Cruzeiro – Santos: Cruzeiro upset diminished league leaders Santos at Rogério Ceni’s debut (2-0)

The Brasileiro schedule served up a meeting between two high profile managers. Jorge Sampaoli brought his table-topping Santos side to the home of Cruzeiro, where Brazilian football’s goalkeeping icon Rogério Ceni made his managerial debut. Cruzeiro had come into the fixture amid a relegation battle and in a poor run of form, which led to the sacking of Mano Menezes earlier this month. This made the result all the more shocking, but a closer look at the game shows how Cruzeiro capitalized on their one-man advantage from an early Santos red card. 
Tactical analysis and match report by Julian Chingoma.

Rogério Ceni lined up the hosts in a 4-4-2 formation. They deployed a four-man defense made of fullbacks Orejuela and Egidio, and in central defense were Dedé and Fabricio Bruno. Their midfield was centered on the double pivot pairing of Dodo and captain Henrique. The wide areas would be attacked by David and Marquinhos Gabriel, while their forwards were Pedro Rocha and Thiago Neves. 

Santos manager Jorge Sampaoli set up his side in a 3-4-3 formation. The three-man backline would have captain Gustavo Henrique in its center with Lucas Verissimo and Jorge to his right and left respectively. The double pivot in midfield was comprised of the pair Evandro and Diego Pituca. Carlos Sanchez and Felipe Jonathan would be the wingbacks flanking them and the forward trio consisted of Derlis Gonzalez, Eduardo Sasha and Yeferson Toledo.

Early change of dynamics

The expected flow of the game seemed to set in right from the onset. Santos kicked the game off and their wingbacks immediately pushed up the field. Their . . .

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