Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Group A Russia v Poland Post Match Analysis

RUSSIA 1 - 1 POLAND
Dzagoev, 37                   Kuba, 56


Russia start off in a 4-3-3 shape Russia starting 11:
GK: Malafeev, LB: Zhirkov, CB: Ignashevich, CB: Berezutski, RB: Anyukov, DCM: Denisov, CM: Zyryanov, CM: Shiorkov, LFW: Arshavin, ST: Kerzhakov, RFW: Dzagoev.

SUBS USED: Kerzhakov / Pavlyuchenko 69, Dzagoev / Izmailov 79.

Poland start off in a 4-1-4-1 shape Poland Starting 11:
GK: Tyton, LB: Boenisch, CB: Perquis, CB: Wasilewski, RB: Piszczek, DM Dudka, CM: Murawski, CM: Polanski, LFW: Obraniak,  RFW: Blaszczykowski (Kuba) ST: Lewandowski.

SUBS USED: Dudka / MIerzejewski 73, Polanski / Matuschyk 85, Obraniak / Bozek 93.

WHY WHO AND HOW
Russia go into this game with the same starting eleven that started so well in the first. Poland have made a slight tactical change, dropping Rybus and bringing on Dudka to guard the defence, he will add a bit more support in the middle as Smuda will know how dangerous Russia can be in that zone. Obraniak will move to the left wing but is likely to drift infield, the only other change would be the suspended Szczesny making room for penalty hero Tyton. 

In the middle:
This is where the action was. The "wide players" for both teams spent their time in the centre. Dudka stayed in front of the back line, only worrying about the defensive side while Polanski and Murawski  made it very tough for Russia. They all worked hard as a unit pressing and cutting off  passes through the middle. Murawski and Polanski pushed forward and the latter was unlucky with the disallowed goal, it was a good bit of play he just went too early. Poland's problem was that they wanted to attack too fast and were sloppy with their passing at times in tight areas, Denisov did his job well today, always being available  in both half's, he made some really good passes when he joined the attack late, although he wasn't closed down that often in deep areas and was used to keep the ball moving. He was the reason Russia had so much  possession of the ball.Without the ball he covered for team mates when hit on the counter, intercepted well and did a lot of work nullifying Poland's right side. Zyryanov and Shiorkov were also good today. Zyryanov showed a lot of energy and closed down well, whilst Shiorkov found himself drifting around a bit more which led him to be more advanced than Dzagoev at times, along with finding space to produce some key passes. Russia can be lethal when they win the ball back -they are experts at playing fast little triangles up the pitch. A lot of credit should go to Poland and their "rocky defence" for keeping them at bay in open play. 


Wing Play:
Russia's full backs Zhirkov and Anyukov played high up the pitch for a large part of the game, the pair were always going forward at the same time. They stretched play well when Arshavin and Dzagoev came inside and were always available to relieve pressure. Arshavin did well on the outside, beating his man a few times when Russia won the ball back to start quick counters, however, when he was inside his use of the ball wasn't great. Dzagoev made a well-timed deep run for his goal and this was a big part of his game when in open play too, he played very narrow and in-between the lines and he was always conscious of his defending duties, closing down well.

Kuba's goal was well taken, it started with 
Obraniak, who was meant to be on the left but didn't spend too much time out there as he floated inside for must of the match (as did Kuba). On this attack, he picked the ball up in the centre, driving forward well and playing a lovely ball inside Zhirok which Kuba took excellently with his right, knocking it in field and across the defender before he hit a sweet left foot shot into the far side netting. 


Up Top:
Kerzhakov was fantastic with his movement yet again, he added the danger of getting in behind along with being comfortable when coming deep or off the left wing. He will be kicking himself tonight; never has one man had so many shots off target. This is unfortunate as he could well have been the golden boot winner by now. Lewandowski had it hard today as he was surrounded by defenders at all times. He might have spent a bit more time then he would have liked with his back to goal but he did a good job at passing the ball off and he showed again today what a great touch he possesses. 


Full Time: 
Both teams defended well. They made it hard for each other, though both will feel they could have taken the three points. For all the possession and good play Russia had, they only managed two shots on target, which was obviously not helped by Kerzhakov's form in front of goal at the moment. With the way the team is playing as a unit, if he gets it right they could be dangerous, but first of all they will have to get out of the group. Poland looked quite strong defensively and showed that the other teams should be careful of their counter-attack, and if they can cut out the sloppy balls, they could just stay in this competition a little longer. The group of life has turned into the group of death and I'm sure as hell not going to miss the next round of matches.

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