The 2. Bundesliga seasons is entering its final phases with the league poised for a close finish at both ends of the table. Two sides who wouldn’t have expected to avoid relegation this season were MSV Duisburg and Ingolstadt and on Matchday 28 of the season, they sit 17th and 18th respectively.
Duisburg were unbeaten in their previous four contests but only had one victory to show for that. This was a 1-0 victory over Magdeburg back on Matchday 25, but despite keeping three clean sheets in those matches it was a very overwhelming statistic. Duisburg haven’t been playing well but have found ways to grind out results.
Ingolstadt, on the other hand, had been the worst team in the 2. Bundesliga over the previous five matches. In that spell, Ingolstadt lost all five fixtures which saw Jens Keller axed on Tuesday morning. His replacement comes in the form of Tomas Oral who over eight seasons ago was in charge of this very club.
With two sides in desperate need of points, we saw both sides look to push the attacking tempo. Both Duisburg and Ingolstadt were ordinary defensively but it was the visitor’s ability to convert the chances presented which saw Oral secure his first win at the first time of asking.
Here is the tactical analysis of Ingolstadt’s 4-2 away victory over Duisburg.
Torsten Lieberknecht made a few changes to the Duisburg side which secured a 0-0 away at St. Pauli. Stanislav Iljuchenko returned up top to replace John Verhoek whilst Moritz Stoppelkamp comes into midfield with Lukas Fröde dropping to the bench. It was also a debut for Duisburg for Joseph Baffoe who finally makes his first appearance after dealing with injuries. He was a favourite of Lieberknecht’s during his time at Eintracht Braunschweig. Baffoe replaced Gerrit Nauber.
In his first game in charge of Ingolstadt, Oral made just a couple of changes to the team which fell to Sandhausen last time out. Striker Stefan Kutschke made his first start since November with Thomas Pledl dropping to the bench. Experienced defender Mergim Mavraj was dropping in favour of right back Phil Neumann. This saw a reshuffle in defence with Björn Paulsen partnering Jonathan Kotzke in central defence. Marcel Gaus is the last change and he slots into midfield for Christian Träsch.
Lezcano breaks the deadlock
With the scores deadlocked after half an hour, Ingolstadt had showcased a willingness to play on the counter and utilise the wide spaces. At this point, Duisburg had been in control but not particularly dominant. Dario Lezcano has been of little effect but he will be called into action.
As the ball is in dispute, Robin Krauße is in a one on one battle with Duisburg midfielder Tim Albutat. In a position which isn’t favourable, Krauße is able to win his battle with Albutat and move possession outside the area in the hope of a presenting option.
Krauße has drawn company in his efforts to leave the 18-yard-box. On the top right, right back Neumann has made a dashing run down the wing to not only become an option but also make a play into the area. Krauße is able to hit Neumann in stride who takes possession.
Neumann has three options in the box in Kutschke and Lezcano with Sonny Kittel just inside the area unmarked. Lezcano is marked by Baffoe whilst Kutschke has lost his direct opponent in Enis Harji. Duisburg are defensively in trouble and a quick, decisive ball into a dangerous area by Neumann can lead to a scoring opportunity.
The ball in by Neumann is delightful, it catches the Duisburg defence at sixes and sevens. Lezcano has got plenty of space on his opponent Baffoe as he heads the ball towards goal. Goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald has his near post well covered but Lezcano’s header is perfect, beating the on-loan shot-stopper at his back post to give Ingolstadt the lead.
Magic after the break
Duisburg had a largely inefficient first half and were ultimately punished by Lezcano’s opener. But after a rousing team talk at half time, Duisburg wasted no time levelling the score just 17 seconds into the second half. Similar to Ingolstadt’s opener, quick delivery from the right flank and Iljuchenko this time losing his defender and giving Duisburg their equaliser.
As we get underway, Duisburg look to get forward with numbers. Ingolstadt have both strikers pressing close to the final third of the pitch. Hajri is in possession and plays the ball to his right with Baffoe creating width.
Baffoe brings the ball up close to halfway and makes a relatively low percentage play towards Cauly Oliveria Souza who is surrounded by three Ingolstadt players. The Duisburg winger only has two options, play the ball back to Baffoe or take on the defenders and make something happen. Pablo Otavio is pressing high on Souza, if the Brazilian can turn he can take advantage of the space in behind.
Souza does just that and is now charging down the right-hand side and is ready to play the ball in. Havard Nielsen joins Stoppelkamp and Iljuchenko inside the area and already we can see Ingolstadt all over the place defensively. Kotzke isn’t marking anybody in particular whilst Paulsen is tight on Nielsen. Neumann has to come over to mark Iljuchenko which leave Stoppelkamp unmarked at the back post.
The ball in is perfect by Souza, plenty of pace and great weight into the six-yard box. Ingolstadt keeper Philipp Tschauner has chosen to stay on his line which would be understandable if the ball was delivered closer to the penalty spot. You’d prefer to see the keeper take greater command of his area. Due to the poor marking, Neumann is unable to make up ground on Iljuchenko who heads the ball into the back of the net.
Issues dealing with crosses
From the opening two goals of the game from Lezcano and Iljuchenko, both sides had real issues defending crosses and set pieces. This became a theme throughout this contest and although the scoreline ended 2-4, it could’ve been even more thanks to some horrendous defending and poor goalkeeping. There are multiple scenarios from both sides that should’ve led to goals, it’s worth looking at the marking and the decision making by those between the sticks.
Just after conceding the opening goal, Ingolstadt have a set-piece close to the visiting fans end. Immediately from the set-up, Ingolstadt are heading towards the front post with three players in the vicinity. One player is on the goalkeeper. What is bizarre about the marking from Duisburg is that nobody is really defending the Ingolstadt player who is on Wiedwald. If there was, then he isn’t goal side. Gaus is at the back post in this situation and is given plenty of space by his defender.
As Kittel delivers the ball to the near post, Wiedwald is able to punch the ball away. However, not to safety. Gaus is ready to react whilst a bunch of Duisburg defender are caught ball watching.
Gaus volleys the ball in mid-air but fails to hit the target. A golden opportunity and whilst the level of difficulty in the shot attempt was evident he should’ve done better.
Midway through the second half Duisburg would have a similar opportunity which should’ve led to a goal to the hosts. Unlike the previous scenario, the goalkeeper is at fault and is fortunate that Duisburg failed to capitalise.
We start close to the touchline, Wolze and Stoppelkamp interplay well which allows the latter space to cross the ball in. A cross to the near post is a low percentage effort and would be easily snuffed out by the Ingolstadt defence. But towards the back post, Duisburg have a number of good options that can make a play on the ball.
Stoppelkamp plays the ball towards the back post where Baffoe has beaten his opponent to the spot of the ball. He is in great position head the ball on goal. As mentioned in Duisburg’s goal, Tschauner stayed on his line and that decision made the goal easy pickings for Iljunchenko. This time, the Ingolstadt shot-stopper looks to make a play on the ball. However, he has completely misjudged the flight of the ball giving Baffoe an open net.
Baffoe fails to convert and hits the frame of the goal. Verhoek looks to pick up the pieces but misses wide. Perhaps Tschauner’s attempt to parry did enough to distract Baffoe’s attempt on goal.
Baffoe’s tough Duisburg debut
In the final stages of the match, Duisburg are pressing high up the pitch to score an equalising goal. But with the lack of numbers, Ingolstadt have plenty of space to take advantage of Duisburg’s non-existent defence.
Kittel has possession and with no real options going forward he plays wide to Neumann who makes himself an option. With nobody near him, Neumann can asses the situation before making a decision.
Neumann sees two Ingolstadt players attacking the space and looks to play a long ball. However, his delivery allows the Duisburg defenders to influence the play. Kutschke does well to win his one on one battle and heads the ball into space where Pledl is.
Unfortunately, Pledl is offside and is close to influencing the play, the linesman could lift the flag for offside but chooses not too. Baffoe is near the ball but is indecisive on whether to take possession. That momentary lapse of indecisiveness allows Kittel to take possession.
Baffoe is still in a good position to affect the play thanks to his body position. In theory, he would force Kittel wide, making him wait for support or forcing him to shoot a low percentage shot close to Wiedwald’s near post. However, Kittel does magnificently well and turns Baffoe inside out. With Baffoe’s back to Kittel the Ingolstadt midfielder takes aim and scores brilliant to restore Ingolstadt’s two goal advantage.
It was a difficult debut for Baffoe, he was at fault for the opening goal scored by Lezcano. Baffoe would also give away a penalty on the hour mark which was Lezcano’s second. Finally, Kittel’s goal moments before the 90 capped off a tough debut for Baffoe.
In the context of the season, this was a massive win for Ingolstadt who move ahead of Duisburg. Magdeburg play Hamburger SV on Monday whilst Sandhausen were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Paderborn. Had Ingolstadt lost on Saturday, it would’ve been a near impossible task of survival but now they are back in the hunt.
The defeat hurts Duisburg immensely although they do have a game in hand. Unfortunately, it’s against the league leaders Köln. If the pressure wasn’t already on Lieberknecht, another defeat could see Duisburg make a change at manager. With six games remaining, both teams are still in a precarious position. Relegation is very much a possibility.