Champions League Quarter Final (Sponsored by The Higher Tempo Press)
TheMetodoFM (Atletico Madrid) vs SpiritedKlopp (Leicester)
My opponents’ screen name on Slack is “SpiritedKlopp”, taking this into consideration and the team he had, Leicester, I prepared to face counter-attacking tactics with a stress on pressing from his part. I have therefore opted to line up my team with a classic 4-3-3 with three strikers. This was aimed at three things: the three players up front could avoid more easily the pressing; Leicester defenders should struggle against quick and skilled players like Griezmann and Carrasco; the dropping movements of the F9s should create confusion among Leicester ranks and free up space for the Poacher (Torres)
My line-up for the match was therefore this one:
I drew Leicester City in the HTP champions league competition draw. That meant that my opponent would be Atletico Madrid who was managed by ‘the_metodo_fm’ who is one of the better FM players at Tempo. I did play with the traditional 442 which did get the Leicester City the title last season. The formation wasn’t just the only similar characteristic to Leicester title-winning campaign it was also the majority of the lineup and the tactic too.
Ndidi was the only difference in the starting 11 to last year and it was identical to Shakespeare’s team of recent weeks.
As you can see that I did set up in an asymmetric 442 as I wanted to replicate Leicester tactic and in my opinion, Mahrez would do better in an AMR strata the role if it is Inside Forward or Advanced Playmaker isn’t final yet.
At the beginning of the First Leg though, I noticed that Leicester were dominating the game and we couldn’t hold on the ball and produce coherent football. I then chose to pack the midfield by dropping Griezmann to the AMC position and changing Carrasco with Correa:
It was a tactic I had already prepared in case the first one didn’t work. Things went better after the change of formation. Around the 20 minute mark, the game became much more equal and we grew in domination as the time passed. Regardless, only a long shot from Saul at the 42’ gave us the victory.
The match started with us looking the more positive side in the first ten or so minutes though then there was some kind of a tactical switch from Atletico which did kick them on. This was seen as Saul slotted home in the 20th minute to give Atletico the only goal of the game, great finish from the Spanish midfielder. The stats didn’t give us any false understandings as it was quite an even match to be fair, we did have 16 shots to their 24 which hints that we weren’t bad we were just really bad in front of goal which in my opinion cost us and we only registered 2 out of the 16 on target. Kudos to Atletico’s defence though it was impeccable.
1st leg: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Leicester City (Saul 42’)
With the first leg in mind I decided to change my approach for the second leg and opted for a wide 4-3-3 with Griezmann and Carrasco playing out wide and midfielders in CM with attacking duties to make runs into the box.
The changes worked and during the Second Leg we were undoubtedly the best team and controlled the game. We created many chances and caused problems to Leicester defence with the overlapping of our fullbacks. A 58’ header from Gameiro (in to replace a poor Torres) and a magnificent 30 yards missile by Koke at the 76’ gave us the deserved victory.
Later on in the tournament though, we will have to get better at taking our chances. Too many shots from the distances and ill exploited crosses would cost us against a better opposition.
Onto the second leg, I didn’t make any changes to the players in the starting line up though there were a few tactical tweaks here and there. Firstly I moved Mahrez back into the MR strata making him a Wide Playmaker as in the first match when I saw the average positions I noticed that Mahrez was getting lost and not being too involved in the game which is pretty bad if your main creative player not doing well.
Though these changes weren’t going to help as this performance was much worse than the one in the first leg. Though there were a few talking points:
- One being that the goal from Koke was a blast from about 35 yards out which we couldn’t have helped which did lower our confidence
- Yes, we did only have 8 shots to their 31 though in the 8 shots we had 2 of them were clear cut opportunities and on another day with a fitter Vardy there might have been a totally different game on our hands.
- Our passing was really poor as we completed only 291/422 passes and our accuracy wasn’t the greatest either.
- Gamiero’s goal in the 76th minute broke our hearts as we were pushing bodies forward and were caught in the counter attack
Atletico were a lot more adventurous in this match and were creating many more opportunities and all in all they were the better side in the two legs. I kinda expected this before starting the match though I didn’t envisage that we wouldn’t score a single goal in the two legs which was majorly disappointing.
2nd leg: Leicester 0-2 Atletico Madrid (Gameiro 58’, Koke 76’)
Atletico win 3-0 on aggregate and progress to the semi-finals!