Last night’s Supercopa match – a 2-1 win to Real, meaning they won the tie on away goals – highlighted the huge difference in playing style between the two sides.
Real dominated the game in the opening period when the match was frantic and direct. Constant long balls in behind the Barcelona defence produced numerous chances and a red card for Adriano, and Real could have been 4-0 up before Barcelona had even started playing.
But Barcelona dominated the second half, even with ten men, as Real dropped off and let Barcelona dictate the tempo. Barcelona’s passing is quick, in terms of going from player to player, but the speed of their attacks from back to front is very slow and patient.
Real aren’t in great shape physically, and therefore wouldn’t have been able to sustain their first half aggression all game, but it was probably a mistake to allow Barcelona to assert such dominance in the second period, especially as Real had a man advantage. The key tactical feature of the game was not about positioning, but about tempo. Read more »