Real Madrid Use The Flanks To Claim Champions League Crown Against Juventus

Real Madrid opened the scoring in last weekend’s UEFA Champions League final, played against Juventus, with a lovely piece of play. They moved forward at pace along the left-hand side, through the swift passing of Modric and Kroos. Benzema then took possession in a true centre-forward position, at which point he slid the ball wide […]

3 Key Things from Juventus-Monaco

Juventus travelled to Monaco for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie, and they did exactly what their coach, Max Allegri, would’ve wanted. The Bianconeri controlled the ball for the first half-hour, scored an away goal and then settled into a more defensive shape to lessen Monaco’s threat in transition. In many ways, […]

Leicester City and Riyad Mahrez Show Their Class in UCL Encounter against Atletico

In simple terms, Leicester City’s 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final wasn’t enough for them. That’s because they lost the first leg 1-0, meaning that the Spanish side won 2-1 on aggregate and now progress to the final four of Europe’s biggest club tournament. Yet there was […]

Bayern Munich and Real Madrid Both Attack the Flanks, But in Different Ways

Bayern Munich took the lead in the home leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Real Madrid, but following the sending-off of Javi Martinez, they succumbed to the added pressure and lost 2-1. That will make things tough for the German outfit in the return leg, but one of the more interesting features of […]

How Villarreal’s Mix of Hard Running and Killer Balls Could Set Them Up This Season

In their last match before the international break, Villarreal travelled to the RCDE Stadium to play Espanyol. The match itself wasn’t anything to write home about, with the Yellow Submarines dominant in possession but unable to break through against a deep-sitting opposition. That led to a fairly standard 0-0 draw, a result that Villarreal’s manager, […]

Fernandinho’s Drive Essential to Man City’s Attack against Arsenal

In Manuel Pellegrini’s last ever home game as Manchester City manager, his players came out with intent. They pressed high up the Etihad Stadium pitch in a bid to win the ball back quickly against Arsenal, and for Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger, this wasn’t exactly what he anticipated. “I was surprised by the intensity of […]

Guardiola Tries to Capitalise on Wingers in Loss against Compact Atletico

Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich arrived in Spain, to face Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie, with a gameplan. According to veteran right-back Philipp Lahm, the aim was to withstand the early pressure that Diego Simeone’s men would undoubtedly apply. They wanted to get through that initial barrage of pressing […]

UCL: Wenger and Arsenal Made to Pay in Transition Again

In the wake of Arsenal’s 2-0 home loss to Barcelona, in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 clash, Arsene Wenger did little to hide his displeasure. “Of course I’m disappointed because we put a lot of energy into this game,” he said. “I felt that we lost at the moment that […]

Paulo Dybala On The Way To Emulating Carlos Tevez at Juventus

Back in October, Paulo Dybala scored a cracking goal against Atalanta. He received a pass from Paul Pogba, took a single touch to place the ball out in front of him and, after steadying himself, produced a swerving shot to beat Marco Sportiello in the opposition goal. It was a wonderful example of his exceptional […]

Pellegrini’s Shift in System allows Fernandinho to Thrive against Sevilla

In recent seasons, Manuel Pellegrini has developed something of a reputation for tactical inflexibility. He’s regularly stuck to either a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1, shapes which are largely similar, and though no one worries about that when they win, the opposite is true when they lose. Could the Chilean have tightened the team up defensively, […]