This season I’ll be providing reviews of all games played in each Runde on a weekly basis. I will make a point to try and watch at least one game a week and thus provide a more detailed analysis of that fixture.
As we’ve only had 4 games and I’ve watched Bodø/Glimt vs Tromsø and Vålerenga vs Rosenborg, it’s been feasible to write a slightly more detailed review than normally would be the case.
FK Bodø/Glimt 3 – 0 Tromsø IL
Erik Botheim (10.0mNOK) rose high to meet a lovely, chipped ball into the box from Alfons Sampsted (5.5mNOK) to score on his competitive debut for the champions and Fantasy Favourite Ulrik Saltnes (10.5m) soon doubled the lead from close-range after being expertly fed through by Sondre Brunstad Fet (7.5mNOK).
Barely fit enough to start, Runar Espejord (7.5mNOK) was substituted on the half-hour mark – midfielder August Mikkelsen (4.5mNOK) coming on to replace him.
20-year-old Mikkelsen gave a good account of himself throughout – playing 60+ minutes – and his introduction to the game ahead of actual forward Tobias Hafstad (4.5mNOK) does not bode well for owners of the cut-price striker. Now perhaps we ask the question if Espejord misses out, is it Mikkelsen that will start ahead and not Hafstad?
Tromsø midfielder Daniel Berntsen (6.0mNOK) had a half-chance to pull a goal back but his direct free-kick was launched over the bar and into low-Earth orbit. He put in a spirited and tireless effort until he was taken off in the 73rd minute.
Fet had an opportunity to make it 3-0 at the end of the first half but failed to open up his body enough to get his shot away cleanly and it went straight into Jacob Karlstrøm’s (4.5mNOK) expectant hands. A strong first-half performance from Fet will have given his manager food to thought and he would hope to be in the starting XI again for their next match against Kristiansund.
Despite leading 2-0 at half time it was actually Tromsø who had most shots (8-3) but only one of those was on target, while all of Glimt’s found their way through. There is something to be said about only shooting when it’s worth it rather than going all gung-ho, losing possession of the ball and killing an attack dead.
Early in the second half Glimt broke with intent but the move came to a premature end after Ola Solbakken (10.0mNOK) drilled his low cross straight at the goalkeeper, much to his own frustration. Karlstrom then made a huge save to deny Solbakken again, adding further misery to the big man’s attempt to fill Jens Petter Hauge’s boots.
Fredrik André Bjørkan (6.0mNOK) was also involved in numerous attacks, most notably playing the ball across the outside of the area for it to ricochet off the heel of Fet and into the path of Saltnes whose shot was tipped round the post by Karlstrøm.
Tromsø looked to attack consistently down Glimt’s right flank winning multiple corners in the process but none of them came to much. Lasse Nilsen (5.0mNOK) – a defender playing OOP in midfield – and Eric Kitolano (7.5mNOK) were the liveliest of their midfielders, while substitute Mikkelsen put in a great performance and actually almost scored only for his low effort to find its way around the wrong side of the post, rippling the side-netting rather than the back of the net.
Hugo Vetlesen (7.5mNOK) came on for around 25 minutes and came close to scoring what would have been a great goal, holding off a defender in the area to turn into space and firing a shot low and wide resulting in nothing more than a succession of wasted corners.
In the final 15-20 minutes Glimt seemed happy to let Tromsø come at them and it has to be said they found it relatively easy to negate any attacks their Arctic Circle neighbours could create, Alfons Sampsted and Brede Moe (5.0mNOK) in particular putting in good performances.
Solbakken’s determination finally paid off as he dinked a beautifully weighted ball towards the onrushing Botheim at the far post, only for Lasse Nilsen to get there ahead of him, turning the ball into his own net to make it 3-0.
Despite his own goal, Nilsen was probably Tromsø’s best player (other than their goalkeeper), throwing his weight around to not only win 5/7 ground duels but also record a passing accuracy of 80%, creating 1 key pass and 1 big chance in the process. The own goal seemed quite unfortunate as if he left it Botheim was certain to score.
Sebastian Tounekti (7.0mNOK) was given a five-minute cameo and almost made an immediate impact, running the ball into the box before playing a smart pass for Vetlesen to side-foot into the bottom corner to be once again denied by the brilliant Karlstrøm as he was able to get his fingertips on it and push it behind the post for a corner.
Sondre Sørli (9.5mNOK) was largely anonymous throughout as most of the attacking play seemed to be aimed towards Solbakken via Saltnes and Fet.
Khaykin; Sampsted, Moe (YC) [Kvile 86’], Høibråten, Bjorkan; Fet [Vetlesen 73’], Berg, Saltnes; Sørli [Lindahl 89’], Botheim [Hagen 85’], Solbakken [Tounekti 86’]
Karlstrøm; Amundsen, Jenssen, Gundersen (YC) [Øyvann 87’]; Totland, Berntsen [Antonsen 73’], Y. Jenssen, Kitolano, Nilssen; Espejord [Mikkelsen 32’], Ebiye [Ingebrigsten 86’]
Player of the Match:
Sondre Brunstad Fet [7.5/10]
- · 1 Assist
- · 46 Touches
- · 2 Key Passes, 1 Big Chance Created
- · 25/30 Passes Completed (83%)
- · 6/11 Ground Duels Won
- · 1 Shot on Target
- · 1 Blocked Shot, 2 Interceptions, 4 Tackles
- · Fouled twice
Molde FK 2 – 0 Kristiansund BK
Ohi Omoijuanfo (11.5mNOK) started his season as poorly as possible, blazing over from the spot barely 13 minutes into the game. Fredrik Aursnes (6.0mNOK) however put in an incredible shift, providing two assists as he ran the show from midfield. Eirik Ulland Andersen (8.5mNOK) and winger Ola Brynhildsen (7.5mNOK) scored the only goals of the game.
For so long I have banged on about following the statistics and using them to our advantage and yet I was too happy to ignore the signs that pointed towards Aursnes. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but the truth is he is one of the few players that was firmly on my radar, only to be overlooked for the shinier, more expensive Eirik Hestad (8.5mNOK). All things considered, it represents a 9 point swing which is hardly season-defining and I’m actually happy to see Aursnes start the season in such a fashion as he is a cheap way into the Molde midfield.
Perhaps this is a warning not to be blinded by the price tags of some players? (Ironic as I started Joe Bell (5.0mNOK) whom I rate highly and have no issue starting on a regular basis).
Molde dominated the first half, having 58% possession and 9 shots, 5 of which were on target. Come the final whistle they had played 485 passes, had 4 big chances and missed them all, twice the amount of corners as Kristiansund and 8/15 shots were on target.
David Datro Fofana (9.5mNOK) was given twenty minutes (replacing Ohi Omoijuanfo) and Björn Bergmann Sigurðarson (10.0mNOK) was also brought on in the closing stages for Brynhildsen.
Kristiansund’s standout players were everyone’s favourite 4.5mNOK midfielder – Andreas Hopmark – and captain Dan Peter Ulvestad (5.0mNOK). This was never a game Kristiansund were ever likely to get anything out of but Hopmark did make 1 key pass, misplaced just 3 passes overall and won every single duel he was in. Against the title favourites, I would say that is the definition of an encouraging performance.
Sean McDermott (5.0mNOK) threw his hat in the ring to be considered ahead of cheaper alternatives, making 6 saves in total with 3 of those coming from shots inside the area. 9 of his 15 attempted long balls found their target and both of his runs out were successful. If he carries this kind of form over into the upcoming gameweeks it might suggest that Kristiansund are capable of some very differential-looking clean sheets we could take advantage of.
Molde would have gone into this game expecting a clean sheet and even though Marcus Holmgren Pedersen (6.5mNOK) was left out of the starting XI, those of us who previously backed him were given enough time before the deadline to swap him out for another defender as to not miss out on the clean sheet points.
Linde; Knudtzon, Bjørnbak, Gregersen, Risa; Aursnes, Hussain; Hestad, Andersen [Bolly 89’], Brynhildsen [Sigurðarson 77’]; Ohi [Fofana 69’]
McDermott; Sormo, Coly [P. Ulvestad 75’], D. Ulvestad, Sivertsen [Strand Nilsen 46’]; Diop, Hopmark, Kartum [Skarsem 62’]; Gjertsen [Pemi 62’], Kastrati [Willumsson 46’], Bye
Player of the Match:
Fredrik Aursnes (MOL) [8/10]
- · 2 Assists
- · 104 Touches
- · 4 Key Passes, 1 Big Chance Created – (Most combined KP & BCC)
- · 67/77 Passes Completed
- · 5/6 Long Balls Completed
- · Attempted 9 Crosses
- · 44 Accurate Opposition 1/2 Passes & 27 Accurate Final 1/3 Passes (More than anyone else over the weekend)
Viking FK 3 – 1 SK Brann
Differential midfield option Joe Bell played Samúel Kári Friðjónsson (6.5mNOK) in for Viking’s opener, with Brann mustering a response through forward Daouda Bamba (9.0mNOK) who connected with Petter Strand’s (7.0mNOK) cross from the right to make it 1-1.
The first 45 minutes were fairly even (51%-49%) but Viking were able to produce more shots (9-6) and had the better chances and would have considered themselves unlucky to go in level at the break.
The second half saw more action and it was none other than Veton Berisha (10.5mNOK) who put Viking in front, Kevin Kabran (8.5mNOK) the man getting the assist.
Ole Didrik Blomberg (5.0mNOK) sealed the win for Viking, scoring at the wrong end of the pitch to resign Brann to an expected loss in what will surely be considered the worst possible fashion. The own goal came in the 81st minute, effectively wiping any momentum Brann might have thought they still had.
Harald Nilsen Tangen (4.5mNOK) was given a 20-minute cameo, replacing goalscorer Friðjónsson shortly after the home side regained the lead. Herman Haugen (4.0mNOK) was also given a 15-minute run out and was relatively quiet involved for playing just a sixth of a game. These are cheap players in their respective positions so seeing them come on in the very first game of the season is encouraging and hopefully a sign of things to come.
Brann ended the game with two more shots than Viking (14-12) but fewer on target (3-4). When we look at big chances created we see part of the issue lies here as Brann had none while Viking created 2. And when we look at where these teams were shooting, we see that 75% of Viking’s shots were inside the area whereas 8/14 of Brann’s were outside the box, illustrating the big difference in application between the two teams.
The away side should take solace in the fact they pretty much matched their opponents for passes and shots and actually won more corners (10-6) and completed 4 times the number of dribbles. So yes, Viking may have got the 3 points, but it was by no means a walkover, and this was against a Brann side playing with two 33-year-old centre-halves, a 38-year-old goalkeeper and a right-back who will turn 21 in just over a month’s time.
David Møller Wolfe (5.0mNOK) and Filip Møller Delaveris (7.5mNOK) are also just 19 and 20 respectively and while they won’t have turned too many heads after this performance, Brann are showing they are happy to back not only their youth but their older, more experienced players too.
N.B. Wolfe has some OOP potential as he was utilised on the right wing
Austbø; Bjørshol [Haugen 76’], Heggheim, Hove, Vevatne; Bell, Løkberg (YC), Friðjónsson [Tangen 70’]; Torsteinbø, Berisha, Kabran [Auklend 88’]
Opdal; Blomberg, Kristiansen, Forren, Grogaard; Barmen, Strand; Wolfe [Rasmussen 82’], Taylor, Delaveris; Bamba
Player of the Match
Joe Bell (VIK) [7.7/10]
- · 1 Assist
- · 88 Touches
- · 48/58 Passes Completed
- · 1 Key Pass, 1 Big Chance Created
- · Attempted 8 crosses and completed 4/9 Long Balls
- · Won 4/8 Ground Duels
- · 1 Clearance, 1 Blocked Shot, 1 Interception, 4 Tackles
Vålerenga Fotball 1 – 1 Rosenborg BK
The evening game saw Norway’s two biggest and most famous clubs battle it out. Vålerenga right-back Christian Dahle Borchgrevink (6.0mNOK) was heavily involved in the opening five minutes, taking a couple of corners as well as lofting a free-kick onto the head of Fredrik Oldrup Jensen (5.0mNOK) only for his shot to fall tamely into the hands of André Hansen (6.0mNOK).
Following a mazy run past a couple of defenders, the mercurial Osame Sahraoui (8.0mNOK) found Viðar Örn Kjartansson (11.5mNOK) onside in the area with an outrageous chipped ball. The forward didn’t connect well enough though, tamely flicking the ball into the outspread Hansen off whom it ricocheted back into Kjartansson’s path only for his return shot to crash into the post. The ball was quickly recycled back into action and left-back Samuel Adekugbe (5.5mNOK) stood up a neat pass for Amor Layouni (10.5mNOK) only for the returning Tunisian once of Glimt to head poorly into the stands much to his own chagrin.
In the first 15 minutes, Rosenborg hadn’t had a shot, compared to Vålerenga’s 5 efforts, 3 of which were on target. Possession statistics failed to paint a much better picture for Åge Hareide’s side as The Bohemians had over 65% of the ball for large parts of the opening exchange.
Stefano Vecchia (9.5mNOK) was tasked with taking free-kicks and he played a great ball into the area towards Dino Islamović (10.5mNOK) only for the forward to head the ball over the bar. It was a chance that he probably should have scored, and he looked gutted to have squandered yet another opportunity in the Rosenborg shirt.
Rosenborg continued to try and get something out of the game but time and time again they simply couldn’t break down Valerenga’s defence. A speculative Aron Dønnum (10.0mNOK) effort was deflected behind and from the resulting corner Borchgrevink whipped in a delightful ball which centre-half Even Hovland (6.0mNOK) unfortunately headed past Hansen and into his own goal.
Unbelievably that was the third own goal of the day!
Vebjørn Hoff (5.5mNOK) seems to have been given a creative license of some sort and came close to scoring himself with an effort from 25-yards bouncing the wrong side of Kristoffer Klaesson’s (5.5mNOK) post. On the stroke of half-time, he picked up the ball on Vålerenga’s right hand side and hit a brilliant, curling cross into the middle of the box and Zachariassen – seemingly unmarked and alone – rose high to meet it, rifling a strong header past Klaesson. The Vålerenga keeper seemed to be wildly out of position but neither Jonatan Tollås Nation (5.5mNOK) nor Ivan Näsberg (5.5mNOK) were close enough to the 27-year-old from Sortra and it was one of the simplest goals he’ll ever score.
Not even in a minute into the second and Zachariassen almost put his team in front, but his placed shot was easily stopped by the legs of Klaesson and routinely cleared out of danger. Rosenborg’s momentum didn’t let up as Adam Andersson (6.5mNOK) fizzed a ball across the 6-yard box only for an outstretched toe to knock it out of Islamović’s reach. Hoff was then played in down the left and had a good opportunity to deliver a cross into the middle, but his lofted pass was skied high and wide, putting an end to a good move.
Andersson was booked after throwing Bjørdal to the ground which gave Borchgrevink and Dønnum the perfect opportunity to combine on the edge of the area. The short pass allowed Dønnum to run into the box and attempt to feint his way into space but couldn’t do enough to generate any kind of clear-cut opening
Sahraoui continued to show exactly why he is one of the most talked about young players in the Eliteserien, perfectly weighting a through ball into the path of Adekugbe who effectively killed the attack as he pulled his cross back away from Dønnum who could only respond by tripping Hoff in the area.
Hansen made a great save to deny a certain goal, diving low to his left to keep out a tidy header from Kjartansson – it should have been a goal. And Dønnum should have scored later on as he connected with a good cross but headed wide with half the goal gaping.
Layouni was subbed off halfway through the second half and he was not happy, kicking multiple chairs as he stormed off to hide inside his Parka – it was certainly not the debut performance he would have had in mind that’s for sure.
For Valerenga everything was going down their right flank – Borchgrevink and Dønnum the most involved players by quite some way. The right-back was industrious, creative, tireless and enigmatic while Dønnum cut a frustrated and sometimes petulant figure, running into defenders and failing to trouble Hansen with his shots from distance.
There will surely be questions raised about his decision-making as there were multiple instances where he decided to shoot when surely the more sensible option would have been to play a teammate in.
Rosenborg were denied what definitely would have been given as a penalty in the Premier League as Vecchia’s close-range shot was stopped in its path by a stray hand though at first glance it would have seemed harsh for it to be given.
Dønnum continued to be a thorn in Rosenborg’s side and he would have got an assist if Kjartansson wasn’t doing his best impression of a player trying not to score, squandering yet another chance as he lost his footing and fell over swiping at thin air. I can’t remember how many free-kicks and corners Dønnum won but it was probably over a hundred – he was constantly fouled and blocked out of the game yet his effort was plain for everyone to see and he simply never stopped.
Klaesson; Borchgrevink, Nation, Näsberg, Adekugbe; Bjørdal, Jensen, Sahraoui; Dønnum, Kjartansson, Layouni [Christensen 66’]
Hansen; Dahl Reitan, Eyjólfsson, Hovland, Andersson (YC); Zachariassen (YC), Henriksen, Hoff (YC); Ceide [Holse 69’], Islamović, Vecchia
Player of the Match:
Vebjørn Hoff (RBK) [7.5/10]
- · 1 Assist
- · 42 Touches
- · 29/30 Passes Completed
- · 1 Key Pass, 1 Big Chance Created
- · 1/1 Crosses & 3/3 Long Balls Completed
- · 1 Shot Off Target, 1/1 Dribbles Completed
- · Fouled 3 Times, 1 Interception, 1 Tackle