In the midst of the busy season, there are several good matches that initially pass under the radar due to the sheer number of fixtures. In this series, our authors analyse some of their favourite games from the 2015/2016 season.
As the competition has progressed, we have been able to witness a number of tactical trends shared by many teams in the tournament. Whilst there hasnâ€™t been a particular pattern in terms of formations like we saw with the back 3 in the 2014 World Cup, there have been clear trends in marking schemes, attacking strategies and other tactical features.
The final of EURO 2016 is upon us. The hosts, France, are met by Cristiano Ronaldoâ€™s Portugal after they overcame Germany and Wales respectively in the final four.
In stark contrast to the previous nightâ€™s tight affair, France made their way to the semi-finals with ease as they breezed past a disappointing Iceland side. Deschamps opted for an interesting asymmetrical 4-4-2 formation with Pogba at the 6 whilst Iceland went for the same 4-4-2 which knocked England out in the last round.
England crashed out of the EUROs in typically-English fashion as they lost 1-2 to an underestimated Icelandic team. Despite starting the game well, with a goal and some decent play in possession, the team were held back by some inappropriate mid-game changes from Hodgson.
After failing to convert their chances against Northern Ireland, we saw a much more clinical performance from Germany as they eased passed Slovakia in the first knockout game with a dominant performance.
Although the grace of Luka Modric was not to be pitted against that of Busquets and Iniesta, we were still given one of the better games of EURO2016 in one of the first matches between two competent sides.
Whilst England made an impressive performance in their final group-match, they were unable to mark against a deeply-set Slovakia defence. Despite the efforts of Hodgson’s side, Wales finished top of the group after a dominant victory over Russia though England’s poor conversion rate was the decisive factor in the standings.
Whilst the majority of the world is fixated on the early developments made in EURO 2016, the MLS returnedÂ with the New York Red Bulls hosting Seattle Sounders.
Portugal made another dominant performanceÂ as they were clearly superior to their Austrian opposition. Despite having a clearÂ shot dominance and multiple good chances, Robert Almer was in the way to prevent the Iberian side from capitalising on a strong offensive display.