I am going to focus on Germany for the summer and focus on different scenarios, in this case midfield circulation of the ball and defending against it.
Stuttgart has RIM Orel Mangala with the ball, LIM Daniel Didavi to his left and FWD Mateo Klimowicz ahead of him. Both are open. Klimowicz starts to make a run forward and Mangala overhits the pass.
Dynamo’s endless ability to move the ball, retain possession and deny Viktor Skrypnyk’s side advantageous situations with the ball were the parameters of the match throughout. A great Nikola Vaslij in goal for Zorya helped send it into extra time, but the League champions deserved a victory in regulation.
The formations, then. For Dynamo, it was 4–4–2 all the way through:
For Zorya, the formation was their customary 4–3–1–2 until it was changed to 4–3–3 just before Added Extra Time:
Dnipro-1, who, being comfortably mid-table had nothing to play for, played well and had the better of the 1st Half. Zorya edged the 2nd Half, which was abetted by a red card and a penalty. The sense was that Zorya, as the standings indicate, are better than the Europa Conference League contenders (Kolos, Vorksla and Desna) and, in spite or their place in the table, Dnipro-1 might be, too.
Dnipro-1 played a 3–4–1–2 until the red card, where they switched to 3–5–1.
Viktor Skrypnyk’s side lined up in their customary setup: 4–3–1–2.
Oleksandriya-Kolos was a match short on tactical nous, circulation of the ball and only a small interval towards the end (with the score already 0–2) saw the home side show some technical acumen that threatened the 1–2. There’s no way to justify a winner in this one, but Ruslan Kostyshyn won’t mind: his team is in fourth, ahead of Desna Chernihiv and Vorskla Poltava, the other two contenders for the Europa Conference League spots. Given that Kolos Kovalivka are fourth and FK Oleksandriya is comfortably mid-table, more was expected from this match.
Nonetheless, let’s dive right into it. The 4–1–4–1…
Vorskla, Desna and Kolos Kovalivka are in a battle for the two Ukrainian Europa Conference League spots and, after this result in Poltava, Desna have the final spot, ahead of Vorskla only on goal differential! This match had some, but few man advantage situations prevent themselves for either team. When two relatively good teams go at it, however, they have the ability to break deadlocked situations with individual movement or passes. That’s what was on display yesterday.
Here’s the home side’s tactical formation: 3–4–1–2 until, down to 10 men late, 3–4–2. Medium block.
Oleksanr Ryabokon’s side, Desna, set up in…
It was easy to tell that this one was a duel between two teams flirting with relegation. First, there was Mariupol, who had far more passes than Lviv but still relied on more primitive means, e.g. long passes, 1-v-1 and speculative crosses when it came time to break down PFK Lviv. Lviv, for their part, were playing in a low block and relied on infrequent counterattacks to maketheir way towards Mariupol’s goal. Nevertheless, with this win, Anatoliy Bezsmertnyi’s side are out of the relegation discussion and Mariupol are very much in it; the stakes were high.
Mariupol played a 4–2–3–1…
All bets were off on how the champions would play this match with nothing to play for. It was evident early that they would take it quite seriously; they did so from beginning to end. Vorskla’s, in the throws of a battle for a UEFA Europa Conference League spot, disposition was obvious from the beginning.
Vorskla Poltava maintained the same formation throughout: 3–4–2–1. The two center-forwards, circled in turquoise, were done so because they are so far from their customary positions. The playmaker, Ibrahim Kane (20/MLI) is furthest forward in the picture. …
After losing out on their sixth consecutive league title last week, Shakhtar still had to keep Zorya Luhansk at bay and preserve the second and final Champions League spot. Additionally, they had to present a good image that would remove the bad taste of last week’s insipid performance away to Oleksandriya. They did both.
Here’s Shakhtar Donetsk’s formation, 4–3–3, which they preserved until late in the match when they went to 4–1–4–1.
This is the formation that Dnipro-1 used throughout the match: 4–2–3–1.
2–2 and a Desna comeback from 0–2: what does it mean that it’s not good way to showcase the Ukrainian Premier League? And why is it a good one for the next season’s inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League? First, this was a tactically mediocre match. It’s no secret that, beyond Shakhtar, Dynamo, Zorya and Vorskla Poltava, there’s oftentimes a decline in the tactical acumen of the teams playing. This was true in yesterday’s match. But, in the Europa Conference League, which pits the “best of the rest” from medium level leagues with the best that lower leagues have to offer…