In the second article of a new series on Nischal’s Blog, Post-match thoughts are personal reflections and analysis on every football game I attend in the 2019/20 season.
I continued my season where I started it three days earlier, returning to FC Luzern’s Swissporarena. Having just seen Luzern edge ahead in their Europa League qualifier, it was back to domestic action in the Swiss Super League.
They hosted Zürich on Sunday, who started the season in a complete opposite way. While Luzern won 2-0 on the opening day, Zürich were humiliated, as they were smashed 4-0 on their own turf by Lugano.
In my second and last game in central Switzerland before I headed home, I was looking forward to a league thriller between two evenly matched sides. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to expectations.
Unlucky or wasteful?
After watching Luzern on Thursday night, it was clear that they needed to work on converting their chances. It took them 28 shots before they scored the winner against Kí Klaksvík, and that simply couldn’t happen again against much stronger opposition.
They had few chances in the first 45 minutes, while the second half saw no real improvement or increase of urgency. Marvin Schulz’s woeful one-on-one miss was their best chance of the game, as he pounced on a poor Zürich pass before skying his shot over the bar.
You could argue that Thomas Häberli’s were unlucky on Thursday, hitting the woodwork time and time again. However, this time out they were simply wasteful.
Poor misses, glaring opportunities and wasted attacks were frustrating, and every time they went forward they went on to waste any chance they had on goal.
Despite the goalless draw, there are positives to be taken. Luzern sit second in the table on goal difference, and kept their third clean sheet in three as they continue to be solid in defence.
That being said, there wasn’t much meaningful defending to do, but it is still impressive that FCL are yet to concede this season in over 270 minutes of football.
However going forward, Luzern need to be more clinical and work on being more accurate. 14 of their 15 shots were off target on Sunday, meaning that they have scored just one goal from 43 attempts in their last two games.
Luzern can certainly do well this season, but there is work to be done. Nevertheless, an unbeaten start to the season is promising, as FCL hope to push on in 2019/20.
Standout player: Pascal Schürpf
Schürpf played very well on Sunday, creating a lot of chances going forward and leading his team well. Although he was unable to register his first goal of the season, he contributed a lot to Luzern’s attacks and was my man of the match.
Little threat, much concern
It was all about redemption for Zürich, as they sat bottom of the table after their 4-0 thrashing. It looked unlikely they would threaten Luzern, yet the lack of it was certainly worrying, as they really couldn’t leave their mark on the game.
Bar the one shot that cannoned off the crossbar, Zürich didn’t create a single good chance. They struggled to break down or get past Luzern’s defence, and frankly never looked like scoring in a dogged display.
Zürich did not threaten their hosts once, and every time they had the ball it was of little genuine concern to Luzern. They were vulnerable in defence as well as mediocre in attack, looking shaky when they were on the back foot.
The stats sum up their game and indeed their season so far. They conceded more fouls than shots, with 18 offences in comparison to just 7 attempts, and are the only Super League side yet to score after the opening 180 league minutes.
Ludovic Magnin’s side sit 10th, and their slow start to the new campaign is unsettling. They must fix up and improve as soon as possible, with their performance at Luzern nowhere near good enough.
Standout player: No one
I didn’t particularly want to have this as an option in any of my articles, but truly no one stood out for Zürich. They were vulnerable in defence and missing in attack, as no one performed well in a drab draw for FCZ.
Away from the game itself, the Luzern fans deserve plaudits once again. Their non-stop chanting and support was fantastic, as they did their best to push their team and created a wonderful atmosphere alongside the travelling fans from Zürich.
On a final note, if you’re in Switzerland and like football then please do go and check out a Super League (first division) or Challenge League (second division) game. It’s decent, well-priced football, and the atmosphere and ultras make it all worthwhile.
In front of a strong 9,917 crowd, the sound attendance and superb atmosphere was let down by the football. It was an evenly balanced game but a dull one at times, as it ended all square in the second matchday of the Swiss Super League.
– All photos taken by Nischal Schwager-Patel –