Jonatan Germano’s man-of-the-match performance for Melbourne Heart in their dramatic 2-1 triumph over Sydney FC on Friday night was a sublime display of defensive midfield tenacity.
Jonatan Germano-s man-of-the-match performance for Melbourne Heart in their dramatic 2-1 triumph over Sydney FC on Friday night was a sublime display of defensive midfield tenacity.
Pre-match Germano stated that he “wanted to give everything for the Club, the coach, the players the supporters,” and through his on field efforts, he certainly lived up to this pledge.
The Argentinean-s return to the starting XI coincided with a change of team structure by Head Coach John van-t Schip, who opted to play a three man defense against a Sky Blues side high on confidence.
Germano-s role in the side on Friday night was mainly to sit in front of that defensive three and shield them while Sydney attacked. Germano carried out this defensive responsibility superbly on the night, as he repelled and broke up Sydney-s attacks with his trademark hassling.
The image below shows the important areas in which Germano made defensive interventions for his side, with the X-s representing tackles won, the diamond an interception and the grey rectangle the blocking of a shot.
Furthermore the next image show-s the four times Germano recovered the ball from the opposition (green crosses) and also the two times he was fouled while attacking (grey triangles).
His work rate and application in his return match undoubtedly influenced his teammates, who even with 10 men produced a desperate defensive display to hold out Sydney for large parts of the match.
Maybe most impressive was that Germano-s defensive work did not limit him in attack, as the South American claimed Heart-s equaliser and created two shots which were saved off the line, as the graphic above illustrates.
The Argentine-s willingness to work just as hard going forward as he did coming into the back half completed a brilliantly rounded and vitally pivotal return to the Red and White starting XI.