Jahn Regensburg – Fortuna Düsseldorf review

Crazy match at Continental Arena – 0-3 after 15 minute, 4-3 in the end

Jahn Regensburg started in the usual 4-2-2-2 with flexible wide men. Fortuna lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The guests played a very smart quarter of hour and were already leading 3-0. How did this happen? Dusseldorf’s captain, Fink, brilliantly played his role, dropping to help the double six, creating a 3v2 midfield advantage for Dusseldorf, but was also the key to connect with the attack. Each time the guests beat Jahn’s pressing, the passes were searching the fast wingers Raman or Usami, or Hennings, who was creating space for forward runs from deep or from the wings. Both full backs were focused on defensive tasks with limited freedom to run forward. All this time Regensburg was simply one step too late, so their aggressive pressing backfired.

Dusseldorf missed huge chances to score the 4th and 5th goal and considered the match won. They acted too unfocused, were suddenly weak in duels, offered Jahn players too much time on the ball in the hot zone and couldn’t make the connection with the midfield after regaining possession.

The hosts didn’t give up, continued playing their usual high pressing game. Knoll advanced several times to midfield and offered balance to Jahn’s build up play, nullifying the guests’ advantage. The result – they scored twice in 3 minutes. A smart idea was also to insist on Dusseldorf’s left side, where Gießelmannn didn’t look good and Raman was always too advanced.

Jahn controlled the game after the break, defended very compact, attacked the opposition early and forced them to play fast with less time to find the optimal solution. The way the hosts covered the field was really impressive, their mileage being 7 km better than Fortuna’s (121.7 – 114.6). Gimber stayed very close to Fink, making him almost invisible and this is one reason why Dusseldorf couldn’t approach the last third.

Most Jahn’s dangerous attacks continued on their right side, matching Dusseldorf’s extremely weak left side – Gießelmannn caught a black day, with lots of errors and almost no support from the left winger (Raman / Lovren). Geipl also appeared on this side to provide numerical advantage and passing option, while Adamyan moved from the left wing to the center, making it 3v3 with Dusseldorf’s left and central backs.

It was shocking poor how the guests defended the set pieces, both goals conceded in the second half coming from such situations. The midfield mainly offered support to the defense and only tried unsuccessful long balls, also because the distance between the lines was too big. Funkel changed the system in the last 15 minutes (4-4-2), after Kujovic entered the field, with Ayhan more advanced, in the ball-playing defender role, but without results.

Key scenes

3rd min: Hennings moves to the left to receive the ball from Fink, Knoll follows him, but is too far and cannot put pressure on him. He plays quickly on the left flank to Raman, unmarked (Saller was advanced after unsuccessfully trying to close Fink down), who, in turn, sends a first touch pass into the path of Fink, who continued his run in the space opened up by Hennings. Gimber follows him, but cannot block the quick pass back to Hennings, who uses the space created by Fink this time, is 1v1 with Pentke and scores – 0-1, after a brilliant attack.


13th min: Hofrath needs too much time on the ball in a dangerous area (for his team), Hennings puts him under huge pressure and Usami regains possession for Dusseldorf. Usami quickly finds the best solution (probably decided before the first touch) and doesn’t need much time on the ball (hwe doesn’t have it anyway). He crosses at the far post from an area where Regensburg was in numerical advantage (3v2), Pentke hesitates and chooses to stay on the line, Saller has no reaction (probably thinks the ball is wide), but Raman is at the end of the cross and has a simple task – 0-2, after several defensive errors from the hosts.


15th min: Dusseldorf clears a corner kick to Hofrath, who again takes too much time on the ball, goes in a 1v2 duel (against Fink and Bodzek) and is easily dispossessed. After a quick pass the ball is received by Neuhaus, who starts the counter attack with a long pass to Usami, in the area left uncovered by Hofrath. With some luck he dribbles past Knoll and sends the ball over on rushing Pentke – 0-3, Dusseldorf’s dream start was perfect, while Regensburg needed a miracle.


21st min: Free kick for the guests’ in Jahn’s half, ~30m distance to goal, slight left – Neuhaus plays a through pass on the right side, at the edge of the penalty box, to Ayhan, who easily dribbles Hofrath and shoots – Pentke is saved by the post.


32nd min: Dusseldorf regains possession in their own half by Hennings, who is followed by Knoll, and manages to escape from the aggressive pressing with quick short passes. The ball arrives at Fink, who starts the counter attack with a forward pass, where Raman and Usami run both in the central area where Nachreiner is alone (Knoll left his defensive position when he followed Hennings). Raman, in turn, sends Usami 1v1 with Pentke, but he doesn’t score. Knoll made a huge effort to recover the lost ground, was close to Usami, although not in a position to attack him, but close enough to put pressure on him and make him lose composure.


37th min: Corner kick for Jahn Regensburg. Knoll sends the ball into the penalty box, where Nietfel fools Ayhan, is quicker and heads the ball to the far post. The ball hits Gimber, who has no reaction and luckily jumps at the feet of Grüttner who must only push it in – 1-3.


38th min: Jahn attacks on the right side with Stolze, who makes Gießelmann look old in a 1v1 duel and crosses at the near post. Nietfeld, who starts his run from a deeper position, is, again, faster than Ayhan and Hoffmann, but his shot at the far post goes centimeters wide. Although Dusseldorf was 4v2 in the center of the penalty area, all defenders were without reaction.


40th min: Jahn attacks again on the right flank, with Saller and Stolze against the unhappy Gießelmann (Raman was too advanced and didn’t support his left side partner). Nietfeld is in the same deep position as in the previous scene, Adamyan moves from left to center without marking confusing the guests’ defense. The cross goes to the 11m spot, Adamyan jumps over the ball, which arrives at Nietfeld. He has enough time to prepare the shot, Wolf has no chance – 2-3. Dusseldorf’s defense stays too close to their own goal, looks very bad, static, without reaction, nobody defends against Adamyan and Nietfeld. Jahn Regensburg is back in the match.


60th min: Dusseldorf is unable to defend a throw in (again) on Gießelmann’s side, Bodzek makes an unnecessary foul in the penalty area at Nietfeld, who is in a harmless position. Knoll takes responsibility and Jahn levels the score – 3-3.


65th min: Free kick for Regensburg at the kick off point, after Gießelmann keeps the ball too long, loses possession and commits foul. Nachreiner plays it long into the opposite box, where Adamyan receives the ball without any pressure from Zimmer, who is positioned too far. He fools Wolf with the first touch and sends the ball in – 4-3, after 0-3. Mission impossible is accomplished for Jahn Regensburg. Horror defending against set pieces for Dusseldorf.


80th min: Free kick for Jahn Regensburg from the right side. Knoll shoots from acute angle, Wolf is surprised, but the ball hits the right post.


82nd min: Gießelmann blunders again, loses the ball close to Fortuna’s penalty area to Sörensen, who quickly crosses at the far post for Grüttner. The latter shoots millimeters wide off target. No time to react from Dusseldorf’s defense.


87th min: Dusseldorf is all out attack, Ayhan is in an advanced position and crosses from deep at the far post. Stolze stays too far from Lovren and the Croat shoots with his first touch, forcing Pentke to a strong parade.

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Serban Ciulei

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