Atlanta United – Montreal Impact: Meram Brace Too Much For Unlucky Montreal (2-1)
A lacking precision to Montreal’s offensive game counteracted a sturdy defensive performance. For every successful strategy came another ten or fifteen that fell flat, as neither side took the initiative in the match. Therefore, this trial and error game was as entertaining as it was hard viewing.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
Atlanta’s first home league match in almost a month looked to steady the tide of Montreal’s momentum, as their numerous games in hand saw the hosts four points below Rémi Garde’s side. A win here would edge them closer to the top spot in their campaign to retain their title.
Still without their top-scoring Venezuelan, Josef Martínez, Dutch manager Frank de Boer made just three changes from the 3-2 loss to Toronto. Florentin Pogba and Franco Escobar stepped into the fullback positions whilst Justin Meram was handed the left midfield role in a setup that chopped and changed between a 4-2-3-1 shape and a 4-3-3 formation.
Remarkably, each of Montreal’s last four victories have finished with a 2-1 score line. Rémi Garde was hoping to produce a similar result but by dropping Orji Okwonkwo, who netted twice in their win over the Portland Timbers last time out. Harry Novillo took his place whilst Mathieu Choinière replaced Maximiliano Urruti in the same 3-4-3 setup.
Atlanta assert early pressure
The home sides promising start was signified by an early chance for Julian Gressel, a move which encapsulated many of de Boer’s attacking tactics for this match.
Atlanta always set out in a 4-2-3-1 shape . . .