Saturday, 27 April 2013

Real Madrid's CL dreams : Salvageable or Mission Impossible?

Real Madrid's CL dreams : Salvageable or Mission Impossible?

Key Facts from the first leg-

-Playing Modric in the centre an Ozil on the right essentially meant there was no No 10

-It was supposed to be a 4-3-3 formation for Real but it ended up being a 4-1-4-1 hence they were not compact.


-They were only compact before the equaliser when Dortmund forward players became complacent and didn't press well

-Ineffective playmaker - Xabi Alonso ( this was due to the high pressing by Gotze and Lewandowski ). So there was no time to make those diagonal 60-yard passes to the forwards

-Playing Ramos at RB instead of CB was a mistake. Playing Pepe at CB was a mistake

-Ozil not tracking back enough to help out Ramos made it easy for Reus and Lewandowki/ Gotze to find spaces on the left ( how the first goal was scored)

-Ronaldo not tracking back enough is not new ( he often makes up for this by scoring tons of goals) but it leaves the LB, Coentrao, isolated and the space is exploited by the clever Dortmund forwards

-This also allowed Dortmund's RB, Piszczek to join the attack occasionally on the Germans weaker right wing

-Khedira's first touch is suspect and his forward passes need to improve.

-Gundogan bossed the midfield ( in other words, he was a more effective deep- lying playmaker than Xabi Alonso) This was helped by the fact that Madrid wasn't compact and virtually every second ball was won by Dortmund in this area.

-Madrid couldn't deal with Dortmund's quick transition from defence to attack and continuous running by the energetic forwards

-Madrid played their more familiar 4-2-3-1 in the second half but they were still not compact enough and Lewandowski's sublime quick brace killed the tie.

Mourinho summarised the specifics above like this :
“They were the better side by far, they won their individual battles. They were better organised than us, better physically and better mentally.
The game went from 1-1 to 4-1 in such a short space of time…we lost possession easily and couldn’t cope with their transitions and speed on the break.” ( and some still question his tactical abilities *smh* )

Dortmund demonstrated how great the superiority of the collective over the individual can become- in this match

How they should set up in the second leg:
Essien Varane Ramos Coentrao
Khedira Alonso
Di Maria Ozil Ronaldo

This may help solve some of the problems highlighted above (stay with me here: THIS IS NO MEAN FEAT!!)

The jury is still out on the preferred player to start between Kaka and Di Maria. The former is the more intelligent player and has goals in him, the latter is the hard worker who can provide cover to the back.

Perhaps both of them will play a part in the game. Everybody must work their socks off for Real Madrid on that day

My verdict: Madrid may win the game but Dortmund will win the tie


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