Whatever is said before the match the head coaches of Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar but the result of the internal duel of these teams in the fourth round of the group round of the Champions League had a huge influence on the potential outcome of competition for the right to qualify for the playoffs. The victory opened a direct path to second place for any of yesterday’s opponents and a draw would move the clarification of the answer to the main question almost to the last (although this meant some of the nuances in terms of who will have advantage in personal meetings).
The match in Zagreb from time to time, almost repeated the scenario of the Kharkov battle the same rivals, held two weeks ago. Shakhtar again quickly opened the score, but in the 25th minute allowed the Dynamo to equalize. Then the Croatians in the second half (although in the home match much later than in Kharkiv) took the lead, forcing Shakhtar to win… that’s all parallel in General end. In Croatia there were two deletions (one in each team) and then a handicap of two goals for “Dinamo”. When in the 89th minute, Ademi made the score 3:1, objectively speaking, few of the fans believed that our team will be able to get at least a draw from Zagreb. But then came the epic 10 minute rendition of “miners” that turned everything on its head. In fact, the three major aspects in explanation of yesterday’s match and talk…
The Problem Of “Shakhtar”
The match in Zagreb again revealed a number of problems present at Shakhtar. First of all, we have to say that having the advantage during the match, the Donetsk team is not always able to convert it into goals. In Croatia, the Pitmen quickly after taking the lead, somehow again, like before in the home match against Dynamo gave the initiative to the opponent and allowed him to equalize. At the time when Petkovic scored the second goal, Shakhtar has not nearly been the advantage in ball possession, of which guests have made from the beginning of the game. Moreover, after the gave the initiative to the hosts, and the tide managed just after the break.
That’s why for the second straight game with Shakhtar occur such metamorphoses in the Champions League – a question the answer to which we have not yet received neither the players nor the coaching staff of Shakhtar. If the plan Castro was calculated that his team, once in the lead, had to adjust to counterplay, and he has not played since for the whole match, the Pitmen played only 3 counter and strike to finish and could do only one of them. And the game on the counterattack – a departure from the basic principles of “Shakhtar”, which itself is Castro not allowed before the match. It turns out that the problem is something else…
The second traditional in the Champions League problem for Shakhtar is poor quality management of upland martial arts. Goal by Petkovic, who perevisa in the air Kryvtsov and Stepanenko, as well as the preceding supermoment at the same Petkovic in the 19th minute when the forward of “Dynamo” at the expense of profitable selected item vyberoveho beat on the ball but find themselves out of work Matvienko is a great marker of what was happening on the field. Moving to their goal after the first goal, the Pitmen had to understand that Croats will push his horse struggle, where Dynamo had the advantage due to more tall players. The Donetsk side won 46% of aerial challenges, while their opponent is 54%. Moreover, in all four matches of the current Champions League, the Pitmen have never surpassed rivals in the quality management of horse riding martial arts that is not “bell”, and “loud bell” for the coaching staff of the team.
From the previous minus emerges next. In Zagreb, Shakhtar showed one of the worst matches of the current season in quality passes with the promotion. Statisticians have a pass from a promotion is the transfer that brings the ball towards the goal at least: 30 metres if given from their own half on their own; 15 meters if given from his half of the half of the opponent; 10 feet if given half the opponent. So, in the capital of Croatia, the accuracy of these passes Shakhtar have made a very modest 72% (average in season 2019/20 the rate of “miners” equal to 83%), while “Dynamo” – 76%. At the same time, the top two players in assists with the promotion of the Croats was Livakovic – Petkovic. Keeper Dynamo 6 times carried the ball for a tall centre forward and the one due to advantages on the “second floor” provided his team a much more rapid transition from defence to attack than demonstrated Shakhtar.
Also, somewhat unusually, got Shakhtar yesterday another problem is that a considerable amount of scrap on the left flank at ismaily and taison. In particular, the left “edge” of Donetsk was recorded 48% of fumbles, which is significantly more than the right or in the Central area.
Interestingly, the number of positional attacks left flank Shakhtar slightly surpassed right – 11 vs 8, so to talk about the comparability of the amount of action in this case is hardly necessary. Rather, it should be noted a very high quality match played by Dodo, who tried to play as carefully as possible, for which reason the right wing this time, Shakhtar looked hopelessly lost.
The Potential Of Shakhtar
However, not all Shakhtar was bad. In particular, the miners have significantly surpassed them in the number of positional attacks (35:21) and after them (8:3). In addition, the accuracy of strikes from the champion of Ukraine was very good – on the level with the index of the away match against Atalanta (53% in Zagreb, 54% in Bergamo). Of the 15 attempts of Shakhtar 8 were on target, which allowed Shakhtar in the end, significantly outperform the opponent in terms of the expected goals – against of 1.33 3,05 xG xG. In other words, if the result in football depended on the comprehensive statistical indicators, the victory more deserved it “Shakhtar”. Argue?
It is also important that the players of Shakhtar tried not to sit too deep. If you look at the average positions of the players of both teams, it is obvious that guests were playing higher, even despite the notorious pressure performed by Croats. Moreover, the main part of the transmission (the thicker the line between the players in the diagram, the more gear passed between them during the match) “Shakhtar” was not through the Central defenders and from the flanks through the zone of the Central Midfielders, where he tried to act Alan Patrick and Victor Kovalenko. The home team at the key triangle of passes between themselves formed Peric, Dilaver and Ademi.
Managed Shakhtar in Zagreb to beat the opponent and the intensity of the pressure. If in Kharkov two weeks ago the Croats were better in this component, then in his field of “Dynamo” was not able to be so convincing. Srednedushevye indicator PPDA Dynamo of 13.2, and Shakhtar is 11.9. Moreover, 75 minutes, Shakhtar have constantly increased the pressure on the opponent, bringing the index of pressure from 7.3 to 5.5, despite playing in the minority and two goals conceded in this time interval. Of course, the intensity does not reflect the quality of pressure, but the willingness of “miners” to the opponent and try to create problems for him at the finish of the match speaks volumes…
The Nature Of Shakhtar
Caught in what seemed to be a absolutely disastrous situation (1:3 for a few minutes before the final whistle), Shakhtar didn’t give up and by all means, go ahead. Of course, the fact that the team Castro managed to fight back and to save at least the draw is largely the consequence of a successful match of a number of factors. Probably more experienced European team than Dinamo Zagreb, would not allow Shakhtar to leave from defeat, but the desire to play to the end the Pitmen are worthy of respect.
The moment Kovalenko goal of Junior Moraes and the “icing” on the cake of yesterday’s match, the appointment of 11-meter for a flagrant foul théophile-Catherine on Patova, is not the fruit of coincidence. Shakhtar quite purposefully and thoughtfully organized, the final RAID on the opponent’s defense, and the surprise of many wavered. In fact, in stoppage time, the Pitmen created three of the above moment, and each of them turned out good. When the hell was that?!
All this is a manifestation of nature, as well as the notorious European experience, which at the right moment took advantage of Shakhtar. If even ten or fifteen years ago, the Pitmen are often lost victory or a draw at the last minute, now learned how to make them. In his time in the “Manchester United” there was such a term as “fergie time” in the current Champions League, Shakhtar have their own strong point to call it “Castro-time” or otherwise is pure biased choices, but more importantly, after a visit to Zagreb, the Pitmen are still in the game.
As this season’s Champions League, Shakhtar have issues and bugs, but the team is able to find the strength and desire to correct them. However, I want to believe that in the remaining two rounds, the Pitmen will stop playing on the nerves of their own fans, and amuse them not only character and ability to get out of difficult situations, but a really quality game with the obligatory achievement of an acceptable result.
Alexey Levchenko, especially for terrikon.com