Santos drew against RB Bragantino, in a very disputed game seeing 2 goals in both ends. Both teams played in a 4-2-3-1 resulting in constant contests for possession. Fabián Bustos’ side always tried to play from the back, relying on a mixture of long through balls and short quick passes to get further up the pitch, however they only had 43% of the possession. Nearing the end of the first half, Bragantino’s players managed to improve their positioning and started creating chances, managing to score one goal back before half time. By maintaining momentum, they equalized through a splendid long shot by Luan Cândido, settling the result.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Brazilian
- Age: 18
- Date of Birth: 12/01/2004
- Current Club: Santos
- Career: Santos
- Position: Centre Back
- Preferred Foot: Right
Kaiky Melo played as a right centre back in a four at the back formation. After Maicon’s injury in the previous game, Kaiky was called up for this match and even saw himself getting in the starting line-up ahead of Emiliano Velazquez. From the beginning of the match, Santos relied on him to start playing from the back, allowing him to show a good passing ability even when under pressure. The Brazilian defender always made sure to make himself available by occupying free spaces very well. Throughout the game he showed very good positional awareness regarding this aspect. Kaiky Melo used this tactical capability to be able to better alternate between short and longer passes to help his team get further up the pitch and off pressure, using his good ball controlling ability to earn precious time for his decision-making process. However, after the first few long passes, Bragantino’s players adjusted their marking, and by insisting on this type of passes led his team to lose possession a couple times. He should’ve been more aware of this since, as a result, Santos started facing difficulties securing possession for long periods of time, and Mauricio Barbieri’s side started creating opportunities to get back into the game.
On the one hand, defensively, Kaiky Melo made very good use of his physicality, using this as an advantage to position himself better than the opponents to recover the ball. This allowed him to recover the ball multiple times while ending the game without committing a single foul. Kaiky showed an overall good positioning awareness inside the box, which allowed him to be well positioned to clear the ball in dangerous situations multiple times. On the other hand, tactically the 18-year-old still has some room for improvement, he sometimes fell too deep not staying coordinated with the rest of the defensive line and in defensive throw-ins he could’ve made better use of his physicality to recover the ball. In this game these situations weren’t exploited by the opposition but certainly should be something that he should look out for, especially regarding crosses and long balls. Furthermore, even though he showed good stamina during the entire game, he doesn’t seem to be the fastest, so the aspect mentioned above gains more relevance.
On the contrary, the Brazilian defender made very good use of his height, 1.86 meters, he timed his jumps very well and was able to successfully win aerial duels showing a good heading technique. Despite his young age, he is already an imponent player by being very assertive and positively aggressive. Kaiky also has the psychological traits to be a great leader inside the field, qualities that he has had the opportunity to develop on the younger squads for his country.
In general Kaiky Melo had a good performance, not being at fault in any of the goals conceded. It was his first game this season in the Brasileirão, and despite his young age I was impressed by his composure on the ball and assertiveness in defensive moments, even though he still needs to improve in certain aspects. I believe he has the abilities and potential to earn more playing time, and I look forward to watching more from him.
- Nationality: Brazilian
- Age: 21
- Date of birth: 24/03/2001
- Club: Santos
- Career: Corinthians, Santos
- Position: Left Back
- Preferred foot: Left
Lucas Pires played as left back and was one of the most influential players for Santos during the entire match. The Brazilian left back is very attack minded, and always looked to progress further up the pitch by using his dribbling abilities and speed. Lucas Pires also showed a good ball controlling ability with quick footwork, which allowed him to play one two’s to get out of pressure and to make forward runs to get behind the opposing defenders. Additionally, he also made a couple good passes in between the opponents’ lines, allowing his team to get in dangerous offensive positions. On the contrary, occasionally he was uncertain with his decision making under pressure near the sideline, which resulted in a couple sloppy touches/passes or passing the ball back straight back to the center back.
Lucas Pires also showed a very good crossing technique not only from open play but also from a couple set pieces, which were accurate and helped the team create good chances. Generally, everything considered, he was one of the most influential and important players for Santos’ attacks.
Regarding his defensive capabilities, Lucas showed great intensity by quickly pressuring his opponents, giving them little time to think which allowed him to recover the ball multiple times. However, it is important to notice that when he didn’t succeed, it allowed the opponents to explore the space behind him. In fact, Bragantino explored this space a couple times and was even able to score a goal by catching him out of position. Tactically this is a field where he could improve, since throughout the game he was exposed to similar situations a couple more times.
For the most part, he was strong in defensive 1v1’s and aggressive when needed, making use of his strength and speed to recover possession, even though he sometimes let the opponents have too much space and cross without opposition. Lucas Pires also showed great stamina, being able to commit both offensively and defensively throughout the whole game. Moreover, he also positively used his physical structure very well, not only to recover the ball in open play, but also by using his height (1.82 meters) to win multiple aerial duels.
Although he was negatively associated with Bragantino’s first goal, throughout the rest of the game he continued working hard to help his team, not allowing himself to get caught up by his mistake. Lucas showed admirable psychological traits, even against adversities he seems to be committed, hard-working and resilient.
Rating – A2
Lucas Pires had a very competent game. He was very active offensively and created good goal opportunities for his teammates. I think he has great potential, especially if he improves his defensive positioning and technique. Lucas certainly is a player to look out for considering that he is still young and that this is only his first season playing at this level.