FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF: the team error that allowed Luis Suarez winning goal

In the last “El Clasico” FC barcelona won the match by taking advantge of a team error by Real Madrid.

Here are the detailed reasons that led to such game.

We also show some Exercises that can be practiced during the Weekly Morphocycle to prevent such errors.

Videos and images created by TacticalPad (click on the link to obtain a free demo).

Real Madrid mistakes in the winnig goal by Luis Suarez (2-1):

1- Lack of reaction what should have been a collective pressure reference – ball served in the air to the opposing Outside Back.  In spite of Dani Alves receiving an aerial pass, the Real Madrid players did not shorten the ball reception zone aggressively, with Isco being the one player reacting but without great intensity:

D.Alves 1

2- Dani Alves had about 4 seconds, an eternity at the highest level, to receive the ball, look up to determine the best option and finally make the deep pass behind the opposing defense where Luis Suarez received the ball and scored as Casillas came out.  All this without Isco putting pressure but simply closing down Alves, by positioning himself in front of him, never being a threat to the ball possession by the blaugrana player:

D.Alves 2

3- Real Madrid’s Defensive Line was poorly set, specifically Pepe and Carvajal who did not provide cover to the defenders closest to the ball, Marcelo and Sergio Ramos.  In the following images we can see that Luis Suarez is the line of the Real Center-Back on-side.  Pepe should have been covering Sergio Ramos, positioning closer to his goal then Luis Suarez.   With space and unmarked Luis Suarez started ahead of Pepe gaining a positional advantage that led to the winning goal.

Linha Defensiva

A Soccer Coach’s job is to correct its teams mistakes to become better and better.

Considering this principle, Carlos Ancelotti subsequent training sessions could use the following Exercises improves his team’s defensive organization.  These Exercises  were created according to the Tactical Periodization Methodology, a coaching method explained in detail in the book: The Game Model of the FC Bayern Munich.

Exercise #1 – “Keep-away 4v1 with Pressure on the Ball Carrier”

Meínho 3D

Activity to be used in the “Blue Day” of the Tactical Periodization focused on fixing “Mistake #2”.

In this “Keep-Away 4v1” exercise, the player in the middle has the mission that in the 1 minute exercise, to prevent the opponents from keeping the ball for 4 seconds in their space – the player in the middle scores a point if successful.  If the player in the middle wins the ball he must play it under control – scoring a point.  Once the minute expires the player in the middle is replaced.

With this activity we will impart on the players the importance of being aggressive towards the ball carrier when the player is the closest to the ball.

Exercise #2 – “Keeper+10 v 10+Keeper with Focus on the Specific Pressure”

Referenciais Pressão - Verde

Activity to be used on the “Green Day” of the Tactical Periodization and focused on fixing “Mistake #1”.

In this Exercise of “Keeper+10 v 10+Keeper”, the exercise always starts from the Keeper of the team in possession.  The Keeper must make an aerial pass/throw to one of his Outside Backs who stand in waiting in the boxed areas per the picture in its own half without pressure.  After the ball is passed by the Keeper the opposing team must try to recover it immediately – if they are successful doing so in the delimited boxes they score a point.  Everytime the ball is out of play the exercise re-starts from the Keeper whose team won possession.  The exercise lasts 8 minutes with a 2 minutes break between exercises. Each goal is worth 2 points.

With this activity we train the pressure concepts – pressure on the player receiving a ball in the air.

Exercise #3 – “6v2 + Keeper with Coverage Pratice between the Center Backs”

Velocidade 3D

Activity on the “Yellow Day” of the Tactical Periodization to fix “Mistake #3”

In this Exercise of “6v2 + Keeper” the ball is in  the possession of the Pivot (6) that passes to one of the Outside Backs (2 or 3).  The Outside Back upon receiving the ball analyzes the situation opts for two situations: a) to place the ball depp behind the Center Backs for the run in of its Center Forward (9) or, b) play the ball between the sectors, the space between the opposing mids and backs for its Center Forward (9) to receive and deliver to one of its wingers (7 or 11) so to create a goal scoring situation in a 3v2 + Keeper scenario.  Once the Coach starts the attacking team has 10 seconds to score.

A goal scored from an Outside Back deep pass is worth 2 points.  The 3v2 + Keeper situation is worth 1 point.  If the Center Backs win possession  they pass it to a ‘dummy’ (yellow players) scoring a point.

With this activity we train the positioning for Defensive Coverage by the Center Backs to each other, improving their coordiantion in these game situations.


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By Pedro Mendonça

About Pedro Mendonça: Real Madrid Foundation - Football Coach/Professor. UEFA B Football Coach. Physical Education Teacher. Author of: "Tactical Periodization: A Practical Application for the Game Model of FC Bayern Munich"

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