Continues the hot form PSV faced Fortuna Sittard at home last Sunday and with the win by 2-0 hit the top of the Eredivisie along with Feyenoord. The match was very conservative and the winning could have been easier if Fortuna hadn’t played a consistent match.
This tactical analysis will trace how Fortuna gave a hard time to PSV by exploring the gaps in the opponent’s defence. We’ll take a look at the statistics and how the low intensity, especially in the second half, could be an obstacle to PSV dethrone Ajax from the title.
Lineups and formations
PSV’s manager Roger Schmidt didn’t make many changes in their main squad. The team started the match with only one change: Nick Viergever replaced the former Bundesliga player, Philipe Max, on the left side-back.
In a 4-4-2 formation with some variations, the most common to attack in this match was a line of back three with Jordan Teze, O. Boscali and N. Viergever. In other moments we noticed Viergever attacking the left and Thomas or Rosario forming the line of the back. Harzavi and Mallen were coming and going between the attack and the middle zone creating spaces in Fortuna’s defence.
The away team came with a 4-3-1-2 formation very clear and compact. Defending and attacking the tactics for the team was to quickly build the offensive using speed in the counter-attack. The attacking trident M. Seuntjens, Lisandro Semedo and S. Polter made PSV’s goalkeeper work hard.
Fluctuation in PSV’s attack
The first half develops with PSV creating a few chances and four goals invalidated by VAR. PSV started the match with full speed and opened the score before the 6th minute. The first goal was a result of the fluctuation of Malen and Zahavi in PSV’s attack.
The manager Roger Schmidt is taking advantage of the technical quality of the new sign Zahavi as a ball possesser to produce fluctuation movements between him and Mallen. In the image below we see Zahavi positioned as a midfielder receiving the ball in the free space. Malen, the other striker, use his speed to run towards the area to receive the ball clear for the goal.
In the second half Madueke replaced Zahavi and Mallen was seeing more in the middle. The low intensity of PSV also made the player return to receive more the ball in the free space. In the image below we see a frame of a well-constructed chance of a goal. Malen receives the ball in the middle with clear room to think and create the offensive chance. He moves to the right, pass the ball to Hendrix in the middle and run towards the area in the opposite direction. His movement created space to conclude on goal.
Fortuna attacking spaces
After suffering the first goal, Fortuna started to control the ball and progress in the pitch. In the image below we see their high positioning not allowing PSV to build their offensive transition on the ground.
With the defence compact and tight in the pitch, Fortuna left the flanks for PSV. They took advantage of the space behind the fullbacks to explore the counter-attack. Retrieving the ball and quickly building the offensive transition, we noticed in the frame below how Semedo and Polter have the liberty to fluctuate to any attacking position. The image shows Semedo giving a future point long pass and then running the opposite side of Polter.
Fortuna was able to create a few chances. It was 15 shots on goal being 10 shots on the first half. Fortuna had 38 attacks with 29% of them resulting in a shot on goal.
With PSV’s low intensity, especially in the second half, Fortuna was persistent to find spaces in the back of PSV’s defence. In the image below we can see that many times PSV defending with two players in the last line giving clear room to Fortuna’s attacking players on the wings.
The low intensity of PSV allowed Fortuna to have much space to progress. Their xG on the match was 2.07 against 1.00 of PSV. Fortuna had 25% of positional attacks ending in shots on goal. Another frame of the match we can see below. Seuntjens receives the ball with no defender close to prevent the progress and the shot.
Mvogo made very good interventions to keep the clean sheet and secure the wining for PSV.
Roger Schmidt reinforce his predilection for strong and rapid defenders. Jordan Teze has been fixed as central defender despite the fact he was a right-back. The quick actions and intensity of the player have been seen in the matches.
Teze had 91% of passing accuracy and was responsible for 17 recoveries with 71% of defensive duels won on the match. His defending partner Boscali performed even better. 20 recoveries and 23 (75%) duels won in the defence.
The fullback mind of Teze plays in his favour. The player is constantly occupying the right side position in the defence giving support to the attacks of Dumfries, the right-back speculated in Milan. His heatmap below shows the importance of a good position covering when the team attack on the flank.
With PSV’s offensive construction Teze and Boscali helped to open the field wide and be an option pass in the right side. In the image below we see Ryan Thomas in the middle of the defence and Teze receiving the ball with space to find the forward pass.
Fortuna’s gave a hard time to PSV and the tactics presented here gives the team better hope to keep its momentum going. The manager K. Hofland has room for improvement and there’s technical quality to develop their skills.
After defeating Rosenborg in the Europa League last week, PSV’s continue it’s good shape to improve the team towards the objectives. We saw in this match analysis the team still showing some deep gaps in the defence. The manager Roger Schmidt must keep improving those issues if don’t want to face more troubles ahead.