On Matchday 2 in Bundesliga 2, promoted Dynamo Dresden picked up a point from their trip to Hamburg. The Saxony club fell behind in the first half, but were able to fight back to draw 1-1. Match Facts Analysis shows why it was a proverbial game of two halves.
This was the next real test for Hamburg, just over a week after their convincing 3-1 opening-day win at relegated Schalke. This time, Tim Walter's men were welcoming to the Volksparkstadion a Dresden side who had also hit the ground running with a convincing 3-0 win over fellow promoted Ingolstadt.
While the first half belonged to the northerners, who looked like they would be clear winners after a dominant 45 minutes, the guests from Dresden improved significantly in the second half, earning a point on the road. That came above all through their fighting spirit rather than a specific tactical twitch, as the Match Facts powered by AWS demonstrate.
Since the start of last year, the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga have cooperated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) on a wide-ranging partnership agreement which provides fans, pundits and journalists alike with more telling statistical information, such as Goal Probability, xGoals, Average Positions, Most Pressed Player and Attacking Zones.
By consulting these statistics, there can be no question that Hamburg should be happy with a point, since Dynamo also played a decent game. The only area where Walter's team were lacking, above all in the first half, was in the area of chance conversion. Following the Expected goals (xG) model, HSV should have had 1.36 goals, yet they only had Ludovit Reis' fifth-minute effort to show. Oddly enough, that should not even have been a goal, looking at it from a purely statistical point of view, since it only carried a five per cent goal probability. Other good chances were missed by Manuel Wintzheimer (10th and 36th minutes), Robert Glatzel (18'/34') und David Kinsombi (38'), accounting for the xG of 1.36. The hosts were therefore not living up to the expectations, while Dresden – with an xG of 0.04 – were in line with they performance they had delivered in the first half.
While Hamburg let chance after chance go begging in the first half and prevented their guests from creating any real danger, the promoted Dresden improved considerably in the second 45 minutes. Only 15 minutes into the second half and Schmidt's men had already improved their xG to 0.42, and it was not long before Tim Knipping brought them level in the 68th minute. The defender's headed goal also carried a greater goal probability (8%) than Reis' opener. Hamburg's xG fluctuated between 1.36 and 1.4 in the second half before they stepped on the gas late on and, in search of a winner, managed to increase this to 1.77.
Dresden's efficiency in front of goal was impressive, on the other hand. The corner which led to their equaliser was only their second of the game. Up to then, Hamburg had already had five corners, while Walter's men had kept their noses ahead also in the possession stakes, in excess of 60% throughout the entire match. They also played in a very disciplined manner, not straying offside a single time for over an hour.
The performance of Tim Leibold was also impressive, as he was put under pressure a total of 53 times and was therefore the game's Most Pressed Player. Most of the danger emanated down his left wing, with Attacking Zones showing that 100 per cent of all incursions into the attacking third had come down the left-hand side of the field.
Kinsombi made space for Leibold on the left since both he and Reis tended to tuck inside from the wings. A look at Average Positions confirms that Hamburg were using a much more flexible 4-3-3 formation than their guests, who were sticking a lot closer to their starting positions. In the second half, this changed a little, particularly following the entrance of Antonis Aidonis, who would push up and down the right wing a lot more, supporting Hamburg's attempts to find a winner.
Dresden's increasing flexibility took the wind out of Hamburg's sails and this also led to Walter's men making more mistakes, with misplaced passes and unenforced errors leading to the guests gaining the upper hand. They then held firm as Hamburg pushed for a winner, defending a 1-1 draw which will have felt like a point gained for them, while Hamburg may have rued two missed points from the next real test of their season, of which they have now already had two.
And on Friday (6:30pm GMT+2), the Red Shorts have their next big test in the Hamburg derby at St. Pauli. Dresden, meanwhile, host Hannover on Saturday (8:30pm GMT+2).