The Ost Derby is one of the biggest derbies in the Eastern parts of Germany. Two of the biggest clubs in the former German Democratic Republic in Dynamo Dresden and Magdeburg had centre stage on Matchday 26 of the 2. Bundesliga. The love/hate relationship between the fans is well noted and these fixtures generally don’t disappoint. When the two sides met early in the season, Magdeburg were able to overturn a two-goal deficit to secure a point in a thoroughly enjoyable game.
Heading into Matchday 26, Magdeburg sat in 15th place, just a point above Duisburg in the relegation play-off spot. Despite having a lighting 2019, Magdeburg are in a slump losing to Sandhausen and Duisburg. Losing to teams in a similar predicament to themselves could come back to bite Magdeburg later in the season.
Dynamo Dresden are in transition; they became the second 2. Bundesliga to employ their third head coach of the season Christian Fiél in the hot seat. They didn’t play on the previous matchday in Fürth due to bad weather in the area. In Fiél’s first game as manager, Dresden fought from two goals down to secure a point at home to Bochum.
This game had the hallmarks of a really special clash of sides looking to clear themselves from the relegation scrap. What we got was a really courageous defensive performance from Magdeburg who found ways to frustrate a much better Dresden side. Both sides were able to hit the scoresheet but Dresden will feel they left points on the table.
Here is our match analysis for Dynamo Dresden and Magdeburg.
In the biggest game of Christian Fiél’s short career, the 39-year-old made a bunch of changes to the side that drew with Bochum. Moussa Koné returned from injury and was thrown into the starting lineup with Erich Berko dropping out of the squad entirely. Sören Gonther also returned to the side in a tactical move for Rico Benatelli with the former dropping into defence. Aias Aosman also made his return to the lineup in attacking midfield with on-loan Borussia Dortmund midfielder Dženis Burnić dropping to the bench.
Michael Oenning swung the axe as he looked to bring Magdeburg back to winning ways. Jan Kirchhoff returned from injury and was placed straight into the starting XI with club captain Nico Hammann dropping to the bench. Björn Rother was brought in at right back with Marius Bülter playing in a more preferred attacking role. Rico Preißinger was dropped. The real issue for Magdeburg was in the final third and the return of Felix Löhemper was welcomed. Still no Christian Beck which is becoming an issue for Magdeburg.
Under Michael Oenning, Magdeburg have applied this philosophy of almost allowing teams to penetrate with numbers until reaching the final third. In any given defensive situation, Magdeburg drop no more than seven players inside their defensive third of the pitch. It’s a strange tactic at glance as build-up play from the back is given time and if anyone can break the first two lines, Magdeburg becomes vulnerable to conceding opportunities. It was pattern through the first half and something to be delved deeply in to.
With possession starting inside Dynamo Dresden’s defensive third, we can already see a structural set-up from Magdeburg. Marius Bülter, Philip Türpitz and Felix Löhkemper being the first line of defence. They aren’t applying much of a press or even attacking the ball carrier, this allows Dresden to pass their way past a weak defensive effort.
As Dresden enter Magdeburg’s half, the expectation is for some sort of press or at least pressure on the playing in possession. Michel Niemeyer is out of possession as the pass is played to Linus Wahlqvist who is able to turn and penetrate the midfield three. Jan Kirchhoff is keeping tabs on Baris Atik who isn’t threatening the play whilst Charles Laprevotte drifts back. Laprevotte could be man-marking Patrick Ebert who has a great amount of space but leaves those responsibilities to Bjorn Röther.
When Moussa Koné takes possession, Dresden are in their final third and probing. At this point, defender Felix Müller looks to challenge Koné with his back to goal. Kirchhoff and Laprevotte are in the vicinity and are now active in the play. Koné does well to pick out Atik how plays the ball quickly to Ebert.
Quick play from Ebert who picks out Aias Aosman who isn’t tightly marked by Dennis Erdmann. Aosman does well to turn and take aim at the Magdeburg goal. A good save required by Giorgi Loria. This became a pattern in the game, Dresden slicing through Magdeburg’s first two defensive tiers before getting away an attempt.
Magdeburg strikes first
With half time fast approaching and Dresden in complete control, Magdeburg would spring the ultimate sucker punch by giving themselves the advantage heading into the break. Great use of quick play down the left-hand side and some questionable spatial awareness by the Dresden’s giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Magdeburg are in possession through Kirchhoff and the midfielder is looking to move the ball quickly. Dresden are sitting quite deep with only three players ahead of possession. Kirchhoff finds Türpitz with enough space to turn and penetrate. Down in the bottom right of the picture is Björn Rother in a bunch of space, he’ll become important later on.
With Türpitz on the charge, Dresden are looking vulnerable with both Bülter and Löhkemper both potential options. Bülter is in the best possession as his opponent Sören Gonther is stepping up to challenge the ball carrier. With space in behind and Wahlqvist out of position, it is the correct ball to play.
Bülter picks up possession at the edge of the area with options limited. Löhkemper would’ve been the first option but he has strayed offside. But Dresden have left the door ajar, five defenders are within the area of Bülter but next to none have noticed to pick up Rother. The right-back is in an unbelievable amount of space and a well-weighted pass to Röther will lead to an opportunity on goal.
The pass is on time to the unmarked Rother who is now challenged by Markus Schubert who has covered the far side of the goal quite well. It’s a fine margin but any shot with power is most likely to either cannon off Schubert and in or will be saved. Röther does extremely well to avoid any potential save and opens the scoring. The basics from a defensive stand point were no existent, a goal that could’ve been avoided had at least one of the defender noticed the danger.
Down a goal on the scoresheet but certainly not out of the contest, Dresden had been the better of the two sides but poor defending cost them. Now in control once again, Dynamo are pressing to level the scores.
Magdeburg are stretched defensively as Dresden begins to attack, a quick ball into Aosman ensures that Magdeburg don’t have a man advantage. The Bosnian international turns and presses forward with possession.
Similar to the goal scored by Magdeburg, the wings aren’t well defended and are exploited. Wahlqvist is making a run and will receive possession from Aosman as a reward for becoming an available option.
Timo Perthel closes down Walhqvist forcing the right back to make a quick decision. He could take the low percentage option by switching the play across the box where there are potentially three Dresden players. Or the Swede could play the ball short.
Walhqvist does the latter and plays the ball to Haris Duljević. But with plenty to do, Duljević takes a touch to open up the shooting lane. Despite his best efforts, good defensive cover by Felix Müller defuses the situation for Magdeburg. The application of using wide areas to stretch the defence was used well by Dresden throughout the match despite not welding a result.
Röser saves the day for Dynamo Dresden
With time starting to go against Dynamo Dresden, Christian Fiél made a change up front to see if it would yield a result. Moussa Koné who had worked hard throughout the match was taken off for Lucas Röser. The 25-year-old’s season has been compromised somewhat by poor form and not being in the plans of the previous manager. But in the biggest game of the season, it was his time to shine and shine he did.
Magdeburg are now taking the precaution of sitting much deeper with a strength in numbers approach. In previous examples, the first line of defence has rarely been pictured in their own half but protecting a one-goal lead all 10 Magdeburg players are inside their own half. Patrick Ebert switches the ball to Baris Atik as Dresden look to stretch out the tight Magdeburg defence.
Atik looks to move the ball quickly and plays it to Patrick Möschl. The half time substitute is immediately greeted by the Magdeburg defence who have shifted towards possession. Without a lot of direct options, Möschl plays back to Atik to reset.
With the return of possession, Atik has created a bit of space between himself and Türpitz. He could play a ball into the area but it would seem almost unlikely a Dresden head gets onto the delivery. Röser is goal side so the weight of the delivery would have to be spot on. Atik could continue to build play through passing the ball around via switching and eventually breaking down the Magdeburg defence.
Atik goes for the former and launches a beautiful ball into the box.
With Röser goal side of Perthel, he gains the advantage. Dennis Erdmann is too late to react to the danger whilst Loria remains on his line. Röser rises like a phoenix from the ashes and heads the ball past a stranded Loria in the Magdeburg goal to spare Dresden’s blushes on derby day.
From the aftermath of an intriguing Ost Derby, it became apparent that if Dresden just had a little more quality in the final third, they would’ve been victorious. Magdeburg allowed Dynamo to come and attack at will but couldn’t stick the ball into the back of the net. A win would’ve done wonders for Dresden and you would say that relegation would almost be out of the question, the catch-up fixture with Greuther Fürth becomes extremely important.
Despite producing a valiant performance, Magdeburg’s production going forward was once again non-existent. They lacked ideas and leadership. In games without club captain Christian Beck they look lost and bereft of any sort of concept going forward. The draw isn’t the worst result but with Sandhausen’s 4-0 win over St. Pauli, they drop into the relegation play-off spot.