Ferencvaros regained their 6-point advantage at the top of the NBI table on Saturday thanks to an underwhelming 3-0 win against relegation threatened city rivals Honvéd.
Despite the convincing nature of the scoreline, Ferencvaros lacked quality for most of the game and failed to get into any sort of meaningful rhythm. Fortunately for them, but less so for the paying public, Honvéd put up little resistance and came with a game plan to frustrate their more illustrious hosts.
Laidouni Shaped Hole
As expected, Ferencvaros enjoyed the lions of possession as Honvéd sat deep, inviting Fradi to attack. However, the home side looked out of sorts and uncomfortable on the ball. Siger and Tokmac in the midfield struggled to string passes together, Marquinhos and Traore were virtually anonymous on the wings, and the lack of a creator was blindingly obvious.
Time and again home attacks faltered as they looked to move the ball forward blindly with no one prepared to put a foot on the ball and dictate the game. Not for the first time, an Aissa Laidouni sized hole was apparent.
For all Ferencvaros struggled find momentum in the opening exchanges, Honvéd offered nothing in return. Set up in a deep lying 4-5-1 formation, the visitors came with one thought in mind; to get out without losing.
The ambling Nenad Lukic cut a solitary and hopeless figure up front for the most part for the visitors who relied on the using the Serbs physical presence to unsettle the home defence, but with little joy.
While the action on the park was falling below standard, both sets of rans were doing a fantastic job at reminding us that this was a derby match. There was non-stop singing at both ends of the grounds, tifo displays, and pyrotechnics that brought more flair to the occasion than anything we were witnessing from the players.
All Bustle, No Hustle
It took until the 23rd minute for the first moment of note in the game as Zachariassen and Duzs clashed in the Honvéd penalty area going after a loose ball. After a lengthy delay, Zachariassen was stretchered from the field. Duzs did his best to carry on but succumbed a few minutes later, replaced by the veteran Tomas Tujvel.
Fradi’s lack of a final ball was becoming increasingly obvious as crosses were aimlessly thrown into the box and passing opportunities overlooked. With the half seemingly destined to end goal less, Ryan Mmaee got himself on the end of the first half decent delivery of the night and fired past Tujvel to give Ferencvaros the lead.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first. Honvéd sitting deep and rarely looking to attack, with Ferencvaros unable to put consecutive passes together or carve out openings.
On 72 minutes Marquinhos doubled Ferencvaros lead with a rare moment of skill. The forward receiving a pass inside the box before dropping a shoulder to create space to drill his shot into the net.
With 10 minutes to go Peter Barath was introduced to the game and immediately brought a level of composure to the midfield that had been sorely lacking in the previous 80 minutes. The youngster looked confident and assured on the ball as he looked to make an impression in the remaining minutes.
Owusu completed the scoring with a neat clipped finish following a break away with 3 minutes left as Honvéd decided to commit players in attack for the first time.
But probably the loudest roar of the evening was reserved for Krisztian Lisztes who came on for the closing couple of minutes, much to the delight of the home support. The 17-year-olds entrance was greeted with more fervour than any of the 3 goals.
Ferencvaros have 6 games left to play including 2 derbies and a trip to Kecskemet on the 13th May. They will have to play a lot better than on Saturday if they want to make title number 34 a reality.