Our next match saw Academia travel down from the capital. We played the narrow diamond (with a back three plus libero) again: to be honest, it’s the only idea I have at present.
When Cimpoes, our advanced forward, scored a poacher’s goal in the third minute, I thought, ‘There’s a long way to go, but that gives us a chance of a point’. When, in the 13th, Horozov scored with a drive, I thought, ‘Do I dare to dream of back-to-back wins?’ And when we went in at half-time 4-0 up I thought, ‘Not even our defence can mess this up’.
Academia got one back in the 66th. I wanted to change to a more cautious approach, but not to get too defensive: I didn’t want the ball to be always up our end of the pitch. I told them to try to hang on to it. And then to slow the tempo.
Academia did get a second in the 75th, and there were a couple of moments when it looks as if they might get a 3rd, but they didn’t. I was impressed with how our players remained switched on, the interceptions and tackles coming in right to the end.
Haritov, coming into the game with 6 from 5, got plenty of attention from the defence — typically finding himself surrounded by two or even three defenders. But that didn’t stop him adding to his tally — nicely placed with the left foot from the edge of the area.
I’m not really sure how this lot keep winning. If I was Viorel Frunza, the Academia manager, I’d be feeling concerned.