US Quevilly-Rouen Métropole – Match Report vs. SD Caen (22-12-2021)

Quevilly-Rouen Métropole snatched a point at the death in a dramatic comeback with two late goals against SD Caen in game week 19 in Ligue 2. The late fight back ensures the home side stays above their opponents in 11th in mid-table while Caen move down to 14th with other results. The away side Caen, playing in a 3-5-2, had the better of the first half and took advantage of the better chances with a goal midway through the half from a corner kick. They doubled their lead right after half-time with a nice one-two and finish by striker Nuno Da Costa; resting on their laurels at 2-nil, the home side were able to grow in confidence and took the game to their opponents. The red and yellows, who set up in a defensive 4-3-3 with the wide forwards tucked in, struggled to put attacks together in the first half, but outshot their opponents 11 to 3 in the second half. They did leave it until injury time to get their first of the game; centre back and captain Romain Padovani finding himself in the box, in search of a way back into the game, was able to get on the end of a loose ball to tap home from close range. Their opponents, the Vikings, were rattled and straight from kick-off conceded a free kick in the centre circle, which was used to launch what would be the final attack of the game. Towering Quevilly-Rouen midfielder Kalidou Sidibe was heavily involved in getting the ball out to the left wing and then followed up in the box to steer the cross home and send the crowd into raptures.

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

Kalidou Sidibe

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French/Malian
  • Age:22
  • Date of birth: 28/01/1999
  • Current Club: Quevilly-Rouen (on loan)
  • Career: LB Chateauroux, Toulouse, Quevilly-Rouen
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

The first thing that you notice with Sidibe is undoubtedly his size; at 2.00 metres he towers above opponents and unsurprisingly is dominant in the air, as such he was a target for a number of set pieces in the game. Sitting on the right of a midfield three, the on-loan Toulouse man did his best work in the first half on the defensive side. His first action of note was muscling the Caen wingback off the ball when he looked to be passed him in a wide area. His defending one-on-one and overall tackling was a strength when called upon, but the opponent played mostly on the opposing side meaning he had to stay disciplined and focused. One such occasion showed this with a goal-saving block from an attack down the opposing side. Sidibe was the first to react to a cross from the Caen right flank that fell to the striker in the area and with the goal gaping the midfielder produced a last-ditch tackle to block the attempt on goal within the 6-yard box.

With the ball, the midfielder showed a willingness to progress the ball by dribbling between the lines though on occasion lost out under pressure but was aggressive in winning the ball back especially high up the pitch managing a number of recoveries in good areas. With his side having more of the ball in the second half and a 2-0 scoreline Sidibe produced a more offensive performance but for the most part, he wasn’t involved much in the build-up remaining mostly on the periphery of the game. On occasion once more with Sidibe trying to force the issue when on the ball this led to a few turnovers in the final third. Again, Sidibe remained tactically disciplined here and didn’t let his head drop; the tall midfielder would still have a telling contribution to come. That came in the final minutes of the game where he played a key role in the first goal; attracting two defenders from a cross and getting something on the ball that ended up at the feet of his captain who got the goal to make it 2-1. Following that, and a mere 1 minute later, he was the target of another high ball into the danger area where he showed great balance and strength, while opponents were left on the ground, to get the ball out wide and follow up with a calm finish.

While not having the most influential performance throughout the match Sidibe stood out in the decisive moments of the game and displayed great versatility to switch to a more attacking approach in the 2nd half. As the right side of a midfield three may have been prohibiting the young 22-year-old from getting more involved so it would be interesting to see him in different formations.

Rating – A2

Sidibe was key at both ends in this match and has experience of playing at a higher level, which is evident in his performance in the important moments of the game. He looks to have gotten over his hernia injury that curtailed his time in Ligue 1, but I would like to see more of him in further action.

Hugo Vandermersch

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 05/05/1999
  • Current Club: SD Caen
  • Career: SD Caen
  • Position: Right back/ Right wingback
  • Preferred foot: right

Playing as an attacking right-sided wingback Vandermersch spent little time on the ball, but progressed the ball quickly keeping the opponents on their toes. Hugging the touchline throughout and using a good burst of pace in his quick combination play was a key asset to the Caen attack; rarely was he 10 metres from the touchline but was a danger where he was, having a role in the 2nd goal. For the goal Vandermersch moved the ball in field just past the half way line and burst beyond the opposition full back where he was again found, before quickly nodding the ball back inside when he attracted more defenders leaving space for the strikers to do their business and make it 2-0. Most of Caen’s attacks came down their right side and it was clear Vandermersch was a key part of that tactical system overlapping and preventing the Quevilly-Rouen left back from getting forward while also attracting some coverage from their left-sided midfielder creating the space that was found for the goal.

On the defensive side of the ball Vandermersch was impressive but perhaps less so, conceding a few free kicks and not getting blocks on a few crosses that caused dangerous moments for his teammates, but defended well when dealing with crosses from the other side. His 89th minute burst to support a counter was perhaps misjudged leaving space behind him, but a clue to his strong level of fitness and commitment to providing an attacking option.

Rating – A2

Vandermersch recently recovered from a cruciate ligament rupture showed little effect of that and was very active throughout the game hugging the touchline and providing a threat on the right wing throughout. I would need to watch again to reinforce my opinion, especially on the defensive side, but looks like he has the potential to play at a higher level.

Brahim Traore

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 17
  • Date of birth: 04/02/2004
  • Current Club: SD Caen
  • Career: SD Caen
  • Position: Centre back
  • Preferred foot: Right

It was quite an impressive display from a young man in his 13th league game as a professional. A 17-year-old graduate from the academy was composed on the ball throughout and in fact made the most passes in the match, which shows the trust his teammates and that the position he is playing allows him to get involved in the team’s build up and possession cycles. As the left centre back of a back 3 most of those were short passes along the back to the right-sided defender rather than just passes back to the keeper of safer ones to the centre of the three. He was though able to mix it up with short and longer balls rarely giving the ball away, playing the longer balls into the central spaces often to a forward dropping in. Although right footed he was very comfortable with his left foot both receiving the ball on it and passing forward to the left wingback meaning the team could progress the ball faster and with different angles.

Defensively Traore impressed with a high number of recoveries in the game brought about through positional discipline, decision making when covering and being strong in the tackle. It was positive to see that he often was able to identify empty space and carry the ball out of the defence once he had intercepted or recovered the ball which forced the opposition to react creating more space in transition for his teammates.  

Rating – A2

For his age, Traore shone in this game and looks mature beyond his years on the ball and when defending. Consistency will be key for Traore so another watch is always a good idea, but very promising.

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