Red Bulls 1 Fire 0 - recap and ratings

The Fire’s game plan, particularly on the road of late has been to sit back and wait for one opportunity to spring a counter.  It’s resulted in some ugly offensive performances but it’s been somewhat effective in picking up points in Kansas City and Houston.  It almost worked again today but a spectacular effort from Thierry Henry in the 71st minute was all New York needed to clear some distance between themselves and Chicago for third place in the Eastern Conference.

The problems offensively haven’t just stemmed from cautious tactics on the road either.  The Fire have not scored a goal from the run of play since Marco Pappa’s 58th minute strike against Sporting on June 29.  That’s 392 minutes for those counting.  It’s impossible to ignore that the drought has coincided with the departure of Sebastian Grazzini and those questions will continue to be raised until the club either shows they don’t need him by improving drastically in the final third or players who can make an impact are brought into the side.

Henry’s spectacular finish shows why high priced strikers get paid the money they do.  Henry was mostly silent for 70 minutes before uncoiling a wicked shot that banged in off of the far post past Sean Johnson.  The Fire have players who are capable of a spectacular finish from time to time but none that can provide the consistent quality or threat that Henry gives New York.  Those qualities will be the difference between comfortably securing a playoff spot and battling everyone else for position.

This team is still good enough to challenge for a playoff spot and this loss shouldn’t dampen that outlook but as we’ve said all year in this space……a top notch striker is still an absolute necessity in order to be considered much more than just another club in the playoffs.  Unfortunately, until they prove otherwise it seems an attacking midfielder is needed as well.

Player Ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) – Did all he could to keep the team in the game with big stops in the 21st and 43rd along with a command of the box which is improving every week.  Easily the Fire’s man of the match in this game.

D Dan Gargan (6) – One of the few Fire players that was able to contribute actual scoring chances throughout the game.  Unfortunately you shouldn’t have to rely on your half backs to provide all of the offense.  Had three headers that were wide of goal but the last one in the 88th minute was the Fire’s last chance.

D Austin Berry (6) – Pretty good in the middle limiting New York chances as neither team was able to get much going in oppressive heat.

D Jalil Anibaba (6) – Appeared to be the victim of allowing just a sliver of space for Henry to collect the ball and place a spectacular shot off the post and into Johnson’s net in the 71st minute.  There wasn’t much he could do there and Henry was fairly well controlled throughout the rest of the match.

D Gonzalo Segares (6) – Almost scored the equalizer in the 84th when his shot was cleared by Barklage.  Also provided the service for Gargan’s dangerous header in the 88th.

M Pavel Pardo (5) – The Fire’s midfield appeared to be moving in slow motion for much of the match as New York enjoyed the bulk of the possession.

M Logan Pause (5) – The Fire sat back and appeared to play for a draw and it almost worked although there should have been more pressure on New York’s midfield to create counter attacking chances.  There was none of that.

M Marco Pappa (5) – As the Fire sat back and tried to create chances for Oduro over the top of defenders in the first half it limited the chances for any of the playmakers going forward.  Picked up a yellow card in the 20th minute and will now miss the team’s next MLS match in San Jose due to card accumulation.

M Chris Rolfe (5) – Started out playing wide but moved into the forward role when Robayo entered the match.  Moved into the center/underneath forward spot after half time but he’s just not suited to play heavy minutes in that position.  His only real chance came in the 31st minute when he maneuvered his way into a shot at the top of the box that was blocked away.  Klopas needs to find a way to get him consistently closer to goal.

M Alex (5) – Contributed in only a handful of touches that resulted in anything going forward but otherwise was mostly invisible.  Subbed out at the half.  Perhaps it’s unfair to compare them but I’ll do it anyway.  Through his first five appearances for the Fire Alex has tallied 0 goals and 0 assists.  In his first five games with the club, Sebastian Grazzini had two goals and 1 assist last season.  In those first five games the club also managed to score eight goals.  Coincidence?

F Dominic Oduro (5) – He didn’t have a terrible game given the tactics and the conditions but the Fire just need more out of this position.  Period.

M Patrick Nyarko (5) – His introduction at half time provided a small spark as movement and passing seemed to improve but the offense is still producing very little.

M Rafael Robayo (5) – Came into the match in the 61st minute for Oduro.  His only chance came in the 69th minute when his shoot from inside the 18 was blocked away.

F Orr Barouch (5) – Subbed in for Pause in the 75th with little consequence.

C Frank Klopas (5) – Playing for a tie on the road is usually sound tactically in MLS but something needs to be done to create chances in the final third and playing Oduro as a lone forward simply isn’t working.  If a 4-5-1 is the best option for the club at the moment I’d like to see Rolfe up top in place of Oduro.  Klopas vehemently stated he was a forward when Rolfe-joined the team but he’s played him in other spots out of necessity.  It’s worth a look considering what has transpired over the last five matches.



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  • Much truth in this wrap up. I hope the powers that be are paying attention.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    no they aren't paying attention.

  • Have to love the Fire's new offense, the "No Attack Offense"
    It really puts the pressure on the defense, and just on slip can result in a loss, as shown by today's game.
    I have to agree with your ratings for the defense, but am disappointed with the or lack of play by the midfield. Too many missed passes and seemingly a lack of energy, except in the closing minutes. I really couldn't put a rating on Barouch,
    he never had many touches on the ball, and when a pass went towards him, he was usually covered by three defenders.
    The single striker formation might work against some of the weaker teams but it seems that other teams are catching on , on how to shut down the Fire. With no changes, the team will squeak into the playoffs but still won't be competitive against the top teams.

  • Sitting back on the road and waiting for one counter chance will never work today in a league where scoring is way up.In 3 games in the Red Bulls' new field the Fire has just one goal. Like I said before , this is not a playoff team without Grazzini.

  • so i mssed the game but i have a couple questions:
    a) why was alex subbed out at half? tired? ineffective? looked bad?
    b) were the fire that outplayed as the stats suggest?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Alex was subbed out for Nyarko which pushed Rolfe into the center spot probably due to a combination of ineffectiveness and a desire to get Nyarko into the match sooner rather than later.

    Offense was nonexistent but so was New York's for the most part. New York deserved the three points though.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I didn't get to see the game but looked at the "highlights" on the Fire web site when I got home. I thought it was kinda tell-tale that pretty much all the highlights were of Red Bull scoring threats until the very end.

    I was chuckling and wondering to myself if these mental midgets contracted with the Red Bulls for highlight video for their web site. Wouldn't surprise me. But maybe it WAS that lop-sided.

    btw.. This is my second attempt to post since coming home and logging in. My first attempt was rejected with the comment "you are posting to rapidly," or whatever that misguided insult was. Is this site now run by the Fire too?

  • In reply to Arklow:

    That's odd.......if anyone else is having that issue please let me know and I'll check with ChicagoNow.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I've seen it several times over the last month or so and I know someone else mentioned it recently too. This was just the first time it happened to me on my FIRST post after logging on.

    And I just got it again on my first try to post this response. It's not all bad. It's taught me to copy my posts before I hit "Comment!"

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I had the same issue yesterday and the day before, today no problem

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Hmmm...I'll pass that along to the powers that be.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Same thing happening to me too. I am frustrated.

  • In reply to waam:

    ChicagoNow is working on a fix to the issue with posting comments.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Arklow, you aren't the first one to experience these issues. I have had the same problem signing in a few times.

  • Obviously most important thing is the get a striker in here that can finish, but Ive noticed the extreme lack of areal threats on the team. I remebered berry in the beginning of the year and he was a beast in the air. Since then I cant remeber him getting a head on a ball. Game after game we get corners and they arent even threatening in the least bit.

    Are teams more focused on Berry? Do we not have any areal threats besides him? Is the service on corners and free kicks the problem? Maybe Im just frustrated at the lack of chances in the last handful of games.

  • In reply to KChance:

    I hate to keep harping on the Grazzini issue but part of the problem with corner kicks is that Pardo/Grazzini split CK duties depending on which side of the field the kick was taken. Pappa has assumed Grazzini's duties on corners and his service just isn't as good.

    The Fire also aren't very tall and don't really have attackers that are threats in the air. Teams know to look for Berry now.

  • season ticket renewal in the mail today, earlier than normal. Kinda hard to swallow after 392 minutes without a goal in the run of play...

  • In reply to DerSting:

    9 days left to motivate that renewal...

  • In reply to DerSting:

    I agree, they have nine days. Nine days to get 1 season ticket (i'm still a sucker/supporter) or 5 season tickets out of me. If they are not investing on this team then why should I? I really wish they'd pay attention because I know of seven others that feel the same way...

  • I posted this on the other thread, but am I the only one that thinks Johnson had poor positioning for the Henry goal?

    I have watched it several times and he had plenty of time from when Henry received the pass from LeToux to set up properly.

    Henry had a big first touch before he set up the shot and Johnson went way too close to the near post. Henry shot it from about a 22 degree angle from goal to the far side. Had Sean just been a half step towards the center, there would have been no shot.

    Yes, Henry needed a skillful shot to get it on frame--but a better positional awareness by Johnson could have shut down the play easily.

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    I disagree

  • In reply to Drew:

    In with Drew on that one. It was just a great shot by Henry.

    He didn't have much of an angle so the best thing to do was to get big and shut down the near post. Just an inch perfect shot.

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    Don't be ridiculous. It was a 23 degree angle.

  • I'm officially on a Fire strike. I will still support this blog b/c I think it's highly entertaining and of high quality, but I'm not watching the team any longer until they sign a legit 1st striker. It's been too long that they've left the position unaddressed. If every fan has known it, and the team won't address it, then I for one am out. And you can say all you want about supporting the team through thick and thin, but I say I am supporting the team by doing the measly bit I can to force them to take action to make the team better...then I'll be back.

  • What good is a quality striker if there is no one able to deliver the ball to him. Unless they get Messi, they'll have to open up spaces and widen the field of attack, no matter who they pick up. Despite, the lack of scoring on top, the most pressing need is a CAM. They are not that available but an upgrade in the midfield is a priority.
    Just compare the team with Grazzini and without, although the Fire were not a high powered offense with Grazzini, they are a pop gun offense without him.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    true. but the big difference is that the club has known for how long that they have needed a legit striker? the CAM issue has just recently become an issue.

  • In reply to Drew:

    Right, and considering the rapidity of response to the need for that striker, we should expect the franchise will either fold or be reposessed by MLS before we see a CAM to replace Grazzini.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Agreed. With Grazzini we were a striker short of a championship caliber team, without him we are a CAM short of a playoff caliber team. We still wont get a striker and if we do he will be a disappointment because he wont get quality service. The Fire dont care about winning and they are ran by amateurs. Our only hope is for hauptman to sell the team to someone who actually cares about the Fire and who realizes that an MLS owner (should be) someone who is making a long term investment and has to love Football and the team he owns more than money. If the Fire dont make any moves by 7/27 I will re-direct the money I spend on parking at Toyota Park and 2013's season tickets towards lottery tickets. This way if I win I can buy the Fire and build a legit organization, at this point that seems as likely as the Fire winning a Championship.

  • We've got about what 10 days or a little nor until the transfer window closes right? What are the chances they actually address the needs to be a better team? Can they do it in such limited amount of time? Or do they wait until January?

  • If you get a chance to talk to Frank could you ask him if the lack of goals is a coincidence with Grazzini being gone? I'd like to hear his response.

  • "Guillermo Great Accurate Recap of the Game and Ratings."
    I took the day off in order to watch the Game with my wife.
    What a disappointing performance by the Fire they spent by far most
    of the game defending. Alex had a few flashes but he is not the
    replacement for Grazzini. What a big mistake by the Fire how they
    treated Grazzini and encouraged his departure. The Fire Management
    told us Fans so often they wanted to play attractive entertaining soccer
    and grow the sport. Instead as of late they are playing unattractive
    disappointing boring soccer. Instead of growing the the Fan base they are decreasing it by their prior Dumb and continuing poor decisions.
    Now we need two players at the very least a Proven Goal Scorer and
    an attacking mid field player which we lost with Grazzini leaving.
    I think we need New Management to regroup this team the Clowns we
    have now belong in the circus. I am also having an issue with getting
    the Message slow down you are posting to often. I am highly frustrated
    with the Fires on the Filed Performance and the so called management
    of Clowns pulling the strings in the wrong way.

  • Brek Shea looks unhappy in Dallas...Do we have anything to offer? Looks like he really needs a change of venue.

  • In reply to FireRog:

    Shea is a natural winger. Where would you put him?

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    If the Fire continue to play a 4-2-3-1 system, he would be an ideal fit as one the three attacking midfielders, playing wide. He also has a nose for the goal, so he's a scoring threat. He seems to understand the importance of using the full width of the field and would be a big upgrade over what we have on the roster right now.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    And Pappa's spot in the XI is going to open up soon. Besides, we need someone to put balls in the air for MacDonald to head in.

  • In reply to iron81:

    Come to think of it, let's offer Pappa for Shea straight up.

  • In reply to iron81:

    Not likely Dallas would accept a player who's only going to be with them for about 14-15 games in exchange for Shea.

    He's having a terrible season and he appears to be unhappy but he's still a commodity that FCD would probably demand young talent in exchange for. If I were Dallas I'd look for somebody like Berry.

  • Disagree with the comments that we need a striker. I liked that Frank benched Nyarko. The only tweak to our offense that I'd make is put Oduro at RM and Rolfe or MacDonald at Forward.

    That's not to say that these guys are irreplaceable, but Oduro is a season removed from being 4th in the league in goals scored and Rolfe is our 2nd (?) all time scorer and he's still in his prime. CAM is a more pressing need, but I'm still holding out hope for Alex.

  • In reply to iron81:

    Oduro is a terrible passer.....can't play mid.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    His pass completion percentage has always been reasonable. Our last three games he completed 78% of his passes, which is really good for a forward.

    Maybe he attempts a lot of simple passes, but he's always going to be under defensive pressure as a lone forward. He doesn't attempt many total passes, but he probably shouldn't be, given his talent for going Route 1.

  • In reply to iron81:

    78% might be decent over the last three games where he's hardly touched the ball but have you seen his first touch and his passing over the last two seasons? Playing him at right mid is playing him out of position and not doing him any favors.

  • In reply to iron81:

    I agree with your lineup shifts Don. I also think we need a target striker.

    These guys just. aren't. scoring. 1 goal in the run of play in 5 games, with 2 goals total in 5 games a MLS Cup contender does not make. That's not jumping on the pessimism wagon, that's fact.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    Rolfe up top with Alex in the cam role and Pappa/Nyarko on the wings seems to make more sense to me.

    Youre right still need a target striker to play off of either Oduro or Rolfe.

  • In reply to iron81:

    Oduro played some midfield last year under De Los Cobos and was very ineffective. Oduro's game is to outrun 3 defenders and hope something happens. Plus, Oduro, can't create a shot as a lone striker and it will help that he plays in a 2 forward system. Even though when they had Grazzini, the Fire weren't a high flying offense like the Earthquakes and DC United are this year, those teams have strikers that can finish. If Grazzini would have stayed and brought in a Fernando Cavenaghi type striker to team up with Oduro, with Rolfe, MacDonald and Barouch come off the bench, that is a Eastern Conference type squad. Instead, it is a borderline playoff team at this moment.

  • I have been a season ticket holder since the start of the team. I think that I will just pick up tickets to see interesting teams at the box office next year. What in the earth were they thinking when they ket go Grazzini?

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    I think they wanted to keep him but the situation was so badly botched that now its apparently beyond repair.

  • At least we can cheer for the Fire players in the All Star match on the 25th against maybe not.
    I know it is a popularity contest, but...

  • Aren’t we down to about the last 8 days for development of the best phraseology for blaming anyone/everyone else for the Fire’s inability to accomplish anything before the end of the secondary transfer window?

    Is it too late to propose we take up a collection to hire a composer to produce some good dancing music to go with it?

  • Carl Worswick ‏@cworswick
    Rafael Robayo is expected to sign for Millonarios in the next few days after six unhappy months in the MLS with Chicago Fire.

    Just posted on twitter. Looks like our INT spot is clearing up soon.

  • In reply to KChance:

    Just a matter of time.

  • i was a season ticket holder (x4) from the start also but stopped purchasing season tickets 3 years ago. i dislike toyota park and the surrounding area and without a descent team i just can't justify the expense or the time on a regular basis. I agree with most of the commenter’s that the owner and the FO don’t have a clue or a care! heck I like frank klopas but I’m not sure he knows what he’s looking at either. i dream of a fire team run by peter wilt with a couple of polish strikers playing in downtown chicago!
    i haven't posted in months and also got the posting to fast message.

  • In reply to kaca:

    I for one don't mind Toyota Park or the location since there were NO downtown locations or backers willing to step up and get a stadium done when the Fire were looking to build. There still are NO downtown locations or backers. The downtown stadium is a pipe dream that supporters really need to get over.

    On the other hand, the consideration shown to Peter Wilt by the current ownership is downright inexcusable. The CJ Brown ROF fiasco was unprofessional at best.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Agree current don't show enough respect to Peter, but didn't the city offer the land next to the Cell, but that was it. The cheaper deal by far was Bridgeview, but I hate the parking, and public trans there is a pain in the ass. I wish there was a better location, even naperville while farther seemed easier to get to.

  • In reply to lijien:

    Peter Wilt is working on a book and the stadium issue will be addressed. I can't wait for that book to hit the shelves.

  • In reply to lijien:

    The City wanted money for that land next to Comiskey. And given what the owners of the Sox went through in negotiations with the neighborhood in building Comiskey II, it really didn't look too enticing compared to the free land and (originally) $55 million that Bridgeview was offering.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Instead of the Fire downtown, isn't there a group of wealthy lunatics ready to resurrect the Chicago Sting back into the NASL?

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    That would be interesting but I don't think those lunatics exist.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Those lunatics exist in New York.

    BTW - I really like what I am hearing from them, unfortunately, without a good league and competitors, I believe the only trophy for them worth winning and possibly winning is the US Open Cup.

  • In reply to waam:

    If those loonies really existed in New York, Garber would have already welcomed them with open arms. If MLS had a viable investor ready to spend that kind of money you better believe they would have brought them in already.

    They're still trying to find an investor that will back New York 2. That's why they're talking about building a stadium before even having an owner on board.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Just like MLB with the Washington Nationals.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    i don't mind toyota park either, but i do agree with kaca that the surrounding area is not that good and sometimes it is a pain to get to and leave from especially with the underpass about a year behind schedule. its a shame that the park isn't doing what the city was expecting it to do and now the residents are paying for it especially since the economy collapsed. i do miss games in chicago driving down on the weekend tailgating on beautiful summer days by the lake and then enjoying what chicago has to offer afterwards. i happened to be one of the few that actually didn't mind it when they played in naperville. GR maybe you could buy the team and build a new stadium in a little bit better location?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Unfortunately that $7 I won in the last lottery drawing probably won't be enough to get any of that done. ;)

  • A lot of us here are frustrated with the Chicago Fire Team and it's
    very poor on the field performance since the departure of Grazzini.
    I want the team to be successful and for the Fan base to grow.
    I know based on prior and current events that under the direction of
    Leon and Posada that is not going to happen. They are at fault for
    the current situation and have chosen not do anything about this.
    Instead of Boycotting the team why not appeal to Andrew Hauptman
    direct and vent our frustration to him about our dissatisfaction with
    his management team and recent poor performance of the team.
    We have had sell out crowds at Soldier Field when the very large
    Soccer population in the Chicago land area is presented with
    an entertaining Soccer match. We can match and exceed the
    attendance levels achieved by other teams in M LS if things were
    done right to promote the beautiful game by playing attractive wining
    soccer and using better marketing strategies than what is in place.

  • The comment problems should be corrected. ChicagoNow has given everyone an option of making the comments section a Facebook interface similar to the comments section seen on MLS articles but I've elected to keep the current system running.

    Let me know if you're still having issues.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I tried to post yesterday about all the problems I was having with the comments... but I couldn't post!

    For a long time, I have not been able to post if I see a comment, sign in, and then go to post right away. I get the old "you are posting comments too quickly" error message. Yesterday I got that after putting two comments on the game day thread. Seems like the machines have won over human intelligence over there. I am not expecting this comment to post either. Pity we have to talk about this nonsense when we could be... complaining impotently about the FO instead. At least Chicago Now tries to fix things.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    It is now safe to resume regularly scheduled bashing. ;)

  • Guillermo thank you, for having the comment problem fixed
    I had frequent problems with not being able to post myself.
    Now if only you can take the lead with our support in Fixing the
    Problem with Fire Management so that the team gets the Players
    it desperately needs and the Fan Base declining Morale can be
    healed and re energized.

  • so any more news on the team improvement front?

  • Per HTIOT, Rafael Robayo is at training today.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    awesome, so are we bringing anyone new in during this transfer window? it seems they're cutting it pretty close to the deadline.

  • I have my doubts whether there will be any additions other than Sherjill MacDonald.

  • going around on twitter, but people at the game tomorrow should applaud during the 19th minute to show support for stylian petrov. should be a nice thing to do.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Indeed. Classy move.

  • The Whitecaps have traded Eric Hassli to Toronto in exchange for a first round pick and an international roster slot.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Did Koevermans torn his ACL or did he have a broken ankle?

  • Not a good sign.

    The agent for Fernando Cavenaghi says the forward will probably not return to Argentina. He expects a decision soon but it appears he is leaning towards a European move.

  • Hassli would solve the Fire's problem, despite a poor season for the whitecaps. Even Justin Braun who was picked up for nothing would help. The Fire also passed on a cheap move for will Bruin despite knowing they needed help at forward. Oduro misses to many blue chip chances which is why Houston got rid of him. I have had the impression for some time that the Fire do everything on the cheap and have little doubt that Grazinni's personal issue is dollar related. We will never succeed with current ownership and there can be no excuse for still needing a forward years after the need for one was as obvious as dog's balls. Now we need a CAM and striker and I doubt we will get either.

  • In reply to Celt:

    Bruin was drafted by Houston. He was almost drafted by the Fire before they switched gears and selected Jalil Anibaba with their first pick in 2011. Can't really complain about that pick since I liked Anibaba coming out.

    I can assure you that the issues with Grazzini are certainly not all family related.

    These next seven days should be pretty interesting. Maybe they've got something up their sleeves.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    If they do, I will be the first one on the phone renewing my 5 tix for next year. However, something tells me not to hold my breath...

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Houston traded very little to move up the draft and pick Bruin, after we had picked Anibaba, so the Fire had that option as well. For the last several years the Fire have rarely traded within the league and their picks outside the top 10 are suspect, see Watson -Sirobe and Bone, so given their judgement perhaps it is as well they do not make moves in the draft. SJ was given to them: a GA in the last round and giving Busch away for free is telling. I wonder about the competence of the technical staff and the ambition of the owner. We will see. Hope springs eternal but no serious additions this window will be unforgivable.

  • In reply to Celt:

    Agreed. Not sure any amount of spin or excuses will remedy things if they don't make some moves in the last week here.

  • If MacDonald is the only addition to the club that it's been a disappointing transfer window for the club, the only positive with MacDonald is that while only having 38 goals in 206 games,
    he had 31 assists. Evidently he has some passing skills that some of our current forwards lack. Hopefully, is coming won't push Rolfe back to midfield on a permanent basis.
    At this point maybe Rolfe and MacDonald on top would work better
    than Oduro as the single striker, having Oduro come off the bench
    for a change of pace.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    I think Oduro has to go to the bench. He doesn't pass, he misses his shots, his first touch is awful. I say put Rolfe and possibly this new guy MacDonald up top with Nyarko and Pappa on the wings and Alex and Pardo at CM. When Pardo tires send in Pause. When Rolfe gets banged up, send in Oduro in the second half. The single striker doesn't work when that striker is easily dealt with by his own first touches and his inability to put the ball on frame.

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