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Tactical Notes: Asensio?s Positioning, Valverde?s Arrival, Mendy in the Half-Space, and Absorbing Pressure

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Tactical Notes: Asensio?s Positioning, Valverde?s Arrival, Mendy in the Half-Space, and Absorbing Pressure Tactical Notes: Asensio?s Positioning, Valverde?s Arrival, Mendy in the Half-Space, and Absorbing Pressure

Tactical Notes: Asensio?s Positioning, Valverde?s Arrival, Mendy in the Half-Space, and Absorbing Pressure






Photo by Antonio Villalba/Real Madrid via Getty Images

Matt Wiltse examines some of the tactical wrinkles from Real Madrid?s El Clasico victory The first round of La Liga?s Clasico?s being held at the Camp Nou have found victories hard to come by in recent years. In fact, it?s been thirteen years, since Real Madrid last beat the Blaugrana at the Camp Nou when visiting their rivals first. Coming off the back of two successive losses, Zidane had to make some tactical tweaks in order to secure the three points. Some of the larger tactical plotlines are outlined below:
Asensio?s Defensive Positioning
Marco Asensio was given the start on the right wing - a position that in the last few years has failed to see any Real Madrid player hold on to the spot consistently. Needless to say it was a huge opportunity for Asensio and a huge vote confidence from Zidane. The role Zidane desired for Asensio was a near replica to the one Gareth Bale played in the same fixture in December of 2019. The man from Mallorca was played as a two-way winger with heavy defensive responsibilities. Asensio in essence played as an auxiliary right back when Real Madrid transitioned to the defensive phase of the game. His job" To nullify Jordi Alba and track his off ball runs. Asensio put in the effort, but oftentimes struggled to execute:

Barcelona?s goal was a prime example of Asensio ?switching off?. Defensive instincts do not come naturally to the Spanish playmaker, but they can be taught. Against a player like Alba, at the highest level of the game, you will be punished. Asensio is caught ball-watching rather than tracking the run of Alba who times his run to perfection and stays onside. That one lapse in concentration saw Madrid concede. Alba?s movement and his connection with Messi has always preoccupied Zidane in preparation for his Clasico tactics. Asensio began to improve as the match wore on, but there were still moments where Alba slipped through:

In the above clip, Asensio gets caught in two minds and find himself out of position. He is unsure of whether to tuck in and mark Coutinho or drop deeper to track the run of Alba. Given his instructions for the majority of the match, the safer option would have been to drop and track Alba?s run. His body shape was all wrong and again he was caught ball watching completely unaware of Alba?s run.
This piece is not meant to be overly critical of Asensio, who improved as the match wore on both offensively and defensively. Though, his body shape, defensive tactical awareness, and overall ability to track runners still has room to improve if Real Madrid are not to be exploited in future matches.
Fede Valverde?s ?Llegada? - Arrival from the Second Line
Fede Valverde was once again trusted by Zidane over Luka Modric in a big game. The Uruguayan still has much to perfect to his game, but he is elite in arriving late from the midfield line, winning his 50/50 duels, and relentlessly pressing high in the rival?s h...


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Fuente de la noticia: managingmadrid
Fecha de publicación: 25-10-2020 08:51
visto: 170

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