Ancelotti’s counterattack that destroys possession soccer

Pep Guardiola and Xavi Hernandez are two coaches who appear lower from the identical footballing material. Each have a want for possession soccer, during which their management of the ball brings opponents to their knees, however each have now been defeated by the mastery of Carlo Ancelotti.

In April 2014, Guardiola was put to the sword by Ancelotti, as his Actual Madrid crew exploited the counterattack in beating Bayern Munich, each on the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and the Allianz Enviornment. Actual Madrid knocked Bayern Munich out on the semi-final stage of the Champions League due to their implementation of the counter.

With Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric working as quarter-backs, Angel di Maria, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo have been free, particularly within the 4-0 win in Munich.

Guardiola was subsequently criticised within the German press for failing to cease one thing he had predicted beforehand.

Actual Madrid are a really sturdy crew, and top-of-the-line on the counterattack,” Guardiola mentioned earlier than the sport.

Greater than seven years later, in Riyadh, it was Xavi, himself a disciple of Guardiola, who was undone by Ancelotti’s Actual Madrid.

Some faces could have modified, however not all, given the inclusion of Modric and Benzema within the 2022 Actual Madrid crew, but the result was nonetheless the identical.

“We knew what may occur within the transitions,” Xavi mentioned. “The gamers up entrance know they needed to be extra cautious with the ball, they usually weren’t.”

In Ancelotti’s footballing philosophy, there isn’t a arduous rule that his groups ought to solely play a technique, because the Italian prefers to have his gamers able to modifying their model, in addition to with the ability to interpret differing conditions in a recreation.

An organised tactic

For Ancelotti, the counterattack is a weapon he has used wherever he has gone, and he may nicely be probably the most ‘Spanish’ Italian coach there may be.

“We converse of the counterattack as an organised tactic,” he acknowledged in his e book ‘My Christmas Tree’.

“The organised counterattack permits us, after successful the ball, to make use of what ought to be a second of stress from the opponent to our benefit. 

“This technique consists of shortly attacking the house that’s behind them with a direct cross to a teammate who affords himself behind the defence.

It’s a resolution that’s solely efficient with sure right collective actions.”

  • Benefit from the pitch (within the offensive section) and all it is width
  • Take the ball to the wings
  • Overlap the participant carrying the ball
  • Assault the line of defense with a participant in a ahead place. The timing right here is essential
  • Have a participant reverse the ball in a deep place

On high of that, Ancelotti additionally stresses the significance of the crew feeling tactically and mentally snug with the concept. And that was one thing which stood out as Actual Madrid took to it like a duck to water because the gained La Decima.

Wanting on the objectives towards Barcelona, it is clear that there was a plan drawn as much as exploit the counterattack.

And at Actual Madrid, Vinicus is prospering of their setting, an in kind Marco Asensio is right for the tactic, and Benzema is an efficient sufficient to be efficient in any system.

Maybe this explains why Ancelotti’s Actual Madrid have overwhelmed the highest six sides in LaLiga Santander, however have had points with smaller groups resembling Osasuna, Cadiz and Levante.

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