Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea: Chelsea play ultra-defensively but win the game

April 28, 2014
Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea: Chelsea play ultra-defensively but win the game

Chelsea scored breakaway goals in stoppage time at the end of both halves.

Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged side from the nervous win at Norwich last week. Jordan Henderson was still suspended, Daniel Sturridge fit only for the bench.

Jose Mourinho named a heavily changed side, preserving his best players for the return match against Atletico in midweek.

Chelsea’s defensive performance was highly effective, and Demba Ba capitalising on Steven Gerrard’s error meant they were able to continue with this strategy into the second half. Read more »

Real Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich: Real’s counter-attack proves too good for Bayern

April 25, 2014
Real Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich: Real’s counter-attack proves too good for Bayern

Real take a one-goal lead to Germany for next week’s second leg after another fine counter-attacking display.

Carlo Ancelotti stuck with the XI he used for last week’s Copa del Rey victory over Barcelona – with the exception of the returning Cristiano Ronaldo in for Gareth Bale, who was ill.

Pep Guardiola surprisingly named Rafinha at right-back with Philipp Lahm in his central midfield role, and also took the curious step of moving Bastian Schweinsteiger to the top of the midfield triangle.

Apologies for being unable to come up with the usual ZM piece, but I’ve written an analysis of the game for the Guardian and other duties mean I don’t have the time to write something similar here.

However, as well as the usual diagram to the left, there’s the usual StatsZone grabs below.

The Guardian piece, along with these graphics, should hopefully form the usual analysis – if you jump between two tabs accordingly…

Usual service will be resumed shortly! Read more »

Atletico Madrid 0-0 Chelsea: Atletico unable to successfully adapt against defensive opposition

April 23, 2014
Atletico Madrid 0-0 Chelsea: Atletico unable to successfully adapt against defensive opposition

Atletico Madrid and Chelsea played out a very cautious first leg.

Arda Turan was only fit enough for the bench, while Diego Simeone chose Diego rather than David Villa as Diego Costa’s partner.

Jose Mourinho selected a defensive-minded 4-1-4-1 system. Branislav Ivanovic was suspended, so Cesar Azpilicueta switched flanks and Ashley Cole made a rare start at left-back.

Chelsea’s defensive approach was obvious from the outset, and Atletico dominated possession. There were few genuinely interesting features of the game and no real progression to the tactical battle. Read more »