Despite Besiktas leading the majority of their Europa League quarter-final first leg match with Lyon, they devastatingly lost 2-1, succumbing to two late goals from the home side.

The loss still wasn’t enough to take the shine of yet another impressive performance from their wildly gifted attacking midfielder, Anderson Talisca, however, who used his masterful movement to brilliant effect vs. Les Gones.

The Brazilian sensation, who initially began the match in the number 10 slot, but later moved out to the right wing, was forever scanning for openings in which to exploit throughout Lyon’s defensive structure. And he duly found them, wreaking havoc on Lyon with his expert spatial recognition and utilisation powers.

The Match Analyst  Image-1-Talisca-Positioning

Created with Wyscout Platform

Afforded plenty of freedom by his manager, Senol Gunes, Talisca was at his most dangerous finding space in between Lyon’s defensive and midfield line, plus in the areas sandwiching their midfield and attacking line.

Here using the Wyscout Playlist and Draw App, Talisca’s targeting of these locations is suitably documented.

To start with, Talisca’s expert movement supplied the foundation for the Turkish outfit to win the foul that led to their opening goal. Here, the 23-year-old made an intelligent lateral run to pick out some vacant space in front of Lyon’s midfield line. This provoked a press from Lucas Tousart, but Talisca’s skilful first touch led to him beating his man and subsequently getting fouled, as shown in the image below.

The Match Analyst  Image-2-Talisca-provokes-press-and-wins-foul

Created with Wyscout “Playlist and Draw” App

He then subsequently assisted Ryan Babel’s goal with a creative, cunningly taken set piece.Another example of him receiving in deeper areas behind the Lyon frontline and in front of their midfield line arose in the image below. By obtaining the ball in this location, Talisca was able to receive under less pressure and then use his terrific, line breaking passing ability and vision to pinpoint a teammate.

The Match Analyst  Image-3-Talisca-receives-with-time-and-space-to-play-line-breaking-pass

Created with Wyscout “Playlist and Draw” App

When receiving in between the opposition’s attacking and midfield lines, he’d target the blindside of his opponents so he could then gain that extra separation to turn and use his sublime dribbling and speed to run at Bruno Genesio’s backline. Through his intelligent positioning in advanced areas, the former Benfica man was always posing questions to the opposing defence, giving them challenging decisions whether to mark him and leave their post or let him stay and receive, hoping a midfielder will track him.

The Match Analyst  Image-4-Talisca-finding-space-behind-Lyon-mid-line

Created with Wyscout “Playlist and Draw” App

More often than not, though, the confusion his movement manufactured created plenty of opportunities for him to inherit possession just where he wanted it.
Furthermore, his awareness of where his adversaries were in relation to himself and the ball, plus his ideal body positioning when receiving, only amplified his influence.
With the crucial second leg coming up at home next week, Talisca might just be the difference maker the Black Eagles need to propel them into the Europa League semi-finals.

Edward Stratmann

Freelance football writer and blogger he writes regularly about the on-field aspects of the game, with a particular focus on tactics and analysis. In addition to featuring on several football websites, including AS Roma’s and Everton’s Official Websites, find his work at Licence to Roam, a football blog he co-founded in 2013.