Tottenham 0-1 Real Madrid: chalkboards

April 13, 2011

Real Madrid’s four-goal lead from the first leg was never really threatened in this match.

Spurs started reasonably brightly, getting the ball out wide to Gareth Bale, and they had a few penalty shouts throughout the game. They competed reasonably well in midfield, but lacked spark from their front two – Rafael van der Vaart was quiet, and Roman Pavlyuchenko was disappointing.

Real were always in command – their goal came from a goalkeeping error, and aside from that they rarely looked to break forward. With a four or five goal advantage, and the first of four Clasicos coming up at the weekend, there was no chance of them working harder than they needed to.

In the absence of a real contest at White Hart Lane, a full match analysis is a little unnecessary, but here are some chalkboards from the game, courtesy, as always, of TotalFootball.

Van der Vaart found it difficult to find space ‘in the hole’ against his former side. Xabi Alonso did a good job of tracking him across the pitch, and the Dutchman had to move deeper. The passes he received were frequently in deep positions (and to the right, when he moved out to the wing when Jermain Defoe replaced Aaron Lennon).

Mesut Ozil picked up the ball in more ‘classic’ central playmaking positions, but also scampered to the flanks – as he loves to do, in order to create 2 v 1 situations with his wingers. He covers the whole width of the pitch in his efforts to get the ball.

Real’s main focus in this match was keeping possession, in order to slow the tempo of the match. The key man in this was Sami Khedira, who had an excellent game. Aside from three through balls into the opposition penalty area, and a long ball from his own box which was more of a clearance than a pass, he didn’t concede possession once – he controlled the midfield zone excellently.

There was an interesting contrast between Emmanuel Adebayor and Roman Pavlyuchenko. The former Arsenal man was much more mobile and moved into wide positions to collect the ball. He was happy to hold the ball up and play a backwards pass, whereas Pavlyuchenko wanted to keep moves going forward – summing up the approach of the two sides, and their vastly different situations in this game.

Spurs created the majority of their chances by getting the ball wide and playing the ball across the penalty box…

…whereas Real Madrid tried to work the ball into positions on the edge of the ‘D’:

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