FC Magdeburg hosted Hanover 96 on a Friday night and were cruelly punished for individual errors. The Club did put on a strong performance – in terms of statistics.
Seeing is Believing
The season 2022/23 is relatively young and thus it is difficult to say where this may go for each of the 18 teams competing. In the previous four encounters Magdeburg have recorded only one win – indicating that the team is not fit for the purpose of surviving in Bundesliga 2. The match reports often stated that it was often just misfortune and the often quoted individual errors. Possession often exceeded 60%, the pass quote is well above 500 and more than 80% of these are successful. It was indeed the case against Hanover as well. Football is a result oriented sport and thus the stats are overrated. Reading the previous match reports and seeing the reality are two pairs of different shoes, very different shoes.
It is, however difficult to decide whether to start with the negatives or the positives. The positives are that Magdeburg did not give up and continued to press Hanover back into their own box, particularly towards the end of the match. Alas, this brought nothing but it offered the visitors chances to counter.
All the frustration and disappointment notwithstanding, Magdeburg were not far off. It were these famous centimetres and the passes would have been inch perfect. Yet, as it turned out, passes were underhit, crosses, free kicks and corner kicks overhit.
Trees vs Seedlings
From a physical point of view it is impossible to win any aerial duels as the opponents are tree tall while Magdeburg are mere seedlings. One of those weak points was Andreas Müller who was targeted with high balls and whose aerial inferiority was ruthlessly exploited by Hanover.
It is clear that the negatives outweigh the positives. The performance is worse than in 2018; back then Magdeburg had four points in five matches. Yes, while it is still early in the season it is nonetheless necessary to adapt to the reality of this division. The play is even quicker than in division three where Magdeburg often outpaced their opponents. This year there are Hamburg, Fürth, Bielefeld among others who until recently have played in the top division which makes this incredibly strong and thus makes it difficult to survive for newly promoted teams. The absence of Baris Atik who shone last season may help explain some of the failings but should not be used as an excuse. Far more important is that the squad as a whole get their heads round, just as the coaching staff.
- FC Magdeburg – Hanover 96 0-4 (0-2), attendance 23908