RSC Anderlecht Qualitative Analysis

Jupiler Pro League · Sun, 24.02.2019

rscaRSC Anderlecht

2 – 2

bruggeClub Brugge

Table of Contents

General Notes

  • Team plays 4-3-3 formation

  • Team is decently organized defensively. Nonetheless, the general team’s movement is slow and sharp low passes accompanied with 1-2 touch combination play should make the difference

  • Special attention should be given to explosive wingers (Bolasie, Bakkali, Amuzu) who can be very dangerous in 1v1 situations (video 1)

  • Team attempts to penetrate to the opponent’s penalty box mainly by long passes played by defensive midfielders to forwards

  • Verschaeren is definitely a worth buying option. He is very fast and agile player who was only 17 at the moment of writing with the market price value of 1,00 Mill. € according to transfermarkt which is very low and will be surely higher in the future

Video 1. RSCA’s perfect attack on the right wing

Offensive Play

Transition to Offense

  • Centre backs (Lawrence and Kara) do not support offensive players with counterattack on the wing and stay deep (figure 1). As a consequence a big space appears in central zone (tip: play direct vertical ball through the centre if winning the ball back after an unsuccessful RSCA’s counterattack on the wing)

  • Players slow down potentially dangerous counterattack by playing wide and not in depth

  • The ball is not moved out of zone immediately where it was won (tip: apply “Gegenpressing”)

Figure 1. Players positioning when counterattacking

Offensive Organisation

  • Defensive midfielders often play long balls to running wingers (see video 2)

  • Attacking players prefer to progress through the wings by short low passes followed by a cross into the penalty box instead of moving the ball into the central zone

  • Bolasie and Bakkali change sides with each other (usually after a corner)

Video 2. Typical long ball from defensive midfielder to a winger

Defensive Play

Transition to Defense

  • Players are entirely concentrated on the opponent who gets the ball after losing possession. They attack him by leaving their zones which can be exploited with 1-2 touches combination play right after getting possession in order to carry out a potentially dangerous counterattack (video 3)

  • Players fall back quickly when losing possession in the middle third by making it very difficult for the opponent to carry out a counterattack (tip: use sharp vertical low pass in behind Anderlecht’s defensive line right after winning the ball in the middle third by taking advantage that Anderlecht has not yet been organised defensively, see video 4)

  • Players do not apply pressure when losing the ball in the attacking third. Attackers behave very passively. Players who are far away from the ball area do not react at all when losing possession in the offensive third

Video 3. Players behavior after losing possession
Video 4. Defensive players fall back quickly in order to prevent the opponent from carrying out an explosive counterattack

Defensive Organisation

  • Team’s ball oriented movement is pretty agile

  • When defending players apply pressure and try to create a numerical advantage when the ball is played to the side (tip: first play to the side and then again sharply to the central zone with further progression, see figure 2)

  • Defensive players are confident and calm in the defensive third when being under light pressure

  • Appiah is poor at 1v1 situation and this can be exploited when attacking through the left wing (video 5)

  • Players apply light midfield pressing. Offensive pressing is rare

  • Large distance often appears between Appiah and other players when defending on the right side (video 6, figure 3)

  • Large distance often appears between both defensive midfielders (tip: play directly through the center, see video 7)

Figure 2. RSCA players create numerical advantage when defending on the left side
Video 5. Brugge’s goal
Video 6. Problems with defensive organisation on the right
Figure 3. Here the opponent has just switched the play from left to right. Appiah appears to be non cohesive with other players
Video 7. Big distance between Kums and Zulj when defending

Set Plays

Set Plays for

  • Short distance free kicks: Kums directs the ball at the near upper corner (video 8)

  • Corners from the left side: Milic in-swinging to the center of goal area

  • Corners from the right side: Zulj to the near post

  • Throw-ins from the right side: Appiah alongside and long if in the own defensive third and without risk and short to a free player when in the offensive or middle third

  • Throw-ins from the left side: usually Milic without any pattern, can be both short or long to the penalty box. If the game has to be restarted quickly then Bolasie can perform a throw-in as well

  • Medium distance frontal free kicks: well-prepared free kick where Zulj plays a high ball to the far post (video 9)

  • Medium distance lateral free kicks from the right: Zulj plays long and directs the ball to the penalty mark area

  • Long distance free kicks in midfield: one of defensive midfielders quickly restarts the game by playing long to the winger (video 10)

  • Long distance lateral free kicks: Kara plays long to Santini

  • Zulj can restart the game from midfield instantly by a long pass to either Bolasie or Bakkali

Video 8. Short distance free kick example
Video 9. Frontal free kick combination example
Video 10. Defensive midfielder quickly restarts the game by playing long to the winger

Set Plays against

  • Corners and free kicks near corner flag area: zonal marking where all players near the goal area in the own penalty box, no players on posts, no players in midfield (figure 4)

  • Long and medium distance lateral free kicks: very loose positioning with only one player in the wall (figure 5)

  • Throw-ins: all potential ball receivers are marked

Figure 4. Positioning by corners
Figure 5. Loose positioning during long distance lateral free kick



Thomas Didillon #16

23 years
193 cm
Left foot
  • Plays really long with his strong left foot (video 11)

  • Very good in positioning

  • Poor right foot

  • Always plays laterally long to the right to Bakkali when being chased (video 11)

  • By goal kick can restart the game very instantly

Video 11. Typical long ball from Didillon


Left Full Back
Antonio Milic #44

24 years
190 cm
Left foot
  • Very good tackling skills

  • Good crossing skills with his left foot

  • Good at 1v1 situation

  • Weak in clearance: doesn’t go to the ball and waits until the ball comes to him (see video 5)

  • Can be overconfident when dribbling (see video 12)

  • Very bad right foot

  • Plays long and low to Bolasie, often imprecisely (video 13)

  • Offensive minded player, willingly supports attackers in the offensive third

Video 12. Milic loses the ball after being too overconfident by dribbling
Video 13. Milic’s mistake when playing a long low ball to Bolasie along the line

Left Center Back
James Lawrence #3

26 years
188 cm
Left foot
  • Very clever defender who is confident on the ball

  • Not a speed player

  • Often plays long vertical low ball to Santini or to one of defensive midfielders (video 14)

  • Often uses feints (tip: anticipate here)

Video 14. Lawrence plays his typical vertical low ball to Santini

Right Center Back
Serigne Kara #2

29 years
192 cm
Right foot
  • Good in positioning

  • Very good in headers

  • Has a good field vision

  • Lost his duel to the opponent when the latter run forward for a cross ball. This lead to a goal conceded (video 15)

  • Very aggressive and rough player (video 16)

Video 15. Kara loses his duel which leads to a goal conceded
Video 16. Kara’s aggressiveness

Right Full Back
Dennis Appiah #12

26 years
179 cm
Right foot
  • Very fast player who supports team’s attacking actions

  • Good in heading

  • Able to play a decent pass with his left foot

  • Has problems when playing a cross ball

  • Has some positioning and tactical weaknesses when defending at 1v1, nonetheless he is very fast (tip: set at 1v1 against him in a small space area, see video 17)

  • If under pressure plays simply long and imprecise

  • Always tackles if somebody outruns him with the ball (tip: anticipate he tackles you from behind)

  • Doesn’t use shoulder checking when defending (see video 18)

  • Often plays long vertical low pass along the side line

Video 17. Appiah commits tactical mistakes when defending 1v1
Video 18. Appiah’s stance when defending at 1v1 situation


Defensive Midfielder
Sven Kums #20

31 years
176 cm
Right foot
  • Quality long passing skills

  • Poor ball protection skills

  • Plays long ball in a rush and imprecisely when under pressure (video 19)

  • Tackles easily in the own penalty box (tip: pretend for a foul here, see video 20)

Video 19. Kums mistake when playing a long ball under pressure
Video 20. Kums tackles in the own penalty box

Defensive Midfielder
Peter Zulj #27

25 years
185 cm
Left foot
  • Excellent long pass with his left foot (video 21)

  • Loses the ball when under pressure (video 22)

  • Commits tactical mistakes during defensive positioning (video 23)

  • Commits fouls when trying to win high ball

  • Often restarts game by a long diagonal pass

Video 21. Long pass from Zulj
Video 22. Zulj loses the ball when under pressure
Video 23. Zulj’s defensive positioning mistake

Central Attacking Midfielder
Yari Verschaeren #51

17 years
172 cm
Right foot
  • Young, fast and extremely agile player (video 24)

  • Excellent dribbling skills

  • Decent left foot

  • Yet slightly nervous. More confidence should come with age

  • Often directs the ball to the side with his first touch if there is a free space available (see video 24)

Video 24. Verschaeren’s agility


Left Winger
Yannick Bolasie #11

29 years
185 cm
Both feet
  • Very confident on the ball with quick feet (video 25)

  • Able to croos with both feet (video 26)

  • High speed player

  • Very determined in his attempts to steal the ball from his opponent

  • Shields the ball by turning his back to the opponent which is technically incorrect. Player should be positioned sideways to the opponent when protecting the ball with the arm holding the opponent off (video 27)

  • Commits mistakes when being with his back to the opponent and playing directly with one touch (too nervous here, doesn’t meet the right decision, see video 28)

  • Doesn’t keep the ball close to his foot when dribbling (tip: win the ball at the moment when he lets the ball to go away enough from his foot, see video 29)

  • Tends to shoot from long distance if there is such a possibility

  • After a corner can change sides with another winger (Bakkali or Amuzu)

Video 25. Bolasie’s ball control under pressure followed by an inaccurate long pass
Video 26. Bolasie’s goal with his right foot
Video 27. Bolasie’s poor ball protection skills
Video 27. Bolasie’s pass mistake
Video 29. Bolasie’s dribbling

Right Winger
Zakaria Bakkali #99

23 years
168 cm
Right foot
  • An explosive player with good dribbling skills (video 30)

  • Often holds the ball for too long

  • Avoids using his left foot when necessary (video 31)

  • Too many inaccurate long passes

  • After a corner can change sides with Bolasie

Video 30. Bakkali’s explosiveness
Video 31. Bakkali avoids using his left foot when necessary

Center Forward
Ivan Santini #19

29 years
190 cm
Right foot
  • Tall and very good in headers

  • Has good field vision and plays good passes in free space behind defensive line

  • Very good first touch when receiving long ball

  • Protects the ball with his back to the opponent (tip: push him slightly when trying to win the ball)


Francis Amuzu #40

19 years
170 cm
Right foot
  • Very fast player with excellent dribbling (see video 1)