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Atletico Madrid 4-0 Real Madrid: Atletico solid in central areas when defending and fluid to cause overloads out wide when attacking

February 10, 2015
Atletico Madrid 4-0 Real Madrid: Atletico solid in central areas when defending and fluid to cause overloads out wide when attacking

This was the sixth Madrid derby of the season, and Atletico remain unbeaten in those matches. This was their most convincing performance to date. Atletico selection Diego Simeone made various changes having rotated for the win over Eibar the previous weekend, with the likes of Juanfran, Miranda, Arda Turan and Gabi all returning, but this was...
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Posted in Spain | 22 Comments »

Wolfsburg 4-1 Bayern: Wolfsburg nullify Alonso and switch play effectively on the break

February 4, 2015
Wolfsburg 4-1 Bayern: Wolfsburg nullify Alonso and switch play effectively on the break

Bayern conceded four goals – as many as they’d let in during the entire first half of the Bundesliga season – and were completely outplayed throughout. Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking brought Daniel Caliguiri into the side on the right, which meant Vieirinha was pushed back to a relatively unfamiliar full-back role. In the centre, Max...
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Posted in Germany | 11 Comments »

Man City 0-2 Arsenal: impressive defensive performance from Arsenal earns fine victory

January 19, 2015
Man City 0-2 Arsenal: impressive defensive performance from Arsenal earns fine victory

Arsenal produced a tactically mature performance, largely nullifying Manchester City’s attacking threats. Manchester City selection Manuel Pellegrini welcomed back Sergio Aguero, who played as the lone striker with David Silva just behind, and captain Vincent Kompany. City still have some key players unavailable: Samir Nasri is injured, while Yaya Toure is at the Africa Cup of...
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Posted in England | 8 Comments »

Barcelona 3-1 Atletico: Suarez’s running brings out the best of Messi and Neymar on the flanks

January 14, 2015
Barcelona 3-1 Atletico: Suarez’s running brings out the best of Messi and Neymar on the flanks

Barcelona completely outplayed reigning champions Atletico Madrid, with Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez’s excellent combinations particularly impressive. Luis Enrique fielded Ivan Rakitic rather than Xavi Hernandez in midfield, and played both his attacking full-backs in tandem. The most interesting part of Diego Simeone’s team selection was the decision to play Jesus Gamez, usually a right-back,...
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Posted in Spain | 10 Comments »

Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid: Valencia risk 3 v 3 at the back and push the wing-backs forward

January 7, 2015
Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid: Valencia risk 3 v 3 at the back and push the wing-backs forward

Valencia ended Real Madrid’s incredible 22-match winning run with a brave tactical performance at the Mestalla. Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo continued with the 3-5-2 system he’d deployed for the first time in the 1-0 win at Eibar just before the winter break. There was a significant change, however, with new signing Enzo Perez coming...
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Posted in Spain | 25 Comments »