Analysis: Plenty of positives for Melbourne Victory, Ulsan Hyundai
Melbourne: Melbourne Victory came from behind three times to share the points in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Ulsan Hyundai in their opening match of the 2018 AFC Champions League at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Tuesday.
Kim Do-hoon’s men will rue a missed opportunity after taking the lead three times, but there were plenty of positives for the Korean side to take away from their trip to Melbourne.
Mislav Orsic’s must have a fondness for playing against Australian teams, with his brace on Tuesday following another brace against Brisbane Roar last year.
Deployed as a left-winger in a 4-1-4-1 formation, Orsic stuck tight to the left touch line, as displayed by his heat map below, and gave a workout to both Kosta Barbarouses and Jason Geria on Melbourne Victory’s right-hand side.
With Geria, at full-back, looking to get forward and join in the attack, Orsic was often able to get in behind Barbarouses to exploit the space offered and link up with Park Joo-ho, who would push on from left-back.
His two goals, both spectacular efforts, were just reward for his hard work on the night.
It was a night for the left-wingers, as Melbourne Victory’s Dutchman Leroy George also turned in stellar performance that was a capped by a brace and an assist of his own.
George, who has previously played in both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, was prolific down the left-hand side and was often the key man in the attacking chain for Melbourne Victory.
His attacking graph below shows his completed passes (green) and key passes and assists (yellow).
George was particularly dangerous from set-piece situations, able to deliver near-perfect crosses time and again and it was from this situation that Melbourne Victory scored their third goal when George picked out Rhys Williams at the back post.
One of Ulsan Hyundai’s key off-season signings was former Mainz and Borussia Dortmund defender Park Joo-ho, and the Korean national team star put in a solid display in his first match in his new colours.
His match-up against Kosta Barbarouses was an entertaining one all night, and Park showed all his talent and experience to continually thwart and break up attack’s from Kevin Muscat’s side.
The graph above, highlighting his key defensive involvements, shows how important a lot of his work in and around the penalty box was, breaking up the Melbourne Victory attack and setting up Ulsan Hyundai’s counter attacks.
And while he was often the first link in that chain, as his heat map below highlights, not content with just breaking up the attack, he also got forward to help in attack for his own side, with a lot of his work coming on the attacking side of the half way line as he linked up with Mislav Orsic.