Game of week 2
Genesis 0 – 4 Rapid
Genesis lined up in a typical offensive 4-3-3 with two number 10’s in Kroos and Silva. One of the most steady teams in the Pep had a consistant line up with Higuain at the spear head of the attack and De Gea in Goal. Rapid countered this formation with a more conservative 4-3-3 with Bakayoko, Veratti and Pjanic in the Engine room providing the base for Gaitan, Ronaldo and on form Harry Kane to lead the attack. At the back Manolas retained his place beside Vertonghen at the heart of the defence.
Both teams looked to impose their composed build up on the game in the early exchanges however a loose ball was pounced on in midfield by the tenacious, Destroyer Bakayoko. Bakayoko’s pass was simple to Pjanic who had an acre of space behind the two advanced midfielders of Genesis, the Bosnian shot was solid yet unspectacular and De Gea parried wide however the alarming amount of room he had to operate in was a sign of things to come as the game developed. The resulting corner from Pjanic was pin point however captain Cristiano got underneath the ball only to head comfortable over. An encouraging start for Rapid.
Rapid operating with a frontline press forced De Gea into pumping the ball long however with Jan Vertonghen and Manolas at the back shielded by Bakayoko This route to goal was blocked and cleverly countered by Rapid. After a poor pass in Midfield by Genesis, Gaitan predictbly lifted the ball down the middle to Kane who’s shot was just wide.
Neither team were able to really get going after Rapid had the better of the early exchanges. However the high press by Veratti and solid midfield of Rapid meant that they were able to get the better of the early exchanges. On 19 minutes Alex Sandro’s clever interception broke down Genesis’s attack which had started deep with Higuain. Sandros pass foung Cristiano on the left channel. Ronaldo came inside on his right foot and hit a wicked shot which hit the inside of De Gea’s post. Genesis were running out of Ideas, De Gea’s Distribution was poor and Higuain was drifting into channels to do the wingers work and dropping deep, the incoherent attacks were forcefully stopped by Rapids back line and the team appropriately dressed in efficient Black would counter swiftly if sometimes hurriedly.
Upon the 30 minute mark Genesis started to enjoy more possesion but in areas that didnt punish Rapid until Bellerins clever cut back found David Silva, who turned well in the box only to drag the shot wide. How many times have we seen Silva find success for Genesis in those type of areas in the PEP over the years. Unlucky! Rapid continued to look menacing with there measured and direct approach. Lloris’s assured long pas for Ronaldo was headed down, the knock down was clipped in Behind the defence for Ronaldo to run onto to, only to be thwarted by De Gea… The Genesis goal was living on borrowed time and surely Rapid would punish such basic defensive errors soon.
A basic ball over the top was not dealt with, Kane running away from goal didnt pose an imminant threat however out of desperation captain Godin dived in to give away a cast iron Penalty. Pjanic stepped up and efficiently despatched 1-0! a well deserved lead on the stroke of Halftime.
The second half began as the first ended. Kanes runs were causing all kinds of Hysteria in the Genesis back line. Gaitan clipped a ball in the channel, kane took the defender wide then clipped in a measured cross. With Ronaldo on the left wing nothing clipped in with quality is getting past the first post and the Portuguese talisman rose like a salomon to direct his header in the opposite corner (Jardel eyebrow flick stylie) only for De Gea to save well. Sanchez returned the gesture to clip in a ball toward Gonzalo. The Argentine struck well but Lloris caught the ball easily. End to end stuff, both keepers palms warmed, Game on! Genesis were looking to get on the ball but they couldnt break the intensity of the Rapid high press. Genesis again lost the ball in the first third, in the build up stage of possesion. The ball was sucessfully transited to Kane who drove the ball home 2-0 and the better team were winning. Kroos was dily dalying on the ball and neither he or Silva has been able to get beyond Bakayoko and Verrati who were imposing their considerable will on the eb and flow of proceedings.
Rapid began to move with a rushed authority, like a boxer sensing his fellow contender is ready to hit the canvas quck wins in midfield were followed by manevolant long passes aimed at the either Kane or Ronaldo. Rapid could taste the blood! Huffs and puffs by Genesis were greated with Rapid trying to blow the house down on the counter but the lack of composure by Rapid made for a fast paced Basketball style period of the match that allowed Genesis the chance to potentially claw there way back into a game they had never been in. Genesis’s best moment of the match came when a mazing run by Sanchez saw the barrell chested Chiliean blaze inside the rapid defence. His shot was well struck but well saved by Lloris. Surely Genesis have to get the ball out to Sanchez more often!
However today belonged to Kane who was setting, spinning, bouncing and looking like the perfect number 9. A couple of deft touches in the attack saw Gaitan combine with Kane, the English hero’s touch was clinical once set in on the keeper. De Gea, Ed De Goey or Ed the duck it didnt matter who was in Goal by the time the keeper had set his feet Kane was wheeling his way toward the Rapid fan, one arm raised in appeal pleading his innocence in not being off side and half raised in elation for finishing the game and silencing any critical voices in the Pep press.
Genesis’s manager made a few alterations however his futile attempts to change the game were surely too late now. Victor Moses came on for Kane with CR7 going central for Rapid. Moses joined the press as Rapid once again harrased Matuidi. The frenchman was once again held upside down by his ankles and shaken for his lunch money as Rapid constructed another deirect attack down the jugular of the Genesis defence. Ronaldo was parried by De Gea, De Gea saved the long range return from from Hector but was powerless to stop Ronaldo’s follow up. Ronaldo wanted in on the glory and in typical fashion celebrated the meaningless goal as if it were the winner in the Pep final. This was now an absolute Decimation! 4-0 Game done and Rapid looking on Fire.
This game was always going to be won and lost in Midfield. With Matuidi, Silva and Kroos versus Bakayoko, Veratti and Pjanic on paper we could have favoured Genesis to get the better of this. However playing Silva and Kroos so high up as number 10’s opposed to 8’s and Matuidi isolated as the deepest playmaker, Rapid were able to aggresively press and out number whoever was on the ball and get Gaitan, Ronaldo and Kane front facing or in the channels. If Genesis had got Silva and kroos front facing and runinng off Bakayoko they could have caused all types of problems. Rapid finished well and the use of Kane was masterful. Always playing to Kanes upside and one touch passing and clever movement helped Rapid to demolish Genesis.