In a match where the scoreline does not reflect either team’s performance, Colo-Colo beat Alianza Lima 2-1 in the Copa Libertadores group stage. Colo-Colo set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation and played fluid, passing football to break down the Alianza defence over and over again. The link-up play on the right flank was a sight to behold, with the right-back complimenting right winger, Pablo Solari, perfectly. Both players terrorised the Lima defence and created enough chances for Colo-colo to have won this match 6-0. The other player reported on was Maximiliano Falcón, who played as the left-sided centre-back in Colo-Colo’s back 4. Alianza Lima deployed a very defensive 5-3-2 to try to nullify Colo-Colo’s attacking threat. The scoreline might suggest that they were somewhat successful in this aim, however, Colo-Colo missed countless guilt-edged chances and conceded from Alianza’s only shot on target. Colo-Colo got complacent in the last 20-30 minutes and did not build on their lead. Their manager will not have been happy with the immense drop off in performance quality from the first half.
- 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 level, re-watch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Argentinean
- Age: 21
- Date of birth: 22/03/2001
- Current club: Colo-Colo
- Career: CA Tallerers II (Y), CA Talleres, Colo-Colo (loan), Colo-Colo
- Position: Right Winger
- Secondary position: Left Winger
- Preferred foot: Right
Colo-Colo fans must tear their hair out watching Pablo Solari on a regular basis. The 21-year-old is an unpredictable winger who can play on either wing, use both feet and cut inside as well as cross from the byline. He played as an orthodox right-winger in this match though, receiving the ball wide on the right, combining brilliantly with his right-back and dancing through the Alianza defence. Out of possession, he was tasked with tracking back, something he was clearly reluctant to do. When in possession, he always had plenty of options inside and outside of the box, for both cutbacks and driven crosses. Despite this, and while playing 90 minutes, he had no assists in this match.
Pablo Solari is tall at 181cm and has a slim/toned physique. Rather than seeming lanky and ungainly he appears in control of his large frame. This aids his exceptional close control, superb first touch and amazing agility and means that he is very difficult to dispossess. He has the ability, speed and acceleration to ghost past his opponents and dance through seemingly non-existent gaps in defences. For all this technical brilliance though, he wasn’t able to contribute any end product in this match despite a multitude of chances. I think his attitude and concentration may be weaknesses in his game at the moment. Solari showed that he is unfazed by high-pressure situations, which is of course great, but he switches off at key moments and gets quite complacent. When he has 4 players to beat, he is focused and can drive or dribble past them but given a chance to score from centimetres out he seems to get loose focus and misses these easy chances. His style of play is quite similar to Chelsea’s Callum-Hudson-Odoi, but it should be noted that the Englishman works much harder off the ball.
Solari can pass well when it comes to short combinations down the flanks, however, he seemed to lack the composure, concentration and vision to pull off killer passes into the box. His decision making also leaves something to be desired as he often picked out the wrong player with his final balls.
Rating – A2
There are technical aspects of Pablo Solari’s game that are fantastic. However, he lacks focus and often makes the wrong decision with his finishing and final passes. Clearly, Pablo Solari has potential but he needs to start working harder, on the pitch and in training, to improve his game and he could realise his potential. At only 21, he still has the chance to be the author of his own destiny. I cannot definitively say how good Solari could be after one match. He isn’t an easy player to judge and it would take a few more matches to determine.
- Nationality: Uruguayan
- Age: 24
- Date of birth: 01/05/1997
- Current club: Colo-Colo
- Career: Nacional U-19 (Y), National B (Y), Rentistas, Colo-Colo
- Position: Centre back
- Preferred foot: Right
“Maxi” Falcón played as a left-sided centre back in a back four against Alianza Lima. Both fullbacks pushed up often, leaving the central defenders quite exposed for most of the match. This wasn’t too much of a concern though as Maxi has the speed to catch players on the counter and the strength to win areal duels. Colo-Colo also dominated possession so he wasn’t that busy defensively in this match.
Maxi is 179cm tall with a muscular build, and he is a physically strong player that despite not being tall is solid in the air. He can also pass the ball quite well over long and short distances. His first touch is sound and he seems composed in possession. While composed and technical defenders are in high demand, Maxi is not quite good enough to be considered a good option here. He lacks competitive aggression in his tacking and despite getting tight to players, they can get past him all too often. Maxi isn’t a great tackler and his eagerness to get tight to the player with the ball can leave huge spaces in behind for the opposition to counter into. He seemed to regularly lose focus and could have been pressed to great effect for the opposition. Considering his hairstyle and playing style it wouldn’t surprise me if his idol is David Luiz. Although I think he is more comparable to Luiz in his time at Arsenal rather than at Chelsea.
When Alianza Lima played terribly in the first half, Maxi looked fine. But when they upped the ante in the last half an hour, Maxi started to struggle. This led me to believe that he would not be a good option against better opposition as he did not convince me of his quality at any point in this match. Maxi will be 25 very soon. I have major reservations about his ability, willingness, and potential to improve at this point in his career.
Rating – C
Maxi’s performance in this match was average. Solid in possession, he even played some nice passes, but he was given acres of space and never pressed. He is a physically strong player but can’t tackle and has major positional issues in his game. Currently, he doesn’t start regularly for Colo-Colo and I can clearly see why. Maxi could be better in a back 3 but I can’t recommend him as a signing.