A review on last wednesday’s match between Shakhtar and Dortmund after 3 days of match is still hot, because football world is not thought of looking into this match because of high profile match between Real Madrid and Manchester United at same time. All are still busy in finding adjectives for Ronaldo’s header and how Manchester contained Madrid’s attack at their home turf. That gave time to analyze and write on this match.
Dortmund visited Shakthar for first leg of Champions League round 16 after a 1-4 home loss against Hamburg. Meanwhile Shakhtar’s last competitive game happened 70 day’s back in same ground, same tournament against Juventus with a 1-0 defeat that put them as runner up in their group. 70 day’s is a big gap especially if your first match is a demanding Champions League tie. They organised some friendlies this year, but match fitness from these games is a question mark. By the end of match, wear and tear was visible in face of their players.
Shakhtar’s Game plan:
Shakthar formed a 4-2-3-1 formation. Bubschman and Fernandinho provided protection for back for from youthful Dortmund attack. Right back Srna supported Teixeira in attack from right wing putting left back Rat at the back line to cover his foray into attack. Taison did all by his own from left side and looking for options inside the pitch due to lack of push upside from Rat. While attack Fernandinho joined Mkhitaryan in attack. But have to say absence of creativity in centre a concern for Lucescu. A defense splitting pass, a good through ball to Adriano missed all the match from Shakhtar. Adriano went invisible entire match other than winning a silly foul from Santana to help Srna score a goal from freekick. Though Srna showd courage to join attack, his corner’s and crosses were as awful as their buildup in attack from back. Chygrynsky, Rakitsky, Rat all had to resort in longball towards forward line to bypass pressure from Dortmund’s forward line high up the pitch. Space left by Srna helped Dortmund to find space behind right back line of Shakhtar, though Dortmund’s attempts were futile. In right wing, Dortmund dominated Rat, due to Taison’s unwillingness to support his left back.
Dortmund’s Game plan:
Dortmund played their usual game. They pressured high up the pitch, transition from defense to attack did swiftly. Gotze, Reus, Blaszykowsky and Lewandowski played their part in attack to create goal scoring opportunities. Gotze especially was in form to assist for their first goal and in creating a glorious opportunity to Lewandowski. Blazcykowsky was another point for Dortmund by being in position to shoot at post from right of penalty box.
Back line should take responsibility in conceding two silly goals. Santana was at fault for committing a silly foul in a dangerous area especially with Adriano not in a dangerous position to concede goal from Srna. And Hummels missing a long ball from Shakhtar’s half for second goal by D’costa. At times, Hummels took risks that could have caused more damage, though hummels responded with a header goal at the dying minutes of match.
Referee Webb was in full control of game except for missing a second yellow card or a straight red card to Fernandinho for an elbow on Blaszcykowsky.
Dortmund is in a good position to advance to next round by getting a high scoring draw. But missed their excellence displayed in group stages against opponents like Madrid, Manchester city.
Shakhtar should find a way to play from the center of pitch to control the game and create more chances. Expecting a 3-1 win for Dortmund in the second leg.
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