Dominant Rapid make it 10 in a row
Saturday's 1:0 victory over Admira extended Rapid's impressive unbeaten run to 10 competitive matches in all competitions. The match was also the Hütteldorfers' fourth league 1:0 win in a row, although the margin of victory did little to inform of Rapid's dominance and the amount of clear-cut chances they created. The three points also keeps Goran Djuricin's side on the coattails of the league's leading duo, whilst increasing the gap back to fourth place. Another good weekend for the in-form Green & Whites!
A healthy 17,000 fans turned up for the local derby against the South City side, one of whom was a special guest of honour: the rousing reception Ivica Viskup received from the Rapid crowd will surely have given him a boost as he continues to fight debilitating illness. Back on the field, and the Rapid side that took to the pitch was one that had again been rotated in several positions. Lucas Galvao was reinstated in defence alongside Max Hofmann, having served his one match suspension. Veton Berisha was handed a starting berth on the wing, with derby hero Philipp Schobesberger rested and left on the bench as he continues to impress and build after his injury lay-off.
Straight from the off the Green & Whites sought to get at the opposition and looked determined to end Admira's own impressive undefeated streak. In the tenth minute Rapid had a glorious chance to steal ahead: a somewhat scruffy passage of play culminated with the ball finding its way to Kvilitaia, who - from just a matter of feet from goal and with only the keeper to beat - scuffed his shot and tamely rolled it into the arms of grateful Admira goalie Leitner. But the Hütteldorfers kept pressing, bossing possession and looking for the breakthrough. And in the 26th minute Rapid's bright start was rewarded: Boli Bolingoli and Veton Berisha unlocked the Admira defence down the left flank, with Berisha feeding the ball low across the penalty area to Schaub, who buried a sweetly struck left foot shot to give Rapid the lead - 1:0 (26.)! Schaub wheeled away in delight, celebrating in honour of his new born son!
Louis Schaub then attempted to return the favour, turning provider for Berisha, but on the back of his first assist for club Berisha was unable to find his first goal, as he blazed the opportunity over the crossbar (30.). The stream of chances continued: Schwab stung Leitner's palms with a bullet low drive (33.), before a guilt-edged opportunity landed at the feet of the out of sorts Kviliataia. Schaub worked the ball to Kvialitaia, who was again free, deep inside the opponent’s penalty area, and again failed to provide the finish, shooting wide when free on goal (36.). The final slice of luck for the guests came in the minutes before half time, when Thomas Murg whipped a beautifully struck free kick onto the top of the crossbar (41.). Admira had somehow remained in the game up until half-time.
Perhaps predictably, Rapid emerged brightly for the start of the second period but never quite managed to hit the heights of the first half. With game struggling to find its rhythm, Murg had the first sight of goal, shooting wide from a reasonable position (55.), but in general there was a lot less goalmouth action for the fans in the stands to get excited about. Frustratingly for Goran Djuricin, Rapid's dominance came close to turning to complacency during certain phases of the game, and unforced errors began creeping into the Green & Whites' game, particularly in an attacking sense where the final pass was now missing. But as the Rapid-Viertelstunde approached, the Hütteldorfers produced two moments of quality that looked like taking the game away from Adrmira. Firstly, Schaub picked out Murg in the area, only for Wostry to clear Murg's goal bound shot off the line (69.). Minutes later substitute Joelinton failed to beat Leinter after being set up by fellow sub Schobesberger (74.).
Right up until the final whistle, the Green & Whites kept pressing for a second goal. As Admira increasingly left gaps at the back, there was more space to exploit on the counter. One such attack culminated in Joelinton being denied by a superb stop by Admira keeper Leitner, after the Brazlian had slid in to meet a low cross (82.). Louis Schaub also passed up a golden opportunity to put the game to bed, as he bent a left-footed effort wide of the far post with the goal gaping. At the other end, Rapid almost paid for their profligacy when Knasmüller had an excellent chance to level things but put his half volley high over the crossbar (89.). But the final whistle went with no further additions to the score, and Rapid had recorded another excellent win to preserve their fine unbeaten record. A record, which will be truly put to the test next week, as the Hütteldorfers travel to Styria to face Sturm Graz.
tipico Bundesliga, 13th round:
SK Rapid - FC Admira Wacker 1:0 (1:0)
Allianz Stadion, 16.800 Attendance, Ref Drachta
Goal: 1:0 Schaub (26.);
SK Rapid: Strebinger - Auer, M. Hofmann, Galvao, Bolingoli - Ljubicic, Schwab - Schaub, Murg (88./Petsos), Veton Berisha (73./Schobesberger) - Kvilitaia (64./Joelinton):
Admira Wacker: Leitner - Zwierschitz, Wostry, Strauss, Ebner - Sax (83./Holzmann), Lackner, Knasmüllner, Starkl (46./Maier) - Kalajdzic (65./Jakolis), Grozurek;
Gelbe Karten: Schwab; Maier, Zwierschitz