Santos – Match Report vs. Flamengo (07/12/2021)

Flamengo lost their home match against Santos in the 37th matchday of the Brasileirão. They set up in an attacking 4-4-2, dominating possession throughout the game and putting high pressure on Santos. The Brazilian giants did not give away many chances, but early in the second half, they gave away a big chance which was scored by Marcos Leonardo. Santos set up in a defensive 3-4-2-1, with both wing-backs sitting deep. They had a very negative approach to the match, which clearly worked out as they managed to win away from home. Matheus França (17) made his debut in this match for Flamengo, while right-winger Angelo Gabriel (17) also made an appearance for Santos coming on from the bench.


  • 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


Player profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 12/01/2004
  • Club: Santos
  • Career: Santos (Y)
  • Position: Central Defender
  • Preferred foot: Right

Kaiky Melo played as the right central defender in a three at the back formation. Throughout the match, it seemed like this was not his favoured position, as he had to defend a lot of isolated one vs one’s on the wing. In these 1v1’s, Kaiky had a wide stance and his body positioning was not the greatest, as his body positioning restricted him from turning quickly. The long legs of Kaiky also did not help him in turning quickly. This led to Kaiky losing a lot of 1v1 duels and he got dribbled past quite easily against the Flamengo players. The Brazilian youngster liked to step out of the defensive line often. When he got into ground duels far from his own goal, Kaiky often made a sloppy foul. The youngster also failed to cut passing lanes at times and failed to block his opponent or follow him after his opponent continued his run after passing it to his teammate.

The 18-year-old gave away a penalty early in the second half, after he pulled his opponent to the ground after he failed to track his run. This seemed like a lapse of concentration. Defensively Kaiky looked nervous and uncomfortable dealing with Flamengo’s dominance on the ball. On the ball, Kaiky showed good, powerful short passing into the midfield. He liked to carry the ball into midfield and looked comfortable on the ball. However, sometimes he was too comfortable on the ball and he got himself into trouble as he took too many risks. He even gave away a big chance after not putting enough power on a pass back to his goalkeeper.

Rating – B2

I know that Kaiky is deemed as one of the biggest talents in Brazilian football, but in this match he looked bad defensively and he got himself into trouble on the ball too. I think he is more suited to playing in a high defensive line, as he looked quick over a long distance and he will not come into that many defensive duels in which his lack of agility can get exploited. There is also a big chance that he is still very inconsistent at his young age. At this time, an A2 rating is not validated purely on this match, but I will watch him more often.

Marcos Leonardo

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 02/05/2003
  • Club: Santos
  • Career: Santos (Y)
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Marcos Leonardo played as a striker with Marcos Guilherme and Marinho playing close to him throughout the match. The young striker scored the winning goal, but was not involved that much in the game as Santos played very defensively. Marcos Leonardo received the ball around the halfway line a lot with his back towards the goal and he did really well to draw a lot of fouls in this area. This helped Santos to play out of pressure and progress further up the pitch. Marcos Leonardo protects the ball really well in ground duels and can turn away from his opponent quickly. He had a few situations in which he made a run in behind, especially his diagonal runs between the left central defender and left-back were really effective and good.

The Brazilian striker times his runs really well and is composed when being ut under pressure. He is good at stalling his passes until he can pick out his teammate, often Marinho. Marcos Leonardo played a lot of smart passes in these situations. The striker has good vision and often did well to spot Marinho in space. The 18-year-old had three chances this match. In one situation, he made a good run but pulled the trigger too early, while he was a bit too wild in front of the goal in another situation. His third chance finally went in, after he positioned himself very well in the box. Marcos Leonardo finished the chance with his left foot. The youngster has good technical ability, as he has good ball control, close control and his first touch is good too.

Physically, Marcos Leonardo looked good despite only being 1,74 m tall. As mentioned before, he protected the ball well and did well to draw fouls. He is quick on the first meters and his pace over a longer distance was good as well. Marcos Leonardo has good agility and balance.

Rating – A2

This performance was between an A1 and A2 rating, as he showed a lot of good characteristics in this match despite not touching the ball that often (21). I want to watch him more often and I will possibly write a player report on Marcos Leonardo soon.

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