Hajduk have a 2-goal deficit to climb out of Thursday night in Split (3PM ET kickoff) but you better bet every dollar in your bank account that a packed-to-capacity Poljud will have their backs for every second of the 90 minutes versus Villareal.
Hajduk was never expected to beat one of the top-6 teams in La Liga but they gave themselves plenty of hope in Spain last week; scoring first inside ten minutes.
Will Hajduk pull off the miracles of miracles and come back versus Villareal? Not likely.
But turn on the game and grab your popcorn because it will be another Poljud spectacle against the 2021 Europa League champions – Villareal.
You cannot fault Hajduk for the effort tonight, but the simple fact is they do not have the quality to compete against the likes of Villarreal. They did not create one clear cut chance the entire game. Lost count how many times Livaja was offside, and what a shocker from Lovre Kalinic with the second goal.
Villarreal is a world class club, and Hajduk is just not on that level right now. Plain and simple. You would have to replace most of Hajduk’s lineup with better players in order for them to have been competitive across two matches. They showed glimmers, but they were outclassed. I don’t even think you can blame Livaja for that. He was being double- and tripled-marked in both ties, as if he were Messi. Villarreal exploited the fact that Hajduk can’t do damage without him and just let the others play until they turned the ball over. Fortunately, Hajduk won’t be playing against a world-class team in the domestic competition, so they have a lot of wins to look forward to, and Livaja will have another great season against lesser defenders.
For me it’s not just that Livaja didn’t score against Villareal, he didn’t even score against Vitoria either so that doesn’t speak much to his ability to play at a higher level. How can you play at the National level when every game is gonna be like this??
This is the problem I think. If Livaja stays domestic then sure he has a chance to do well but beyond that I am not sure at this point.
Look maybe I am being to harsh and maybe he needs better players around him, but I still think he needs to do something to score in four games time.
Bear in mind again I’m a Dalmatinac who wants both him and Hajduk to succeed.
I’ve been saying Livaja is phenomenal for HNL and I’m not a fan of his for our National Team. I also have less expectations for Brekalo and Vlasic, neither have done anything in years!
Krovinovic has been a really surprising disappointment. The media hyped him a lot and he’s barely average…looks super weak and flops far too much for my liking.
I don’t understand why Hajduk didn’t play more down the left side, Melnjak is the second best threat after Livaja and he does well when connecting with Biuk.
Wasn’t Livaja always a second striker before? And now he has been playing as a lone striker. He hasn’t scored yet, but he has created chances. I don’t think he should be dropped. But he’s definitely a bench player.
That’s fine, but we need some starters!! Lol.
Villarreal is a fantastic team and I think you should remember that Dinamo played them over two games and to be honest, they were very unlucky not to win one of the games. The score’s were 2-1 and 1-0 for Villarreal.
I don’t think Villarreal is as good as you’re saying…Hajduk just didn’t give a better fight!
They made it to the semi finals of the Champions League!! What do you mean Villareal isn’t that good! Lol. As it stands they are tied for first in La Liga… Not to mentioned they won a Europa League against Man U not too long ago. Villareal is a world class team bud, and their coach is incredible as well with a lot of soccer experience.
I dunno what your talking about man.?? I think the problem here could be like it is in England, any time a pundit from Britain sees a Spanish league team play and win it’s always luck to them. When they say it enough times people actually start to buy into that BS. The Spanish League is rife with good teams, even lower tiered teams are difficult to win against.
when Hajduk drop out they will have 100% focus on the HNL…which will be a pretty good advantage considering they’ll have one less game per week!
I mean, sure they can focus on the HNL, but they are hardly even able to compete with Dinamo at this stage. Dinamo controlled the entire game last game and Hajduk postponed two games. I am really not sure how far they can get like this.
They have to restructure the team, some players have to go. Nikola Kalinic is dead weight, the defence and midfield need a huge boost with some better players aside from Biuk, and they need additional presence upfront.
Lots needs to change in order for the team to get better.
I am not sure about this one, it doesn’t look like a good season for Hajduk so far.
Kalinic has just played himself off the NT. Pathetic. Livaja stinks. If Hajduk could win some penalties, then maybe he’d get on the scoresheet.
I would have given him a chance at the end of last season but Livaja really hasn’t played well this season so far. So based on form he doesn’t get the call up for me, it’s unfortunate but I do not see what he is able to produce for us with these performances.
He has not shown that he has the class to do well for the National Team. He really needed to do something in this game and he just hasn’t showed that he can be counted on to help his squad. The entire Conference League has been a bust for him really, and the season hasn’t been much better for him either. I think it was extremely bad for him that he was not able to play in the Nations League earlier because this will not help his chances to get a call up now.
I agree Becar- what little chance they had for NT is gone- not good at all- I’m thinking it could be Orsic but he’s up and down too.
Just in case you Livakovic haters didn’t see it, Kalinic let in a goal my father in law at 84 could have saved!
I have been saying for a while that we simply do not have a goalie. Regardless of Livakovic, Kalinic, or even Ivusic. I am not confident with anyone in net at the moment, and it is a very scary thought, mainly because we really need a decent goalie right now.
Yes agreed, I’m just pointing out the perceived favourtism. If Liva let that goal in he would have been crucified and yet guys are saying “Kalinic should have probably made that save” 🙂
He definitely should have made that save. Dalic should invite four keepers to the UNL squad and put them all through the gauntlet on their fundamentals. Whoever performs best in those drills should be the keeper. They all have had their good moments, but none of them can seem to perform consistently at their best, except maybe Grbic, who unfortunately won’t be playing for his club between now and the world cup
That’s fair. It was definitely a soft goal, and it points to be his lack of confidence, but I remember seeing that in 2018 as well. I never thought he was a strong goalie, a lot of people on this site have been talking about in the past season but I never really seen his games to be honest. To be frank, I don’t really care which team has the better goalie, so much as one of them has a decent one, for me that is the bigger concern for the National Squad.
If tomorrow Livakovic, Kalinic, Ivusic (or any Croatian goalie really) would wake up with tenacity and turn into a Courtois time goalie I would be more than happy and could care less which team he is on.
It’s a shame for Kalinić because he made a few good saves earlier on. And did well with the ball at his feet. We’ve also seen Livaković make some great saves in matches and then completely blow it on a corner kick. And Ivusić had a terrible match against Austria and then turned around and dominated against France.
You have to also remember against France in the Nations League that was mostly our defence, not trying to take anything away from some of the saves Ivusic made because he did make some decent saves in that game. But really it’s our defence which will either carry us forward or out us behind because neither of our goalies have shown consistency.
Kalinic should have probably made that save on the second goal
Sure wish hajduk could get some more tangible success
He “should have”?
Dude, you constantly shit on Livakovic and you have the nerve to say “should have”? Honestly man, that’s a routine, easy save any day of the week!
What are you smoking?
Hajduk looked great and Livaja seemed possessed and that he was going to score from any play but not lucky enough.
on another note, Kalinic could have done better and Sahiti and Krovinovic have to stop diving and play with a little more grit! Its really annoying to watch them flop every time they touch the ball!
5-2 is a big deficit to come back from, I don’t think this is possible for Hajduk at this point. They have to figure things out next time around and restructure the team a bit. Just my thoughts.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC420Ls6zNw – Live Stream
Thanks for the link. It’s working well.
Who’s got a link for this game?
Grupa E: Milan, Chelsea, RB Salzburg, DINAMO
Not sure if I like this move?
Simone’s defensive obsession and everyone behind the ball system might not suit Lovro’s style of play. He’s never been a defensive stalwart.
Hope he doesn’t rot on the Pine after pissing off the crazy Argentinian.
Being an under study to Luka at Real for a year or two would have been ideal.
an early goal for Hajduk can change everything in this game. I’m confident Hajduk can win if they decide to press high and clog the middle of the field. The one concern I have is the Villarreal striker….he’s fast and can score goals, he’s also hard to contain and they really need to concentrate on him.
If all 3 attackers (Biuk, Livaja and Sahiti) have a good game and Kroviniovic can at the very least distribute well in the opposing half, this will be a game!. For the last several months I keep mentioning Melnjak and I’ll say it again. He’s incredible in this league and he just might be the differentiator…anything is possible!
The irony of Dinamos vs hajduks opponents is not lost
It is what it is. Good experience for them
Hopefully a guy like biuk shows well
Maybe kalinic can stand on his head
The support is there and crazier things have happened but we all know the likely hood of hajduk winning is about as much as one of us winning the lotto
Should be a fun match non the less
Whatever happens today, I’m sure that there will be another fešta in Split. The atmosphere in poljud is just crazy 👏
Every single Hajduk player has to have the match of his lifetime in order for them to advance. It’s possible, since so many of these guys are young and still improving. I think it will be a good game either way. Villarreal is a tough opponent for any team, but Hajduk can be, too, if they have a good day
This was definitely the more difficult match to be frank, Dinamo had the easier game and series in my opinion. Villareal is much more difficult and in the top tier of La Liga which I always felt they should be. Livaja has to be the difference maker here in order for Hajduk to have a fighting chance. It is definitely a miracle that they need here in order to win. Their midfield is not strong enough in my view, and their possession game is very weak in comparison to a team like Villareal. They wanted to have players likes Nikola Kalinic, which are in my view dead weight and who need to be dropped. If Villareal want to take players like Biuk then they should atleast sell him for a decent asking price (somewhere from 6 to 10 mill Euro minimum) this time, and at the same time try to get decent players themselves and try to build up that midfield and defence which are both lacking. Or just keep Biuk and let him develop a little bit more.
There are opportunities here for Hajduk to build up if they play this smart they can get themselves in a good position by sourcing out players that they keep their eyes on and actually look at their stats before picking them up this time around.
Anzwiem looks to be a good prospect in defence potentially, but then atleast use the guy instead of benching him. Melnjak should play, but don’t overdue it with him either he may need to be rested for the next league game or vice versa.
We will see how this goes hopefully Hajduk can pull off a good game despite the result.
Hajduk did well to get past Vitoria from Portugal, however Villarreal is a bridge too far. If they get a draw tonight, that would be a great result.
I’m a Dinamo fan first, but I also cheer for Hajduk when they play in Europe. It’s hard not to feel sorry for them though. Dinamo plays some outfit from Norway that most people haven’t even heard of for Champions League play and Hajduk needs to get through Villarreal just to reach the group stage of Europe’s 3rd tier competition. What an unlucky draw.
With that being said, all HNL clubs need to do better to raise our coefficient or else this will continue. Dinamo is doing all the heavy lifting. Not only do they fill their coffers by qualifying, every HNL club will receive €500,000.00 thanks to Dinamo’s qualification.
Unless Livaja scores a hatrick and Kalinic keeps a clean sheet it simply ain’t happening
By the way congrats to Dinamo proving again that they are Croatia’s best club team
Hajduk have to score three and concede none if they are going to get through considering UEFA scrapped away goal rule.
Not accurate. If they score three and concede one, it goes to extra time. Villarreal, not Villareal dečki!