Erzgebirge Aue – Dynamo Dresden review

A goalless draw in the Sachsen derby, as losing fear dominated both teams

For the first time in 16 years Erzgebirge Aue and Dynamo Dresden ended the derby without scoring any goals. The two offensive lines offered a very poor performance, but the defensive lines proved solid most of the time.

Hannes Drews started with an ultra defensive formula, 5-1-2-2 against the ball and 3-1-4-2 on the ball. Veteran Tiffert surprisingly played in the middle of the defensive line and not in midfield. Reese, a destroyer, played in front of the defensive line, in order to block any backward movement from Testroet, while Fandrich and Nazarov were placed at his sides, but a little more advanced. The attacking duo was formed by Köpke and Bertram, so no surprises there.

Uwe Neuhaus didn’t have any last minute change of mind and sent the expected first eleven in a  4-4-2 system.

Aue started extra careful, with most of the players in their own half against the ball. They quickly overcrowded the area where the opponent had possession, showing a very aggressive attitude. This way they didn’t allow Dynamo space for offensive passes; if they couldn’t conquer the ball this way, the purple whites had no restraint to foul their opponents, usually far from the goal. Aue’s build up play was very slow in the early minutes, as 4-5 players were rarely advancing in the guest’s half. Nazarov was the only one who tried offensive solutions, with low passes, but the options were limited, as there were not enough teammates in attack. The distance between the midfield and attack lines was too big, so Aue was forced to try several long passes.

The guests tried an advanced pressing in the beginning, in order to quickly regain possession, to dictate the tempo, but this was impossible in the highly congested area in the last 30 meters. They finally accepted Aue’s style of play and used long passes, as well. But their attacking duo couldn’t win any important aerial duels. Testroet dropped a few times, in order to create space for his colleague, but this proved mission impossible as he entered Reese’s area and was unable to play the ball efficiently. The guests couldn’t create any danger from the set pieces either, as the hosts’ defense easily cleared the ball.

Dynamo seemed vulnerable to the forward runs from Aue’s midfield line, as both Fandrich and Nazarov had appeared unmarked in the box, but had only created half chances from acute angles. Hartmann didn’t drop with them, so the central defenders were outnumbered. The first good scoring chance was recorded after Hartmann’s misplaced pass in midfield. Köpke received and started the counterattack, but Bertram needed too much time on the ball inside the penalty area and finished poorly. Dynamo’s offensive actions mainly took place on the left wing, with Benatelli roaming in that area to create numerical advantage. No danger developed from any of those actions. On the other side, Kreuzer tried several crosses from deep positions, as Berko didn’t help him much. All that time, Aue remained faithful to their initial tactical idea – deep and aggressive defending, no risks forward, just long balls on the strikers immediately after regaining possession.

Neuhaus made his first move after only 40 minutes, when Mlapa replaced poor Berko, also in yellow-red danger. The massive striker surprisingly played on the right wing, although a central position seemed more appropriate to fight with the strong home side defenders. Aue moved the lines up in the final minutes of the first half, Nazarov played between the opponents’ lines, but the home side couldn’t create danger – the passes were still slow, risk free.

The beginning of the second half was marked by the first real offensive action from the guests. A high paced attack on the right side, with Koné creating space for Mlapa, but the latter’s shot from acute angle went into the outside net. A wake up call for the away side? Rather for the home team. Aue played with advanced lines and tried to increase the tempo. All attacks searched Nazarov, who always tried to find space to receive the ball in the opposite half. It was Dynamo trying to create a high density in their defense at that time and prevent the opponent to find solutions. Heise and Kreuzer played closer to the central defenders, narrowing down spaces, while the wingers closed down Aue’s wing backs.

The guests were extremely dangerous after a right free kick taken by Kreuzer. Ballas’ header was deflected by Cacutalua centimeters wide. Aue’s reaction came after only a few minutes, also from a free kick close to the central line. Dynamo’s defense couldn’t clear too far and Nazarov tried his luck from very long range, half right, saved by Schwäbe.

Probably knowing the results from the other matches, which were aggravating his team’s situation, Hannes Drews finally risked after 87 minutes, with Bunjaku replacing Fandrich. Aue played in a more offensive 3-4-3 system. The higher number of purple white offensive players, three strikers plus Nazarov on the ten, kept Dynamo’s central midfielders closer their defensive colleagues. This offered Reese more space and time on the ball in midfield and he was the one to initiate the last and most dangerous home side attack. Nazarov finished the left cross with a shot on target, from the edge of the area, but Schwäbe showed his class with a great parade. The final minutes found Aue in the opposite half sending several crosses into the box, cleared by the away defense.

In the end, both teams had to settle for the point, increasing the relegation drama of next weekend’s last round.

Key scenes

22nd min: Aue benefits from a bad pass from Hartmann at the central line and Köpke initiates the counter attack. He easily dribbles past Kreuzer, who tried to close him down, and passes into space, half right, to Bertram. The latter doesn’t shoot with the first touch, delays the attack enough to allow Franke and Ballas to block the path for a shot at the far post. So, Bertram’s only option is a shot at the near post, where Schwäbe is well positioned and easily catches the ball.

49th min: First consistent attack from the guests. Mlapa regains possession in midfield after Nazarov’s failed first touch. Kreuzer, on the right, and Koné, dropping deep to receive, help the massive striker with two passing options, creating a triangle. The ball goes to the Senegalese, who needs 2 touches to pass it to Kreuzer on the right, although he is in a 1v2 situation. Meanwhile, Mlapa runs into the space created by Koné and received the first touch pass from Kreuzer, who doesn’t allow his opponent, Hertner, any time for reaction. Tiffert realizes he is too far for a tackle, so tries to decrease Mlapa’s shooting angle as much as possible. He succeeds and the ball goes at the near post from acute angle, into the outside net. Männel was well positioned and ready to intervene in case of an on target shot.

80th min: Right free kick for SG Dynamo. Kreuzer sends the ball on the 6 yards line, Ballas heads it towards the target, but the ball takes a deflection from Cacutalua’s head on the opposite corner, centimeters wide. Männel was powerless at this header.


86th min: Free kick from Aue, close to the central line. Tiffert takes it poorly and Horvath clears from in front of the penalty box. His clearance is short, at Nazarov. Aue’s midfielder tries his luck from very long range. The shot is well placed, but not powerful, so Schwäbe deflects it over the crossbar with his fingertips.


91st min: Reese takes advantage of huge space as he advances in the opposite half and sends a perfect pass on the left to Munsy. The cross goes at the edge of the area, as Kreuzer couldn’t block, at Nazarov, who doesn’t waste any time and shoots, forcing Schwäbe to his best save of the afternoon. Testroet tried to put pressure on Aue’s midfielder, but not enough to disturb his shot.

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