Quick Analysis of the 2011 Champions League Final between Barca and ManU

Quick Analysis of the 2011 Champions League Final between Barca and ManU

Manchester United

1st Half – Positives

+Quick passes forward to test the Barca back four, which have never played together in a game before. This resulted in a number of opportunities as the Barca defense was confused about their roles and made mistakes especially in the first 15 minutes.

+Park’s workrate made Messi move from the right side of the field to the middle or the left side for the rest of the game after the first 10minutes.

+The Valencia/Chicarrito combo could be productive for years to come.

+Chicarrito as a classic off-the-shoulder forward

+VanderSar  was good and ManU could be in trouble when he retires after the season

2nd Half – Positives

+Switching Park to the middle and Giggs to the left outside mid really helps the workrate i nthe middle of the pitch, but doesn’t address the fundamental distribution problem

+Valencia on the wing

1st Half – Negatives

-Missing distribution from the central midfield i.e. a younger Paul Scholes, Xavi Alonso (overpriced and Real Madrid won’t give him up) , or Marco Senna who won the Euro 2008 for Spain by providing steal in the spine of the midfield (might actually be available)

-Not using Valencia – he is the main attacking option of the four mids on the field and was effective all six times they used him. Unforgivable.

-Rooney mindset an attitude all game and especially before he scored. His shoulders slumped and he was pouting when he didn’t get his way.

-Rafael is not ready at outside back. O’Shea or Wes Brown (still injured?) would be better options

2nd Half – Negatives

-Valencia not being used on the wing

-Giggs was underwhelming all game

Goal Errors

1st – defensive mix up (tracking man not guarding space)

2nd – did not close down and keeper error

3rd Рcurling upper 90 shot from one of the two magic spots (my soccer stat research has shown that most goals are scored when the defense is turned and facing their own goal except when the ball is shot from to areas on the pitch. In that case a good (not great)  shot will beat a near perfect defense and keeper.)

Barcelona

1st Half – Positives

+Not diving and whining like they did vs Real Madrid

+After the first 15 minutes settled down and stretched the field with their trademark quick passing

+Delectable free kick play near the end of the first half that almost opened up a good opportunity

2nd Half – Positives

+spread out and clicking (tica taca?)

+getting Puyol on the field for the final minutes was a nice gesture for the consummate professional

1st Half – Negatives

-Frantic early pace that pressed the ball forward. This made it easy for ManU to be compact and counter attack. They needed to pull the ball back to draw ManU out.

-Confusion in the back Four, which resulted in only 1 goal. Perhaps they didn’t pull the ball back because they were unsure, but I think that the players were more comfortable with the ball at their feet than actually playing defense.

2nd Half – Negatives

-Alves diving. I am not a big fan of his to begin with and think he is really a midfielder being played out of position, but this Barca team doesn’t need him as everyone goes forward. On a traditional team he would be a good spark to provide marauding runs forward.

-Barca still needs a change of pace forward to go more direct from time to time, a la Eto’o, and not Villa (Villa fits in too well and is somewhat wasted).

Goal Errors

1st defensive error in communication on who should close down the middle as everyone retreated trying to maintain the Defensive shape like a newly trained team instead of responding to the ball. Since the Defense was new to each other this is understandable.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 28th, 2011 at 21:53 and is filed under Coaching, Professional Soccer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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