Tag Archives: Champions League

Bayern Munich 2-1 Real Madrid: Bayern dominate but Madrid grab crucial away goal.

In this article, we will analyze using statszone app how Bayern Munich were able to overcome Spanish giants Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

Bayern Munich’s Approach:

Jupp Heynckes went for the usual 4-2-3-1 formation. His midfield selection proved to be the correct one as he chose to start with Toni Kroos rather than Thomas Muller in the play-making role. Deployed as a central midfield, Toni Kroos’s presence on and off the ball helped Bayern Munich to retain possession 53%-47% and he negated the threat of the midfield maestro Xabi Alonso. Kroos’s play-making skills troubled Madrid as he completed 51 passes out of 58 attempts and 21 attacking third passes out of 27 attempts.

Toni Kroos, the Midfield Maestro

Philipe Lahm was given the task of marking Real Madrid’s Talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. Not only was he able to keep the former Ballon D’or winner at bay, but he also contributed on the offensive end as he created 3 chances in the last 20 minutes. His tremendous work rate was awarded with an assist as Mario Gomez scored the winner from close range.

On the opposite flank, David Alaba did not overlap as much as Lahm did, however his contribution on defense was particularly impressive as he gave Angel Di Maria a night to forget. Ahead of him, Franck Ribéry was easily Bayern Munich’s most dangerous player as he constantly tried to produce chances using his speed and trickery. His work rate had a great impact as he tracked back and helped the left back on defense. Unlike Ribéry, Arjen Robben had a disappointing night as he had one shot (off target) and he also failed to create any chances. In spite of that, his movement towards the inside of the field helped Lahm overlap and left Coentrao vulnerable as he was caught out of position too many times.

Robbery, excellent wingers, different roles

Real Madrid’s approach:
Real Madrid failed to dictate the tempo of the play, away from home at Munich one would expect Mourinho to deploy a trident in midfield (4-3-3): maybe Granero instead of Ozil at the start of the game would have helped them gaining the ball and increasing possession, but clearly Mourinho wanted his side to score the important away goal.
This goal came from a typical Madrid’s counter-attack, Bayern had a free-kick and Real decided to leave 4 men on the attack. Heynckes men were at fault: they left Ronaldo twice unmarked in the penalty area and the goal inevitably came.

World's Most expensive player unmarked, twice!

After that goal Mourinho tried to kill the game:  he asked his players to drop deep and play long balls behind Bayern’s full backs.

Madrid's long balls

He then sent in Granero and Marcelo for Ozil & Di Maria, this was an expected move but Marcelo’s role wasn’t clear. At first he was helping Coentrao with the onrushing Lahm, but then he left inexplicably for the other side of the pitch: this move backfired & Madrid conceded a goal in the dying moments of the game.

Marcelo ball watching


Bayern were the most dominant side and fully deserved their win, but Madrid’s away goal might come back and hunt the German side. For the 2nd leg, Madrid need to win and be tight in defence, so will Mourinho present the same side that played at Munich? Will Ronaldo track back and help his left back with Lahm’s forward runs? Will Bayern dominate the midfield again or will they play on the Counter-attack? And finally how will Madrid’s fullbacks cope with “Robbery”? Please leave your comment, and follow us on @Basselhaddad & @Rhk_7 .

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Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona: How the goal was scored

For our first post, we will analyze how Chelsea were able to score against Barcelona to clinch a surprising 1-0 victory at home.
Chelsea were more than happy to let Barcelona retain possession (21% – 79%), they decided to sit deep and counter-attack. Defensively they were very impressive, although Barcelona (notably Fabregas & Sanchez) squandered their chances.
Dani Alves played very high up the pitch but he created only 1 chance , had 3 unsuccessful long range shots, 0 successful crosses and couldn’t get past Ashley Cole once, which means he didn’t offer Barcelona anything going forward but most importantly he left behind him acres of spaces for Chelsea to attack.

Dani Alves, the winger

On the 46th minute, Mascherano the Left centre back, decided to carry the ball to an advanced position, leaving behind him Puyol and Drogba. He passed the ball to Messi who, frustrated by the tight lines of Chelsea, had to come very deep to get a touch of the ball.

Mascherano leaving Puyol vulnerable

Messi tried 11 take-ons in this game (more than any player), out of which 6 were successful, unfortunately for him and Barcelona this one wasn’t: Lampard robbed him on the half-way line. With Mascherano caught up-field and Dani Alves & Adriano beyond the halfway line Chelsea could at last counter Barcelona.

Messi, 6/11 take-ons

The second Lampard had won the ball he had only one thing on his mind: cross the ball in the space behind Dani Alves and let Ramires chase the ball. As you can see in the picture below: at the instant Lampard crossed the ball, Ramires was behind him, which only means this move was trained numerous times and Lampard knew exactly where Ramires will be heading.

Ramirez behind Lampard at instant of cross.

Normally, in these kind of situations, one Centre-Back marks the Forward and the other chases for the ball, but Puyol and Mascherano chose otherwise: Drogba’s excellent movement dragged both of them to the other side of the pitch, leaving Ramires and Xavi sprinting for the ball, and we all know who would win that race. Meanwhile Adriano and Dani Alves decided not to run back.

Drogba's excellent movement, Mascherano & Puyol miscommunication, Ramires & Xavi's race, Adriano & Dani Alves' jog (click to enlarge)

Look at the space!

The 2 Centre-Backs miscommunication continued, when they realized the ball was actually going to the other side, they both ran towards Ramires, leaving this time Drogba alone. Ramires passed the ball to the unmarked Drogba, and Chelsea scored an important goal at home.

CB's miscommunication, Adriano's walk of shame

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