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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 to consecutive surprises in the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

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Signal Iduna Park was rocking for the contest & BVB duly obliged their partisan home support by storming into the lead early on. Robert Lewandowski scored all four of the trang chủ 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 lớn 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 lớn play. Look at the image above and you can see why—the odd formation change allowed playmaker Ilkay Gundogan to vị whatever he wanted.


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

Ilkay played very well và remained instrumental lớn the attack, but unlike Malaga, who put Duda on him khổng lồ try và 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 to lớn close him down.

Mats Hummels was also left free to stride forward and play positive passes, and 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 and Xabi Alonso in a three-man midfield, and 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 khổng lồ hold the ball in forward areas for prolonged periods.

Sven Bender—an excellent run-tracker—filtered back to 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, và his lack of pace was exposed several times by a roaming, marauding Reus. Goetze applied plenty of pressure lớn him when on the ball, forcing the Spaniard to drop deeper và deeper until he was level with his centre-backs.

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

Fabio Coentrao found it tough khổng lồ get involved for the first 25 minutes, too—Jakub Blaszsykowski did a fine job tracking & blocking him, while a lack of possession gave him very few chances to 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 khổng lồ block Gundogan"s influence on the game, making late changes to switch lớn a 4-2-4 formation that still committed little khổng lồ the midfield battle.

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

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

Lewandowski & Gundogan will take the plaudits, and not lớn 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 và deservedly so—Goetze leaving or not, the team was up for it và the crowd was superb.

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It was a real shock to see Mourinho vì chưng 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.