Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Bayern vs Barca tactical review

Barcelona play the ball over the top

When Barcelona won the ball in transition they wanted to exploit Bayerns highline with the famous trio up front.

As soon as Alves wins the ball he looks for a pass over the top of Bayerns backline to hopefully get one of the trio in a 1v1 with the GK. On this occasion he finds Suarez who gets intercepted after a good first touch.

On this Occasion Dani alves tries another long pass over the Bayern defence for Rakitic to run on to as he has space to run in to.  There is no one close enough to effect or close down Alves's pass and Alonso reacts too late to Rakitic's run.This ends up in a great 1v1 with the GK  which Rakitic should score but this shows how vunerable the Bayerns high line is to balls over the top which is such a simple thing to deal with .

Barcelona fail to compress the spaces in between the lines

Barcelona chose to defend deep and cut out the passing lanes but at times they allowed simple passes in between the lines. Barcelona's natural inclination is to press and knowing when too press in a deep system wasn't suited to them.

If you decide to drop deep you have to cut out the easy passing lanes and  compress the spaces in between the lines making sure there are no unmarked players in there.  Barcelona decided to drop off but  failed cut off the passing lanes and this caused problems as shown by the screen shot above. It allowed Bayern to initiate easy attacks which Barcelona had to react to.

Again not enough pressure on the ball which is what Barcelona's game plan was but it left men free in space which in turn forced Masherano to try and cut any passing options out this meant leaving space behind him. This results in Boateng playing a pass into the space vacated by Masherano leaving Lew through on goal and wins a corner that results in the goal.

Just to keep reiterating how poor Barcelona were in terms of clogging the space in  midfield and not being totally aware of the men behind them in space. You can clearly see no pressure on the Bayern player on the ball as Enrique wanted Barcelona to play deeper but to achieve Vertical compactness you must compress the space either by pushing the defensive line higher (risky) or dropping the midfield deeper.

This example is even worse:

The space between the lines is already huge but for some odd reason rakitic decides to follow thiago into the space which then makes the space ginormous. This is a field day for someone of Alonso's passing ability. The screenshot below shows how the space has opened up even more.

Look at how the space has opened up just by Rakitic moving forward a few yards. The ball is played to Boeteng who finds Schweinsteiger in the space this allows  Schweinsteiger  to turn and shoot.

Here you see the amount of space Schweinsteiger is in which is laughable really at this level you expect teams to be a lot more compact than this. If this had been a more creative player it could and probably would have caused a lot more problems. Extremely poor from Barca's point of view.

Corner goal analysis (Bayern first goal)

Here we have a mixture of man to man and Zonal marking from the corner kick. The key is the zonal players marking the front and penalty zone have to win the header in their particular zones.  The zonal marker on the edge has to effect the run of the deeper runner stopping his momentum and the men marking simply have to do just that man mark. Instead of this busquets gets drawn towards the ball and leaves his man open simple concentration is all thats needed here.

As you can see Busquets get drawn towards the ball when he should stick to Benatia. Benatia is clever and steps back into the space for a free easy header which could have been easily dealt with. Alot of people like to knock zonal marking but it can be just as effective if not more than man marking if done right Barcelona use both man marking and zonal in this case but Busquets simply didnt do his job.

Bayern pressing

Bayern press in one channel this makes it easier for them to win the ball making the area compact but it also has drawbacks such as leaving space on the opposite side for the likes of Alves but this is the risks that Pep likes to take believing in his philosophy and his teams ability to win the ball.

Alves free on the right as all the Bayern players where focused on pressing in the channel. Barcelona managed to get a ball out the pressing zone into the huge space on the right for Dani alves this is were he got a lot of space to play his long passes over the top.

Here is another example:

Another great example of Bayern's channel pressing the players outside the pressing zone are the barrier to the press if the ball comes out of the pressing zone they immediately press creating another pressing zone and the others create a barrier . Again the disadvantage is 1 pass or 1 switch of play to the other side can result being easily exploited as indicated in the screenshot above.

Barcelona first goal

Alsono play the diagnal ball into the halfspace which is cut out by Alba. Take note of the space which highlighted in front of the bayern defence which emerges through Alonso dropping into the back four. 

Neymar then dribbles into the space which i higlighted in the previous screen shot. Look at how flat Bayerns back line is. If Alonso steps up in the transition when the ball is lost they can cut out this space easily but he chooses to stay in the back line.

As you can see Neymar takes out 6 playersand if you include the player ball watching that makes 7. This allows Messi space and we all now its dangerous is you allow Messi even the smallest of spaces.

Suarez makes a run as he sees the space in behind the Bayern defence. Messi plays a simple through ball and Suarez cuts back for Neymar. Bernat should be pressing Messi higher up but he could have made up for it initialy if he spotted Messi in space earlier. 

Barcelona 2nd goal: Bayern fail to deal with a Basic long ball.

This is football at its very basic you would not expect a goal like this to be conceded in the semi finals of the champions league.

Long ball by the centre back up towards a 5'6 Messi in an aerial battle with Schweinsteiger you would expect Schweinsteiger to win that all day long but Messi was the one who wanted it more and was alert to the situation. Messi then flicked the ball into space for Suarez to run onto.

This end up in Suarez and Neymar vs Neuer and Boeteng which The Barcelona pair obviously won. 

Bayern 3rd goal.

Every Barcelona player is watching the ball no-one picks up the run of schweinsteiger who drifts into the space higlighted above.

Schweinsteiger cleverly then draws everyone in towards him and allows muller a free shot outside the area. This again for Barcelona highlights simple spacial awareness, not having a glance over there shoulder to see whos behind them, not picking up men drifting into space and total lack of concentration.

Bayern miss Robben and ribery

Lastly i just want to highlight how much Bayern missed Robben and Ribery in terms of lack of penetration out wide or even more variety in their offensive play.

In this example above i just feel Robben or ribery would be driving into these spaces pushing the barcelona Fullbacks back which would create space and chances for themselves and their teammates.

Here we see plently of space to drive into but he does not possess he dribbling ability of robben or ribery to drive into the spaces but its these dribbles that wouldve caused Barcelona to commit into challenges and press up leaving spaces.

Robben would be causing alba all sorts of problems dribbling inside at pace on his left foot allowing runners off him such as rafinha down that right side. In this case Muller  goes on his right foot and finds a hopeless ball which gets cut out . Another pointless attack for Bayern.


Bayern in all honesty if they defended well they could have won this tie. They gave away simple and easy goals due to the high line and poor simple individual mistakes such as not winning simple headers against a 5'6 player not known for his  heading ability . Barcelona came with a game plan to sit deep be patient on the ball but hit Bayern with over the top balls in transition this worked but from a defensive point of view Bayern could have easily had more goals due to Barcelona allowing acres of space between the lines.

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