Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How not to defend 101: FC Porto x Guimarães

While the analysis of last Saturday's Portuguese Supercup has been detailed elsewhere, there are still a few things to ponder, particularly as far as Guimarães are concerned.

The club from northern Portugal are admittedly operating on a very tight budget and have therefore been forced to resort to free transfers and blooding youths from their own B team - possibly too soon. Even though one match is obviously too little to extrapolate, there are still some mistakes that do not bode well for Rui Vitória's men, particularly due to their repetition. After all, the purpose of pre-season resides (or should reside) in drilling precisely these sorts of behaviours.

In the video below, you can see how FC Porto got their first goal, barely five minutes into the match, following a simple throw-in. As Danilo threw the ball toward Jackson Martínez, his marker immediately followed the Colombian, forcing everyone to re-shuffle accordingly. Martínez's fake left Lucho in the clear - chased by the remaining centre-back - and it was up to the full-back from the opposite side to close up the middle. Starting off a yard or two behind, Licá proved just what he has to offer by easily sprinting past his marker and connecting with Lucho González's precious assist.

A typical match event five minutes into the first of the season and Guimarães found themselves 1v1 while the ball wasn't even in play.

For the second goal, the Guimarães defence once again found themselves at a loss, occupying barely reasonable defending positions. Worse still, not only did the right-winger Varela have all the time in the world to pick the target for his cross, the Guimarães defenders were again presented with a 1v1 situation. Jackson Martínez's aggressive move would do the rest.

While last season's successful cup run was just reward for a spirited second half to the season, Guimarães will need to offer much more than what was on display last Saturday (both defensively and offensively), at the risk of following up a successful season with a more troubled one.

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