Chelsea’s victory over Manchester United – Chalkboard analysis

April 3, 2010

An exciting, crucial game at Old Trafford resulted in a deserved 1-2 win for Chelsea. The tactical battle throughout the game was quite subdued – both sides set up as expected once we had the team sheets, and the only real change was when United pushed forward late on. Read more »

Benfica 2-1 Liverpool: Benfica scrap to a victory, but it should have been more resounding

April 2, 2010
Benfica 2-1 Liverpool: Benfica scrap to a victory, but it should have been more resounding

A decent game for the neutral tonight, but fairly underwhelming from a tactical point of view. Both sides played as expected, the result was no surprise, and all the goals came from defensive mistakes rather than attacking brilliance. Read more »

Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona: Wenger’s side utterly outclassed, but rescue a draw

March 31, 2010
Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona: Wenger’s side utterly outclassed, but rescue a draw

A crazy game of football to watch, a difficult one to analyse. Two open, attacking sides produced a wonderful game for the neutral, but one that will probably leave both managers absolutely fuming – Wenger because his side were awful and conceded poor goals, Guardiola because his side threw away a 0-2 lead. Read more »

Arsenal v Barcelona: passing statistics

March 31, 2010
Arsenal v Barcelona: passing statistics

We were told constantly before the game that Arsenal against Barcelona was a clash of two sides who play football ‘the right way’ – short, quick passes from excellent technical players comfortable in possession. And that proved to be correct, although this graph shows a stark contrast between the sides. Read more »

Bayern 2-1 Manchester Utd: Ferguson loses the game with a strange substitution

March 30, 2010
Bayern 2-1 Manchester Utd: Ferguson loses the game with a strange substitution

How on earth did Manchester United manage to lose this game? On top after twenty seconds of playing time, Rooney causing the Bayern centre-backs no end of trouble, and a spare man in the centre of the pitch, it really is quite remarkable that Bayern will go to Old Trafford with the advantage. Sir Alex Ferguson has been constantly praised on ZM for his tactics so far this season, but he might have to take the blame here. Read more »

Teams of the Decade #1: Greece, Euro 2004

March 29, 2010
Teams of the Decade #1: Greece, Euro 2004

This Greek sideĀ achievedĀ perhaps the most astonishing thing in the history of international football. There have been one-off shocks, games that went against the favourites because of a particular set of circumstances. USA 1-0 England in 1950. Senegal 1-0 France in 2002. But those things can happen; shocks in football happen because it’s such a low-scoring game, and dominance doesn’t always equal goals. Read more »

Bayern Munich v Manchester United – tactical preview

March 29, 2010
Bayern Munich v Manchester United – tactical preview

On paper, United should be set up perfectly to deal with this one. No side in Europe rely on their wide players as much as Bayern do, no side in Europe defend from the wings as effectively as United do. Read more »

Arsenal v Barcelona – tactical preview

March 29, 2010
Arsenal v Barcelona – tactical preview

The contest that many neutrals might have hoped to see in the final. Two similar sides in many ways – they play a similar brand of football and have both favoured 4-3-3 systems this season. Read more »

Zonal Marking’s 20 teams of the decade – in full

March 28, 2010
Zonal Marking’s 20 teams of the decade – in full

After twenty trips down memory lane, this series has finally come to an end. Below are the twenty sides chosen, in descending order, to represent the 2000s in tactical terms.
Choosing the sides was a difficult task. The intention was not to choose the twenty ‘best’ sides, but to choose twenty sides who were somehow interesting tactically, or those who made a significant impact upon the game. Read more »

Roma 2-1 Inter: A narrow victory that could turn out to be crucial

March 27, 2010
Roma 2-1 Inter: A narrow victory that could turn out to be crucial

There’s a case for saying that was the first huge game of the season. Title favourites Inter against the side who look most likely to topple them, and Jose Mourinho up against Claudio Ranieri – the man he replaced at Chelsea almost six years ago. Read more »