Paderborn 1-0 Aue

The first half formations.

A commanding second half performance from Paderborn saw the North Rhine-Westphalian minnows defeat Aue and stay on the heels of the early-season 2. Bundesliga  pace-setters. Despite offering a demonstration in profligacy, the home side bossed the midfield in the second half, led by the imperious Florian Mohr. This hold on proceedings came after a chance-free and lacklustre first half which saw both sides have spells on top, but ultimately fail to do anything with any of the territory gained or – few – openings created. Nevertheless, in the end, Paderborn were good value for their win at the Energieteam Arena, even if they could have scored four or five more goals. The three points are all that matter, though, and this particular batch ensure that Paderborn finish round 13 as one of the five best teams in the division.

Match preview here.

The visitors took control of possession in the opening few minutes, with Paderborn sitting off and letting their confident guests knock the ball about all over the pitch. Roger Schmidt’s tactics of making his home side sit off and wait their turn nearly paid off quicker than he thought in the third minute, when an Aue move broke down in the centre-circle. Mehmet Kara was fed to run at the defence, and cut inside to unleash a shot with his right foot which didn’t go too far wide. As we neared the ten-minute mark, though, Paderborn had grown into a more authoritative, possession-based position. They encouraged the away side to press, and played several long-diagonals and through-balls in the hope of exposing Rico Schmitt’s alarmingly stretched – horizontally and vertically – formation. Continue reading

Erzgebirge Aue-Alemannia Aachen preview

The new 2. Bundesliga season continues this afternoon with one of the division’s former East German sides coming up against a club who, as recently as six years ago, reached the last 16 stage of the UEFA Cup. But you’re only as good as your last result, so the cliché goes, and if we apply that unwritten rule to league placings, then the team which represents the city of Aue (population 18,000) currently has the higher standing in German football. Whereas Aachen and their leaky defence finished in 10th place at the end of 2010/11, just as close to bottom side Arminia Bielefeld as they were to champions Hertha Berlin, today’s hosts finished in 5th spot. Nevertheless, Rico Schmitt’s side weren’t always the best  side to watch, with few goals going in at either end. Peter Hyballa’s visitors, on the other hand, took a more liberal approach to defending, but perhaps as expected from a coach who joined Aachen from the BVB youth set-up, the side could be quite exciting and very positive in attack. Continue reading