Xabi Alonso arrived at Bayer Leverkusen in a precarious ranking situation to say the least and thanks to an amazing comeback in the Bundesliga he managed to win the Europa League. Precisely in that competition last season he gave his best, marvelous despite the elimination in the semi-final against Roma.

This season the work of the Basque is dragging the aspirins into the fight for the Meisterschale, which currently sees them in the lead, despite the difficulties they could face given the departure of players like Demirbay and Diaby who were fundamental in his tactical chessboard, but the he former Liverpool footballer was able to demonstrate that game ideas are more important than individuals.


Basic 3-4-3 system

In possession 3-4-1-2

In the non-possession phase 4-3-3 or 5-3-2


Bayer Leverkusen builds essentially in two ways: if the opposing team is very high, the first ball is handled by one of two defenders while the central defender breaks away and rises slightly from the defensive line, in this case both the two full-backs and one of the two midfielders who are involved are involved. they lower themselves to give the two defenders a passing option.

If, however, the opposing team does not opt for high pressing, all three defenders are involved in the build-up and, while dribbling, look for a direct pass to the midfielders. In this case the first idea is to look for the two full-backs who in this situation are wider and taller than in the previous one.


In the development phase, Bayer Leverkusen tries to crush the opposing team in their own half by keeping practically all the players beyond the midfield line. The two defenders spread wide both to continue the dribble and to promote superiority in the lateral areas while one of the two midfielders lowers himself both to receive the ball and, in the event of a loss of possession, to cover the spaces left by the two defenders.

With patience and always after a series of passes we try to go to the side chains, more towards the right one where we find the full-back wide and towards the center the winger, they often look for dialogue through one-twos to get to the back and try his teammates via cross.

If they don't find space on the wings, another option is to look for Wirtz in the area between midfield and defense where the German playmaker can invent by trying to dialogue with the midfielder and the attacker or try a personal action.

They are the two offensive players that we mostly find in this area of the pitch. Among these, the most dangerous player is certainly Wirtz, an unpredictable player who, thanks to his technique, often attempts one-on-ones or triangulations in tight spaces with the striker or midfielder. The other winger is also a player who, if he manages to find space in the finishing area, makes the most of his speed which often allows him to beat his direct opponent.

Both playing very close to the striker, leaving the lane free for the two wingers who are systematically served via triangulations or direct balls deep.

The team, not having a real number "9", seeks more dialogue with their teammates than diving deep or playing inside the opponent's area.

It relies a lot on the play of the individuals by the two wingers who often manage to create numerical superiority with their plays. Also important are the continuous overlaps and insertions of two wingers mainly from Frimpong, a player with excellent technique and excellent running which often allows him to reach the back to make crosses or even enter the central area of the pitch.

In the case of very closed spaces, another solution is to shoot from outside, which Leverkusen makes the most of.


Bayer Leverkusen adopts a very high pressing, the wingers are in charge of attacking the two central defenders who build from below, while the striker is marking the opponent's playmaker, the two full-backs based on where the opponent's construction takes place come out strong on the full-back preventing it from setting. By directing the ball outwards, the German team tries to create density by bringing 3-4 players into the ball area.

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