In the last seasons of La Liga, we explored Real Betis as one of the best teams which played attractive football and made followers of all the other teams, especially the major ones, sympathise with them and watch their matches because how special they were.
We also became aware of the players who showcased their talents all the time, like Loren Morón who will be the focus of our analysis, after his performances this season and the last one.
Through this tactical analysis, we will try to review what the Spanish player has provided tactically and statistically to his team this season.
Loren Moron has shown great improvement this season with Real Betis with more effectiveness in the attacking side, where he scored 11 goals and has three assists after 28 games of the season, compared to the previous season when he played 45 games, netting eight goals and assisting four.
Morón is the top scorer of his team this season in La Liga with nine goals and has 0.50 expected goal (xG) per game, compared to the last season when he had 0.35 expected goal (xG) per game, and we will see why he is more effective in the final third in the next example.
Here we can see his goal in the Levante game, where the ball was with Joaquin on the right side while Morón was still out of the box. It’s important to notice where he starts his run and also how he scans the pitch before moving into the danger area to connect with the pass.
Here we see how the diligent movement towards the Levante penalty area takes place behind the opponent’s defence, and how he succeeded and scored a goal for his team. Once again, we can see Loren Morón‘s moves are not really that of a traditional striker since he often starts deep and then outmanoeuvred the markers to be in the right place at the right time.
He reached the cross and scored the goal but that is not the whole story. He is a scorer who can create space or exploit it, and he also knows how to use his head, in every sense of that word, as we will see further down this scout report.
Loren Morón is the type of striker you could call a poacher, a real number nine, but not in a traditional sense. He has great awareness with movement vertically and horizontally on the pitch, where can create space to players who come from back lines like Nabil Fekir and Joaquín, as we will see in the next example.
Here we see Morón during his team’s counter-pressing when he takes the ball from Barcelona once again but this time, instead of surging forward by himself, he gets back to the middle third and keeps the ball until his teammates advance to the final third.
Even though he is playing the role of the forward, he is often the first player that turns the play from defensive to offensive phase, and that took Barcelona’s centre-back’s attention to get forward and man-mark him, leaving open space to be exploited.
Here we can see Moron again between the lines, awaiting the movement of colleagues in the half-spaces between the Barcelona defenders, which he exploited distinctively when passing to Nabil Fekir.
Loren Morón has drastically improved his assist output compared to the one amassed last season. If we take a closer look we can see that he has an expected assist (xA) value up to 0.12 per game this season, while he had 0.06 per game in the last season.
Movement is really one of his greatest assets and he moves both horizontally and vertically which causes a lot of trouble to the opposing team, especially the movement on the left side from where he uses progressive passes that move the ball forward with 76% accuracy this season. We can see that well in the player’s heat map.
Here we can see where he moves in the last third of the field during matches. Morón prefers to move inside the opponent’s penalty area, but then we can also see his tendency to drop deep where he creates space and controls the ball significantly.
Morón moves especially well inside the penalty area when he’s expecting crosses. He scored many goals, either directly from a cross or even from a diagonal move to follow a cross, as we will see in the next example.
He moves to the near post to follow the ball of the Algerian international, Issa Mendi, who headed it in the opposite direction, with a distinct move from Morón that confused the opposing defence. Here his positive move gave his team an offensive solution, and showed weakness in the monitoring system of the opposing team.
But it was mostly due to his excellent spatial awareness and incredible movement that the managed to surprise the defensive line and get to the ball first.
In addition to his excellent offensive performance, Loren Morón tries to defend for his team at times when they lose the ball.
When we talk about Loren Morón’s defensive role, it will be necessary to note that he is the outspoken spearhead within coach Rubi’s tactics, meaning that he is often in the first defensive line of the team and can support his team when the opposition has possession.
These are things that Loren Morón does well, and we can see that he recovered 18 balls in the last third and he turned 10 balls among them into shots on the opponent’s goal.
We can also see his ability with long-range shots where he got eight shots of total 10 from outside the penalty area and one on the edge of it. This, of course, is a great weapon to have in the team as Morón can instantly pose a threat to the opposition’s goal after retrieving possession.
Real Betis are one of the teams that favour the idea of high pressure especially for teams that play the ball in an organised way from the back like Real Madrid, and Moron has a distinct role in that system. Whether it’s to cut the ball or force a mistake, he will often be in the opposition’s face, and we will see that in the next examples.
Here we note the positioning of Real Betis players in the high-pressure stage, the ball with Dani Carvajal on the right side of Real Madrid‘s defence, and it is here Loren is positioned behind Luka Modrić and Casemiro, to make the build-up process difficult.
Here, when the pass from Carvajal went towards Modrić, Morón was quick to put pressure on the Croatian international and try to cut the ball, which led to him making a mistake. This shows us the prominent defensive role of the Betis forward.
Loren Morón has the agility and speed to get back and move forward so quickly, and this advantage gives him the ability to retrieve some balls from the opponent, or even make the task difficult for opposition players, whether in preparing attacks or sending dangerous passes towards the Real Betis area.
Here we can see the positioning of Loren Morón between the lines when Barcelona tried building up from the backline. He is in the face of Gerard Piqué and tries to make the attacking difficult despite his team losing by a large difference of goals.
And this is one of his main attributes that we can also mention as part of his defensive repertoire. Moron is always among the first one to press and retrieve the ball high up the pitch and once he does, he has the skill and the technique to either directly cause damage to the opposition or assist his teammates.
Here we see that his positioning between the lines allowed him to get the ball and hit from range to score for his team a goal, and the idea lies in the way he moved across in the last third, with confusing the state of defence.
Morón recovered the ball 58 times from the opponent, 48 from them in the centre and final third, and even if he doesn’t cut the balls, he returns to the defensive shift quickly to help his colleagues and make things difficult for opponents, which we will see in the next example.
Here we see Loren Morón stationed inside the Seville penalty area when the ball was with Alex Moreno, left-back for Real Betis, waiting for the cross.
But once Betis lost the ball, he was quick to return on the defensive left side of his team when Sevilla started a counter. He could then put pressure on the player and force him into a mistake.
Morón is certainly among the best and most influential players Betis have in their squad but he does have some weaknesses that need to be addressed.
Morón has some problems that we can see in his performances, especially in the delay in making decisions when he owns the balls sometimes, as he lost many balls, including 21 balls in his first third of the pitch, as we can see in the next example.
Here, when cutting the ball from Barcelona players he could either disperse the ball or play it to the closest teammate standing in front of him directly.
He didn’t make any of the decisions and decided to stop the ball, but the Barcelona players did not give him much time as Nélson Semedo pressed the ball without making any mistake, and his team returned to the offensive situation quickly and continued to put pressure on the Betis defence.
Loren Morón lost a total of 169 balls in all places on the field, including 148 times in the middle and final third, which we can see in the next image.
Here we can see the distribution of the balls that Loren lost, whether from wrong passes that did not go to the colleagues or even when he was late in making a decision and the opponent’s players cut them. We can say that this is the most notable thing that the Spanish player has to work on.
In this scout report, we tried to showcase Loren Morón’s great offensive capabilities and his supporting role in the defensive shape of his team. Even though he is a key part of the squad, there are also some weaknesses in his profile that can still be ironed out.