Tactical Analysis Tottenham 3-1 Real Madrid

Discussion in 'Premier League Clubs' started by Covershadow, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. Covershadow

    Covershadow Member

    Aug 30, 2016
    A Statement By Tottenham Hotspur!

    Tottenham’s defensive orientation

    Pochettino looked to take a secure approach of press as Tottenham didn’t always insist on disturbing the early phase of Real’s build-up. Tottenham assigned the pressing work based on a 5-3-2-ish shape, with Christian Eriksen slightly higher than the other two central midfielders. The Dane pressed Casemiro while Harry Kane and Delle Alli kept an eye on Real’s both center halves. The other defensive duty for Tottenham’s 8 was that they also had to maintained good access to Kroos and Modric. An example was identified in the 1st minute of the game, Eriksen stepped up to press Kroos in Real’s early third. But when the ball was switched to the right half space, Harry Winks stayed in the middle third as he engaged with Luka Modric. At times, the ball side 8 had to also drop deep and press towards the touchline to isolate Real’s full back on the wing.



    Also worth mentioning was that despite a focus on a fairly low block, in possession and when it came for them to attack the final third, Tottenham’s mdifield trio and both wing backs kept maintaining the spatial occupation, both in wide area and around the center. In theory, this was paramount given the need for the attack to secure the zone 14 and zone 11 in case any counter attack occurred. In this regard and when the ball got into the penalty area, Winks and Dier would move up and occupy any space in the final third outside of the box while Eriksen moved across the 10 to support the possession. In the wide corridors, both wing backs established a maximum width as the ball side wing back stayed wide and as high as possible while the far one stayed slightly deeper but had to be ready for any deep runs in the upper final third.

    The midfield 4 and Marcelo the free man

    In Real’s attack, Kroos and Modric alternately dropped into the deeper half space beside of each central defender with Kroos seemingly deeper. The German dropped into the half space to help advance the ball as well as to invite Eriksen to move up which made it easier for Real to access Marcelo on the left wing.

    Isco was often found to occupy the higher ground. He shifted across the midfield line to support the possession on both sides of the field. Casemiro was the nominal 6, but, sometimes, the Brazilian pushed higher up the pitch, staying in the same line as Ronaldo and Benzema. Real’s midfield 4, as always, continuously kept swapping positions to keep the opponent guessing all the time.

    The other important principle in Real’s attack was they used Marcelo as the free man. One method of how Real created free man on the wide area (ie. Marcelo) can be seen in the graphic below.


    Real’s pressing issue

    One of the issues in Real’s press was that it was hard for the visitors to secure the space behind their first line of press. For example, in a high press, Ronaldo, Benzema, and Kroos stepped high up the pitch and put a press to Tottenham’s first line. With proper timing and intensity, this should have made it hard for Tottenham to progress, but, practically, it became problematic since the cover behind the first line of press was weak.

    Tottenham’s diagonality

    One of Tottenham’s penetration patterns into the box was that they tried to make use of the flank to open up access in the center and exploit the said space using a diagonal-like structure. One of the patterns they used was circulating the ball wide followed by a backward diagonal pass to the midfielders in the same wing and near half space followed by a diagonal onward pass to the center or, at times, they played an aerial diagonal ball to the far side wing back.

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