Tactical Analysis Atletico de Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund
We will analyse the latest victory of the 'Colchoneros' on their relentless fight to stay at the Champions League, a competition whose final will be held at their own stadium, thus becoming of the outmost importance for this team.
With the 2-0 victory over the Dortmund, the Atletico is practically classified for the Round of 16 and now they are fighting the Dortmund to lead the group -though the German team has a superior goal average after winning 4-0 in the match played 2 weeks ago. However, with only 2 more matches to end the group phase, Simeone's team will certainly fight the leadership.
The Ateltico, in spite of no being in possession of the ball for the most part of this match, controlled the game at all times, neutralizing the Dortmund and keeping it from from shooting to goal for the 90 minutes this match lasted. Atletico's ideas seem to very clear in attack, even when they possessed the ball in very few occasions.
In the offensive phase, the Atletico was looking gather many players in the inner zones with its two attackers, while the wingers were moving in internal zones, between central and lateral defenders. This made it easy for the Atletico to prevail in individual battles.
Another strength of Simeone's team was their Offensive Transitions. The players used them all through out the match, but specially as the end of the match approached, when the Atletico found more spaces before a Dortmund looking to gather many players in the rival field to score.
Even when they have have the ball for most of the match, Simeone's team barely suffered from Dortmund's attacks, mostly due to Atletico's great defensive organization with their usual 1-4-4-2.
The team was folded in the middle field, with the 2 forwards watching over Dortmund's defenders at all times to block their passes towards their free midfielders, thus leaving them quite few options to pass the ball -mostly in the interior zones. This way, Dortmund's players were forced to play on the sides, not only because they found their partners in that area, but also because they had no other choice to move forward. The Atletico is a dominant team in the offensive lines and it's also very efficient when it comes to blocking passes, leaving little space for the rive to progress.
The Dortmund tried to endanger Atletico's well disposed defenders line by incorporating its winger in the middle line so the german team would be superior in that area. However, they couldn't make in progress that way either, since the Atletico, showing a great deal of mastery in defending their lines, managed to neutralize being outnumbered in the midfield.
After Simeone's team victory, there are still tow more matches left to define which of these two teams will raise as group leader. In the next round, the Atletico will be local against Monaco to later go to Belgium to play against Bruges. The Bruges has become a dangerous team since it's running out of options to be one of the two teams that will continue to fight in the Champions -or even a the third place that guarantees their pass to the UEFA Europa League.