All three Real Madrid loan players—Achraf Hakimi, Oscar Rodriguez, and Martin Odeegard started for their respective teams on Saturday and played important roles in securing good results:
Achraf Hakimi vs Bayern Munich:
All eyes were glued on “Der Klassiker” as the blockbuster match up in the Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund have started the season on fire, and going into the match led Bayern Munich by four points at the top of the table. Lucien Farve has done a nice job rotating the full backs and found himself with a selection headache heading into the match. Four quality options for two spots: Achraf, Schmelzer, Guerro, and Piszczek. Of those four, Achraf seems to be the undisputed starter and his versatility has only aided his ability to gobble up minutes, easily interchanging between left and right back. Against Bayern, Achraf was deployed as a left back— the same position that saw him produce a hat trick of assists against Atletico Madrid.
The first half, Borussia Dortmund were underwhelming with Lucien Farve making the strange decision to start Mario Gotze as a false nine and give Julien Weigl the nod over Delaney, who has started the season spectacularly. Bayern dominated possession in the opening half, but Dortmund found their way through Kovac’s men via the counter on a number of occasions. Defensively, Bayern Munich were a shambles all night long. Though, with Bayern’s strong possession game, Achraf had to be tuned in defensively. Franck Ribery was having a field day playing against Piszczek, which meant Achraf had to be prepared to defend from the weak side. This season, that has been one of Achraf’s best attributes; time and time again Achraf was well positioned on the weak side to intercept a cross or track an incisive run. Given their early dominance, Bayern did find a way to goal. Robert Lewandowski scored a free diving header after Serge Gnarby was given too much time and space by Achraf to curl in a cross, while young center back, Dan Axel-Zagadou, was caught ball watching, rather than tracking Lewandowski who had peeled off him to create separation and nod the ball home.
It must have been some team talk at half-time from Lucien Farve, as Dortmund shed their reserved style and attacked Bayern from all fronts. Achraf, who was quiet on the offensive end in the first half, exploded into life in the second half. He constantly bombed down the flank to provide an attacking option for his teammates and help fuel a counter attack with his blazing speed. Unlike Marcelo, Achraf has the speed and the engine to get back and cover the space he leaves behind making him less of a liability defensively, while still being able to maintain the same attacking mindset. Ultimately, Dortmund roared back in the second half, scoring three goal and winning what was a thoroughly entertaining match by a 3-2 score line.
Stats via WhoScored:
Key Passes: 2
Passes: 42 with 71.4% completion rate
Tackles: 4 (joint top on team)
Aerial Duels Won: 2
Touches: 75 (3rd most on team)
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Martin Odeegard vs FC Utrecht:
Leonid Slutsky, head coach at Vitesse, must of heard the pleas from our early season Managing Madrid Loan Tracker podcast, where we thought Odeegard should be deployed centrally, rather than wide, in order to get him involved more as he is clearly the best technical player they posses. Against Utrecht, Odeegard played as center midfielder, slightly more advanced—a hybrid “8” and “10” role, which gave him a lot of freedom to roam and get on the ball. Evidenced by his heat map below:
It was a very good performance from the young Norwegian, who capped off his game with the winning goal, a beautiful curled in free-kick:
Gol de Ødegaard de tiro libre ante el Utrecht.— RealEspartaβ (@RealEspartaB) November 10, 2018
Stats via WhoScored:
Shots: 3; On Target: 3
Key Passes: 2
Passing: 31 with an 80.7% completion rate
Match Rating: 7.5 / 10
Oscar Rodriguez & Andriy Lunin vs Girona:
In what was by far the snoozer of the three games, Leganes traveled away from home in Barcelona to take on Girona. Oscar Rodriguez, who is one of the first names on the team sheet for Pellegrino, occupied his usual inverted left wing position. The game was a stop-start affair with neither side able to take the initiative. Patrick Roberts, a loan player from Manchester City, was the closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half with a lovely bit of footwork to find some space and unleash a shot that nearly nestled it’s way into the back of the net. On the few occasions that Oscar found the ball, his options were limited and he was swarmed by multiple Girona defenders all at once. On more than one occasion, he dribbled himself out of bounds, but again it was mostly due to the lack of options provided by his teammates. It was ultimately a bore draw with little to note from either side. Andriy Lunin did make his official La Liga debut, substituting Cuellar in the 86th minute. He had one save. Reports from Marca and AS, have suggested that Madrid want to recall Lunin in January and send him to another club where he will get minutes—maybe a reason behind his substitution.
Oscar Stats via WhoScored:
Shots: 1 (1/1 on target)
Passing: 42 with 61.9% completion.
Key Passes: 0
Crosses: 3 (0/3 accurate crosses)
Match Rating: 5 / 10