First thing is first, this is my first tactical analysis …
The first thing that we can say about last night game is that Conte has lost the tactical game to Josef “Jupp” Heynckes. No one can dispute that. And it’s not a big thing to lose in front of a man who is 67 and has seen so many things and fought in so many European clashes, remember ’98 Tonio?
But how was it possible for Juventus to play in such a horrible manner? It wasn’t certainly the Physical Condition, Juventus has run with 2Km more: 115.713m for Bayern against 117.797m for Juventus.
I will try to identify the possible causes and later on the possible solutions. So bare with me…
Why did Juventus lose?
Number 1. High Pressing Bayern has applied a high, constant and intense pressing. Heynckes has carefully studied Juventus and he realized that to stop it had to apply pressing to the root. Take for example the first goal came out from the first wrong pass of Pirlo, from a total of 16, arrived into the feet of Schweinsteiger who passed the ball to Alaba who shoot and with a lucky deflection of Vidal has put an end to Buffon’s 491 minutes goalless run in UCL. Not very nice to start a UCL quarterfinal from 1-0…
Number 2. Key of the Game. Four against three Taking a look on the stats we can see Bayern attacked with four men Robben, Ribery, Muller and Mandzukic the 3 Juventus central defenders, wide and narrow. Also have tried and accomplished cutting the line of passes between Buffon, BBC and Pirlo, and leaving the development of the game always in the feet of Bonucci. Bonnie tried always with long passes the 2 Strikers who were always taking man to man by Dante and Van Buyten at the beginning of the move, and so always or almost always arriving first to the ball.
Number 3. The wingers trap Conte as you can see from the above images has prepared the game by blocking Bayern’s wings with the help of Vidal and Marchisio. Which he accomplished but with what costs? Well it’s easy now to see, isn’t it? With the cost of leaving Pirlo alone in the Centre of the Midfield, alone against who? you may ask… because the 4 forwards were blocking BBC+Buffon, well, alone against Gustavo and Schweinsteiger who not having to worry about Vidal and Marchisio, to worried in closing the wings, were able to play forward and putting a Spider Net at only 30-40 meters in front of Buffon with 4 players in centre plus Lahm/Robben and Alaba/Ribery on the wings and so recovering the ball very high and creating always panic in Juventus defense.
Anti Bayern actions?
Number 1. 3-6-1 Well, if the reason for not deploying this module was that Vucinic wasn’t well, it was a stupid thing to do. Because not adding a midfielder in front of the Hurricane Bayern was a harakiri. Adding Pogba in addition to Pirlo would have solved the 2 vs 1 situation and adding more cover in front of the goal.
Number 2. Not playing with Pirlo. If Vucinic condition implied we had to play with 2 in front, a possible solution was playing with Pogba in place of our Mozart. In this way we would have accomplished 2 things: firstly adding more strength to midfield and the second and most important give no REFERENCES to Bayern forwards and always changing the “regista” (Pogba or Vidal).
Number 3. Changing at halftime. The most incredible thing for me of this game was that Mister Conte (I still love you Capitano) didn’t have any reaction at half time. The score was still 1-0 and things could have gone better with a single change or two. Trusting the same module was in the end the final BLOW of the game.
I believe that Juventus is still one of the best in the World and has one of the Best Coach arround and so there is no need for any of us to PANIC. We still have a second leg in which we can DIE HARD or better, do the impossible and QUALIFY! Yes, because this is JUVENTUS!
There is a combination of things which can lead us to the SEMIS: better luck, better tactical preparation and of course better refereeing.
FINO ALLA FINE FORZA JUVENTUS!
by: Mike Prise
all images courtesy of UEFA.com