The Diminishing role of the Stopper Center Back in the Premier League

Defending and its place in the modern game has spawned a quagmire of critical debate. Back in 2014, when Gary Neville’s article in the...

Latest Posts

How will Gareth Bale fit in at Spurs-A look at Mourinho’s 4-2-3-1 formation

Multiple top-tier sources including BBC and the current Tier 1 Journalist Fabrizio Romano have confirmed that Spurs are in talks with Real Madrid over...

Fulham 0-3 Arsenal:Tactical Analysis – Willian, Gabriel superb in Arteta’s 3-4-3 formation

Lineups and Formation Fulham Fulham lined up in a 4-2-3-1. Rodak was preferred to new signing Areola in goal. The back 4 had Odoi (right), Bryan...

The European Resurrections of Ever Banega

It seems fitting that Éver Banega’s final bow in European competition involved him lifting the Europa League. Barring a surprise reversal in the future,...

Liverpool aren’t favourites to win the Premier League and here’s why

The glitter has barely settled on the Anfield pitch since Liverpool's self-styled Premier League title winning celebrations at the end of July and we're...

The Football Transfer Sources Reliability Guide

The modern-day football fan has access to an unlimited amount of information about their favourite player, club or team. And when it comes to...

How will Messi fit in at Man City- Pep’s thrilling 4-3-3 formation if Messi completes move

After Lionel Messi made it clear via fax that he wants to leave Barcelona, various reports have indicated that Man City are the favourites...

How will Thiago fit in at Liverpool- A look at Liverpool’s 4-3-3 formation for next year

Liverpool are expected to make a move for Bayern Munich's midfielder Thiago according to the English outlet, Mirror. Thiago was instrumental in Bayern's Champions...

Football Books

Foul- The Beautiful Game, An Ugly Truth [Book Excerpt]

The clip-clop of football boot studs on concrete echoed through the tunnel over the hum of distant crowd noise. A drenched team of players...

Best Football Analytics Books

We have compiled a list of the best football analytics books for the casual football fan. Football analytics and data science/machine learning in general...

The Best Football Books of 2019

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2020, we have compiled a list of the best...

The Best Football Books of 2018

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2019, we have compiled a list of the best...

5 Books every Soccer fan needs to read before the FIFA World Cup 2018

The FIFA World Cup is just around the corner and it's the perfect time to brush up your history and facts about the World...

Lyon 0: 3 Bayern- Tactical Analysis

In this analysis, we will be observing the tactics of Rudi Garcia and Hans-Dieter Flick in their recent champions league semi-final clash. Bayern eventually won the game by 3-0. This tactical analysis will look to the tactics of both teams on and off the ball and what worked and did not work for both sides.

Lineups

Bayern lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation and retained the same formation or shape during the defensive phase. Thomas Müller as a central attacking midfielder, Ivan Perišić as the left midfielder and Serge Gnabry as the right midfielder. Bayern used two pivots, Thiago Alcântara and Leon Goretzka. The fullbacks, Joshua Kimmich and Alphonso Davies would often go forward during the attacking phase, as we will see this in this tactical analysis.

Lyon, on the other hand, lined up in a 3-5-2 formation and shifted to 5-3-2 formation with Memphis Depay and Ekambi upfront. Bruno Guimarães played as a pivot, Maxwell Cornet and Léo Dubois as the wingbacks.

Bayern’s high press and Lyon’s build-up

In this section, we will be analyzing the high pressing system of Bayern. The base structure of Bayern’s press is 4-2-3-1 with Müller pressing the opposition’s pivot. The lone striker would try to force the opponent to play towards the flanks. Against a back-3, Bayern’s wingers would press the wide center-backs while cutting the lane wide. One of the pivots would press the opposition’s midfielder, while the other would remain more central so as to create an overload if the opposition tries to play it to their target man.

In the image below, we see an example of this. Here, Bayern are pressing with 4-2-3-1 formation with Müller more man-oriented towards Lyon’s pivot, Guimarães. Gnabry is pressing the wide-center back and is able to balance between the wing and center, and so is in a position to press either should they get the ball. Robert Lewandowski would then try to force the goalkeeper to play either towards the flanks or to a long ball to Lyon’s target man, Depay. In addition to this, one of the pivots would remain more central and the other marking the opposition’s midfielder. In this particular image, Davies and Perišić have switched position briefly but the main idea of pressing in Bayern’s 4-2-3-1 system remains the same.

Bayern vs Lyon Tactical analysis-Tactics

Bayern’s high line also makes them vertically compact and difficult to play through at times. To overcome this, Lyon used Depay as their target man, often playing the long balls to him with Ekambi trying to win the second ball. The images below highlight this pattern of play from Lyon. Here, Muller is again man-marking Guimarães, wingers pressing the wide center-backs, and Lyon’s goalkeeper would then play a long ball to their target man Depay.

Bayern vs Lyon Tactical analysis-Tactics

Bayern vs Lyon Tactical analysis-Tactics

Bayern’s attacking play

In this game, Bayern had 66% of ball possession as Lyon were happy to relinquish possession and defended deep in a 5-3-2 formation. During the offensive phase, Müller acts a roaming number ten, and operates between the lines and will often move into the half-space, allowing Bayern to create overloads. The technical ability of Bayern’s wingers/ wide midfielders and their timed movements allow Bayern to progress the ball through the half-spaces.

In the image below, we see an example of Bayern’s attacking shape. One of the advantages of playing two pivots is one of them can drop in the defense to create a backline of 3, it allows the center backs to move wider. The additional width of the back three also allows for the full-backs to push higher and wider, which then increases access to the half-space. The other pivot would then pin the opposition’s midfielder. In this game, Goretzka pinned the opposing midfielder while Thiago dropped deep. The wide midfielders Perišić and Gnabry pinned Lyon’s wide center-backs, and Müller acted as a roaming number ten.

Bayern vs Lyon Tactical analysis-Tactics

The images below highlight the attacking system of Bayern. Here, Müller and Goretzka have pinned two of Lyon’s midfielders, Perišić and Gnabry, the two wingers/wide-midfielders have pinned Lyon’s two wide center-backs, and Thiago dropped in the defense to create a backline of 3, which then allowed the fullbacks push higher and wider.

Throughout this season, Bayern’s movement around the half-spaces has been lethal, the width is provided by the fullback and the wingers occupy the half-spaces, combining this with the excellent off the ball movements of Müller.

Bayern vs Lyon Tactical analysis-Tactics

Bayern vs Lyon Tactical analysis-Tactics

In addition to this, Bayern used player rotation to pull Lyon’s center-backs out of their lines and often created a 2v1 situation on the right flank. As mentioned above, Müller acted as a roaming number ten, in this example, he moved to the right flank and provided the width, this left Lyon’s wingback Cornet in 2v1 situation with Kimmich and Müller. Alaba has 3 different options to play the pass to his players. 42% of Bayern’s total attacks came from the right side.

Bayern vs Lyon Tactical analysis-Tactics

Lyon’s counter-attacking play and Bayern’s buildup

As mentioned above, Lyon defended deep in a 5-3-2 formation, the idea was to relinquish possession in order to create better goal-scoring opportunities. For the first 17 minutes of the match, Bayern kept a high line and during the offensive phase of Bayern, both the fullbacks were up, the holding midfielders didn’t drop in the defense. Lyon tried to exploit the gaps created by fullbacks.

In the image below, we see an example of this, Here, both are fullbacks are up, the holding midfielders didn’t drop in the defense to cover that space and with just one pass the counter-attack was on. But as the match progressed one of Bayern’s pivots would drop in the defense to stop the counter-attacking play from Lyon.

In this game, Lyon had only 34% of the ball possession but they had 9 attempts.

Bayern vs Lyon Tactical analysis-Tactics

The image below highlights Lyon’s 5-3-2 shape during the defensive phase.

Bayern vs Lyon Tactical analysis-Tactics

In addition to this, Lyon’s pressing was not as intense as Bayern’s pressing. At times, they allowed Bayern’s center-backs to carry the ball forward and offered very little resistance. Lyon pressed with 5 men, as we can see in the below image, Thiago was pressed by Depay but Lyon allowed Alaba to carry the ball forward and he has multiple options to pass. In addition to this, during the build-up phase, Müller would often drop in the central area to create a 2v1 situation in the midfield.

Bayern vs Lyon Tactical analysis-Tactics

Conclusion

Although Lyon’s Counter attacking play did baffle Bayern but the poor finishing from Depay and Ekambi let them down. Throughout the season Bayern’s high pressing and the attacking play have been truly brilliant and exhilarating, but there is also one vulnerability to this Bayern’s system, their high line, something PSG could and would try to exploit in the champions league final. It would be interesting to see how Flick’s Bayern would line up against PSG in the final. Overall, it was a brilliant performance by Bayern as they ended Lyon’s fairytale.

 

- Advertisement -

Related

How will Gareth Bale fit in at Spurs-A look at Mourinho’s 4-2-3-1 formation

Multiple top-tier sources including BBC and the current Tier 1 Journalist Fabrizio Romano have confirmed that Spurs are in talks with Real Madrid over...

Fulham 0-3 Arsenal:Tactical Analysis – Willian, Gabriel superb in Arteta’s 3-4-3 formation

Lineups and Formation Fulham Fulham lined up in a 4-2-3-1. Rodak was preferred to new signing Areola in goal. The back 4 had Odoi (right), Bryan...

The European Resurrections of Ever Banega

It seems fitting that Éver Banega’s final bow in European competition involved him lifting the Europa League. Barring a surprise reversal in the future,...

Liverpool aren’t favourites to win the Premier League and here’s why

The glitter has barely settled on the Anfield pitch since Liverpool's self-styled Premier League title winning celebrations at the end of July and we're...

The Football Transfer Sources Reliability Guide

The modern-day football fan has access to an unlimited amount of information about their favourite player, club or team. And when it comes to...

How will Messi fit in at Man City- Pep’s thrilling 4-3-3 formation if Messi completes move

After Lionel Messi made it clear via fax that he wants to leave Barcelona, various reports have indicated that Man City are the favourites...

How will Thiago fit in at Liverpool- A look at Liverpool’s 4-3-3 formation for next year

Liverpool are expected to make a move for Bayern Munich's midfielder Thiago according to the English outlet, Mirror. Thiago was instrumental in Bayern's Champions...

Tactical Analysis: RB Leipzig 0-3 PSG

COVID-19 has brought a chain of strange events to football. Champions League has turned into 1-leg knockouts, all to be played in Southern Portugal,...

Latest Posts

How will Dembele fit in at Liverpool- A look at Klopp’s thrilling 4-3-3 formation with Thiago & Dembele

English outlet Mirror has reported that Liverpool have made contact with Barcelona over the possibility of signing Ousmane Dembele in a loan deal. Having...

How will Gareth Bale fit in at Spurs-A look at Mourinho’s 4-2-3-1 formation

Multiple top-tier sources including BBC and the current Tier 1 Journalist Fabrizio Romano have confirmed that Spurs are in talks with Real Madrid over...

Fun Bets to Make During a Football Game

There’s something magical about football. Whether it is the larger-than-life personas of the players, the excitement of the competitions, or the actual thrill of...

Fulham 0-3 Arsenal:Tactical Analysis – Willian, Gabriel superb in Arteta’s 3-4-3 formation

Lineups and Formation Fulham Fulham lined up in a 4-2-3-1. Rodak was preferred to new signing Areola in goal. The back 4 had Odoi (right), Bryan...

Don't Miss

Barcelona Vs Real Madrid:The Dream Team vs The Galacticos

An imagining of a match between two famous El Clasico sides. The 1992 European Cup winning Barcelona team, known as “The Dream Team” versus...

What if Pep’s Barcelona played against Sacchi’s AC Milan?

Pep Guardiola has re-invented football so much in the past decade that one wonders if the game is still the same that was played...

FC Start and The Death Match

“Without belittling the courage with which men have died, we must not forget those acts of courage with which men have lived.” – John...

Dr. Carneiro or: How I should learn not to stop the game and love the boss

Hundreds of journalists this week have condemned Jose Mourinho for his treatment of Eva Carneiro and Jon Fearn after they wrongly ran onto the...

The Football match which started a war

Plenty of football stadiums have statues standing outside of them. There's strange one here and there (Michael Jackson formerly outside Craven Cottage springs to...

Transfers

How will Coutinho fit in at Arsenal: Arteta’s new look 4-2-3-1 formation

English outlet, Express are reporting that Arsenal are considering a loan deal for Barcelona's record signing, Philippe Coutinho. The report indicates that Coutinho might have...

How will Pjanic fit in at Barcelona? A look at Barcelona’s 4-3-3 formation for next season

As the deal between Barcelona and Juventus regarding the transfers of Arthur Melo and Miralem Pjanic has almost been finalised, let's take a look...

Three best Premier League transfers of all time

The Premier League is famous for its lavish spending on player’s transfers. Top clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United have been spending...

Where will Kai Havertz play for Chelsea? A look at Lampard’s exciting 4-2-3-1 formation for next season

There have been several rumours surrounding Kai Havertz's transfer to Chelsea and Havertz's current boss, Peter Bosz has indicated that the winger might not...

Man United expected lineup against Sheffield United: Pogba & Bruno to start together for first time

Manchester United salvaged a draw against Tottenham in their first game post the lockdown. Their performance improved after the substitutions of Paul Pogba and...