Welcome to Crimean Match of the Day, where we will be focussing on Gvardiets of the First Division. We will be showing you highlights of today’s fixture at the Gvardiets Stadium, where “The Gvards” hosted Stalker.
“The Gvards” go into the game top of the division, having won 16 of their 17 league games – their only defeat coming against second placed Zhemchuzhyna Yalta. Manager Chris Darwen was able to welcome back top scorer Men’shykov and Pavel Garilov was in for the injured centre back Zakharov.
Sit back and enjoy the match!
So, a not-so-convincing win for the league leaders. The scoreline flattered them, and they certainly did not carry on in the dominant style of their 8-0 win last weekend. Men’shykov again showed that he might be the signing of the season, and at just 17 years of age he will no doubt be scouted by some top division clubs. Gvardiets certainly play their own style of football. Their fast, aggressive, narrow approach can be very pleasing on the eye but will always help the opposition feel they have a chance.
You can see @merryguido’s influence over Darwen with the flexible midfield that is employed. Two out of the three central midfielders are given freedom to run in behind the front three, who in turn are happy dropping deep to make the space. If you are playing such a narrow formation, movement off the ball is as vital as moving the ball quickly. Sure, they are there to be hit on the break but they are so quick, slick and relentless going forward you can see why they have kept seven clean sheets in the league already, whilst scoring 68.
Zhemchuzhyna Yalta appear to be the better side, as they showed when beating Gvardiets 3-1 in their clash a few weeks ago – but if Gvardiets keep up this relentless attacking style I can see them winning enough matches to afford Zhemchuzhyna Yalta doing the double over them, and their upcoming head-to-head in the Crimean Cup should be fascinating.
We will be back soon with more #TheChangingOfTheGvards.