The madness dissected.
A Frankfurt team in crisis met Schalke 04 in a fight for the fourth Champions-League berth. Eintracht won three potentially crucial points in a game of differing flank usage.
City with the wrong starting formation, then lacking in creativity. Everton ruthlessly exploited the reigning champion’s problems and even showed beginnings of counterpressing.
A few months ago, I watched the 0:5 defeat of Rayo Vallecano against Barcelona. Impressed by their (tactical) bravery, the high pressing and the nearly absurdly intense approach, I composed a little hymn of praise – which was harshly criticized. How could a team be any good if it lost that crushingly?
This rounds top matchup was played by Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. After the weak performance against Arsenal, the record champions needed to improve, even though the championship seems to be already wrapped up.
The opening game between FC Bayern and Borussia Mönchengladbach was a special game for tactic fetishists.
In Bayern Munich’s first defeat in 2013, Schweinsteiger and Ribery were sorely missed against Arsenal. Bayern’s problems mainly arose out of a lack of presence in central attacking midfield.
In the second leg of the round of 16 game between Barcelona and AC Milan is bound to become one of the all-time classics of the UEFA Champions League.
Antonio Conte’s announced war led to another lost battle. Bayern survived the first attacking waves, came back with a strong performance and won.
A wasted first half of the season, outstanding performances after the winter break. FC Augsburg’s inspiring tactical direction and the resulting style of play is something to marvel at. We are going to look at their chances to avoid relegation during the last two games.