Defensive errors and wasted chances in the north-German derby Sunday once again cost Hamburg dearly as two goals from Hannover’s Leon Andreasen and Artur Sobiech were enough to see off Mirko Slomka’s Hamburg side. Hamburg club directors looked far from happy as they watched their side once again self-destruct and there could be serious talks to come with the manager.
Wringing the changes doesn’t always work
Coming into Sunday’s MatchDay 3 contest Hamburg headman Slomka, who coached Hannover for almost four years, was ruthless in his team selection, bringing in seven new players, including new signings Lewis Holtby, Julian Green and Nicolai Müller. The wisdom of these changes surely has to be questioned when Slomka only had a few days to work with the players due to the international break. The most surprising change was replacing goalkeepeer René Adler with Jaroslav Drobný, who looked nervous straight from the kick-off; he struggled to cope with an early free-kick from Miiko Albornoz and could only palm it to Joselu who hit it just wide on the half volley. Adler also repeatedly over hit his goal kicks to the frustration of his teammates, thought one goal kick nearly resulted in an assist for Drobný as it went straight to Müller who should’ve scored but dragged it wide when he was one-on-one with Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler.
Of the new signings it was Pierre-Michel Lasogga, who played on loan to the red shorts last season, who was the most dangerous. Müller rarely affected the game whilst Green was substituted after being pretty much non-existent save for one chance inside the box where he should’ve done better. Lewis Holtby didn’t affect the game enough in the attacking areas of the pitch, though this was partly due to the fact that he wasn’t receiving the ball very often and was repeatedly playing between the centre-backs just so he could get a touch of the ball. In the last ten minutes or so he finally stayed forward and in that period Hamburg were much more dangerous. The former Schalke midfielder supplied a sublime cross for substitute Artoms Rudņevs who headed the ball onto the crossbar. HSV had 18 crosses in the game, but could never come up with a needed goal.
Hamburg’s defensive issues need sorting quickly
Another change by Slomka saw new signing Cleber Reis coming in for Heiko Westermann to partner Johan Djourou after their humiliating loss to SC Paderborn, though the change ,made little difference. For Hamburg’s first goal the ball was crossed in and instead of Leon Andreasen having to battle against a centre-half it was Lewis Holtby, who is much smaller than Andreasen, marking him and Andreasen towered above him to head in. For the second goal Djourou allowed Joselu to steal a march on him from the chipped though ball and this allowed Joselu to set himself before playing the ball across the 6-yard box for Sobiech, who bundled it in.
Hannover’s new signings fitting in well
Although today’s game saw goals from two players who were already at the club from last season, Hannover’s new summer signings made a big impact Sunday. Joselu had the first chance of the game from a free kick that he put just wide and also provided the assist for Artur Sobiech. Along with Sobiech and another new signing, former Ligue 1 attacker Jimmy Briand, it looks like Hannover will have a very good strikeforce this year and should get good service with the likes of Lars Stindl, Leonardo Bittencourt and Hiroshi Kiyotake behind them. Miiko Albornoz was arguably the man of the match, Hamburg never threatened from his side of the defence and the swedish-born Chilean international repeatedly got forward to devastating effect. It was his perfect cross that was headed in by Andreasen. Kiyotake was also important today constantly playing the ball to the two stikers or making devastating runs that the Hamburg defence could not cope with. Even Kenan Karaman, who barely got a game at Hoffenheim, looked ok when he came on for the 96ers, holding the ball up well and producing some nice touches to control the ball.
The signs look ominous for Hamburg and Coach Slomka. Their first three games of the new season, against two newly promited sides in FC Köln and SC Paderborn, as well as a Hannover side that finished in the bottom half last season, have resulted in just one point and no goals. Today, they lost by two goals despite being even in shots taken with Hannover, with Leonardo Bittencourt leading the 96ers with four shots taken and Lasogga attempting three shots for the red-shorts. In their next two games Hamburg face champions Bayern Munich at home followed by a trip to Borussia Mönchengladbach, who have just thrashed FC Schalke Saturday, so things for the floundering club don’t get any easier. Meanwhile, young Turkish coach Tayfun Korfut and his 96ers now sit atop the Bundesliga along with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich, all with 7 points. Korfut’s club’s next two games see them face the two newly promoted sides, Paderborn away and Köln at home, and they will be favourites to win both those games and maintain their heady start..
Hannover: Zieler – Sakai, Marcelo, Schulz, Albornoz – Bittencourt (Briand 88’), Schmiedebach, Andreasen, Kiyotake (Gülselam 81’) – Joselu, Sobiech (Karaman 71’)
Hamburg: Drobný – Diekmeier, Djourou, Cleber Reis, Ostrzolek (Jiráček 60’) – Behrami (Arslan 78’), Holtby, Green (Rudņevs 46’), Müller, Stieber, Lasogga
Header courtesy of spox.com
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