Real Madrid registered a 3-1 victory against their arch-rival FC Barcelona in one of the most prestigious matches of world football, the El Clasico. Unlike the scoresheet, the match was more balanced and was a real treat for football fans all over the world. Both the sides had world-class players who could easily change the fate of the match within a minute or two. Let’s dive into the Barcelona vs Real Madrid tactical review straight away. Ronald Koeman played his first El Clasico as a manager and it was not something he’d want to remember. Zidane, on the other hand, has answered all the questions thrown at him after the consecutive losses against Cadiz and Shaktar.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Tactical Review: Lineups of both teams
Real Madrid started in a 4-3-3 system. Though without possession it changed to 4-4-2 in Barca half. Either Marco Asensio or Vinicius was staying upfront to cover the central mids of the home side. When Barca was reaching the Real half this formation was shifting to a 5-4-1 with only Benzema staying upfront.
Barca started in a 4-2-3-1 system with Ansu Fati upfront. They pressed Real defence in a 4-4-2 shape with Messi and Fati staying upfront. In defensive phase Barca organizing them in a 4-5-1 shape with Messi dropping and helping the defence.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Tactical Review: Buildup and Transitions
As Barca got more possession in the second half, we will start with how they played with the ball.
With possession, Barca used the left side of the pitch more frequently to attack. Coutinho who started in the left side tucked in centrally making room for Jordi Alba to overlap. Barca in the first half tried to create a 3v2 or a 4v3 advantage in the left side of the pitch. Frankie De Jong also sometimes moved to the left side to operate. Messi played in a free role. He was roaming around in the Real half and connecting with his teammates to escape the press. He sometimes also dropped in the side of Busquets and Frankie to provide longballs for the men upfront. It was through his pass which initiated the move for the only goal of Barcelona. He was mainly trying to operate between the lines for Barcelona. He also moved to the right in some cases to create some space. Though he created some dangerous chances for Barcelona he was kept quiet by Casemiro who did a great job while marking him. He forced Messi to operate from the half-line where he was less effective. Asensio started this match as the man upfront with Benzema. But as Barca was mainly attacking through their left He dropped to support the defence. While defending he moved centrally to guard Coutinho who was trying to combine with Jordi Alba. When Asensio was supporting the defence Valverde moved to the right side of the pitch to fill the gap and neutralise the pressure on that side.
During the second half, Barca looked more positive with their approach. they started using both of the wings. Both Pedri and Dest started getting more involved in the game. This helped Barca to become more unpredictable as they now using the switchovers to create space on the wings. Dest was excellent in the second half. His skills and creativity was a reason behind Barca’s performance in the second half. This change forced Vinicius to involve more defensively and reduced the threat of his in behind runs. Mendy was great in stopping Barca attacks in the second half. He used his strength and speed to win the ball and initiate counters for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid also tried to control possession in this match. They build from the back. Tony Kroos dropped in front of their defence to carry the ball. he and Fede Valverde moved the ball from defence to attack. In attack, Benzema played as a false 9. He dropped in between the defence and midfield to linkup the game. His role was similar to Lionel Messi of Barcelona. His linkup game helped both Kroos and Fede to move forward. The forward line of Real Madrid was fluid. they exchanged their positions to create runs. Real used both the wings to operate. But as Mendy was more attacking then Nacho left side was much more active. Vinicius stayed in the wings while Mendy moves centrally almost to the position of striker to create chances for Real Madrid. The first goal came for the linkup play of Benzema. he dropped allowing Fede to move in the space upfront which resulted in a goal.
In the start of the second half Real Madrid became more defensive. All of their players stayed in their own half. But they were able to create chances through counterattacks using the pace of Mendy, Vinicius and Fede. This resulted in a penalty which caused the second goal. After the second goal, Zidane introduced Modric to the pitch This helped Madrid to control the tempo of the game and seal the match.
To conclude our Barcelona vs Real Madrid tactical review, this match was a must-win match for Real Madrid. Their self-confidence was down after back to back losses. Questions were raised against Zidane’s management which was needed to be answered. He answered them all in the most prestigious way by defeating Barcelona in their own castle. After this match, Real Madrid is in the tabletop with 13 points and looking in good shape after a disastrous 7 days.
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