Domination by Villarreal explained by expert

Domination by Villarreal explained by expert

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27 Mar 2022
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In the first half, Juve used an interesting possession structure. It can be written as 1-3-4-2 – yes, that’s right, Daniele Rugani and Danilo were clearly on the line with Artur, and De Ligt was deeper: The width on the flanks was created by Juan Cuadrado and Mattia De Sciglio. Morata and Vlahovic are a pair of attackers strictly in the center. Locatelli and Rabiot started in the center of midfield, but in fact they often made dashes – either to the flanks for overload, or directly into the box. Villarreal initially defended in a 4-4-2 formation – and had little idea how to react to such an arrangement. Often, in an attempt to meet Juve’s positional attacks, the team’s scheme turned into 5-3-2 with Jeremy Pino lowering to the defense: The problem is that such constructions were the result of a chain of reactions, and not worked out shifts within the framework of the plan. That is, the team did not sit down in such a scheme initially, namely, they fell down in attempts to adapt. Errors are always more likely to occur in reaction chains – for example, when transferring players. This situation was observed at Villarreal on the flanks – especially if the extreme midfielders did not work out to the stop. Either the lateral to Juve got too much freedom, since Villarreal was very narrowed, or they advanced to the lateral, but then the penalty area was not saturated enough – and the free players ended up there.  Juve opened up the opponent through flank attacks. Not the most elegant football, but in the first half he brought regular moments. The second important aspect is Juve’s territorial advantage, which was achieved through pressure. 


Second half: Emery adapted the defensive scheme well and waited for a penalty 


Unai Emery responded to the problems described above by switching formations at half-time. The position of Giovani Lo Celso has changed – now he was responsible for the right flank of midfield, and Pino immediately sat down in defense, and did not go down there during the episode. Pattern 5-4-1: Not only the transformation itself was important, but also the details – how exactly the Villarreal players passed opponents within this scheme. The three defenders (Aurier, Albiol, Torres) played against a pair of Juve forwards with a one-man advantage. The rest of the attacking players of the hosts competently passed. For example, Locatelli and Rabiot could be under the responsibility of the defensive midfielders Parejo and Capu if they are closer to the center, but transferred to one of the wingers or full-backs when moved to another zone. Juve’s laterals Cuadrado and De Sciglio, depending on the location, fell either under the winger or under the opponent’s extreme defender. In this context, the defensive work of Lo Celso and Trigueros was especially important. They were responsible for the flanks of the midfield, and in the described transfers they could be against the lateral of the opponent, and against the central midfielder. That is, they were the most active participants in the process of transferring players. A lot depended on their performance and ability to finish the episodes. They didn’t let me down.

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