Separated by only 47 kilometres, Arminia Bielefeld and SC Paderborn took part in an important 2. Bundesliga contest on Friday night. Paderborn have climbed their way into second place heading into the matchday thanks to an almighty slip up by Hamburger SV whilst Arminia Bielefeld have little to play for with no threat of relegation. This tactical analysis will reveal how this encounter panned out.
Paderborn control their own destiny in the race for automatic promotion places but the question is whether they can take ownership of second place. Over the course of the season, sides have lasted the test of time in second place with multiple changes taking place.
Arminia Bielefeld haven’t reached the same heights they did last season under Jeff Saibene, but the road to recovery under former Dynamo Dresden manager Uwe Neuhaus at least gives fans optimism heading into next season. With their status in the league all but confirmed, they can at least give back to their fans after a strenuous season.
In a game which many tipped Paderborn to win with comfort, it was Arminia who were able to convert their chances at pivotal times in the match. Whilst a moral victory for Bielefeld, Paderborn still have it all to play for going forward.
Despite what was a disappointing result for Arminia Bielefeld last time out, Neuhaus opted to make just the two changes. Nils Seufert was dropped to the bench in favour of Reinhold Yabo. Highly rated centre half Amos Pieper comes into the side after Brian Behrendt was sent off last time out.
Steffen Baumgart was happy with the win against Heidenheim and only made the one change from that side, with Sven Michel dropping to the bench in favour of Ben Zolinski. Baumgart has been notorious for mixing and matching his attacking third providing different looks and making it quite difficult for teams to set up defensively.
Throughout the course of the season, Paderborn have been undoubtedly one of the more impressive teams in the league. There ability to transition from defence to attack, a dynamic final third as well as having a strong ability to press with possession. Paderborn controlled possession for long portions of the contest, it was what they did without the ball which caused Arminia plenty of issues.
In this scenario, Bielefeld are looking to play the ball out from the back. Julian Börner is on the ball and has a couple of options; Anderson Lucoqui near the touchline or to play the ball back to the goalkeeper and switch the play. Patrick Weihrauch is dropping into space and inside the penalty area.
Börner sits on possession too long before playing the ball to Weihrauch. At this stanza, two Paderborn players who were sitting in midfield are pressing the final third whilst the two strikers press the ball carrier. Had Börner played Lucoqui earlier in the piece, the left back may have had an avenue to play Weihrauch forward.
With Weihrauch afforded little to no time, Babacar Guèye wins possession and is in on goal. Stefan Oretga is horribly out of position whilst the Bielefeld defence is a complete non-factor.
Perhaps if Guèye had taken the responsibility onto himself, maybe Paderborn take the lead. Instead, he tries a cute ball to Zolinski which is over hit allowing Manuel Prietl to clear.
Bielefeld goes direct for the opener
With the game entering the closing stages of the first half, Paderborn have looked the most likely to open the scoring in this contest. Ball retention was at a premium for Baumgart’s side and a momentary lapse in concentration saw Paderborn’s dominance revert into a one-goal deficit.
The ball starts in Bielefeld’s own box with Ortega, with the goalkeeper taking his time as his teammates make their way further up the pitch. At times during the first half when Bielefeld have played out from the back they have been found out by the extreme press applied by Paderborn. Not looking to concede possession or turn the ball over inside Arminia’s defensive third, Ortega punts the ball deep.
His target is Andreas Voglsammer, a decent aerial duellist with the 27-year-old winning 45.7% this season. His opponent Mohamed Dräger opts to fan off Voglsammer giving the Bielefeld free reign at possession. Voglsammer heads the ball into space.
Fabian Klos predicts the play perfectly, not only does his run into space track in behind the defence but his direct opponent Uwe Hunemeier has allowed him to get goal side. This gives Klos first pickings at possession over his marker. With the goal at his mercy, Klos shields the ball away from Hunemeier and is one on one with the goalkeeper.
Despite Leopold Zingerle’s best efforts to come out and thwart Klos it isn’t enough as the talisman gifted the hosts the lead. Schoolboy defending at best by Paderborn who are unable to relieve the danger from a long hoof upfield by Ortega.
Paderborn’s zonal marking breaks down for Arminia’s second
With Arminia Bielefeld taking the one-goal advantage, Neuhaus would’ve been wary of the danger Paderborn posses when going forward. It is pivotal that the hosts are able to extend the advantage and they did just that moments after the commencement of the second half. Once again, questionable defending from a Paderborn point of view leading to Klos adding his second of the game.
From the outset of defending the set-piece, we can see how Paderborn look to set up. Two zones of defending with the deepest five at the edge of the six-yard box whilst three defenders act as the first layer and tracking the runners in. Bielefeld have only five players inside the area, if the ball is cleared they will look to reload by possession. Conversely, they are aiming to stop any potential counter attacks.
The ball is played to the edge of the six-yard box, Voglsammer is in the best position to win it. Voglsammer gets a head onto it first with his header just wide of the goal.
Possession falls to Klos who was matched up against Jamilu Collins. In the immediate proceedings of the set-piece, Collins gives Klos a bit of space. With ball heading their way, the Paderborn left back opts to protect the far post. This leaves Klos unattended at the back post.
This would backfire with dire consequences as Klos clinically places the ball out of the reach of Collins and Zingerle. A crucial goal at a pivotal moment in the match, Klos’ 16th goal of the campaign broke the camels back. Arminia continued to grow into the game and could’ve added a third later on.
Paderborn exploiting width to create
When in transition going forward, Paderborn have a strong tendency of utilising the space out wide. On multiple occasions, we saw Paderborn take advantage of moving the ball quickly. Efficient movement from the middle of the park to out wide before creating a goal scoring opportunity. Or, using the wings as a strong place for quick ball movement before attacking the penalty area.
In the first scenario, Paderborn have transitioned possession from the far side of the pitch to a more central position. Philipp Klement who is the team’s main architect on the ball has Sven Michel presenting an option towards him. By presenting, Michel’s able to open up the near side of the pitch for either the left back to run into. Conversely, the other attacking option out of the picture.
Michel turns and plays the ball to Christopher Antwi-Adjej. Ideally, in this situation, the full back will create an overlap and receive possession before delivering the ball into the area. However, the Bielefeld defence is able to get back in time forcing Antwi Adjej to take a low percentage shot.
The second scenario showcases a well-utilised attack despite being pinned towards the touchline. Quick passes and dynamic movement from midfield to attack allows Paderborn to create goal scoring opportunities.
Bernard Tekpetey has the ball with Tom Schütz looking to apply pressure. Whilst he has enough time on the ball, Zolinski is able to make a run into the space behind the defence.
Zolinski drives towards the edge of the area whilst Tekpetey continues his run and presents as an option. With Arminia’s defence over committing, Zolinski is able to play in Tekpetey.
Tekpetey quickly plays the ball to Michel on his preferred side and takes aim at the goal. Quick ball movement from Paderborn catches Bielefeld’s defence out of position before over committing a step too late. This allowed Paderborn to create a goal scoring opportunity.
Paderborn went scoreless for the first time in two months against St. Pauli. Whilst a combination of good defending and really poor conversion in front of goal certainly aided the defeat. A strong performance by Bielefeld and having an elite 2. Bundesliga striker in Klos certainly made a difference. Whilst Arminia has nothing to play for, this is a good win from a bragging rights perspective.
Whilst it isn’t all doom and gloom for Paderborn thanks to favourable results elsewhere. Most notably defeats to Union Berlin and Hamburger SV to less fancied opposition. There is a real emphasis to win next week’s home fixture. With the two sides separated by a point, a Paderborn win would guarantee themselves a place inside the top three. Still, plenty to play for as Paderborn’s quest for promotion goes on.