Holding Midfield: Case Study: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Leicester City 12/4/2017

Holding Midfield

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Apr 6, 2011
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There’s a clear link between Atletico Madrid and Leicester City, but also a distinction that came to the fore as they clashed in the Champions League. Diego Simeone’s men toppled the giants of Real Madrid and Barcelona in 2014 to emerge as La Liga champions playing a battling style based on a resolute defence and quick direct attacking, while Leicester went from battling relegation to Premier League champions playing a conservative game built on a sturdy defence and quick counters. One obviously inspired the other and while it’s clear that Leicester was the better story, Atleti are the better team. Both teams lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, but, while Leicester stuck to their usual conservative direct game, Atletico were more patient in their build-up which has brought them mixed success in recent seasons. To break through Leicester’s fist line of defence, Atleti formed a makeshift back three: Juanfran would push up high on the right and the remaining members of the back four would stretch out across the pitch, with Stefan Savic pulling out to the right touchline. Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki were unable to cover the full width of the pitch and so it rarely troubled the […]

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