No, I’m sure many had imagined it differently. FC St. Pauli started the new football year with a 2:2 draw. The game was similarly disjointed as the pitch at the Millerntor was. FC St. Pauli did not manage to unleash their offensive power. And when they did, it was at the expense of their defence. So the team has to settle for a point.
(Cover picture: Martin Rose/Getty Images/via OneFootball)
Even before the game started, it was somehow clear that this would be a tough affair. The 2,000 spectators in the Millerntor did their best and chants kept coming up. The stadium playlist was also appealing with “Individuell” and “Mehr als Fußball”. But it remains the same: a game at the Millerntor with such a clear crowd restriction is simply, if anything, very weak methadone. Symbolic of this were the four pigeons that made themselves comfortable on the side of the Gegengerade during the game.
The game started accordingly: Although it was quite clear right from the start who was the leader and who was second to last in the 2nd division, FC St. Pauli were rarely really compelling in the first half. Erzgebirge Aue had done their homework and adapted their formation in the same way as Holstein Kiel and Fortuna Düsseldorf did quite successfully against FCSP before the winter break (more on this in the tactics analysis, which will be published tomorrow).
In this match we could see what can happen in such a match if the FC St. Pauli doesn’t take an early lead at home: Erzgebirge Aue set up comfortably defensively, while FCSP looked for solutions and mostly didn’t find them. And as it happens in such games, the first relief action of the inferior team came. Just when I was noting that Aue always tried to build up flat, but rarely or never succeeded, an safe ball could not be held. Hartel slipped away so that Owusu could play in from the right side and Zolinski pushed it in for the completely surprising 0:1 (17th minute) – nice shit.
It became tough in the aftermath – FC St. Pauli did not manage to generate any chances at all out of the game, even though they were the dominant team. And Erzgebirge Aue made themselves very comfortable thanks to the result. In my opinion, Martin Männel could have, if not should have, been booked for time play already after 25 minutes. That was unpleasant, but I probably wouldn’t have minded if it had gone the other way and FCSP had acted so lasciviously slowly in the situation (and also the table constellation).
The equaliser could not have been better suited to the game: It resulted from a set-piece. After Eric Smith’s free-kick, Jakov Medić headed in at the second post (30th minute). Finally. Finally, FC St. Pauli scored another goal from a set-piece. But it was also necessary, as very little came out of the game.
The game remained tough in the following period. The equaliser did not change anything. Shortly before the half-time break, St. Pauli had their first real chance when Jackson Irvine had a free header after a good individual action by Burgstaller. Shortly afterwards, it was Marcel Hartel who forced Martin Männel into another save from the back.
FC St. Pauli could not be satisfied with the first half, even though they controlled the game, especially offensively.
With the start of the second half, however, all the more so. FC St. Pauli changed their formation slightly and even without this change they showed that they had more steam behind them: Instead of a controlled and patient build-up, FC St. Pauli now looked for the way forward much faster.
That was something like the turning point of the game. As a result, FC St. Pauli managed to get in front of Aue’s goal much less often. Patience turned into impatience and the game became much wilder. Probably much wilder than Timo Schultz and his team would have liked. The FC St. Pauli was not the only team to develop more of a goal threat, but Erzgebirge Aue was also becoming more dangerous in their switching actions. It was one of these that led to a new deficit: FC St. Pauli lost the ball in the increasingly chaotic build-up, Aue switched quickly, was able to cross, the first shot landed on the crossbar, but Trujic converted the rebound to take the lead (72nd). Although FC St. Pauli tried more and looked more and more desperate, the goal had somehow been foreshadowed. Defensively, the team increasingly lost control, the risk in the build-up was enormously high because FCSP became inaccurate.
It was getting even more restless now. And harder. Shortly after his caution, Trujic might have been sent off with a yellow card when he knocked Paqarada over from behind. Not surprisingly, Trujic was substituted again shortly afterwards, although he had only just been substituted.
This made little difference to the game. FC St. Pauli remained restless and inaccurate. Actually, the team is good at working under high tempo in the offensive. But in this game, it all seemed disjointed, really motley. Nevertheless: FCSP tried a lot, did not give up – and was rewarded shortly before the end.
The equaliser came in the 93rd minute after two beautiful individual actions: First Finn Ole Becker and then Etienne Amenyido showed that they can do something with the ball. It was somehow clear that this game could only be won through successful individual actions (or standards). No question, both of them did a great job (and so much for my thesis in “Still Being Timo Schultz” that Amenyido is not a goal scorer).
Shortly afterwards, after an offside goal by Aue and further chances for Braun-Weiß, it was over. FC St. Pauli played to a draw against Erzgebirge Aue. Both the result and the game itself are not what FCSP expected of itself. It is a small damper to start the new football year.
//Tim (translation by Arne)