Deportivo Alavés – Real Betis: Tello Injury Time Winner Rescues Betis (0-1)
Neither side was able to create consistent offensive chances in a match that was defined by defensive adjustments. Both managers sought to stymie the other, with Pablo Machín using the full flexibility of his 3-1-4-2 formation against Betis’ lopsided 4-2-3-1 shape.
Tactical analysis and match report by K.T. Stockwell.
After narrowly avoiding relegation Deportivo Alavés made a bold managerial change in the off-season, appointing former Sevilla and Granada manager, Pablo Machín. The new skipper was coming off a disappointing campaign with Espanyol, which saw him sacked in late December – the Barcelona side stuck in last place. His appointment at Alavés was a chance for not only his, but the club’s revival.
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In pursuit of said revival, Machín began the match against Real Betis in his signature, if somewhat unorthodox, 3-1-4-2 formation – using Lucas Pérez and Joselu as the forwards, playing in front of a central midfield trio of Pere Pons, Tomás Pina and Rodrigo Battaglia. Meanwhile, the all-important wing-back positions were manned by Luis Rioja and Edgar Mendez.
A similar renaissance is ongoing at Real Betis under the stewardship of Manuel Pellegrini. A profoundly disappointing finish to the 2019/20 season gave way to Pellegrini’s hiring in the hopes that a more measured approach on the touchline would help spur on a talented yet underperforming lineup.
The veteran manager used a 4-2-3-1 formation against Alavés with a double pivot Two central midfielders next to . . .