It was revealed this week that Actual Madrid supervisor Zinedine Zidane had been named the world’s finest supervisor forward of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp by French journal L’Equipe.
On the French coach, they stated: “He’s a coach who has skilled just one membership, and fairly not often defeat. A coach who did what none of his predecessors did, win three Champions Leagues in a row (2016, 2017, 2018), who was capable of return to the footsteps of his personal glory and query every part to develop into a brand new Spanish champions with Actual Madrid final month.”
They did go onto pay homage to Guardiola, earlier than making a swipe in reference to Metropolis’s defensive points this yr. “Guardiola has one thing else, his dogma, his everlasting analysis, the virtuosity of his collective recreation, dizzying constructions, his consistency (198 factors in two seasons from 2017 to 2019), however he doesn’t have every part, and chooses his central defenders as his attackers or midfielders.”
Each Guardiola and Zidane are set to lock horns this weekend as Metropolis welcome Actual Madrid to the Eithad for his or her second leg Champions League quater-final. Within the first leg, Metropolis ran out 2-1 winners in what was a historic win in opposition to the Spanish Champions, however how did that victory play out and what did Guardiola do to outwit his managerial rival?
For the fixture again in Febuary, Zidane lined his aspect up in a 4-3-Three formation, while Guardiola opted surprisingly for a 4-4-1-1, with Gabriel Jesus beginning on the left and Bernando Silva because the striker.
Trying solely on the end result and the timings of the targets, with Madrid taking the lead earlier than two late strikes from Metropolis, you may be forgiven for seeing this fixture was considerably of a smash and seize by the Premier League aspect.
Nonetheless, this wasn’t actually the case. As we see from the xG timing chart it proved to be a little bit of a sluggish burner with the house aspect by no means not often wanting an enormous menace, Isco’s objective proving their solely actual likelihood of be aware.
A key cause for this was all the way down to Metropolis’s spectacular work off the ball. On paper, they confronted a numerical drawback by way of the center, with their midfield two arising in opposition to Madrid’s midfield three. This might play into Madrid’s arms and did on events when Metropolis tried to press excessive.
But principally in an effort to fight this, Kevin De Bruyne and Silva would drop deeper and permit Madrid’s centre-back’s possession in their very own half, specializing in reducing out the passing lanes to the midfielders and attackers forward. Solely when passing choices have been nullified would Metropolis then look to press aggressively.
This explains indirectly their excessive Passes Per Defensive Motion (PPDA) common on the evening of 15.35. It was an efficient tactic although, highlighted by the truth that Madrid managed simply 33 profitable passes into the ultimate third which was a lot decrease than their season common of 52.5.
Not solely have been Metropolis strong with out the ball, however they have been additionally threatening with it. The choice to play Jesus on the left which initially raised eyebrows proved to be a intelligent one. Past some good outline work, Carvajal’s tendency to assist his Madrid team-mates in assault meant the Brazilian attacker may usually expose the areas left in behind when the ball was turned over.
Nonetheless regardless of this, it was the introduction of Raheem Sterling from the bench that proved to be the decisive motion. His velocity and trickery out on the left uncovered a tiring Madrid defence and allowed Jesus to maneuver into his extra pure centre-forward position.
The England worldwide performed a hand in each targets, creating the house for De Bruyne to assault and cross for Jesus to seize the equaliser and in addition successful the decisive penalty transformed by Belgium worldwide late on.
Due to that win, Metropolis at the moment are in pole place to qualify for the semi-finals of the competitors that are resulting from begin subsequent week. Ought to they make it try this straight knockout competitors subsequent week, they’re going to be one of many favourites to go all the way in which and win it.
In the event that they do, then there is a good likelihood L’Equipe could remorse their resolution in making Zidane their primary mangerial selection over Metropolis’s personal Guardiola.