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FC Levadia vs. FC Nõmme Kalju 3-2 , players ratings

Angelo PalmeriComment

Last update - 5.10.2013 - added rating for Levadia's player, Subbotin

Levadia-Kalju was a double-faced game. A boring and tactical first half, was followed by an enthusing second half with both sides giving the impression they could have won the game. Levadia won as they managed to come back twice. First they recovered the awkward handicap they started with (red card for Podholjuzin and penalty granted to and transformed by Kalju), then they managed to find the last drop of energies to not let Flora be even with points (73) three weeks before the derby. Travelling with a +2 advantage to A.LeCoq Arena will give Kristal&Co. the possibility to count on two full-time scores out of three. 
Kalju was too renunciatory. They could not believe they could have started the game with leading, however they thought that the remaining 45 minutes could have passed harmlessly. Instead, they sufferend Levadia's comeback when they were still 11 vs. 10 on the pitch. The game is not over until is over.


Śmiśko 7
He could not do anything on the penalty as Vunk sent him on the other side. It would have been the icing on the cake after receiving the prize for best goalkeeper in September. Supersave on Kallaste's set-piece on 73' that saved the score and gave Levadia another chance. Artjunin 'killed' him on the 2-2 and he could only swear in Ukrainian.

Podholjuzin 2
Why fouling Neemelo like that when it’s only 4 minutes into the game and, even if he was to score, there was all the game to organize a comeback? Levadia’s game was affected by this episode. Using Norbert Hurt’s words about Luigend in Tartu, ‘unjustifiable’. He must offer a dinner to Kruglov. Maybe even two.

Tipuric 6,5
Contrary to Rähn last week, he was much faster and he was more precise than usual avoiding doing unforgivable mistakes in the box. Of the central pair, he was the flawless one this time.

Artjunin 6
He worked well in pair with Tipuric, but contrary to last season, he looked like the one who relies on the defensive partner and not viceversa.

Pikk 5
In the 4-4-2 set-up he could have allowed himself to overlapping together with Kruglov, but the red card compelled him to stay more in defense and leave Kruglov alone in first half. In second, when Kalju withdraw in their half waiting for the final whistle, he also started to put pressure. Out of his overall positive performance, the only stain was the way he 'killed' Śmiśko. He completely forgot to look at the situation before concentrating solely on the ball coming (good attitude for a striker, not a central defender which he is not). He will go with the U-21 this time as Pehrsson hasn't called him up.

Raudsepp 7
He was meant to defend, and instead he came out as one of the best in the offensive phase as he served Teever and Kruglov with perfect assists to be headed. His dirty job disturbed Kallaste all the time.

Antonov 6,5
Among the first to shake up in second half and push, a lot of situations where Ilja did not think twice and went for it. He is still good material for Magnus Pehrsson who now might decide to use him as central midfielder having Kruglov back in (great) form for the left flank.

Dmitrjev 6,5
He could not sit back as usual as the midfield line was reduced to three men, therefore, especially in the second half, he opted for being as brave as Antonov and create chances. In fact, he was the one going in the box for a much-discussed penalty situation that drove Kristal mad on the touchline.

Kruglov 8
The MOTM for this derby and for two years running! He scored in counterattack the decider heading Raudsepp cross from a difficult position, but on the other side. The final accolade (see video below) is deserved. Maybe this win against Kalju it's not a decider yet, as in two weeks Levadia will visit Flora, however, knowing that 'Dima' is back, it is certainly an additional weapon of choice against the chasers. How worth signing him again and having him back on the XI was? Pehrsson will now have to decide if it's time to get him in his 4-2-3-1 and use Antonov in the midfield. Additional headaches for the national team coach.

Subbotin 6,5
He was not the expected protagonist however he did a lot of extra work to help the midfield and his several forays tired Kalju's defence. He is part of the great combination of passes that ends with Kruglov winner.

Teever 7
One ball in the air and he scored. Maybe he is not the most graced player with the ball in his feet, but in the air it's still hard to challenge him. In Spring he earned the penalty that Ivanov transformed. It's the second time he punishes his former club this season, two goals and 6 points. Not bad.

Kristal 6
That 'Pancheri feeling' must have attacked him when Podholjuzin was sent off. As the Italian coach said, you can prepare a game as long as you want but then it's just enough for one single episode to unsettle all your plans. And so it was since Levadia's defensive set-up had to turn further into cautious since they had to play the whole game one man light. Desperate when his side resorts to long balls from the Kalju's half. He should have not gotten sent off as the team needed his guide, but his protests were too evident and outloud (few calls were indeed questionable) for Tohver to ignore them. Notwithstanding that, he followed the game from the stairs of the central lodge and he was basically on the pitch with his voice (see the picture below). He did not opt for any change as he completely trusted his X and the paid him back. It was victory clinched more with grits than tactics. Three points are always three points and this year he did not concede any of those to his friend Igor Prins.

Wakui has a smile at Kristal temper from the lodge stairs. It's still 1-1...

Wakui has a smile at Kristal temper from the lodge stairs. It's still 1-1...

Teleś 5,5
Almost unemployed for all the first half until Artjunin fired a left-footed free-kick on 33’ minutes and he responded as a great goalkeeper. Overall, Levadia tried few in first half and that few was well controlled by the defence mastered by Jorge Rodrigues. On 56' minutes he literally takes the ball away from Subbotin's head as the nr.10 was free in the air to tap it in. On Teever's header, he outstretched himself but could not reach the curled ball. Nothing to do against Kruglov from the penalty spot as the Estonian international shot central and strong. However, he was partially guilty as on Kruglov 3-2 he was completely off position as he could neither reach the ball nor cover the first post side where Kruglov was waiting for the ball . In a decisive game, he lost the final confrontation with his rival, Śmiśko.

Śiśov 5
As previewed, he was in the starting XI to give cover on the left side where his former national teammate, Kruglov, could have brought danger. Obviously, with Levadia switching to 4-3-2, there was more space for him to control the situation and avoid pressure. Even tried the overlapping at times in first half and also second half. He then folded back as the rest of the team. He completely forgot Kruglov on the 3-2 situation and that matters in the final rating as he was looking at the ball and not at the man coming.

Bärengrub 4
He collected a double booking, however it is the second one that mattered more as it was the handball that gave Levadia the advantage. Kalju were not prepared to play one man light since many mental energies were already spent to just control a game that went out of control. Additionally, and it explains the bad rating, he is not prepared on Teever's header.

Rodrigues 6
He got rid of his suspension with the first yellow card of the game shown by Tohver, he will miss the game home against Narva Trans. Considering also Bärengrub will be out, Prins will have to think something out in two weeks. Fierce fight with the former Kalju striker, Teever who used all his experience on each and every ball he tried to control outside of the box. However, when he was not controlling him, the former international scored. With Kalju playing high up on the left flank (Kallaste-Toomet overlapping) he was the last man standing of the back four until Kalju controlled the game and he was always clean and simple in his play.

Kallaste 5
He came out mostly in first half, however it was quite hard for him since Raudsepp and Antonov did a good job. In second half he is among the few still trying to bring danger together with Toomet. He almost scored on a sharp set-piece. It wouldn't be a bad performance, but the defensive mistake on Kruglov's winner was quite evident as he was caught in a quick exchange of passes (Antonov-Subbotin-Raudsepp) and didn't see the latter coming. Raudsepp went to cross undisturbed and Levadia won the game.

Vunk 5
He committed a lot of fouls and not always for good. He also got a yellow card and together with Bärengrub and Rodrigues will miss the clash with Narva in two weeks. Now onto the national team where Antonov could, righteously, take his place.

Reginald 5
In first half he played a good game, however it was probably because Levadia gave up space to Kalju. When in second half the 'Pink Panthers' sat back, he also suffered the increased pressure and committed several mistakes. Great counterattack foray in first half, however he gives the ball to Neemelo who was too slow in bringing danger and the chance slipped off Kalju's hands.

Toomet 6
A positive return to Premium Liiga as a start making his 19th appearance. He combined well with Śiśov and looked promising for the remainder of the season as fresh energies will be needed in defending the third place against Sillamäe. Replaced by Damiano Quintieri. Quintieri s.v. -> The way he ran onto the pitch explains his will and desire to be back. However, too short time to manage to do anything. It would have been a dream return if he had scored the winner, however it's Levadia's day. Welcome back nonetheless.

Nunes 5
Impalpable. It had to be his game, instead he never really shone. Robert Kirss replaced him after 70 minutes. Kirss 6 -> The young gun 
brought fresh energies. Maybe it would be the case to give him a start once in a while, especially looking forward to next season.

E.Puri 5
He was not as surprisingly sharp as last week against Flora. A lot of credit goes to Kruglov, it must be said.

Neemelo 5
He did a lot of work as usual but this time there was no prize for him. Tipuric got better of him in many situations and he was not well supported by Nunes.

Prins 5
He should have invited his side in not sitting back and waiting Levadia in second half. However, he probably hoped again in a miracle happening again, howeve it already happend on 4' minutes when Tohver assigned a penalty (correct decision). His side should build the win from this episode, instead they squander everything. After Bärengrub was sent off, probably it would have been more prudent to introduce Reintam in the defence, however the goal came from a coast-to-coast cross which no tall defender could have controlled anyway. The attitude of his side was wrong and he did little to correct it.