switching from the UEFA Champions League anthem to the trumpets at admira proved to be anything but easy. frustrating even. what do the stats say?
When we were held by Sturm Graz, we described their performance as a blueprint for facing the Red Bulls. So it proved - as Admira did a lot right: scoring early, sitting deep and defending with everything they had. "Could they do it on a cold rainy night at Stoke?" was seen as the litmus test in England for so long - and a trip to Admira on a cold December afternoon seemed to be the Austrian equivalent. While the conditions were the same for both teams, they didn't exactly play into our hands. The bumpy pitch prevented us from playing our quick and fluent passing game. It was surprising we managed to accurately play as many of 78% of our passes.
That we gave the ball away as many as 138 times made it difficult for us to find a way past the Admira defence. Every time we lost possession, some vital time was eaten up. We had given the ball away a lot in Wolfsberg too, but we were less efficient in our shooting on Sunday. Admira scored with one shot and we scored one goal from 16.
Admira Wacker 1-1 FC Red Bull Salzburg
Shots on target: 1-8
Shots off target: 0-8
Challenges won: 48-52
Passing accuracy (%) 53-78
ADM cards: Yellow x 3, Red x 0
RBS cards: Yellow x 1, Red x 0
How could it be that it was so tough facing Admira. The hosts granted us very little space behind their defensive line, denying our quick stirkers the oxygen they needed. When Admira attacked, they always had an eye on defence - frequently leaving six men back. They only granted us one counter attack in the entire game - less than we had in any other match this season.
With a packed centre, much of our play became sent out to the flanks. The disadvantage of this was that we weren't able to make our extra pace count. We hit 28 crosses - more than we had in any other match this season. Admira maintained their aerial advantage, however.
We could have easily lost the league lead over the weekend, only for LASK to lose their chance to take top spot, and the away point even helped us to extend our lead. Despite everything, it turned out alright in the end!