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World Football Tactics Lead WriterApril 24, 2013 CommentsComment Bubble Icon


Borussia Dortmund smashed Real Madrid 4-1 as we were treated lớn consecutive surprises in the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

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Signal Iduna Park was rocking for the contest và BVB duly obliged their partisan home tư vấn by storming into the lead early on. Robert Lewandowski scored all four of the home side"s goals, while Cristiano Ronaldo claimed a solitary strike for the visitors.

Let"s break down this exciting affair tactically.


With Angel Di Maria arriving late in Dortmund, Jose Mourinho felt forced into changing his lineup. Luka Modric came into the side as Real Madrid adopted a strange 4-3-3-esque blend, forcing Mesut Oezil to the wide areas.

Dortmund went with their typical 4-2-3-1 formation, Mario Goetze played as a No. 10 & the impressive Marco Reus was a key central winger from the left.

Dortmund on top

Right from the word go, Dortmund found room khổng lồ play. Look at the image above and you can see why—the odd formation change allowed playmaker Ilkay Gundogan to vày whatever he wanted.


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He stayed deep—very deep, khổng lồ start with—and dictated the game"s tempo, seeking out Reus & Goetze at every chance & helping BVB take hold of the tie.

Ilkay played very well & remained instrumental lớn the attack, but unlike Malaga, who put Duda on him to lớn try and reduce his influence on the game, Madrid simply let him play.

The lack of a No. 10 hurt los Merengues here, as no one was close khổng lồ close him down.

Mats Hummels was also left không tính phí to stride forward và play positive passes, và the lack of pressure on Juergen Klopp"s deep-lying playmakers caused Madrid problems all night.

Madrid"s struggle

As mentioned, Modric joined Sami Khedira & Xabi Alonso in a three-man midfield, và the distinct lack of a No. 10 affected them: Not only did Gundogan get time on the ball, but los Blancos found it rather difficult to hold the ball in forward areas for prolonged periods.

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Sven Bender—an excellent run-tracker—filtered back to lớn sit beside Gundogan in a pivot, but they were rarely challenged head on by a playmaker.

Alonso was the deepest of the three central players, and his lack of pace was exposed several times by a roaming, marauding Reus. Goetze applied plenty of pressure to him when on the ball, forcing the Spaniard to drop deeper và deeper until he was màn chơi with his centre-backs.

Whenever the Madrid midfield shifted forward, BVB"s lightning-fast counterattacks were launched & Reus was able khổng lồ meander into the space behind Khedira and rinse Alonso for pace.

Fabio Coentrao found it tough to get involved for the first 25 minutes, too—Jakub Blaszsykowski did a fine job tracking and blocking him, while a lack of possession gave him very few chances to lớn overlap.

Lukasz Piszczek largely contained Ronaldo single-handedly, & it was only a whirlwind minute that saw the Portuguese get on the scoresheet. Neven Subotic bossed the aerial tussle, Piszczek matched him on the ground.


Mourinho did absolutely nothing to lớn block Gundogan"s influence on the game, making late changes to lớn switch to lớn a 4-2-4 formation that still committed little khổng lồ the midfield battle.

Karim Benzema joined Ronaldo up front, Oezil remained wide and Di Maria came onto the left flank. Khedira and Alonso became a proper holding pivot, but Dortmund had it pretty easy on the ball.

Physically, BVB were superb. They pressed, harried, fought and committed in every single second of the game, giving only Raphael Varane và Pepe time on the ball.

Lewandowski & Gundogan will take the plaudits, & not to take anything away from the latter"s stellar performance, but Madrid simply lay down in front of him.


Dortmund have one foot in the final & deservedly so—Goetze leaving or not, the team was up for it và the crowd was superb.

It was a real shock lớn see Mourinho bởi nothing lớn stop Gundogan killing his side—even something as simple as shifting Modric forward to lớn pressurise him was not done—and he"s paid the price.