Round 18

Top 3 Players of Round 18:

The Tipico Bundesliga continued to excite as it reached its halfway stage, with only one more game round before the Winter break. The early game saw Austria Vienna lose having been two goals up for the first time since 18th July 2001 (GAK 2:3), as the Bulls of Salzburg stormed back with four second half goals in Vienna. A meagre crowd of 862 saw Grödig dismantle a struggling Admira side, who have now gone a staggering 10 league games without a win (13th September, Sturm Graz, 2:0). Both Sturm and Neustadt enjoyed victories that kept up their recent good form. Sturm have been much improved under Franco Foda and lie only 2 points off the second Champions League place. The signing of Stefan Maierhofer has coincided with two wins from Neustadt’s last three games and if they better Admira’s result in round 19, they can avoid going into the break at the bottom of the table. Dietmar Kuhbauer’s Wolfsberger were able to finally score in front of their home fans through a René Seebacher goal against Rapid. The Wolves had gone 324 minutes without scoring a goal at home, but the 26-year old’s strike did not end the winless run, which has now extended to seven games (4th October, Austria Vienna, 2:0). Here are the full round-up of results:

FK Austria Vienna 2-4 Red Bull Salzburg
SV Grödig 5-0 FC Admira Wacker
SK Sturm Graz 3-1 SV Ried
SC Wiener Neustadt 2-0 SC Rheindorf Altach
Wolfsberger AC 1-1 SK Rapid Vienna.

#1 Stefan Nutz – Nutz, 22, continued his rich vein of form for Grödig with two goals of high quality against Admira. The young Austrian has subsequently been linked with a move away from the club with FC Kaiserslautern a heavily touted destination. With the game all but over at 3-0, Nutz stepped up to curl a beautiful freekick from the edge of the box past a helpless Jörg Siebenhandl. The win, which was the biggest home win for Grödig since a 7-1 demolition of Admira on the 3rd August 2013, was rounded off by Nutz who grabbed an excellent second goal. Thomas Goiginger did well down the left-hand side and his cross was met emphatically by a diving Nutz who directed the ball into the bottom corner with his head. It was a good day all round with Yordy Reyna (x2) and Daniel Schütz also getting in on the goalscoring action.

Picture courtesy of GEPA via meinbezirk.at

Picture courtesy of GEPA via meinbezirk.at

#2 Alan Carvalho – Alan’s record this season speaks for itself with the Brazilian-born striker having scored 22 goals in 24 appearances this season. Staggeringly, Alan has only scored in 10 of these games and his hattrick against Austria Vienna marked his second of the season, with his first coming against Dinamo Zagreb in a 4-2 Europa League win. The comeback for Red Bull began in the 52nd minute with a delicious Andreas Ulmer ball being gratefully met by Alan who eluded the poor marking of Lukas Rotpuller. Less than five minutes later the scores were level. Kevin Kampl, who had worked hard all game in both defence and attack was able to prod the ball through to Alan, who with his left foot, managed to squeeze the ball in off the post. The comeback and Alan’s hattrick was complete within 8 minutes of his first goal. A defence splitting pass by Kampl found Massimo Bruno on the right-hand side who was then able to slide in Alan to finish past a shell-shocked Heinz Lindner. Once again it was Salzburg’s attack that bailed out their defence and with 19-goal Jonathan Soriano out with illness, Alan certainly stepped up to the plate.

Picture courtesy of GEPA via sport.orf.at

Picture courtesy of GEPA via sport.orf.at

#3 Alexander Kofler – Kofler, 28, has had a break-out season for Wolfsberger this year, with the Austrian on the periphery of making Marcel Koller’s national side. The keeper from Klagenfurt has managed five clean sheets in the league this season, but his performance against Rapid Vienna in the 1-1 draw was arguably his best of the season. With the scores tied at 1-1 and the game deep into added time, Kofler pulled off a vital save to deny Florian Kainz who had been played in by Louis Schaub. The save, one of six he made all game, ultimately earned his side a point that gave his side a great chance of remaining second in the table over the Winter break (2 points above Sturm).

Photo courtesy of GEPA via vorarlbergernachrichten.at

Photo courtesy of GEPA via vorarlbergernachrichten.at

Notable mentions

Yordy Reyna – 2 goals (SV Grödig)
Marco Djuricin –
1 goal (SK Sturm Graz)
Kristijan Dobras –
1 goal 1 assist/penalty won (SC Wiener Neustadt)

 

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment and vote on the poll below.

 

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Round 17

Top 3 Players of Round 17:

The 17th round of the Tipico Bundesliga brought plenty of drama, including late goals and ill-discipline. The first game of the weekend saw Ried snatch a late, but deserved draw against 10-man Austria Vienna, who led most of the game through an early Alexander Gorgon strike. Elsewhere, René Schicker received a straight red for a reckless challenge on Anel Hadzic, allowing Sturm to claim a straight-forward away victory. Not to be outdone, Wiener Neustadt’s Daniel Schöpf also received a straight red for a poor challenge on Rapid’s Steffen Hofmann, right in front of the referee. The biggest controversy occurred on Sunday in the clash between the league’s top two. With Kuhbauer’s Wolfsberger going into the final 10 minutes with a hard-fought 2:0 away lead, Jonathan Soriano scored two late penalties to tie the game. Replays clearly showed that Soriano had ‘won’ the second of those penalties and that Alexander Kofler hadn’t brought the Spaniard down. Nevertheless, Hütter’s men maintained their 6 point gap at the top of the table. Here are the full round-up of results:

SV Ried 1:1 FK Austria Vienna
FC Admira Wacker 0:2 SK Sturm Graz
SK Rapid Vienna 3:0 SC Wiener Neustadt
SC Rheindorf Altach 3:1 SV Grödig
Red Bull Salzburg 2:2 Wolfsberger AC.

#1 Roland Putsche – Putsche, 23, has had to bide his time this season with Boris Hüttenbrenner and Manuel Weber enjoying the majority of playing time in Wolfsberger’s central midfield. However, with Kuhbauer forced into making changes ahead of this game, Putsche definitely rose to the occasion. Within 28 minutes, Wolfsberger had surprisingly gone 1:0 up with Christopher Wernitznig applying the finishing touch following great work by Putsche. With Stefan Ilsanker misjudging a knock down from a goal kick that Putsche had anticipated, he then beat Andre Ramalho with ease and had the awareness to draw in the rest of the Salzburg defence before releasing Werntiznig to score his fifth goal of the season. The Carithians may have thought the game was sewn up mid-way through the second half when Putsche capitalised on indecision between Péter Gulácsi and Christoph Leitgeb to tap into the resulting empty net (despite replays suggest officials may have missed a push from Putsche on Leitgeb in the build-up). Sadly, Putsche injured himself in that move, meaning he had to be subbed and the Wolves ultimately saw the three points slip away.

Picture courtesy of bundesliga.at

#2 Florian Kainz – Similarly to Putsche, Kainz was instrumental to Rapid’s 3:0 victory with a goal and an assist. Kainz opened the scoring with a smart finish past Thomas Vollnhofer beating the offside trap following a pinpoint cross-field ball by captain, Steffen Hofmann. With Schöpf’s red card only making things harder for the away side, Kainz saw plenty of the ball down the left-hand side and he helped guarantee the three points in the 72nd minute. The wiry winger got his third assist of the season with a beautiful cross that picked out a free Robert Berić who was able to volley home, completely unmarked to get his 11th goal of the season. It was a good day at the office for Kainz, but he is likely to face a sterner test against Wolfsberger in round 18.

Picture courtesy of rapid.at

Picture courtesy of rapid.at

#3 Stefan Lainer – Lainer, 22, a Summer transfer from FC Liefering in the Sky Go Erste Liga has become a revelation in Glasner’s new 3-4-3 approach. The new formation has coincided with a turn in fortune for Ried, who are now unbeaten in 5 games, a run which includes wins against Wolfsberger, Grödig and the in-form Altach. Lainer has been deployed in a more attacking role down the right-hand side, where he has the perfect attributes to contribute significantly in both defence and attack. Below you can see that Lainer covered the entire pitch down that right-hand side, including plenty of offensive time inside the Austria Vienna box. Over the course of the game he was unlucky not to have claimed an assist with Heinz Lindner in inspired form in the Violet’s net, particularly in the second half. The Austrian international also denied Lainer a goal of his own with an amazing fingertip save following a flowing Ried move. Late into the second half, it was also Lainer who drew Thomas Salamon into a poor challenge to earn himself a second yellow card, which was perhaps the catalyst for a late Ried equaliser. Lainer comes up against Christian Klem in round 18, a much tougher match-up and could mean he has to spend more time in his own half defending, something Foda’s men will be hoping for.

Image courtesy of GEPA via nachrichten.at

Image courtesy of GEPA via nachrichten.at

Heatmap courtesy of Opta via bundesliga.at

Heatmap courtesy of Opta via bundesliga.at

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment and vote on the poll below.

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Player Profiles

Player Profile: Andreas Leitner

Andreas Leitner

Picture courtesy of admirawacker.at

 

D.O.B: 25.03.1994

Height: 1.84m

Nationality: Austrian

Position: Goalkeeper

Previous clubs: SV Breitenau, SK Sturm Graz

Current Club: FC Admira Wacker

Current national team: Austria U21’s

Contract end date: 30.06.15

Useful stats 14/15 (Austrian Bundesliga): Played: 14 Conceded: 18 Clean sheets: 5

Picture courtesy of GEPA

Picture courtesy of GEPA

Strengths: Shot stopping, positioning.

Weaknesses: Consistency, height.

Current ability: 5.5/10

Potential ability: 8/10

Summary: Leitner is one of many talented goalkeepers emerging from Austria. He made his league debut for Admira against SV Mattersburg two years ago (01.12.12), but did not cement his place in the side until this season. He has represented Austria from U16’s to U21’s and could breakthrough into the full national side within the next couple of years. His performances for Admira this season have been widely praised and following a failure to extend his contract with Admira, he is expected to leave the club, most likely in the January transfer window. At only 20, Leitner is likely to stay in the Austrian Bundesliga in attempt to guarantee first team action, with Sturm Graz the most likely destination, with current goalkeepers Benedikt Pliquett (29) and Christian Gratzei (33) deemed one of the weaker areas of the side. If Leitner continues to progress, I expect he could become a solid option for a side in the top division of Germany, but for now he just needs to find a club that can offer him plenty of game time.

Feel free to comment and make suggestions for future Player Profiles!

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