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Martin Odegaard Scores vs De Graafschap; Continues Hot Streak

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Some notes on Odegaard’s performance today

That’s three straight games now where Martin Odegaard has scored for Vitesse. He scored the opening goal against VVV-Venlo almost a week ago; the game-winner against Kozakken Boys three days ago in the domestic cup (to go along with his eight key passes that game); and today he scored a volley from just outside the box against De Graafschap:

That was to make the game 1 - 1, in a match that ended 2 - 2 — a disappointing result for Vitesse. It was two dropped points against last place De Graafschap, who have just 11 points after 16 games and have a goal differential of -29.

It was a nasty match — a lot of elbows, fans throwing objects on the field, and some bad blood throughout. Maybe that unnerved Vitesse, but, they didn’t play well enough to compensate, and there wasn’t really any excuse to defend the way they did. It was an open game where neither team was particularly good defensively. It made the match fun from a neutral perspective, but if you’re a Vitesse fan, you’ll be disappointed that your team didn’t take advantage of the abundance in space.

Odegaard was often open on the right — available for a cross-field switch. His teammates didn’t always get him the ball there, despite the space he had if the ball arrived. The Norwegian was deployed on the right side of midfield, but did tuck in centrally a lot without the ball.

A random sequence, just to illustrate how much space Odegaard (and Vitesse) had:

Odegaard remains a crucial part of Vitesse’s offensive success regardless, and as the season progresses, that becomes more and more apparent. He’s had a great season so far. On another day, if his teammates have their finishing boots on, he probably gets an assist:

Odegaard’s passing wasn’t that sharp in this match overall (he completed just 75.7% of his passes), but did finish the match with four shots, and a game-high five key passes.

Martin Odegaard heat map vs De Graafschap. Via WhoScored.