I don’t usually do post-match stuff, usually because I don’t have a lot to say, and in general I say whatever I have to say during the game (and for that matter you might as well help yourself to the in-match comments below). But this game serves as a sort of prototype of football a lo Sevilla for me, so I thought I’d say a few things. (Click through! There’s a diagram!)
First of all, what do I mean by prototype? Well, let’s look at this graphic, which was our starting 11’s average position at 54′ (the time doesn’t matter, other than that it is shortly after our kick-ass first half). It’s important to note that this isn’t a snapshot of the players at any given moment, it’s just their average position on the field up to this point in the game.
A few things I’d like to point out, starting from the back and moving forward:
–Our CB’s are right where you’d expect, and both fullbacks have been pushing up. But look at Navarro over there on the left: he’s up ahead of DZ, and is averaging more time in their half than ours. You can pretty much sum up the first half with #5’s position: we controlled possession and the ball, and were thus able to impose our will from the back line up.
–Then there’s DZ, and his relative position to Romaric. Whether you see it as symptom of our domination or of Romaric and DZ’s understanding, look at how DZ is sitting deep to put out fires/help out defensively and Romaric is up higher on the pitch, nearly even with Negredo’s average position. This has to be pretty much the ideal way a 4-4-2 diamond should look, and it’s really encouraging to see those two work so well together, especially if you can recall too many games this season where the two CM’s are too near each other, tripping over each other, and playing really poor passes to each other that gain us nothing or lose us possession. Also notable, Romaric has drifted left, where Navarro and Perotti have been wreaking havoc on the left. Nice.
–Speaking of Perotti, this graphic does a great job of demonstrating what we all already know: our wingers love to get forward and we as a team love to move the ball out wide and then into dangerous positions. Duh, you already know that, but our wingers are on average as deep as our deepest forward, LuFa. Again, the point is we were able to do exactly what we wanted to do.
–Finally, the relative position of Negredo to LuFa shows, in my opinion, one of the great things about number 18: he works hard, never hesitates to come deep to help out with defense or to support possession in the midfield, and despite a clear nose for goal is quite adept at finding the hole in the defense that allows him to receive the ball and play the final killer pass.
Again, in some ways this is all sort of self-evident, but I guess my point is that, whether due to great play by us or a weak opponent (or both), today we were a picture of a good, tactically sound and disciplined team. We kept our shape, stayed compact, and were able to get our danger-makers into high, aggressive places. Well done, team. Obviously, scoring goals is great, and we have at times seemed incapable of that recently (including…last week against Espanyol for example), but to me that problem is a much smaller deal than midfield disorganization and inability to keep possession. And with each match, that seems increasingly like a problem that’s in the past. And with the three forwards we have, if we can do what we did today, the goals will come.
All that boring talk, and I don’t even mention LuFa’s hat trick?!? Here are some highlights with GOALS and stuff.
Kind of a big game on Wednesday (which I will miss so that I can discuss the implications and difficulties of long-term health care policy in the United States. Boo, not seeing this REALLY BIG GAME. Boo.). I’ll post some of the stuff they did at the stadium today to hype the game a little later in the week. ¡¡¡Vamos mi Sevilla!!!