Partizan vs AZ Alkmaar by Isaiah
Partizan suffered defeat in probably the biggest and most important game for them during Autumn, as the team visited last weekend their rivals Crvena zvezda and got outplayed with a 3:1 result. They did have their own chances and could score a goal or two more, but the proper word is outplayed since the hosts looked way better , knew what they wanted on the field and scored goals in most crucial moments.
Partizan's defense, on the other side, looked quite fragile at the moments and the general impression was that Zvezda could have scored whenever they wanted, just the hosts got satisfied with a two goals lead and switched to more passive role in last twenty five minutes of the game. With this defeat behind their backs, Partizan is now already eight points behind the biggest rival (also have played a game less), but standing only at fourth position for now. Their 5-0-3 record in the domestic league and twelve goals conceded already is one of the weakest starts in the domestic league in years, while position of coach Zoran Milinkovic is under question now. Even though they are voices of support from club's management, there are also news that his replacement is being searched and knowing their management, second option is probably closer to truth. Hosts have no special worries for this game and will switch back to 4-3-3 formation.
After very poor start and four matches with no defeat, AZ Alkmaar finally bounced back with much better performance and took all three points last weekend when the team visited De Grafschaap in a 3:1 victory. It looks like they only benefited from the international break and the team did well during the pause, looking now to get some consecutive positive results and start climbing up at the table.
They were much better and more concrete side from the first moment, taking the lead via Brezancic left back in 13th minute, but getting equalized near the end of the halftime thanks to goal from Will in 44th. However, they were even more determined in the second half, finally looked much more fluid with the ball in their feet and with more creativity in the midfield, the team managed to take all three points thanks to goals from Henriksen in 63rd and 65th minute. Coach John Van Den Brom won't be able to count at left back Ridgeciano Haps (4/0) and defensive midfielder Celso Ortiz (2/0). Forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh (1/0) didn't travel with the team, but also wasn't important part of the team for now either way.
Atmosphere around Partizan could be at much better level at the moment. It seems like their club's management is only waiting for another negative result to sack the current coach, whose assistant resigned just couple of days ago, probably not wanting to be a part of negative story anymore. Serbian side looked too weak in the derby game and simply too slow, while their defense never looked good in the new season. AZ Alkmaar's form is going in much better direction and with the offensive style they prefer, their victory can come much easier than the bookmakers represent.