The game started with a high tempo and and this required a good level of concentration in order for us to keep pace with the game.
The opposition were connecting their passes well, and on of these occasions, it ended with a close range shot to open the scoring and make it 1-0.
We were defending well against a continuous wave of attacks. The midfielders were tracking back to support the defenders, and we were blocking the path to the danger areas quite well.
But in the 6th minute, an individual mistake cost us a second goal. The opposition attacked on the left and we left a gap between the midfield and the defence which they used well, and with a killer pass they found their striker scoring to go up 2-0.
We wanted to keep the ball in the middle of the pitch, but we were not quick and accurate enough with our passes. The opposition were trying to use that and organise counter attacks, but our defenders were remaining solid and deflecting these attacks very well.
In the 13th minute, the midfielders were a bit late to recover and we found our selves outnumbered in defence which lead to us going down 3-0. With that ended a bad period in the match for us.
In the next part of the match, we displayed the stronger parts of our game. We were very well organised defensively with our midfielders reducing the space between themselves and the defensive line. We managed to keep the ball with quicker and better passes, which lead to dangerous attacks with our forward players.
In response, the opposition were trying to penetrate through the middle and the wings but we were defending as a unit and blocking almost every attack. Teo showed his class in goal which kept the score line as it were.
With good possession play, we were keeping them under pressure in the middle of the pitch. In the 23rd minute, they caught us on counter-attack. They won the ball in their half and managed to find their strikers up front and they scored to take the game to 4-0.
We were not playing bad and we knew it but the result was against us and we had to react accordingly. We continued to play well and pushed up, but in the 26th minute they caught us on counter-attack again and went up 5-0.
In the last few minutes of the first half, we wanted to score and considering the score line, we knew we had to risk it and push everyone up higher and leave space in behind us. There was not enough time for us to reap any tangible rewards and the half finished with us trailing to a very good side.
For the most part, I was happy with the boys and the fact that they were not affected too negatively by the scoreline. Everyone was still in good spirits and wanted to do their best in the second half and the attitude was positive.
The second half start and we were on the back foot quite quickly as the opposition were applying intense and effective pressure on us and playing up high, with the knowledge that they could risk the space considering they had a healthy lead.
In the 2nd minute, the opposition took a long range shot which Teo did well to parry but Davide who was recovering to cover the free space, inadvertently kicked it into our own net 6-0. These things happen in football and I was happy to see him unaffected by the misfortune.
We continued our good play and we transferred all our energy up front. The first half we were defending and preventing, but the second half we opened up and looked forward.
We had our defenders pushing up, the midfielders working together with them, and the strikers pressing high up the pitch. We had our chances with our players up front playing fantastically well. We continued to play our game and defensively kept the ball away from our goal.
In the 16th minute, a moment of miscommunication at the back gave an easy goal away to the opposition and took the game even further beyond us.
Up front, we showed how dangerous we could be not just on the wings but also through the middle, and our forward players combined well again and we were unfortunate not to get a goal from these attacks.
In the 25th minute, they caught us on a well executed counter-attack which lead to another goal for the opposition. We played much better than what the scoreline would suggest, and there were players who were showing excellent leadership qualities when the chips were down. These players deserve immense praise for their fantastic attitude, as showing strong character in these tough moments is not easy.
Ultimately, the game finished 11-0 but despite that, there was much to be pleased about once you delve past the superficial scoreline.
The players of the match today were Alberto and Deniz.