SV Darmstadt 98 – Match Report vs. FC St. Pauli (29/10/2022)

SV Darmstadt 98 drew 1-1 against FC St. Pauli away from home in a physical match that started off slow but had some fireworks in the second half. Darmstadt started off with towering center back Patric Pfeiffer as a center forward before he slid back to his natural position and the squad settled in to a narrow 4-2-3-1. They would sometimes move into a 4-3-3 or set up with five at the back, too. Offensively, manager Torsten Lieberknecht preferred to work directly, playing plenty of long balls through the middle to advance to target man Phillip Tietz. In the second half, when the action got going, Lieberknecht switched to a high press, and it really rattled St. Pauli’s build up. Darmstadt’s peskiness frustrated the back line and helped lead to the opening goal, a stunning skill move cutting inside from the left into a terrifically placed finish from outside the box. 


  • 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

Patric Pfeiffer

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Ghana
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 20/08/1999
  • Club: SV Darmstadt 98
  • Career: Bramfelder SV (Y), Hamburger SV
  • Position: Right Center Back
  • Secondary Position: Center Forward
  • Preferred foot: Right

Patric Pfeiffer started of this match in a peculiar way by playing five minutes at center forward. After switching to his natural right center back position, the strong 196 cm tall Hamburg academy product put in a great performance. Pfeiffer displayed above average pace and movement skills despite his massive size and frame. His long strides really helped him make up ground in recoveries. 

On defense, Pfeiffer really proved to be a force, rarely making a mistake. He showed great awareness and positioning. His overall knowledge of the flow of the game showed in the way he reacted and moved off ball. Pfeiffer was timing his actions very well and picked up an interception that way. Afterward, he hit an effective right-footed clearance deep, something he did many times even with his left once. He did mishit a clearance, leading to some trouble in the box, but that was a rare mistake on the night. Pfeiffer was not just an intelligent presence at the back, he utilized his frame and physicality, too. Pfeiffer imposed himself with his frame in 1v1s and combined that with his good positioning and timing to great success. Forcing inaccurate or back passes or putting in a well-timed tackle came with ease in 1v1s for Pfeiffer, leading to duel wins and never really getting passed by. Even in transition, Pfeiffer had good recovery speed to get in and close angles and would even get in the way to attempt blocks when able. 

His dominance in duels continued in the air, where he used his height and physicality the most. It was hard for anyone to get a ball off him in the air. He cleared with his head effectively, won duels in midfield and on the edge of the box, and added another threat in the box on corners (Pfeiffer would have been a bigger threat there but was double-teamed on set pieces). He had one missed header on a corner but nothing awful came of it. Outside of that his aerial ability was possibly his best quality. 

Due to the direct buildup style of Darmstadt and Pfeiffer’s frequent involvement, his passing accuracy suffers statistically. That is not to say he is a bad ball-playing center back. His short passes were made composure and patience even when pressured with mostly his right and some left. He delivered accurate long balls to advance from his own half quickly, but the aerial duels were not won by his teammates enough. Pfeiffer’s ability as a passer surprised me and has some potential to be even better especially with the flashes of vision he displayed. When at center forward early on, he had a blocked cross from the right wing and drew a foul on a back pass in center field, too. Pfeiffer flashed some potential not just as a defender but as a distributor as well. 

Rating – A1

Patric Pfeiffer displayed against St. Pauli that he is more than just a defensive defender, but a force to be reckoned with that still has plenty of room to grow. Based off his level of play, Pfeiffer should play a level up already as 2. Bundesliga is too natural for him; he needs a new challenge. Staying in Germany and signing in the Bundesliga would be a perfect step up, preferably in a mid-table club like Borussia Monchengladbach. 

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