Atlético Madrid – FC Barcelona: An injury-time Dembélé goal settles stalemate between two conservative teams (1-1)
Ernesto Valverde revisited last season’s 4-3-1-2 midfield diamond with four central midfielders, but it was not enough to create good chances against a solid Atlético wall. Diego Costa ended his goal scoring drought amidst a (yet again) dysfunctional Atlético offense, but Dembélé saved the day for Barcelona in the last minute.
Tactical analysis by José Perez.
Atlético’s 2018/19 status quo continues: Diego Simeone’s men practically defend from muscle memory, yet their pressing system is less effective than before. Meanwhile, their offensive system has not stepped up to compensate for these defensive issues. Atlético use a very direct attack that depends heavily on Diego Costa, but the striker suffers from one of the worst scoring droughts of his career, unable to score a league goal since February. Regardless, Simeone continues to use this system, hoping that Costa will get back to his best self.
As such, Atlético’s lineup against Barcelona did not show any surprises. Simeone chose the usual 4-4-2 lineup, as Stefan Savić and Lucas Hernández took over the injured Diego Godín and José Giménez at the center back positions. Koke and Rodri Hernández played in the double pivot 4-2-3-1 is one of the most frequently occurring formations in football. The two most defensive midfielders are called a ‘double pivot . . .