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DSC Arminia Bielefeld

The Synch: Arminia Bielefeld 1-2 Karlsruhe

KSC went to Schüco Arena and came away with their first victory in four road matches and ended an eight game winless streak against Arminia.

Arminia were their own worst enemy as they played a terrible first 75 minutes of football. They looked technically deficient compared with their southern foes. They gave away possession too easily in the midfield and even more worryingly from deep. Defender Radim Kucera had a nightmare game trying to mark Sebastian Fries. While their front pairing of Artur Wichniarek and Katongo were their best players, they missed their few chances and had their effectiveness dampened by a superb tactical approach by Edmund Becker.

A last ditch scramble clawed one back for the home-side. In the 80th minute, Berat Sadik found space on the left gathering a misplaced cross. He was able to thread the ball to Nico Herzig, who headed the ball home. But they had left it too late, and Karlruhe was able to wind the clock down with smart possession and professional fouling.

Karlsruhe’s first goal came from an error by Arminia keeper Dennis Eilhoff. Their second came off lost possession. Katongo came back deep to gather the ball and lost it to Mutzel. He quickly slotted it to Josh Kennedy who turned Kucera and made a superb low volley that Eilhoff got down to parry away. It fell to Freis, who finished with aplomb.

Kornetzky [6] Glaring mistakes in the first half were offset by his handling of crosses late.
Sebastian [8.5] Excellent game in tandem with Franz and cleared some important balls.
Eichner [8] Always one of my favorite to watch.
Celozzi [5.5] Not much impact on the game and allowed Sadik space for the cross on the goal.
Franz [8.5] Solid game from the captain.
Mutzel [6.5] Drifted in and out of the game but set up winner by taking the ball off Kanogo
Porcello [5.5] Scored a gift but was otherwise poor.
da Silva [7] Ran his socks off, which isn’t typical for him.
Iashvili [8] Threatening on the left and put in a great effort
Freis [9] Made Kucera looked foolish and scored the winner.
Kennedy [5.5] Slow feet.
Adoube [5] Like a bull in a china shop.

1. Set in Stone
It felt like Becker’s 4-3-3 was a demarcation rather than a tactic. Mutzel, Porcello and da Silva seem to be stationed within a zone and unwilling to get past some invisible border. Once they hit a wall around 28 meters from goal it was down to Kennedy, Freis and Iashvilli to create the chances. These three need to be willing to get forward if they hope to be effective against better defenses.

2. Speaking of Set in Stone
Joshua Kennedy plays like his feet are set in concrete. With faster feet he could have created so many more opportunities. He is a fine target man and does a solid job of holding the ball for Iashvilli and Freis, but anytime he receives the ball in a threatening position, it feels like you’ve pressed the slow-motion button on your TV. Next thing you know a chance is squandered as he is unable to get off a shot.

3. And Just After Making Him XI
The first goal for Karlsruhe was a blunder of epic proportion by Eilhoff. Poor positioning on the freekick was his first mistake. He was too close to his near post. This positioning gave him a false perception of the trajectory of the in-swinger, thus when he rushed out to get the ball, he was two feet off target. Instead it bounced off Lamey, flew by Eilhoff and went right to a ghosting Porcello.

4. A Hand for Wiki
The game might have been different had Artur Wichniarek not panicked in the 29th. He got by the defenders on a long through ball and had only keeper Kornetzky to beat. Kornetzky had come too far for the ball and was outside of the box when the ball fell, so unable to handle the ball. It bounded to the left, and had Wichniarek kept on the ball, he would have had an open net to shoot on. Instead he handled the ball, squandered an open net and got himself booked. It was very telling of Arminia’s day.

5. KSC’s Defensive Organization
Knowing they were facing pacy Kanogo and Wichniarek, who likes to drive in from deep, Karlsruhe had some decisions to make. They decided to drop their defense deep and allow Wiki to run at them in order to concentrate on nullifying Kanogo’s pace. It worked perfectly as Kanogo couldn’t beat the trap and Franz and Sebastian could push Wichniarek out to wait for help. The result was only four shots on goal and the only breach came from a by-line cross late.

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  1. Zatz

    October 5, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Not again 🙂 They played that last year if I remember correctly and although it was kind of a nice fight it's enough if they do it every other year or so. I can see Stuttgart beating FCB in Mercedes-Benz stadium any time, would be nice to see them out of the Pokal to get some diversity in there. But then who knows what is end of January. Maybe Klose and Toni will have gone on a killing spree by then, each scoring 20+ goals between now and then.

    Also interesting, Schalke at Jena. They kicked out a couple of Bundesliga sides last year, Stuttgart was among them, right? Or did they just force them in over time?
    Talking about it, maybe being drawn against Bundesliga sides is not so bad after all, especially this late in the tournement.
    You basically know what you are up against and for them it's most likely not the game of the year or something. Fighting some Wehen-Wiesbaden or 1860 Munich teeth and claw at some end of January, 5 below zero game is not something you can bring any Bundesliga player to do I would think. Unless your name is Klopp maybe…

  2. diana

    October 5, 2008 at 10:20 am

    I was following the draw through the kicker website. I was like 'Ahh!' when it was finalised. It's like we have a habit of being drawn against Bundesliga sides. It was Arminia Bielefeld in the previous round and now Bayern. But then again, we are hosting the reigning Pokal champions at our stadium. 🙂

    So um, bring it on, then. To imagine I was actually half-expecting a Munich derby between Bayern and 1860…

  3. Zatz

    October 5, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Just heard it too. They blame him for upseting the teamplay by substituting to much. Anyways, Pokal was also drawn. Biggest games should be Stuttgart – FCB and Dortmund – Bremen. Will be only played end of January though…

  4. diana

    October 4, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Self-fulfilling prophecy. Is that what you are referring to? That is the only term I know.

    'heard they got trouble with media coverage afterwards though'
    Yeah. Something to do with the security or something like that. That is as far as I know. And speaking of the Udinese-Dortmund match. I actually didn't stream it but from what I know, they really battle it till the end. The match wasn't shown at where I am actually.

  5. Zatz

    October 4, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Thats something for sure but to be honest I dont really see any other team taking a decisive lead right now. Bremen is loosing crucial games, Hamburg is to instabil and Leverkusen as always is not finishing their great plays, leaving Wolfsburg who I think is either not mature enough or hasnt´t got the potential to actually go for it yet. That leaves Schalke who we don´t actually have to name for championship candidate. (how do u call that in English, self servingfullfilling prophecy?)

    Considering how young the season actually is, point of fact is, Hoffenheim or Munich. I start to see Hoffenheim doing it and actually it would be I think 3rd like straight to championship which would start a nice discussion with them in CL. I think biggest setback right now is their keeper but they put in a bid for Faehrmann from Schalke, which 04 still has to counter. Interesting decision making situation there for S04 management with Neuer back but if TSG gets him looks like a formidable team roundup straight from football manager 2009 Buy in.

    By the way did anyone see Dortmund at Udinese? Now that was something to watch as well. Best UEFA Cup feeling match for Bundesliga in years if you ask me. Stayd up until 6 am to watch it. Seriously predicted the equalizer in 90+ minute and loose in 11s, heard they got trouble with media coverage afterwards though.

    Combine that with Udinese not responding to their inquery for more away tickets and you got a nice vendetta kick off right then and there. But Klopp handled it very prof as usually, telling the big public that they showed great face and that he believes in a fair world and Dortmund should get it back within the season aka he´s going for Europe in the league, should be no surprise though but maybe interesting to hear him actually make it more official.

    Can only recommend ZDF stream there. Although its in German the quality offers choices for every bandwith and they make a point of objective journalism…

    If you ask me Klopp-Dortmund will be another team to look out for this season and seeing things as they are they got a good opening for big business right here and now.

  6. diana

    October 4, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Zatz, I was following the live text from the kicker website and almost couldn't believe it. Bayern throwing away their lead?! And as a Stuttgart supporter myself, I can take the 4-1 scoreline anytime. I still remembered the 6-3 scoreline in the previous season. 😛

    'Unless Hoffenheim becomes second team ever to go from 2rd league straight to Championship =)'
    Now that will be something, after Kaiserslautern.

  7. Zatz

    October 4, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Unbelievable, just unbelievable this season. Munich just gave away a 3:1 for a 3:3 against Bochum! Tomorrow is end of Oktoberfest in Munich, let´s see what happens after that.

    Hoffenheim is No1 now, also Luhukay is already seen as a gooner, Gladbach just lost and rumors have it that it´s only a matter of hours before someone else, possibly Ziege, takes over.

    For Bremen and Leverkusen looks like same procedure as every season. Great games with fast attacking football followed by very unexpected looses against teams like Hertha or Stuttgart.

    Sad thing is, with all teams taking points from each other the sure thing to happen is once again Munich sneaking into first place at the end of season after all… Unless Hoffenheim becomes second team ever to go from 2rd league straight to Championship =)

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