32.8 C
Delhi

Tactical Analysis: How Real Madrid Defended Manchester City And Stayed Alive For 120 Minutes

Manchester City extended their unbeaten home streak in the Champions League to 31 games (at least in 90 minutes). However, their impressive record was overshadowed by Real Madrid’s victory, dealing another blow to Pep Guardiola’s team.

LN2C4Z3LOZIMFAI3VOLWB3JIQI Tactical Analysis: How Real Madrid Defended Manchester City And Stayed Alive For 120 Minutes
Soccer Football – Champions League – Quarter Final – Second Leg – Manchester City v Real Madrid – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain – April 17, 2024 Manchester City’s Josko Gvardiol looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Carl Recine

Under the leadership of Carlo Ancelotti, the seasoned champions once again demonstrated their prowess in the competition. The outcome emphasized Real Madrid’s ability to withstand Manchester City’s aggressive play and emerge triumphant.

Read More: AFC Asian Cup 2023: India vs Australia – Tactical Analysis & Positives for India to look at

Real Madrid’s Resilience and City’s Persistence

Following a lively 3-3 draw in the initial encounter, seizing the lead in the rematch eased any apprehension lingering from Madrid’s 4-0 defeat last season. A blend of a speculative long pass, trademark Madrid precision, and a stroke of luck allowed Rodrygo to secure a pivotal advantage for his team. It was a lead that the visitors fiercely defended throughout the match.

VZMWMSQZKNOYHDNXSM4C5Q6JD4 Tactical Analysis: How Real Madrid Defended Manchester City And Stayed Alive For 120 Minutes
Soccer Football – Champions League – Quarter Final – Second Leg – Manchester City v Real Madrid – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain – April 17, 2024 Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez scores a penalty during a penalty shootout REUTERS/Molly Darlington

City maintained possession dominance while Madrid adopted a deep defensive stance with disciplined numbers. It wasn’t until the 76th minute that City’s persistent probing yielded results, with Kevin De Bruyne scoring a well-deserved equalizer. However, De Bruyne missed a golden opportunity to put his team ahead as the game approached extra time and the possibility of penalties, marking yet another impressive outcome for Ancelotti and Real Madrid.

- Advertisement -TechnoSports-Ad

Real Madrid’s Tactical Adaptations and Dynamic Play

Ancelotti implemented slight tactical adjustments for Real Madrid compared to the first leg. Initially set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Vinícius Júnior operated centrally, posing a threat behind Manchester City’s central defenders. This positioning facilitated better connections with teammates on the right flank compared to the previous encounter. Both full-backs and wide midfielders provided width around City’s defensive structure.

Real Madrids Shape With the Ball Image Credits Wyscout Tactical Analysis: How Real Madrid Defended Manchester City And Stayed Alive For 120 Minutes
Real Madrid’s Shape With the Ball, Image Credits- Wyscout

Jude Bellingham started as the number 10 but dropped deeper to link up with the center-backs and the double pivot of Toni Kroos and Eduardo Camavinga. They ensured defensive coverage by individually shifting wide to cover the spaces left by Ferland Mendy and Dani Carvajal’s forward movements.

Real Madrid also executed intelligent longer passes into the spaces behind City’s defense, with Bellingham making forward runs to support Vinícius. Fede Valverde operated as a right-winger while Rodrygo occupied the left flank. The visitors initiated short build-up play along the backline to draw City players forward before launching balls in behind, as observed in the lead-up to their sole goal of the match.

Carvajals Long ball that led to Real Madrids Goal Image Credits Wyscout Tactical Analysis: How Real Madrid Defended Manchester City And Stayed Alive For 120 Minutes
Carvajal’s Long ball that led to Real Madrid’s Goal, Image Credits- Wyscout

Carvajal’s delivery found Bellingham, who combined with Valverde and a more centrally positioned Vinícius to assist Rodrygo’s goal. Following the goal, Real shifted into a low defensive block for the remainder of the first half.

Guardiola’s Adjustments and Akanji’s Impact on City’s Attack

Guardiola once again deployed Manchester City in their familiar attacking shape of 3-2-4-1, derived from a nominal 4-3-3 setup. Manuel Akanji shifted from central defense to a double pivot alongside Rodri. Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne operated as the two attacking midfielders, closely shadowed by Kroos and Camavinga from Real Madrid, potentially influencing Real’s choice of the 4-2-3-1 formation for the match. Jack Grealish and Phil Foden engaged in frequent one-on-one battles against Real Madrid’s aggressive full-backs, while Erling Haaland focused on challenging Nacho whenever possible.

Akanji being the free man in the City midfield against Real Madrid Image Credits Wyscout Tactical Analysis: How Real Madrid Defended Manchester City And Stayed Alive For 120 Minutes
Akanji being the free man in the City midfield against Real Madrid, Image Credits- Wyscout

To counteract Madrid’s deep defensive block, City’s wingers started dropping deeper to receive the ball and evade the tight marking from Carvajal and Mendy. Despite this adjustment, Real’s full-backs continued to track their movements, and Madrid’s pivots maintained close surveillance on De Bruyne and Silva. This left Akanji as the free player, often positioned to receive passes behind Real Madrid’s midfield trio and connect with City’s forward line.

Akanji’s positioning in the double pivot on the right side of the pitch added potency to City’s attacks down that flank. With defenders preoccupied by Foden’s dribbling and De Bruyne’s runs, Akanji exploited the spaces between the lines and surged forward. As Mendy aggressively closed down Foden, De Bruyne capitalized on the resulting space behind. Conversely, the City left flank saw less activity, with Carvajal receiving a booking during one of the few occasions when Grealish gained the upper hand in a one-on-one duel.

City’s Left-Side Dominance and Real’s Defensive Resilience

In the second half, Manchester City intensified their attacks on the left side, capitalizing on Carvajal’s cautious approach towards Grealish due to his booking. This allowed City to exploit space behind Carvajal and generate dangerous situations with penetrative runs from Silva. De Bruyne, Haaland, and Foden positioned themselves to capitalize on crosses from this area, with Akanji providing additional support by shifting across.

Real Madrids Low block without the Ball Image Credits Wyscout Tactical Analysis: How Real Madrid Defended Manchester City And Stayed Alive For 120 Minutes
Real Madrid’s Low block without the Ball, Image Credits- Wyscout

Despite City’s dominance in possession and territory, Real Madrid defended resolutely with a back six. Kroos dropped deeper to protect the left inside channel, enabling Mendy to mark City’s wide attacker on that side. Valverde provided cover on the right, ensuring additional protection around Carvajal, who guarded access to the inside channel. Camavinga and Bellingham screened the defense, while Vinícius and Rodrygo served as counter-attacking outlets. Real Madrid’s commitment to this deep defensive block was evident, as their only shot on target came in the 12th minute, coinciding with their goal.

Dokus pace and unpredictability caused Carvajal and Real Madrid problems which ultimately led to Citys equaliser Image Credits Wyscout Tactical Analysis: How Real Madrid Defended Manchester City And Stayed Alive For 120 Minutes
Doku’s pace and unpredictability caused Carvajal and Real Madrid problems which ultimately led to City’s equaliser, Image Credits- Wyscout

Throughout the second half and extra time, City continued to apply pressure, amassing a total of 32 shots and 18 corners. They eventually equalized after Jérémy Doku replaced Grealish, providing a more aggressive threat against Carvajal. Doku’s cross led to a poor clearance, resulting in De Bruyne’s goal.

QHATRJ3JTBMSFK2EBZ6OIRT4IU Tactical Analysis: How Real Madrid Defended Manchester City And Stayed Alive For 120 Minutes
Soccer Football – Champions League – Quarter Final – Second Leg – Manchester City v Real Madrid – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain – April 17, 2024 Real Madrid’s Andriy Lunin saves a penalty taken by Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva during the penalty shootout REUTERS/Molly Darlington TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

City’s converted back three positioned themselves high to thwart potential counter-attacks and confine Real Madrid deep in their defensive third. Despite De Bruyne missing a golden opportunity to win the tie, City couldn’t find the breakthrough, and Real Madrid emerged victorious after a tense penalty shootout.

What The Managers Had To Say After The Match

Congratulations to Real Madrid – they defended so deep with incredible solidarity,” said Guardiola. “We did everything, defensively and offensively. They made a good goal. There were two, three, four transitions, but it is normal at that level with the quality they have. We played exceptionally in all departments. Unfortunately, we could not win.”

There was only one way to get out of here alive,” said Ancelotti. “We did well to score early on and then we showed the commitment to defend the lead. We defended well, we had to dig in and fight hard. We could have played better, but the team were defensively superb.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

TechnoSports-Ad

Popular

TechnoSports-Ad

Related Stories

More from author

IPL 2024: RR vs SRH – Match Preview, Prediction, Team News and Fantasy XI 

Rajasthan Royals (RR) face off against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Qualifier 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium...

Who Should Be The Next Chelsea Manager And Replace Mauricio Pochettino at Stamford Bridge?

With Mauricio Pochettino departing Chelsea, we examine the top candidates to succeed him. Is the position a poisoned chalice, or could one of these...

Ayushmann Khurrana and Sara Ali Khan to Star in Dharma-Sikhya’s Action-Comedy: Dharma Productions and Sikhya Entertainment Reunite for Exciting New Project

A new onscreen duo is set to hit the big screen as actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Sara Ali Khan team up for the first...

Top 5 Assist Providers in ISL 2023-24 season

In football, the ability to penetrate defenses is crucial. Players possessing mesmerizing skills, offensive prowess, keen vision, and agility introduce varied dynamics to their...