LOKOMOTIVA and Hajduk (3: 2) played a great game, that is what we must especially emphasize. The HNL once again offered great football and showed all its charm.
Hajduk was much better than Lokomotiva in the first half, they should have led convincingly. Also, Lokomotiva was significantly better in the second half.
A match from which lessons can be learned
It was shown once again how much one goal can change a game in a psychological sense. The goal that Lokomotiva scored towards the end of the first half gave it wings and in the second half a completely different team came out. It’s hard to believe these are the same 22 players from the first half. Once again, it showed how important the head is in football.
Hajduk played exactly the way Tudor did in the first half and said they would. They planned to retreat a bit and welcome Lokomotiva in the center. They did a great job and were dangerous from the counterattack. They created a few more chances from which Jairo was very dangerous and they were able to score a few goals by half time and go on holiday peacefully. Tudor’s tactics made the trio of Kastrati, Tolic and Uzuni not stand out because they were deprived of space, and it is known that they are players who need a lot of space. The locomotive had no chance in the first half. Everything that Tudor tactically imagined in the first half played out perfectly.
Trio Jradi – Jairo – Caktas outplayed trio Kastrati – Tolic and Uzuni
Lokomotiva had Čeliković and Mersinaj at fullback who can bring very little in attack, and if you play against a system like Hajduk’s 3-5-3 or 3-4-1-2, then you have to create a surplus on the flanks. Lokomotiva did not do that in the first half because there was never a doubling of the flanks, so Hajduk could easily defend.
Lokomotiva then tried through the middle, but Hajduk was quite dense in the middle. Jradi, who was in a good mood, played especially well. The trio Jradi – Jairo – Caktas outplayed the trio Kastrati – Tolic and Uzuni in the first half. He deserved Hajduk and a bigger advantage, and then came that goal at the end of the half that turned the game around.
Tomic scored with changes, and Tudor did not
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In the second half, the changes made by Tomić brought much more to Lokomotiva than the changes made by Tudor brought to Hajduk. Jair’s exit completely dulled Hajduk’s offensive power. Hajduk started to retreat a lot, they no longer played in the center, but in their 30 meters, and in the second half we watched Lokomotiva in the best edition in which they often show themselves this season.
At 2: 2, there was a great chance for Jakoliš, who could have redirected the game to the side of Hajduk, but failed. We can’t say that Lokomotiva’s victory is not deserved, but if Hajduk had won because of the great first half and Jakoliš’s chance, it would not have been undeserved.
I would also like to point out Judge Damir Batinić. We are often critical of the referees, but I think Batinić did a great game, he could not be noticed. It’s best when the referee isn’t noticed in the match, and he succeeds. It should be noted that the match was very difficult to judge, there was everything, and he did not make a mistake anywhere. He should be congratulated on that.
Tactical changes that broke Hajduk
In the second half, the biggest change was brought by Gluhaković, who entered on the right flank, and who is a much more offensive defender than Mersinaj in terms of vocation. Tomic took Kovacic out of the right stopper and lowered Mersinaj to his natural position to make room for Gluhakovic.
It happened that Lokomotiva came to the situation that Kastrati no longer went out alone on Dolcek and Dimitrova, but to do so with the support of Gluhakovic, and in two or two situations, Kastrati’s quality came to the fore. It was this offensive quality of Gluhaković that brought more opportunities for Kastrati to spread.
Also, towards the end, Tomić introduced Marković instead of the more defensive Čeliković and won even further. Hajduk no longer had a way to defend themselves. Tudor replaced Jaira probably due to an injury in the early phase of the second half, so Hajduk lost a lot, and Lokomotiva could breathe a sigh of relief and turn the game in their favor. All in all, a very good game, the fight for second place will be uncertain until the very end, but Lokomotiva has a small advantage because it has already played with Dinamo, and everyone else has yet to.
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