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Gyeongin Derby Recap: Over 51,000 watch FC Seoul 0-0 Incheon United

A record paid attendance of over 51,000 watched FC Seoul and Incheon United play out a 0-0 draw, despite the first-half introduction of Jesse Lingard. 
After a lacklustre display away to Gwangju in Round 1, FC Seoul boss Kim Gi-dong made five changes to his starting lineup. 

Debuts were given to Kang Sang-woo and Takuya Shigehiro while Stanislav Iljutecnko was given the nod to start after a solid 45 against Gwangju, Lim Sang-hyub came in for Cho Young-wook on the left wing, and Lee Tae-seok took over from Kim Jin-ya at left back. Choi Cheol-won kept his place in goal despite an error that led to Gwangju's first goal.

Jesse Lingard came off the bench in the first half with FC Seoul manager Kim Gi-dong seemingly not impressed with what his team had produced in the first 30 minutes. Japanese midfielder Takuya Shigehiro, making his debut after joining on loan from Nagoya Grampus, was hooked after a less-than-solid display in the centre of the park.

The occasion, with UK media outlets the Daily Mail and The Athletic sending representatives, was more about the home debut of Jesse Lingard than it was about local bragging rights in ever-fiesty Gyeongin Derby, or two teams trying to bounce back from opening day defeats.

Seoul were set up in a 4-2-3-1 with Shigehiro in alongside Ki Sung-yeung as the two central midfielders. The Japanese failed to impose himself on the game and, when it became clear that Lingard was going to come on, it was only ever going to be the on-loan Nagoya Grampus midfielder who was going to be sacrificed. 

Deployed from the initially left wing with Aleksandar Paločević dropping in as a defensive midfielder, Lingard almost played Kang Sang-woo in for an assist with a delightful through-ball but Incheon goalkeeper Lee Bum-soo made himself big and kept Seoul at bay.

Seoul looked much more incisive with Lingard on the pitch. But against Gwangju and the first five or 10 minutes that he was on the pitch against Incheon were perhaps something of an introduction to K League referees. 

He will perhaps have felt like he should have had a couple of free kicks but the referee wasn't interested, or he allowed advantage to be played but didn't caution or give the Incheon offender a talking to on one particular occasion.

In the second half, Seoul's shape looked more like a 4-4-2 with Lingard as a striker. Seoul, though, found it hard to get around the visitors and Lingard was often quite deep and suffocated with four or five Incheon players around him.

He appeared to look frustrated at times and dropping deep was Lingard trying to get on the ball and influence the game.

Seoul lacked any natural width; no one was willing to get to the byline and get across in, which was a waste of Iljutcenko's presence and aerial ability.

Choi Jun tried to rectify, that, though when coming on after 77 minutes in place of Lee Tae-seok. His very first contribution was to get a teasing cross in towards the penalty spot but the stars just didn't align and the score remained 0-0.

Lingard's golden opportunity to score came in the 83rd minute, Seoul on the counterattack down the right through Kang Seong-jin who cut inside and teed up the former England international. His right-footed shot went over the bar, though, with Lingard looking down at the turf to offer an explanation as to why that went over.

Seoul won a free kick a minute or so later. Paločević took it and tried to feed Lingard around the corner but the latter didn't telegraph the pass and Incheon had a chance to regroup.

A similar incident followed in the 88th minute with Lingard on the ball in the 10 position. He tried to feed in Kim Sin-jin who'd come on to replace Iljutcenko but the pass was a bit over hit and Kim didn't have the pace to keep the ball in play. It seemed to sum up FC Seoul. They just weren't clicking and it looks as though it will take time before Kim Gi-dong is able to get this team playing the way he wants. Likewise, Lingard will need time to adjust to his new teammates and vice versa.

It had all started to get a bit desperate at this point. Seoul hadn't performed well but at least there was a sense of urgency, attacking towards their main core support behind the goal in the south stand.

The fans had largely been onside so far but at that point, with Kim Sin-jin giving up in trying to stop the ball from going out, the fans showed their frustration and boos began to ring out.

With over 51,000 at Sangam, the atmosphere felt different. There was an expectancy and a sense of hope when Seoul broke forward. Such as when Kang Seong-jin found Lingard with a diagonal from deep in the 95th minute the Englishman looked clean through but Incheon were just able to recover in time and force the ball out for a throw.

Dithering from Kim Sin-jin and Kang Seong-jin was the last action of the match and the first Gyeongin Derby of the season ended 0-0. Both FC Seoul and Incheon United will head into Round 3 next week looking for, not only their first win of the season but also their first goals. 

Post-match Press Conference Highlights

FC Seoul Manager Kim Gi-dong

Overall comments:

"If you take all the important points into account, whether that be Incheon or us, we're the most disappointed. It would have been good for us to win with lots of supporters coming to watch, so for that I'm sorry to the fans. [The performance] was better than Round 1 (vs Gwangju), but we still have a long way to go. While I think our flow was better from the start and when making some changes, in the second half the flow of the game went to the opposition and our play was a bit up and down. Moving forward we need to adjust that. We lost, then we drew, and now in Round 3 we'll prepare with the anticipation that we'll win."

On the boos after the final whistle:

"Of course, at home fans what a good performance and the points but we didn't give them that. I completely understand. We'll get ready [for the next game] so we can satisfy [them]."

On the team still having a lot of possession at the back:

"There were a lot of circumstances that couldn't be helped. The opposition likes to drop deep and counterattack counter so I made a point of trying to go through the middle but we got got hit on the counter. We tried to find good positions. This was a point that I demanded from the players. So when the opposition dropped deep we did that to try and draw them out."

On no goals from two games:

"Even if that wasn't the case, this is something that the coaches have been talking about. Goals aren't coming, even though we've worked on it so that's a pity. We're going to have a think about what we can do in training so goals and wins come."

On apparent tactical deficiencies:

"Because we haven't won, anything I say will just sound like excuses. It's fine if we win but in these kinds of situations, it's just an excuse. We need to try and improve."

On how he'd assess his full backs:

I thought about how we could use players with certain characteristics like Lee Tae-seok and Park Dong-jin. Later on, Choi Jun came on and even though it was his first game after signing for us, he carried out his role well. Later on,  even when Gerso switched positions, he did well in my eyes."

On Lingard playing more minutes:

"We were trying to get a hold of the flow of the game but it was with Incheon and so we needed a change. He was brought on quicker than we planned. In the first half he helped with our flow, in the second half I think he felt a bit fatigued. There were some chances to shoot on the counterattack. Because it was difficult for him physically, some things didn't quite pan out but I think things will get better."

Jesse Lingard

On his early appearance off the bench:

"Yeah, it was earlier than I predicted, to be honest. But he told me to play 10 and try get in between the lines. We did first half, they made it a bit more difficult second half.

"It was a bit more compact in the middle, they made us play wide to get the ball in the box but we've got to come up against different teams this season, you know some teams might give you a little bit more space in the middle, some teams unfortunately wide so it's down to us players on the pitch to recognize where the space is going to be and trying to hurt them through that."

KLU Patreon

Listen to the full press conference on KLU Patreon: here
Mixed Zone: Incheon United's Matej Jonjić: here

Starting Lineups

FC Seoul

21 Choi Cheol-won, 50 Park Dong-jin, 3 Kwon Wan-kyu, 30 Kim Ju-sung, 88 Lee Tae-seok (16 Choi Jun 79'), 6 Ki Sung-yeung (captain), 55 Takuya Shigehiro (10 Lingard 30'), 11 Kang Seong-jin, 26 Aleksandar Paločević, 7 Lim Sang-hyub (32 Choi Young-wook 64'), 90 Stanislav Iljutcenko (9 Kim Sin-jin 79')

Unused substitutes: 1 Baek Jong-beom, 14 Rebin Sulaka, 29 Ryu Jae-moon, 66 Han Seung-gyu

Incheon United

25 Lee Bum-soo, 3 Kim Yeon-soo, 82 Matej Jonjić, 4 Oh Ban-suk, 37 Hong Shi-hoo, 5 Lee Myung-joo, 40 Paul-José M'Poku, 23 Jung Dong-yun, 77 Park Seung-ho, 9 Stefan Mugoša (11 Gerso Fernandes 68'), 26 Kim Seong-min (18 Cheon Seong-hoon 81')

Unused substitutes: 1 Min Seong-jun, 2 Kim Geon-hee, 14 Choi Woo-jin, 21 Baek Min-gyu, 22 Ji Eon-hak, 33 Kim Hyun-seo, 47 Kim Dong-min

Attendance: 51,670

Gyeongin Derby Matchday Sketch

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