Aberdeen FC – Match Report VS St. Johnstone (07/01/2023)

After a winless streak of 5 games, stretching back before the World Cup break, Aberdeen was hoping to get back on track in a home cinch Premiership game against St. Johnstone. Aberdeen won 2-0 in the end, after looking like it could be another stale 0-0 draw, with Duk scoring both the goals. The game mostly was going Aberdeen’s way, keeping good possession of the ball and creating the most chances. It took until the 74th minute when Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes knocked the ball into the net after a good bit of skill from Vicente Besuijen. ‘Duk’ then made it 2-0 in the 84th minute, a header from a corner into the top corner.

Ratings :

  • 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

Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes

Player profile :

  • Nationality: Cape Verdean
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 16/02/2000
  • Current club: Aberdeen
  • Career: Benfica B
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary position: Left Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Duk made a huge impact in this match, as he has in many of his previous matches, scoring 2 goals and winning the game for Aberdeen. He played left wing in a 4-2-3-1 system for the first 60 minutes of the match before returning to his better position of striker in the same formation, which coincided with his 2 goals.

Out of possession defensively, Duk is a good presser of the ball, always cutting lanes and never giving up, however he doesn’t seem to be able to pace himself in this game. Just before the opening goal, it looked like he was going to be substituted as he was running out of stamina. Off the ball attacking wise, he makes some very good movements out on the wing either coming wide to create more gaps in the defence for the striker to run into, or moving inside, allowing the full back to overlap him and create overloads in the wide areas. In possession, Duk is a real livewire of a player. When he was out wide, there was a few times in the match where he squared up to the opposing full back and ran at him, with quick feet and body movement he can really change direction very rapidly. While with the ball, he is prone to overplaying moments of play where you think he should be playing the ball earlier, this happened a couple of times in this game. When up top, he seemed to use his body more against the defenders, holding the ball up and bringing the two wingers into the game

Although a small player at 1.80m, physically he is a fantastic player. He has fantastic strength and pace which he uses to really good effect. Playing in the cinch Premiership, where the centre defenders are quite big and strong, he really uses these attributes to a fantastic result, where he just powers past defenders. Another big positive about Duk is that he is fantastic in the air, he’s got a fantastic jump and is normally quite accurate with headers.

Rating: A1

Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes could definitely play at a higher level, a real standout in the cinch Premiership, he could be a good fit for a team such as his former club Benfica or a bottom half team in the La Liga. He has only just signed for Aberdeen in the summer, so any fee could be a huge stumbling factor especially with his deal up in May 2025.

Bojan Miovski

  • Nationality: Macedonian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 24/06/1999
  • Current club: Aberdeen
  • Career: Rabotnichki, Qarabag (L), Bregalnica, Rabotnichki, Makedonija Gj. P., Renova, MTK
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Left

Bojan Miovski played the lone striker role in the 4-2-3-1 system. He was often isolated up top, although finds a lot of joy in running beyond defensive lines. His link up play wasn’t very good, and he passed up a couple of opportunities to break the deadlock before being substituted in the 60th minute.

Being a striker who has scored 11 goals so far this season, his ability in front of goal shouldn’t be in question. Although, in this game, he seemed to lack a lot of composure in front of goal. He had two huge chances in the game, one where he was slipped through one on one, but he was under pressure from the defender and seemed to lose his footing and tamely hit the shot straight at the keeper. The other he was expected to do a lot more, chasing down a long ball, wrestling with the defender and latching onto a poor weak pass-back from the defender. He tried to lob the goalkeeper but didn’t get the best connection on it again which the keeper subsequently saved. His movement is there, he always looks to make diagonal runs across defences and is very keen on wanting the ball over the top. He gets himself into good positions in crosses, I do believe that he is just going through a bad run now. With the ball, his hold up play seems to fluctuate. There were moments in the game where he got the ball with his back to the goal, made a good first touch and laid it off to a player which was very good play. There were also moments where he seemed to overplay having the ball, allowing the defender to nick in and take the ball off him. A very good trait of Miovski is that he always wants to progress the ball forward, never wanting to go back to the defender. When in defensive play, Miovski is a very hard-working striker, constantly chasing down defenders and the keeper, he never let the defence have a rest. He worked well with the wingers when needing to press defenders too, it never seemed like he was pressing at a wrong angle. He is quite a slight forward however, doesn’t really have massive upper body strength but he gets his body into good positions to try hold onto the ball.

Rating: A2

Already been in subject of interest from Stade de Reims for an apparent £4million, Bojan could play at a higher level if he gets his confidence back. He hasn’t scored in 6 games, although still on course to compete as the top goal scorer in the cinch Premiership. He also needs to improve on his hold up play and general finishing to play at a much higher level. Ligue 1 is a league which I think his style of play can really flourish in, so I’m not surprised by the interest from Stade de Reims.

Ross McCrorie

  • Nationality: Scottish
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 18/03/1998
  • Current club: Aberdeen
  • Career: Rangers, Ayr United (L), Dumbarton (L), Portsmouth (L), Aberdeen (L)
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Secondary positions: Right Back, Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Ross McCrorie played in the unusual position of Right Back in the 4-2-3-1. Named in a man of the match performance, he done fantastic breaking up and down the lines, although really lacked a final product at the end.

Defensively, Ross McCrorie is extremely solid, he is very strong, fast and is always concentrating. A good example of all these things was in the first few minutes of the match when he intercepted a long ball over the defence, using his pace and body well to get in front of the opposing winger. One thing that really impressed me is he intercepted the long ball just outside his box in a central area, which he then proceeded to glide past the winger and start running down the right-hand side, to which he then won a free kick at the halfway line. Throughout the whole match, the left winger was no danger to the Aberdeen team, as McCrorie constantly harried and hustled against him, winning the ball most of the time. He was also extremely good in the air, constantly winning any headers and pushing the team up the field. When the team was on the attack, McCrorie was very variant in what he was doing. Either he would drop deep and allow the right winger to go forward, or he would overlap but didn’t really get himself into good positions to get the ball down the wing. He normally got possession of the ball deeper than the winger and was looking for passes inside. On a few occasions however, Ross did have a run at the defender in front of him, almost becoming a fleeting wing-back. On these occasions, his runs were always extremely powerful but the problem with him is his final ball. He doesn’t really possess a final ball, there was a couple of times where he crossed the ball out of play or had a weak shot from outside the box. Even when he is playing long balls from the defence, they’re more hopeful than accurate.

Rating : B1

Strong defensively, a good progressor, but not great with his final ball, Ross McCrorie really lacks at going to a higher level than the cinch Premiership. Even in his main position, central midfield, he lacks any real creativity to make it in higher leagues. I think he could be a very good fit for a Sky Bet Championship team as a defensive midfielder, but right back isn’t his correct position to get the best of him.

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