has had a difficult season, being stripped of the captaincy and spending long spells out of the team, but he came up with two incredibly important contributions in this game and showed that he is still a key part of this Start team.

Eman Markovic

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 08/05/1999
  • Current club: IK Start
  • Career: Lyngdal IL (Y), Molde FK (Y), Zrinjski Mostar, IK Start
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Markovic started the game on the right of the front three before a tactical change at half-time saw him moved to the middle of a narrower and more fluid front line. He is 5’11 with a lean build and he grew into the game after a slow start where he saw very little of the ball in the opening 20 minutes as Start struggled to retain possession in the final third. He is a technically gifted player who performs best with the ball at his feet, often dropping deep in this game to receive the ball and link the play with the attack using mostly short accurate passes.

He showed good footwork and close control in tight areas, drawing a number of fouls throughout the game including one to win the free-kick that led to the first goal. He was not able to drift into space to receive the ball as much in the second-half as he was more tightly marked in a congested area of the pitch, especially with Sarpsborg playing with three centre-backs.

He had two good shooting opportunities from inside the box but both attempts were too close to the goalkeeper and he needs to focus on hitting the corners more, although the first effort was denied a goal only by a great save. He showed a good mental attitude in this game, working hard off the ball when struggling in the early stages and putting in a good defensive shift to track runners and provide additional defensive cover.

Rating – B1

Markovic looked good in flashes but struggled to sustain that level and doesn’t seem to be playing a system that is particularly well-suited to his skillset.

Eirik Wichne

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 12/05/1997
  • Current club: IK Start
  • Career: Mandalskameratene (Y), IK Start
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Wichne grew in confidence as the game progressed and put in a solid defensive performance. He defended well in 1v1 situations, at 5’7 he isn’t the tallest but he has a stocky build and he showed good speed on the turn and upper body strength when going shoulder to shoulder with the Sarpsborg left winger, who did not have much success against him all game. He has a good reading of the game which often saw him react quickly to step into central areas and win the ball back with committed, well-timed tackles. He didn’t dive into challenges but picked his moments well and was assertive with his defensive actions, winning the majority of the duels he entered.

He was very conservative with his passing and did not often look to progress the ball up the pitch, instead mostly opting to play backward or lateral passes to the centre-backs even when given time to pick a pass into a more advanced area. That may be a reflection of a lack of confidence in his passing ability, although he did contribute in an attacking sense with some intelligent inverted runs into central positions which occupied a defender to create space for the wide players and added extra bodies into the box to receive a cross.

Rating – B1

Wichne has already amassed over 100 appearances for Start and is an integral part of the team, I’m not sure how high his ceiling is but a very solid player at this level.

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