Case Study: Rubin Kazan 0-0 Lokomotiv Moscow 20/5/2011

Case Study: Rubin Kazan 0-0 Lokomotiv Moscow 20/5/2011

Yuri Krasnozhan led his Lokomotiv side into their game against the inconsistent Rubin Kazan heading the table, but ended up looking the worse off of the two teams.

Both sides lined up in what were broadly 4-2-3-1 formations, although Cristian Noboa was playing noticeably higher up the pitch for Rubin than the other defensive midfielder Bebars Natkho.

The teams started the game in a similar fashion, pressing a lot, which resulted in lots of sloppy mistakes due to the poor pitch.

Despite being the less familiar side to the poor playing surface, Rubin were the first to settle into control of possession, although they rarely managed to get far into the Lokomotiv half. Noboa ended up dropping deeper in an attempt to move the ball up the pitch, but they still didn’t look dangerous.

Rubin’s more effective way of attacking was hitting long balls forward, with central defender Cesar dropping much deeper in possession to give himself time to hit it long. This didn’t do much to start with, but once Lokomotiv settled in possession, there was more space left in behind them to hit the ball into. Aleksei Medvedev was mostly too slow to take advantage, but it looked quite effective when the ball was hit down the flanks.

Rubin could have done better with someone like Maicon leading their line, who would have been pacy enough to get behind Lokomotiv. With little service, he was generally not much use for Lokomotiv, however his happiness to drift left or drop deeper once he had been involved in play opened up space for other players.

As alluded to, Lokomotiv were generally pretty ineffective going forward, and their defensive effectiveness was mixed: a few examples aside, their offside trap was well-drilled and, if they managed to push several Rubin players wide, their pressing worked, but Rubin  were pretty comfortable overall.

In the second half, Loskov was replaced by Stanislav Ivanov, changing to more of a 4-1-4-1, meaning no man was spare in midfield, and sitting much deeper. The change to a more defensive style by Lokomotiv sadly killed off the game, with very little happening for the remainder of the game.

The line-up diagram is wrong. It was Dmitri Sychev who started, not Stanislav Ivanov, which also effects the positioning of some Lokomotiv attackers.

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