During Barcelona’s Champions League last-16 first-leg tie vs Napoli, their high-pressing strategy yielded mixed results.
Frenkie de Jong broke through onto the world stage in a standout 2018/19 season for Ajax, earning him a big money transfer to Barcelona this past summer. He has been one of the best players in world football over the last year.
After a chaotic 1st half, Liverpool finally managed to beat Salzburg, thanks to Klopp’s half-time adjustments, to balance the game’s dynamics.
Liverpool hosted Salzburg in their gameweek 2 fixture on Wednesday evening. After their 2-0 defeat in Naples, this became a must win. Marsch’s side on the other hand, came into the game on the back of a 6-2 win against Genk. With both sides renowned for their ferocious intensity in all phases of the game, a high-octane game was expected.
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After the last years’ Spanish domination in the European Cup Finals, English football finally took over for this season, with 4 teams representing in this season’s 2 Cup finals. If you followed the development of the english football lately, the shift was quite predicted and inevitable. Both teams have an important thing in common: conscious building in every aspect of the game throughout the last years, mixed with patience, allowing the 2 head coaches to improve their game model -5 years for Pochettino, 4 and half for Klopp.
The basis and main principle of Liverpool’s 4-3-3 pressing system is to keep the ball at the central zones, therefore preventing the be moved by horizontal circulation, which usually -if done well- stretches the defensive structure both in the vertical and horizontal axis.
Solskjaer’s United side hosted the perennial Spanish champions in the first leg of the Champions league quarter final on Wednesday. For United, the incredible run of results which culminated in a remarkable comeback in the previous round against PSG had been replaced by, 3 defeats in the last 4 games. Their opponents meanwhile, came into the clash on the back of 9 wins in their last 10.
In the 1st leg both team selected a more conventional strategy, which ended up in a pretty slow-paced game, resulting a narrow 1-0 victory for Spurs thanks to a late Son goal. It will be interesting to see how the teams will adjust for 2nd leg, as City has to find how to attack effectively without losing the control the game, whilst Spurs must find the optimal approach and structure to avoid being overly-defensive in protecting their lead.
For the first time since 2003, Ajax have qualified for the Champions League quarterfinals. Typically, strong Ajax teams are synonymous with youth talents. Yet it was 30 year old Dusan Tadic that pieced together a performance for the ages in the bright lights of the Bernebeu.