Oscar Rodriguez played 76 minutes in Saturday’s opening La Liga match, where Leganes beat Huesca 1 - 0 at Butarque.
Leganes head coach Mauricio Pellegrino deployed the Real Madrid loanee just behind the two strikers, Guido Carillo and Youssef En-Neysri. Oscar played as a ‘10’ of sorts. Though, as Matt Wiltse and I have alluded to on the loan-tracker podcast before, what Pellegrino shows us on paper is never what we see on the field — and it almost takes a good 20 minutes or more to understand the shape actually is.
Oscar mostly hedges to the right of the scheme, but roams everywhere. He does not play as a stationed left-winger alongside left-back Jonathan Silva as he did earlier this season, and almost roams like Isco did in the diamond back in the Zidane era. Without the ball, Oscar would close passing lanes behind the two strikers when Huesca built from the back — but as the away side would progress up the field, Oscar would drop into Zone 14, or his own box, to make sure he can stop a cross, or just clog the middle.
Huesca had several good build-up sequences in the first half, and the majority of the possession. Leganes’s danger came mostly from Oscar, who would try to shoot from distance, or drop to the flank for a cross:
That last sequence, an Oscar turn and shot from outside the box to force a corner, was Leganes’s first shot on goal — coming in the 37th minute.
But Leganes grew into the game dramatically in the second half. Pellegrino started to exploit Huesca’s high line by countering quickly, and playing passes in-behind to runs from cutting forwards. Within the first three minutes of the half, they had two breaks on goal. They missed both, and Oscar missed a rebound on the first one:
Those opportunities continued to arise for Leganes — particularly after they went ahead on the scoresheet — with El Zahr missing a notable breakaway late in the half.
Oscar finished the match with 50 touches, three shots, two key passes, and completed just 72.7% of his passes.
Elsewhere, Raul de Tomas scored a hat-trick against Celta Vigo on Friday night in Vallecas. I haven’t fully caught up on this one yet, but happy to see de Tomas building on his good form this season. We’ll touch on this more on Tuesday’s loan-tracker podcast for Patrons. Below are the highlights, along with his heatmap and stats.